People often come to me complaining that they simply cannot shift belly fat. I will acknowledge that a very small percent of people perhaps are right and have tried everything. But more often than not when I dig a little deeper, I discover that people have simply only tried one or two things and neglected a couple of key actions to shift those stubborn midsection kilos.
So, if I’m speaking your language, make sure you have tried everything on this list before deeming it impossible.
1. Challenge your body
Think outside the square. You cannot do what you have always done and expect to get results. You need to change the intensity and variety of your workouts.
Increase the intensity and get functional, focus on high-intensity moves that activate lots of muscles at once and are demanding on your core.
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and keeping the body guessing creates change. Remember- for those that are looking at those last few kilos, you really have to push yourself.
2. Reduce sugar and processed carbs
When I really want to lean out, sugar and processed carbs are the first to go.
I am all about balance and eating things in moderation, but whenever I’ve been a bit too indulgent or have a photoshoot that I absolutely want to look a million dollars in, I will cut them out completely – and the difference is undeniable.
3. Look at your portion sizes
Don’t be flippant about it.
You need to understand what portion size of quality foods is creating change and what portion size still of quality foods is only resulting in a break-even outcome.
As a society we eat far too much and have a ‘must finish everything on my plate’ mentality. You need to eat until you are satisfied, not until you’re about to burst.
4. Reduce your alcohol consumption
Dry July is just around the corner. Maybe this is the missing ingredient and the perfect opportunity for you.
Alcohol has been shown to increase the storage of fat as your body will use it as the preferred fuel source instead of burning fat reserves.
This becomes a double negative when you eat unhealthy foods as the fat in these foods gets directed to your fat stores instead of being burnt as a fuel source.
5. Increase your incidental activity
Even if you work out every day, prolonged periods of inactivity are bad for your health.
If you work an office job chances are you are pretty sedentary.
Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day and get incidental exercise in wherever you can (take the stairs, have meetings on foot, park further away from your destination etc.).
I love ad break workouts like a little HIIT or core workout while you’re watching your favourite show.
I also think stairs are massively underrated and you should get a couple of stair climbs in wherever possible.
6. Reduce stress
Prolonged periods of stress release cortisol. Cortisol causes our bodies to store fat so that we have reserves to draw on when we’re in survival mode. Ideal for when you’re stranded on an island but not so ideal when you’re trying to drop kilos.
Stress might be unavoidable, but until you start implementing some of the following strategies, how do you truly know how much you can reduce it? No matter how far out these ideas feel, if you are truly stuck you must have an open mind and give them a try. Mindfulness meditations, long walks, deep breathing and podcasts are some great options.
7. Prioritise sleep
Be honest with yourself: do you really need the scrolling and screen time late at night? I absolutely guarantee if you had to go to bed an hour early you would be able to find a way.
When you are constantly lacking sleep, the process which the body converts calories to energy is slowed down (aka your metabolism). If your metabolism isn’t working properly, your unused energy can be stored as fat, which can lead to weight gain. Not to mention, when you are sleep deprived you are less likely to make healthy food choices and your exercise can suffer.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, so aim for at least 7-hours of sleep per night.If you genuinely feel that you are doing all of these things and still need help, send me an email at email@example.com