With summer in full
swing I can’t tell you
how many times I’m
getting asked the age
old question – how do I
burn fat from my tummy?
And I find myself constantly breaking
people’s hearts by telling them that
they can’t, it’s just physiologically not
going to happen.

Your body will burn fat from where it
wants to, not where you want it to. If
you’re lucky enough that it happens
to be from the tummy then good for
you, but for most of us that’s just not
the case.
But all is not lost; there are a few ways
in which we can have a flatter tummy
and the appearance of having a lean
stomach.

First, although performing a million
sit-ups a day will not burn fat from
the stomach, it will certainly develop
the abdominal muscle groups and
thus they will become much tighter.
At the same time they will draw the
abdominal wall inwards rather than
being slack and hanging outwards.
Doing a million sit-ups is a little bit
excessive so I would look to perform
10 to start with, working up to 20 –
depending on your ability – and try to
achieve three to five sets of these.
The key thing when doing sit-ups, in
fact any kind of abdominal work, is to
perform the exercise slowly and under
control.
Literally think about your abs as you
are doing the exercises, you’ll feel
them engage so much harder and
you’ll soon learn how to engage them
when you’re not doing a specific
exercise but you just want to tense
them.
Something I practice and encourage
my clients to practice is a bodybuilder’s
trick called abdominal vacuuming. This
is simply sucking the abs in and up to
create a vacuum in the abdominal wall
– giving the impression of a hollow,
slimmer stomach.
The trick is to be able to hold this
position and continue to breath and
do light daily tasks. Doing this exercise
as often as possible daily can also help
with core control.

Secondly watch what you eat! Most
people who approach me on how to
burn belly fat are already changing
their ways on food; perhaps reducing
calories or eliminating a macro
nutrient.
But what about foods that make you
bloated? Most processed foods such
as pasta and bread are the normal
guilty parties, but what foods or food
groups cause you to bloat out? If you
can figure that out then simply avoid
these foods and you’ll feel much better
within yourself.
There are number of foods that can
even reverse stomach bloat – fennel
seeds, green tea, lemons and onions,
to name a few – but remember you
are individual and certain “anti-bloat”
foods could have the exact opposite
effect.

My final word of advice is try to avoid
water retention. Granted this just
cannot be helped sometimes, because
of medication or even just the heat,
but there are a few ways in which you
can reduce the effects, leaving you
looking less puffy and offering the
appearance of a leaner you.
Avoid salt and refined carbohydrates
as these are the perfect sources to hold
onto water.
Try to increase your vitamin B6,
magnesium and potassium intake as
these have shown in past studies to aid
female subjects with reducing water
retention.
Certain diuretics will help by pulling
the water out from the soft tissue,
but please be very careful because
the last thing you want is to become
dehydrated and fall ill, particularly with
all this warm weather.
Ultimately, in order to have a lean
figure and flat tummy you will need to
live an active lifestyle and be mindful
of what you are eating and drinking.
If you are feeling motivated to be
more active and change your physical
appearance because the sun is out
then perhaps now is a good time to
join a gym and set good solid training
habits that will hopefully carry over
into the winter months when you will
almost certainly be less interested in
joining a gym.