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Fat busting tips for stubborn flab

WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

We all know the drill by now, eat healthily and exercise to get results. If you've been doing this for a while the pounds should be coming off and your body is probably feeling lighter and more toned.

But no matter how hard you try, some stubborn fat may not shift. Problem body areas for women may be a 'jelly belly' or 'muffin top', the fat that spills out over the top of your jeans. For a man it's often a paunch or beer belly.
They can both spoil the look you've been trying so hard for.

We spoke to fitness and nutrition experts to give us some strategies to help deal with stubborn fat. Their tips are based on their professional experience but may not apply to everyone. Seek medical advice before starting a new health and fitness programme.

1 Fat busting: Get real

Before you click on an emailed link for a new fast way to get rid of belly fat, here's the bad news: it's not realistic to target specific places. If it were quick and easy no-one would have a spare tyre.

"Spot reducing certain areas of the body is not possible through eating or not eating specific foods ( bloating aside!)," says dietitian and nutritionist Gaynor Bussell.

Anything to reduce your overall body fat will help with your problem areas. There is no quick fix; it's going to take time and effort.

Age is a factor. Your body at 40 is going to be different from your body at 20. As you get older your skin loses elasticity, and as your skin sags it can make flab look worse.

All hope is not lost though. Look at Madonna or George Clooney. They may not be in their first flush of youth but still have amazing bodies.

2 Fat busting: Get hot and sweaty

Do more cardio exercise. Try running, indoor cycling and aerobic style workouts that get you hot and sweaty. If you've been in an exercise routine for a while you're probably in an exercise rut too.

After taking medical advice, pump it up, do more, push yourself. If you can't push yourself get a trainer to push you or perhaps enlist in a boot camp.

If you run, make it faster and harder, don't just plod along expecting miracles.

"Muffin tops are made up of excess fat around the abdominal area all the way round your body," says women's fitness expert Janey Holliday. "Stripping excess fat from your body with cardio exercise is one of the best ways to get rid of it."

Similarly with tummy fat, if you work out hard you'll see results all over. The good news is areas which have more fat will be the first to reduce.

If a muffin top is your issue, kickboxing and power walking are good options to work out your side waist at the same time as burning fat.

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