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5 Tips on Losing Belly Fat

Losing stubborn belly fat can be tough. MyMaha expert Cheryl Lin shares 5 tips on how to lose that muffin top

  • 5 Tips on Losing Belly Fat
    Photo from Pexels

Depending on your genetic predisposition, diet, lifestyle and hormonal balance, there can be a greater tendency for your body to store fat in certain areas. Similarly, when it comes to losing it, it might be easier to lose it from certain areas more than others. As any fitness expert will tell you, you can’t simply spot reduce where you lose fat from. You can however, make changes to your lifestyle, nutrition and exercise, in order to change the shape of your body (by building lean muscle mass), reduce overall body fat (by increasing your metabolism and improving on your nutrition) and affect where fat is stored (by balancing out your hormones).

5 ways to do this:

1. Sleep!

The smarter we get with technology, the easier it is for us to work on the go and into the night. Increased work hours and stimulation from the artificial light of the screens will push our body’s desire to stay awake and over time, result in substantial sleep loss as our natural circadian rhythms become disrupted. This places the body under physiological stress and the stress hormone cortisol is released as a result. Elevated levels of cortisol in the body will reduce the amount of melatonin secreted and the body’s sensitivity to glucose and insulin. Levels of growth hormone, testosterone and estrogen are also reduced and can result in the accumulation of fat in the abdominal area. It is therefore so important to get adequate sleep so that cortisol levels are in balance and the body’s natural fat burning and metabolic mechanisms can function efficiently.

2. Reduce consumption of refined sugar

Natural sources of sugar such as fruit and vegetables aren’t bad for you, because they provide nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and protein. Refined sugar on the other hand, provides zero nutrition to your body because the refining process has stripped it of any goodness. When you consume refined sugar, it causes your blood sugar level to rise, insulin to be released, and excess blood sugar to be converted and stored as fat

3. Eat

Restrictive diets and carbohydrate depletion are often marketed as quick-fix ways to get skinny. However, these diets fail to take into account any pre-existing hormonal conditions or your body’s response to specific foods and caloric restriction. These extreme measures can place a lot of nutritive stress on your body, and similar to sleep deprivation, result in hormonal imbalances that may have a direct impact on abdominal fat accumulation. The other impact of caloric depletion is that your body will convert amino acids from your muscles into glucose to provide energy for your body and brain. If this occurs frequently (with prolonged dieting), your body ends up holding onto its fat stores so that it has access to energy in anticipation of periods of starvation. Over time, it will become more difficult for your body to get the energy it needs and metabolism will drop. Not only does this prevent any long term weight loss, but it can also result in extended periods of nutritive, physiological and even psychological stress.

4. Digestion

Improving gut health can be beneficial towards reducing belly fat. Probiotics can be introduced into your gut through capsules, fermented foods such as miso, kimchi and saurkraut or through fermented liquids such as kombucha or kefir. By ensuring a healthy microbial environment in the gut, metabolism can be improved and your body will be more effective at burning belly fat.

5. Exercise

Keeping active is so important for a multitude of reasons. Specific to reducing belly fat however, exercise certainly has a huge role to play. The most obvious reason is that being active will burn calories. When you exercise, particularly anything weight bearing, you will develop leaner muscles. An increase in lean muscle mass will help to improve your metabolism and burn more calories as a result. Although you can’t exercise to reduce fat in specific areas, working on strengthening your abdominal muscles will improve the tone and appearance of your abdomen.



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About the Author

Cheryl draws on 15 years of experience in the fitness and dance industry to help clients map out strategies that fit with their lifestyles, coach them out of limiting mindsets and prescribe bespoke exercise regimes and nutrition plans. Services by Eat Train Love include personal training, wellness and nutrition counseling, weight loss programmes, pre and post natal fitness, pilates and yoga, outdoor bootcamps, corporate workshops, nutrition seminars and cooking classes.

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