Belly Fat, sub-cutaneous fat, muffin top – is it here to stay?

A friend of mine recently said to me, “Why can’t you write an article about how to get rid of belly fat?” I think this is something that most women over 50 would like the answer to. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you about a magic pill that will rid us of fat around our middle. What I can tell you is that belly fat is more than a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight.

It’s seriously harmful.

One type of belly fat – referred to as visceral fat – is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions. Many health organisations use body mass index (BMI) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease. However, this is misleading, as people with excess belly fat are at an increased risk even if they look thin.

Though losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal fat.

Here are 17 effective tips to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.

  1. Eat plenty of soluble fibre.
  2. Avoid foods that contain trans fats – found in some margarines and spreads and also often added to packaged foods.
  3. Don’t drink too much alcohol.
  4. Eat a high protein diet.
  5. Reduce your stress levels.
  6. Don’t eat a lot of sugary foods.
  7. Do aerobic exercise (cardio).
  8. Cut back on carbs – especially refined carbs.
  9. Perform resistance training – lift weights.
  10. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
  11. Eat fatty fish every week.
  12. Stop drinking fruit juice.
  13. Add apple cider vinegar to your diet.
  14. Eat probiotic foods or take a probiotic supplement.
  15. Try intermittent fasting.
  16. Drink green tea.
  17. Get plenty of restful sleep.

I can also tell you about a couple of other helpful aids that I have recently learned about.

THE SCANDINAVIAN BELLY FAT PROGRAMME

If you are interested in adopting a healthy diet but want some inspiration in the kitchen then have a read of The Scandinavian Belly Fat Program by Berit Nordstrand.

According to Berit Nordstrand, a Norwegian physician and mother of six, it’s more important for your health to reduce your waist size than to reduce your overall weight.

Her advice: get rid of the abdominal fat around your waist that releases all kinds of chemicals and limits your quality of life, shut down the fat cells, stop their emissions, and experience a significant and lasting improvement in your quality of life.

If, slowly but surely, the kilos have sneaked up on you, now they will gradually disappear, while you focus a little more on moving, getting enough sleep, relaxation, pleasure and the great taste of pure ingredients.

Implement simple ‘food steps’ gradually over a period of 12 weeks and you will change your habits in the longer term so that you can maintain a stable, ideal weight and good health for the rest of your life. 

Her book describes some simple steps that are implemented week by week over a period of twelve weeks. This is not a diet but a method that creates lasting change in your eating habits for the long term. A gradual reorganisation of your diet is easier to achieve.

During the first four weeks, you will stop eating refined white calories and move over to a daily diet with essential nutrients for the mind and body. The next four weeks pursue effective changes in diet that really contribute to shrinking the waist. With more fish and seafood, varied sources of protein and the right kind of fat. The final four weeks include food choices that will prevent the return of fat, slow down fat storage and increase fat burning. You’ll get tips throughout the book which include enjoying a daily piece of dark chocolate (my sort of inspiration!)

BATHROOM BODY WEIGHT SCALES

If you want to be given a wake up call then try this tip. I recently replaced our bathroom scales with some body weight scales that can tell you your weight and many other things about your health.

The reason I believe this can help rid you of belly fat is that it guilts you into doing something about it. Every time I weigh myself on my Fit Track Smart Body fat scale it connects to an app on my mobile phone and gives me an all over body analysis. FitTrack Smart body fat scale measure 17 essential health factors (weight, body fat, muscle weight, hydration, bone mass, muscle mass, visceral fat, BMR, BMI, protein rate, metabolic age and obesity level) using Smart-Step technology.

If my Body Fat percentage (BFP) creeps into high I know I have problems. At the moment I am in standard trying to get it down to the Excellent percentage. However my subcutaneous fat – the adipose tissue that’s stored between the outer layer of your skin and the connective tissue beneath – needs to be reduced. This is the fat you can see and touch! So a work in progress.

A COUPLE OF CHEATS

Annabel is wearing shapewear by Bombshell HQ and the very flattering Kettlewell Colours cotton rib shirt £59

Of course, a bit of cheating is also allowed. So if you have an event to go to then try some shaping underwear. However, good shapewear can be so hard to find It’s often thought of as uncomfortable and wildly unflattering. Shop the Bombshell HQ curation of great shapewear that is both comfortable and attractive. In fact, these are just so great that they are perfect for every day and not just for a special event such as a wedding or party.

For more shapewear read Grace’s article where she has tried out items from Marks and Spencer, Sloggi and Wolford.

This Kettlewell Colours cotton rib shirt £59 for every day is so flattering and gave me a smooth shape. I am wearing it over some Bombshell shapewear but it all helps to give an overall slimming effect.

In the end, there are no magic solutions to losing belly fat. Weight loss always requires some effort, commitment, and perseverance on your behalf. Successfully adopting some or all of the strategies and lifestyle goals discussed in this article will definitely help you lose the extra pounds around your waist.

Also, have a read of Grace’s article – HOW TO DISGUISE YOUR TUMMY