"How can I lose the fat from my stomach? I exercise most days and watch what I eat but it doesn't seem to get any smaller, so what am I doing wrong?"

There are two types of body fat. One type is subcutaneous fat — this is the fat you can pinch or grab hold of on your back, arms, thighs, hips and stomach areas. And the other is visceral fat. This lies out of reach, deep within your abdominal cavity where it fills the spaces between your abdominal organs.

Belly fat can be hard to shift. PICTURE / GETTY IMAGES
Belly fat can be hard to shift. PICTURE / GETTY IMAGES

Visceral fat is of particular concern because it's a key player in a variety of health problems. It has been linked to metabolic disturbances, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery. Fortunately visceral fat is easier to lose than the fat on the outside of your body — the subcutaneous. We accumulate bodyfat overtime through poor eating habits such as too much food, takeaways too often, sugary drinks, and high-calorie snacks together with a lack of regular exercise.

Maybe it's time for you to consult a health and fitness professional who can assess your current wellness and where you might be able to make some changes to achieve better health. Sometimes our "eating well" may not be as balanced as it could be. Portion sizes can be distorted and snacks and treats have become daily rather than weekly. You don't have to give up your favourite foods but with a few simple tweaks you can still enjoy the foods you love in moderation.

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Exercise doesn't mean hours on the treadmill or rowing machine. There are many ways to exercise efficiently around 30 minutes that incorporates a mix of cardiovascular training and resistance training both of which are best for weight loss and improved fitness.
Stress can also play a huge role in creating abdominal fat. Cortisol is released into the blood stream when you are stressed and it is quickly shunted to cortisol receptors in the abdominal region. Every time you eat high-calorie foods, guess where the calories end up ... stomach. While you may not eat much in the way of "junk food" a stressful lifestyle will determine where the calories end up.

Unfortunately we cannot spot reduce the fat. This means we cannot do crunches every hour to burn off abdominal fat in the same way squats won't shift the fat off your butt. Exercising will use up stored calories, however you must stop eating high calorie food to begin with. When you exercise and eat right your body will take the excess fat for energy from anywhere it chooses. This can be frustrating for those who want immediate results of fat loss from the middle.

Our advice would be to come in and see us, have a free consult to discuss your best way forward. We all want the best of health and it's important you make a start today. Contact us at Her Fitness on 3489121 or email us results@herfitness.co.nz