When it comes to burning body fat, a lot of women have the same target area: the belly. Much to the chagrin of many of us, belly fat is notoriously stubborn, and it’s important to note that you can’t spot reduce fat. In other words, simply being diligent about crunches isn’t going to help you achieve your goal.
“Just as you can not influence where your body stores dreaded excess fat when it packs it on, you can’t control where your metabolism opts to pull from when it taps into fat stores, which incidentally tends not to be from the region we gain it in the first place,” Corey Phelps, founder and CEO of Cultivate by Corey and creator of the Cultivate365 program, told POPSUGAR.
That’s not to say that we’re powerless to reduce belly fat. A combination of diet and exercise can help us achieve this goal in a healthy manner. What types of diet and exercise, you ask? Here’s what experts have to say about the nutrition and workout aspects of losing belly fat — and keeping it off.
Phelps described refined sugar as the “number one enemy” of women who are working to reduce belly fat. “Reduce or better yet eliminate refined sugar all together,” she suggested. Phelps also recommended eliminating processed foods from your diet, noting that if a food item comes in a package and has a list of unrecognisable ingredients, it’s best to keep it out of your shopping cart and fridge.
Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods, but increase your consumption of protein and veggies. “Consuming adequate protein will not only keep you satisfied and prevent snacking on items that aren’t in line with your goals and healthy habits, but it also preserves and supports muscle, which keeps your metabolism humming along and torching calories,” Phelps told POPSUGAR.