Most people, particularly men, store a good whack of their fat under the skin around their middle, which gives them that dreaded spare tyre look and increases the occurrence of many diseases. So how do we send that spare tyre rolling?
There are two components to this question that require two different parts to a solution.
Firstly, how do I lose weight?
The answer is simple in theory – the challenge is to burn more energy than you consume. Having what is called a “calorie-negative diet” will allow your body to burn fat from its stores around the body. Seeing a dietitian to help prescribe a calorie negative diet is your first port-of-call to achieving this. Coupling this with an hour of moderate cardiovascular exercise each day is essential to long term success (if you don’t have the time to commit to an hour, find out what you can achieve in only 10 minutes).
But how do I focus that weight loss on my stomach?
Unfortunately, you cannot choose the area of your body from where you’d like to lose fat, in the same way that you can’t choose where the fat gets put on (if only!). There is a common misconception that you can “spot weight loss” by working out the respective part of the body that you want to target, for example, doing sit-ups to lose stomach fat. This is a myth – the part of your body that benefits from your efforts primarily depends on your genetics.
What we do know, however, is that resistance exercise can target the fat that is stored around your organs, underneath your abdominal muscles. Three bouts of resistance exercise per week focusing on your whole body (not just those rock hard abs) will significantly reduce the amount of fat around your organs, shrinking your waistline and drastically reducing your disease risk.