Love handles, thunder thighs, belly fat, back fat- Does any of these bother you when you look into the mirror? We bring you some suggestions to reduce fat in problem areas with diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
Muffin top/Belly fat/ Flabby belly
Stubborn fat feeds off starch and sugar. It’s crucial to cut down on starchy foods, and have more fresh vegetables and lean protein. Long-term stress when not properly managed causes our bodies to produce an excess of cortisol that raise blood glucose levels so it’s important to keep blood glucose levels stable in the face of stress. Increase intake of whole foods, think fresh and unprocessed.
Tip: Cook with ginger as it has been shown to help manage blood sugar levels. It’s safe to say that many Chinese dishes incorporate ginger as an ingredient in their recipe so having them in your diet wouldn’t be a problem! A good quality fish oil or omega oil will help burn fat and slow the absorption of sugar through the gut.
Exercise: The secret is cardiovascular exercise. While sit-up and crunches build muscles, it would be hidden below that layer of stubborn fat. So incorporate jogging, swimming, HIIT workouts or cycling to burn excess fat in this region. Power move: Plank!
Lifestyle: Pace yourself during stressful seasons, try to relax! It will break down hormonal cycle that is causing your body to lay down belly fat and decrease cravings for calorie-dense food.
The female hormone- oestrogen promotes fat storage around the top of the legs. In fact, we are very much expose to high levels of natural oestrogens in water and farmed meat and synthetic versions (ie. Non-stick coatings, chemical in plastics) in the environment. Genetics is also one of the factor that some women have pear shape body figures.
Diet Tip: Eat more fruits, vegetables and wholegrains and cut down on alcohol, painkillers and drinks with artificial colourings and preservatives. Incorporate live natural yogurt to boost the friendly bacteria in the gut that aids to clear oestrogen via gastrointestinal tract. Cut down on caffeine as a study found that more than two cups of coffee a day can trigger higher oestrogen levels in women. Dieting every other day helps burn fat and keep muscle. On “diet” day, start your day with green juice, lean protein and salad for lunch and cooked green vegetables and pulses for dinner. Limit snacks, but if you have to, stick to a small amount of fruits.
Exercise: Aerobics, climbing and power walking. The secret to power walking is to shift from the typical window-shopping stroll to a more athletic gait and pace. It takes a little practice, but the payoff from all your calories burned walking is a lower-body makeover that’ll definitely put some strut in your steps. This is a moderate-impact aerobic activity so be sure to have some good walking shoes. Power move: Hip-lifts!
Lifestyle: Consider talking to your GP if you are on the pill that contains high oestrogen. Opt for filter water to reduce oestrogen.
Upper arm fat can be caused by low testosterone levels, particularly in older women.
Diet Tip: Have a calcium-rich diet as it promotes higher rates of fat oxidation and converts fat stores into usable energy. Include yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu and sardine with bones, soy milk and oats to your diet.
Exercise: Boxing and yoga. Power move: Triceps dips!
Lifestyle tips: Try dry brushing from your elbow and armpits to improve circulation besides giving the appearance of a smoother and firmer upper arms.
Excess fat around the bra straps can be due to carbohydrate overload or a sign of a sluggish thyroid that are in charge of the rate of burning calories from food. Low thyroid function does not only causes bra-bulge fat but also overall weight gain, fatigue and depression.
Diet Tip: Eliminate grains and refined carbs (ie. White rice and pasta). Opt for brown rice, quinoa or buckwheat instead. Boost your intake of iodine and selenium to support your thyroid by eating Brazil nuts, garlic, liver, and onions.
Exercise: Swimming. Power move: The back extension!
Lifestyle: Dry brushing towards your skin towards the heart before your morning shower with a long-handled brush can help to stimulate your lymphatic system and eliminate toxins. Get properly measured for a well-fitting supportive bra to reduce “spillage”.
Having love handles could indicate a problem with hormone insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels and a sugary diet forces the body to pump insulin to move sugar out of the bloodstream. However, over time if sugar intake remains high, the cells would stop responding correctly.
Diet Tip: Avoid sugars and carbohydrates to avoid an insulin spike. Follow a Mediterranean diet to avoid alcohol, white bread, biscuits, cakes, chips, processed sweetened cereals, rice, carbonated drinks. To reduce insulin resistance, eat food rich in antioxidants (ie. Cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, fresh herbs, chilies, blueberries, cranberries, broccoli and green tea).
Exercise: Swimming, yoga, cycling. Power move: Oblique sit-ups!
Lifestyle: This type of fat can also be due to stress so make it a point to relax and unwind daily.