While more Malaysians are adopting better habits for good health, many find that they have problem areas where they just cannot get fat to shrink.
Hands up if you’re one of the millions who find themselves with a stubborn layer of fat around their waist?
It's frustrating that even though you may be making an effort with your diet and trying to exercise more, sometimes it feels impossible to reduce fat around your belly, especially when you want to look good for the holidays.
With an active lifestyle, there are several steps you can take to help you become or remain trim all over.
Breaking down the fat loss myth
I’m sorry to say that there is no such thing as spot reduction.
We just don't get to choose where our body stores fat and then remove it from targeted places when we decide we don’t want it.
It’s a disheartening fact, but hundreds of sit-ups and stomach crunches on their own won’t immediately help you lose that spare tyre.
The good news is that with diet and exercise together, you can burn your excess fat.
Follow these three belly fat-busting tips and that spare tire will soon deflate.
Three simple tips to help you reduce the appearance of belly fat
Here are three go-to belly busters that can help keep you stress-free and in control of your figure.
Tip 1: Make time to be active
Although you can’t spot reduce and only target a flabby tummy, you shouldn’t discount the benefits of general exercise.
If you can find time for a single physical activity every day, then you’ll soon find yourself firming up all over.
You have likely heard this before, but being active and becoming physically fit is also a wonderful way to cut stress in your life.
Exercising can give you a time-out and help you reprioritise.
Even better, the time you spend exercising is time when you can’t be eating!
Tip 2: Take a deep breath
Practice conscious breathing by inhaling through your nose and letting the air expand into your tummy, then breathe out through your mouth.
Taking five to 10 conscious breaths can calm your mind and give you a rejuvenating time-out.
Don’t let stress creep up and leave you feeling frazzled by the end of the day; this may lead to comfort eating.
Try this breathing technique as often as you remember (try putting up a sticky note to yourself).
Take the time to think about your body and how you want it to look.
This technique may help you avoid a doughnut or reprioritise a trip to the gym.
Tip 3: Pull your shoulders back and your tummy in
Schedule a stretching break instead of a teh tarik break.
You can do simple stretches and exercises from the comfort of your office chair or while you’re on the phone.
Try pulling in your tummy when you’re sitting or standing for 30 seconds at a time, and you'll be strengthening your core stomach muscles.
If you have a minute (sure you do!), take a moment to stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and walk tall.
Improving your posture can help make you feel more alert and in better shape.
Although there are no quick-fix solutions, you'll instantly feel better if you begin to exercise, take control of your figure and make the time to think about yourself.
Whatever your problem area – be it a wobbly belly, thunder thighs, or a double chin – with a consistent exercise routine and some patience, you can improve your physique.
Samantha Clayton is the vice president of sports performance and fitness education at Herbalife Nutrition. For more information, email [email protected]. The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.