Deflating that spare tyre!

How to Get Rid of That Bulging Waistline

Performing hundreds of sit-ups maybe great for developing a six-pack, however most of us need to concentrate on reducing that not-so-attractive layer of fat top first.

It’s not just about the way you look that’s important. If you tend to store fat around your middle you have a greater risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Just How Big is Too Big?

The British Heart Foundation says that you have a greater risk to your health if your waistline is larger than 94cm (37”) for men or 80cm (32”) for women.

You need to measure around the bit that is mid-way between your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs (don't cheat by holding your tummy in, let everything hang out!)

How to Loose a Pound of Fat

The best way to get your waistline back is by eating a healthy, low fat diet plus lots of regular exercise.  Basically you need to burn off more than you put in.

To quantify this, one pound of stored body fat equals 3500 calories.

Put another way, if you create a 3500 calorie deficit in a week through diet, exercise or a combination of both, you will lose one pound. That might sound a lot, but over a week, it amounts to just 500 calories a day.

The best way to do this is to increase your activity levels so that you are burning an extra 250 calories, and decrease your food intake so that you are consuming 250 calories less a day.

How to Burn 250 Calories

This will depend on your age, sex, weight and metabolism, as well as how intensely you exercise, but here are a few examples of what it takes to burn around 250 calories:

  • A 10 stone person running moderately hard for 20 minutes
  • A 12 stone person moderately cycling for 30 minutes
  • A 14 stone person walking fast for 35 minutes (not necessarily all in one go).

It's often difficult to fit in structured exercise into a busy lifestyle especially if you work long hours and have a family. Here's a few things you can do to help to knock off a few calories each week:

  • Take the stairs rather than the lift (up as well as down!)
  • Walk or cycle to work or the station
  • Walk to a sandwich shop at lunchtime that’s further away than your regular one
  • Stand on the bus/train instead of sitting down
  • When you get home from work, play with your kids on the floor rather than slumping in a chair
  • Go out for a bike ride, football in the park or kite flying with your kids at weekends

How to Consume 250 Calories Less a Day

The following are easy things to cut out of your diet that are around 250 calories each (some are a hell of a lot more!):

  • High calorie breakfasts: 1 Danish pastry, 1 muffin (American-style), 2 small croissants or 1 Starbucks Grande latte made with whole milk
  • Meals extras: Half a naan bread, 1 small potion of chips, 1 large dollop of mayonnaise or a large spring roll
  • Snacks and puddings: 1 piece of cake, 1 chocolate bar, 2 small portions of cheese, 1 portion of ice cream
  • Alcohol: 1.5 pints of lager or 1.5 large glasses (250 ml) of wine

Every Little Bit Helps!

If this all sounds too much, just think that doing more than you are doing now is a step in the right direction.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.