Workouts & Nutrition

Bubble Gut

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A jelly belly can be hard to shake but there are changes you can make to try and tame your tummy. You may not be able to spot burn but here are some tips that work and are also easy to handle.

Belly fat is also known as visceral fat and increases as we get older due to hormonal changes. It not only wobbles when we walk but it increases our risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The good news is that a smart diet will reduce your waist and also your risk of disease.

There’s no need to protect your six pack with a layer of lard. You can be crunching at the gym every day but if you’re crunching on the wrong foods at home then it will show. You must burn more energy than you ingest. Most people underestimate their kilojoules so it’s a great idea to keep a record of what you consume over a week.

Reduce your calories and also your refined carbohydrate. Avoid foods that are loaded with white flour and sugar such as white bread, white rice, biscuits, cakes, pies and soft drink. White rolls lead to fat rolls and before you know it – your tummy will be a bread basket.

Fibre leaves you feeling fuller for longer. Eat more plant-based foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit and wholegrain breads and cereals. Wholegrains are a good source of magnesium and chromium which reduce hormones associated with weight gain. Fruit such as berries contain anthocyanins which may help burn abdominal fat.

Smoking increases the deposition of fat around your middle. Excess drinking also leads to weight gain and can alter hormones resulting in the notorious, beer gut. Replace your alcohol with green tea occasionally which contains epigallocatechin gallate which has been shown to boost your metabolism. Try saying that next time you’re at the pub too.

Eat regular meals throughout the day. Skipping meals will only lead to ravenous hunger which may result in poor food choices and overeating. Eat every three to four hours and have breakfast to kick-start your metabolism. Nutritious food assists with building lean muscle. Eat less muffin top and you’ll be less likely to have one.

Regular exercise and resistance training will replace fat with lean muscle. You’ll also burn more visceral fat and increase your metabolism. Move as much as you can during the day as being sedentary leads to weight gain and poor posture which will make your paunch poke out further.

Cortisol is released when we feel stressed which directly affects fat storage. Manage your stress levels through yoga, exercise or mindfulness. Don’t over exercise though as putting too much stress on the body may also result in excess cortisol. Hormonal imbalances, medications, lack of sleep and certain diseases can add weight to your problem. Visit your doctor if you’re feeling unwell.

If you can stomach a few diet and lifestyle changes then you should be able to shrink that bubble gut. Throwing a nice shirt over your muffin top isn’t going to turn you into a cupcake. You don’t have to be hard core but be consistent and have the guts to give it a go.

From @zap_fit