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Image: Cover Media

As the world’s waistlines continue to soar, stubborn stomach fat is a bone of contention for most people. Whether you’ve cut down on treats, or have upped your gym workouts, why is it that belly flab just won’t shift? Maybe it’s time to ask for a helping hand. Popsugar asked dietician Julie Upton to outline the best ways to get a flatter, more toned tummy.

Up your protein
Eating more protein isn’t just for bodybuilders, it can also help banish stomach fat. It’s even been proved that swapping more lean proteins like low-fat Greek yoghurt, fish, meat or beans in place of low quality carbs can help whittle your waist down.

“Strive to get 25 grams of protein at each of your meals to provide the optimal effects on maintaining lean muscle and helping to keep hunger in check. Filling up with fruits and veggies is recommended because the antioxidants and other bioactive compounds in produce make it harder to store calories as abdominal fat,” Julie advised.

Cut down sugars
Having the odd sweet treat is fine, but piling in three teaspoons every time you have a cup of tea is not good news for your middle. Numerous studies have shown that diets high in added sugars lead to abdominal obesity. Being aware of what food you put in your body is the first stage of cutting down, so read labels and do your research. Sugar is added to lots of foods to preserve it and add flavour, so don’ be fooled by packaging.

HIIT workouts
The benefits of High Intensity Interval Training exercises are well known, and are favoured over traditional cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before. Losing body fat is crucial before you start concentrating on sit ups or planks, as these only help you tone, not actually lose weight.

Eat whole grains
It’s been shown that women who eat more whole grains as part of their grain intake gain less weight over time and have smaller waistlines. Also avoiding refined grains like white bread will stop your blood sugar spiking. –Cover Media

Find out why losing belly fat can help you sleep better!