Lose the love handles for good.
10 things you can do today
Slog days are over.
Steady-state cardio does nothing to shift stubborn midriff fat. Swap long runs for sprint sessions to shed your belly faster, say University of New South Wales researchers.
Snooze to lose – Lack of sleep leads to more than bleary-eyed comfort-eating. Chicago researchers found it blocks your fat cells’ ability to react to insulin, making you more prone to fat storage. Try eating foods rich in vitamin B6 such as tuna, chicken or turkey: it increases sleep-hormone production.
Mind the munchies.
Put the popcorn down, or at least move it to the other side of the sofa. The University of California found that people who were asked to eat snacks with their non-dominant hand while watching TV consumed 30% less. Based on the average man’s snack consumption, that’s a saving of 63,500 calories a year, or the equivalent of 130 Big Macs.
Don’t make it kingsize.
Dogma dictates you mustn’t skip it, but that’s not your cue to supersize your first meal of the day. In a study presented to the European Congress on Obesity, participants who cut calories at breakfast didn’t compensate by eating more later on or report feeling any hungrier. It’s as good a reason as any to get the hard work out of the way early.
Quit your drinking habit.
That orange juice you’ve been told is the perfect start to the day is not as innocent as you think. Georgia Health Sciences University found those who consumed the most fructose (juice is full of it) had about 20% more visceral lard than those who drank the least. Avoid having more than three glasses of OJ a week. Don’t worry about whole fruits, though. They contain the fibre needed for a steady release of energy.
Go to the pub more often.
Don’t misunderstand us: the beer belly is so-called for a reason. Alcohol is the worst architect of love handles – slowing your metabolism and adding empty calories. But not all booze calories are created equal: a study in the Journal of Nutrition found that men who drink infrequently but heavily store more fat around their middles than those who drink the same amount in smaller doses. You won’t miss the hangovers or the pot belly.
Burn the trees.
Eat green vegetables for breakfast (think omelette, not cereal topping). They contain a phytochemical called IC3 which will ramp up production of fat-burning testosterone before your morning workout.
Hunt in packs.
She’s right. It is your mates’ fault: “Individuals with similar body fat levels form groups and social forces drive them to obesity,” say psychologists at the University of Colorado. You don’t have to be a hermit – just partner up with people who have similar fitness goals.
Get on your bike.
Make cycling your go-to form of cardio for chasing down visceral fat. A study published in the Journal of Physiology showed that cycling for at least 20 miles a week led to a 7% drop in visceral fat and a 7% overall drop in fat around the waistline after eight months.
30 sec fix.
If Pilates is good enough for The Rock, it’s good enough for you. Suck in your gut as if you were buttoning a tight pair of jeans then hold for 30 seconds. Repeat five times and you’ll see the difference within two weeks, says professor Michele Olson of Auburn University.