Weight loss tends to be associated with strict dieting and intense workout regimes. However this may not be suitable for everyone wanting to lose weight and there other ways you can shed the pounds, including targeting stubborn belly fat.
Dr Michael Mosley is well known for sharing his weight loss diet tips and has shared how to lose weight around the abdominal area.
He said: “Fat cells deep in your abdomen – also known as ‘visceral fat’ – are reluctant to let go of their energy-stash. To find extra energy needed to fuel a small energy deficit, or a standard gym session, your body will look to other reserves first, like your flutes.
“Fortunately though, recent breakthroughs in medical and sports science have shown that it is possible to throw this gradient into reverse: you can lose belly fat, and you can lose it fast.”
The expert has three steps to follow to help burn belly fat including following a low sugar diet, intermittent fasting and exercising.
He said: “To make a serious impact on your belly fat, cutting out sugar-spikes is key. A surprising number of ‘diet’ snacks and drinks are high in sugar, and are marketed as diet foods because they happen to be low in fat.
“This is supported by numerous studies. When people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight. Now over 20 randomised controlled studies have now shown that lower-carb diets can lead to two to three times more weight loss than low-fat diets.
“So – limit your intake of any food or drink containing more than five per cent sugar to no more than twice a week. This includes sweet fruits like mango and pineapple, and sugary smoothies and juices. Likewise, replace processed carbs like white bread, chips and pasta with slow-release energy sources, such as brown rice or quinoa.
“Two things will surprise you: the amount of sugar you were consuming unawares, and the speed at which your belly fat will begin to tame itself.”
Do I need to wear gardening gloves? Five reasons to take precautions [EXPLAINER]
Keto diet: Expert’s top ketogenic foods to help you lose weight [EXPERT]
Weight loss: Ditching refined sugar can help you slim down [INSIGHT]
As well as this, intermittent fasting can also help to target weight around the middle of the body for a number of reasons.
Dr Mosley added: “The idea that fasting ‘slows your metabolism’ is a myth. Under conditions of marked energy deficit – 800 calories per day or less – not only do you simply lose weight by eating fewer calories, but your body responds to the stress of fasting by enhancing hormone function to facilitate weight loss and burn fat for energy.
“Short-term fasting can lead to several changes in the body that make fat burning easier. This includes reduced insulin, increased growth hormone, enhanced epinephrine signalling and a small boost in metabolism.
“According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of three to eight percent over three to 24 weeks. Not only this – but people lost four to seven percent of their waist circumference as well – indicating a large loss of the harmful belly fat in the abdominal cavity, strongly linked to chronic disease.”
However for weight loss to occur, slimmers must be eating in a calorie deficit.
This means burning more energy than the body is consuming.
One way to help create a larger deficit, is to exercise, which is recommended by the NHS daily.
The expert explained: “Exercise is key for various reasons. It is amongst the best things you can do for a long and healthy life. While exercise alone will not help you lose the stubborn fat from round your middle, it can be crucial for helping reduce the risk of regaining fats as well as lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity.
“How best to achieve this though? Research has shown the extraordinary impact that ultra-short bursts of HIIT (high intensity interval training) can have. All in just a few minutes. Not only is it effective, but study after study has shown it is much easier to stick to. Find out more about the benefits of HIIT and exercise.
So conventional diet and training regimes don’t help you to lose belly fat.
“And let’s face it: surrounded by junk food, dosed with snacks and working in sedentary jobs, we live in an environment that piles it on. And yet more and more people are discovering that with the right lifestyle changes, they can burn it off. And most amazing? It’s not as hard as you think.”
The NHS recommends Britons be physically active every day, including 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week like walking, riding a bike or dancing.
The website also advises slimmers to reduce time spent sitting or lying down to help keep the body active.