Just kidding, I don’t have a clue. Don’t have one now and never had one even when I was younger. And if you are thinking about advice on where to find a six-pack at the nearest bottle store, afraid I can’t help you either as I don’t drink. What I do know though is that part of that is genetics, so don’t feel too bad if you’re like me. However, the other part has also been laziness and not been disciplined and patient enough to actually stick with any specific exercise regime for long enough.
Over the years I’ve conquered most of my laziness though and while I don’t have a six-pack, I can at least offer some advice on how to get a lean stomach and lose that belly fat. Sorry Geoff, but it won’t just go away on its own.
Cut down on sugar, soft drinks and fast foods
I’ve spoken before about a healthy diet before and that’s because it really is important in getting healthy. However processed sugar in particular is quite heavy on your midriff and cutting out this, plus the unhealthy fats in fast food is vital. I’ve seen people lose a lot of weight doing this along, so if you want to get serious on looking slimmer – you need to start with this.
Eat More Fibre
Instead, rather add fibre to your diet, especially soluble fibres like oats, flaxseeds, avocados, legumes, Brussels sprouts and blackberries because these actually decrease the number of calories your body is able to absorb from food.
Drink More Water and have less sugar in your caffeinated drinks.
Believe it or not, unsweetened coffee and green tea are among the healthiest beverages in the world. The problem is they also tend to taste bitter and so we try and sweeten things a little. Work on cutting down on the amount of sugar you put into these drinks and instead drink more water.
Water has many befits including helping with weight loss by temporarily increasing your metabolic rate and increase your calorie expenditure by as much as 100 calories a day. Secondly, drinking water before meals makes you fuller, meaning you will likely eat less and lastly, it also relieves constipation and belly bloating. And the best thing about water (outside of Cape Town), is that it’s readily available and not too expensive – so drink away and save your wallet too.
Hit those stomach exercises
The best way to burn fat is to build muscle, so if you want to lose fat in your abdominal area, work the muscles there. This can include the obvious stomach crunches, but can more effectively come through a variety of lunges, crunches and weight exercises that also affect this. The important part is to be consistent and work it at least twice a week.
High intensity cardio vascular exercises
Running, cycling and rowing are the three best forms of exercise for increasing heart rate and as a result are best in helping you sweat and burn up extra kilo’s and reduce your midriff. Running burns the most calories but if it’s not your cup of tea, the others are still very effective at this. The trick here is the more you exercise, the hungrier you get and while you need to certainly eat more to regain the energy – make it a healthy meal as much as possible.
Walk and take the stairs wherever you can
Just 30 minutes of walking a day can make a big difference to the number of calories you burn, as does climbing stairs regularly. So, make an effort to climb stars whenever you’re faced with them and set time aside to walk, even if it’s pacing around controller in hand trying to get through that next level of your favourite game. Or even better ye –
Stand instead of sit
While not everyone has the benefit of being able to stand in their work days, make an effort to stand as much as possible. There are multiple benefits to standing especially when you exercise, but if you’re not. So, if you can get standing desk or have a job where sitting is optional – choose the option to stand.
Reduce Stress and get some more sleep
This is a difficult one to get right as life can be very hectic at times, but stress triggers the body to produce cortisol, a stress hormone. It has been known to increase appetite and lead specifically to belly fat storage. Similarly, studies have shown that lack of sleep leads to increased risk of obesity. I’ve put these two together though because they are kind of interrelated and you can’t always solve one without the other. I wish I could tell you how to stress less, but you will probably need to evaluate your work, finances and family environment to best uncover this. There are those with certain sleep disorders though that might need to try medication to help get a better nights’ rest, but these tend to have their own side effects too.
Cut Down on Alcohol
And now I’ve lost Geoff. While not specifically responsible for an increase in the size of your stomach, the truth is that alcohol contains seven calories for each gram, which partly explains why alcoholic drinks tend to be loaded with liquid calories. Beer contains a similar number of calories as a sugary soft drink, while red wine contains a whopping twice that amount, so while you might see it as a problem, alcohol tends to affect your body in more ways that just a nasty hangover. Drinking in moderation is fine, but don’t overdo and if possible, avoid it completely
Don’t turn 35
Age can do nasty things to your body and while it is possible to stay lean well into your old age, it does become more difficult. So, a sure fire way of keeping lean easy, is just never getting old. If you, like me, can’t get a hold of the fountain of youth though, afraid you will have to just keep working harder at the above steps
Last Updated: September 21, 2018