Struggling to shift stomach weight?

For most of us, the belly is a common place for fat to be stored, and this can be frustrating to someone who’s trying to ditch excess weight.

Are you fed up of trying to lose stomach flab without success?

No matter how hard you work or crash diet, perhaps you just can’t seem to give stomach fat the flick. Perhaps you’ve fallen victim to one of the common fat loss myths….

So let’s examine them, bust them open and banish the bulge!

“The Longer the Distance, the More Fat I Burn”

This myth’s busted! While any amount of cardio absolutely beats sitting on the couch, long-distance cardio, such as marathon training, actually increases the levels of the hormone cortisol in your body, to the extent where it can actually encourage fat gain.

To be clear, if you’re regularly smashing long distance runs, you’ll still be burning a lot of kilojoules – so as long as you’re not using a long run as an excuse to wolf down tubs of ice cream, you should lose some fat.

For a safe and time-efficient way to burn off excess fat outside of your regular sessions, look into HIIT (high intensity interval training).

“Caffeine Will Speed Up My Metabolism”

Incorrect. Coffee and, particularly, diet soft drinks can wreak havoc with your insulin levels and make you fall victims to sweet cravings later.

Reduce your coffee intake and ditch the diet cola – water and herbal tea is your friend!

A smiling woman holding a glass bottle containing coke. Trying to lose stomach flab won't work if you keep drinking coke etc

“Maybe it’s my Fat Genes?”

While people have a genetic tendency to store fat in different places, it’s still possible to lose the weight with the perfect balance of good nutrition and exercise.

In other words: blaming your weight on genetics isn’t a good enough excuse. Take responsibility for your health and pick up your nutrition game – your body will thank you for it!

If you’d like to know more about how your genes help or hinder you in your fight to lose stomach flab, see here.

“Yoga Doesn’t Burn Fat”

Spend 10 minutes in a vinyasa flow yoga class and try telling us it doesn’t feel like a workout!

While there are a number of easier-going forms of yoga, any variety of yoga (or pilates) that has a strength-building focus will help you to slim down and blast that fat away.

Yoga-inspired training sessions can help to increase muscle tone and mass (and calorie burn), improve flexibility and build a powerful core.

If you’d like some more information on the different yoga classes, see here.

“I Should Eat Less Often to Lose Weight’

Trying to lose fat by eating less frequently throughout the day? Bad idea! This is one of the worst things you can do for fat loss.

Instead, try eating five to six small meals throughout the day, with a portion of protein in each one to keep your metabolism burning without overloading it. Simple, but very effective.

Swapping certain foods for nutrient-dense alternatives is a great way to get the energy your body needs efficiently.

“If I do Enough Crunches, I’ll Finally have a Six-Pack”

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no matter how many sit-ups you knock out, you’ll never develop that coveted six-pack without sacrifices and effort elsewhere.

If there’s a thick layer of fat over your six-pack, it doesn’t matter how hard you train your abs – they won’t be visible. Say goodbye to body fat all over with sensible nutrition and efficient compound exercises like burpees, squats and lunges combined with sweaty interval training sessions for a dose of cardio.

“All Fats in Food are Evil”

Certain kinds of fats have a developed a bad name because of their artery clogging cousins. While it’s true that fatty food can have a high kilojoule count (and contribute to a flabby stomach), there’s a distinct difference between “good” (lower in saturates) and “bad” (higher in saturates) fats.

When eaten in moderation, good fats such as those found in nuts, avocado and oily fish like salmon will supply your body with the energy it needs to perform and function at its peak.

So who are the bad guy fats you need to be worried about? Cut down on fats like vegetable oil, butter and cream to help bust that belly flab.

Portion Control

“You are not leaving the table until you have eaten everything on that plate.” This was a common phrase used at the dinner table when I was a child and indeed I learned to eat everything given to me.

It was also seen to be rude to not accept treats that were offered by others.

Both of these beliefs helped generate a toxic food culture that started generations before me and, hopefully, ends right here with me!

There are many factors to consider when you are looking at a healthy lifestyle. We all know activity level and food intake are important because because it is widely discussed and the research is commonly known.

Other things that effect your health are hormones, medications, sun exposure, sleep patterns, all of which we have addressed within the pages of SmartPlay.

What is often under-reported is the role that portion size plays in healthy living.

Portion control is a worthwhile place to start if you want to lose weight. In fact, it can be key in achieving natural weight loss.

It’s pointless substituting a weight loss shake for one meal and then over indulging in your other meals. It’s equally pointless snacking all day long on the wrong foods.

Forget about eating everything on your plate! Eat slowly! Enjoy your food! If necessary, invest in a portion control plate to make it easier for you to accomplish this.

And stop eating BEFORE you feel full. The food you consume will expand in your tummy to make you feel satiated after you have eaten.

Stop trying every shiny new diet that you hear of – whether it be the low calorie diet, Atkins diet, carb diet, raw food diet, quick and easy diet plans or any diet promoted by a social media influencer.

Instead, try reducing your portion size first and learn a simple but crucial step in living a healthy lifestyle. Eat, Play, Live!


7 Food Myths Debunked

Diet and Body Composition, the Five Inescapable Truths

How to Combat Food Cravings

Nutrient-Dense Food Swaps