There comes a point in a lot of people’s lives when they notice their body isn’t bouncing back with the same youthful elasticity with which it once did.
Dark circles under our eyes, aches and pains where there once were none and abdominal fat – our bodies have their ways of telling us lifestyle has outstripped luck.
Fitness and nutrition expert Louise Parker agrees, saying “I’d say most clients who are overweight are largely concerned about fat in the abdominal area as it’s what they physically see and feel.”
But as she explains to Mirror Online, there’s no short-cut to a flatter, leaner tummy.
Tackling it is a far-reaching task – and not tackling it can have serious consequences which go beyond the aesthetic.
Louise has spent 20 years honing her method to create the most effective and practical route to permanent weight loss and she shares her expertise to reveal why that tummy fat won’t go – and how it can.
1. You can’t choose where the fat comes off
A few years ago clients would specifically ask to spot body fat reduce – perhaps saying ‘I want to keep my boobs, and only want to drop fat around my tummy and arms’.
But more and more realise you simply cannot spot body fat reduce. We turn your fat burning tap on and tone you…
2. …but ultimately your genetics will decide where that fat will be taken from first
For most it’s beautifully even, but for some, you are more likely to store visceral fat.
3. There are two types of fat, and it’s visceral fat which really matters
This is an indicator of how much actual body fat you are storing around your midriff and around your internal organs.
If your rating is high, you’re auditioning for disease and diabetes, so we want to reduce this to a healthy level as swiftly and sensibly as possible.
4. But what you cannot do, is 100 sit ups a day and expect to have a lean stomach
A lean body is largely earned in the kitchen
If you’ve a good layer of body fat sitting on the stomach muscles, it’s not going to burn fat from that area.
We need to drop your total body fat whilst toning a strong core. Healthy metabolisms mean longevity of results.
5. Ditch the fad diet
The most recent misconception over the last two years is hundreds of clients coming to us who’ve been following what I refer to as ‘healthy halo diets’ – so simply eating too much ‘healthy’ food.
It’s heartbreaking as they are baffled why their coconut porridge with manuka honey isn’t making them look like the girl in the Instagram photo.
And they gain weight as whilst these ‘diets’ are full of nutrition, they’re overloaded with calories and healthy sugars.
The simplest way to sum it up is we need to adopt a lifestyle diet.
6. Because your body does not care if a calorie has come from a Haribo or honey …
…by the time it’s broken down on its way to fat storage.
A huge focus of the Louise Parker Method is giving scientific, realistic advice.
So not a diet that starts on Monday and comes to a grinding halt on Friday, but really, truly change the way you eat forever.
Ask yourself: Will I still be doing eighty per cent of this plan in five years time?
If so, that rules out juice fasting, 5:2 or anything that’s just not enjoyable, do-able, sociable and sustainable.
7. And there’s more to weight gain than just food
Your lifestyle (how much you sleep, how stress effects your hormones that influence gaining or losing fat), your mindset, changing to a low sugar lifestyle and simply becoming active are all a part.
How can I reduce my tummy fat?
Learn all you can about sugar
Know where it’s hidden and eliminate it from your diet until you reach your goal.
Make sure you eat little and often
Three meals and two snacks per day and always a combination of a little low GI carbohydrate, a little good fat and some protein.
Get your heart rate up
You have to get your heart rate up and do a little exercise every day. It needn’t be fifteen minute gruelling HIIT sessions that may injure you or hardcore boot camps.
You have to find what works for you because you need to adopt these habits forever. And forever is a really long time.
Most people underestimate how easy it is to succeed and smash their goals, once they find a programme that works. So aim high. You get one life and we want you to live it in your best body ever.
Her company, Louise Parker, based in Belgravia, London are a 50-strong team of dietitians and world-class personal trainers, supporting clients all over the world.
Louise Parker, based in Belgrvia London are a 50-strong team of dietitians and world-class personal trainers, supporting clients all over the world.
Louise’s first book, The Louise Parker Method is published on 5 May and is available now to pre-order on Amazon.