Most women get the January bloat when waistbands are too tight and you end up with the dreaded muffin top. In fact, in a recent poll, sixty two per cent of women said the body part they are most self conscious about is their belly. Unfortunately, as we age and our metabolism slows down, stomach fat gets harder to shift. But you can make over your midriff with the right nutrition, exercise and treatment..
You need to take a three fold approach against a tubby tum – burning fat with cardio exercise like fast walking, dancing, swimming, diet (see below) and then toning the core muscles with strengthening exercises like crunches and sit-ups.
*A great exercise for the stomach- and the back – is the plank. Lie face down on the floor then come up a little to lean on your elbows, shoulder width apart. Raise your body off the floor, holding in your tum, and then hold it in a straight line for a count of 10, then longer as you improve. Do these every day to see a difference.
*Try adding light weights to your exercise routine as they will help increase muscle mass and burn more calories.
*A really easy way to get a flatter stomach is to repeatedly hold your tummy in. Simply pull your belly button in towards your spine and hold for a few seconds.
*Too much stress can increase levels of the hormone cortisol, which can also lead to excess stomach fat. If you’re feeling frazzled, try to de- stress through deep breathing inhale through your nose, count to four, then exhale from your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat until you feel refreshed. Yoga or Pilates will also strengthen and tone stomach muscles and help you to relax.
Beat the Bloat Foods
A great four-day anti bloat diet will help flatten your stomach – simply avoid all carbohydrates, sugar, fizzy drinks, fried and gassy goods and eat plenty of protein fruit and vegetables as well as the foods below…
1. Nuts/Olives/Avocado – contain healthy fats and research shows that dieters who ate foods containing monounsatured fats (like nuts) lost more belly fat than those who ate the same number of calories with less of the fats. But watch portions – stick to a handful of nuts or less per day.
2. Fat free Yogurt/ Non fat Greek Yogurt –contains calcium and protein as well as good bacteria (probiotics) that may help reduce bad bacteria in the intestines that can cause belly bloating.
3.Mushrooms –the only natural plant source of Vitamin D. Insufficient levels of vitamin D have also been lined to higher levels of belly fat.
4. Beans – low in calories, high in fibre and a great flat belly food – don’t eat too many and drink with water to avoid excess gas
5. Oily fish – such as salmon can help combat middle-aged spread as they contain the protein leptin, which acts like a hormone, reducing fat stored around the middle and controlling your appetite so you don’t overeat.
AT THE CLINIC
If your tummy problem is more about crepey or just a little loose skin then you will benefit from one of the new non-invasive treatments to tighten and firm the stomach.
* Viora Reaction is a quick, safe procedure which uses both vacuum massage and radiofrequency (RF). The massage improves blood circulation and lymphatic draining, while the heat produced by RF stimulates new collagen growth for better skin thickness and texture. You’ll need four to six 20 minute treatments for maximum effect and results should last for at least two to three years as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle. The cost is around £200 per treatment Contact 0207 436 4441 for more info.
* BodyTite can target stubborn fat pockets which are resistant to diet and exercise. It is a form of energy-assisted liposuction that that works by applying radiofrequency energy at the time of fat removal. The radiofrequency energy heats the tissues, which helps to break down fat, while also creating a significant tightening effect on the skin. This makes the process of fat removal less aggressive when liposuction is used to remove the ‘melted’ fat cells. The treatment takes slightly longer than standard liposuction, but creates less swelling and bruising and can be done under local anesthetic. . After the treatment, a garment is applied and needs to be worn for at least four weeks Studies also show that BodyTite tightens the skin up to 60 per cent more than traditional liposuction From £2500 depending on the size of the treatment area Contact 0207 436 4441
Every time you bathe or shower apply a nourishing body cream to hydrate the skin on your tummy Try
*Etat Pur Pure Active A90 Caffeine £11.30 to help stimulate circulation www.etatpur.co,uk
*Dr. Ceuticals Tummy Tone £19.99 formulated with brown seaweed to target fat pockets. from Boots