Fitness for fat loss

Flat stomach fast
Lose your flabby bits

Can you spot-target specific areas - hips, thighs, tum and bottom? PT Jamie Baird, Head Trainer at Agua Spa at London's Sanderson Hotel, thinks so. He joined us recently for an expert webchat; here's some of his advice on fitness and diet for fat loss:

Eat right:

Jamie says, 'Hips, thighs & bottom are the areas which can be the most stubborn. The weight you are holding around your stomach doesn't go through running - it goes through disciplined eating. It got there because you ate more than your body needed, and your body needed somewhere to store it.

'To get rid of that stubborn fat, you have to  go hardcore with your food: your body needs to become a fat burning machine not a fat storing machine.

'Write down everything you eat for a week and go through it with a fine toothcomb and eliminate any unnecessary foods such as sugar, alcohol, sugary drinks, processed foods, biscuits, cakes, sweets etc.

Reasons to skip the sugar

'If you eat sugar you store fat. So try to stick to three meals a day of only clean, healthy food; no snacking; limit yourself to one cheat day a week where you cann have what you fancy; no liquid calories (fruit juice, fizzy pop).

'Three tips for fat-loss eating:

  1. Always leave a portion of food on the side of your plate.
  2. Always eat at a table (no sofa eating).
  3. Always eat off a plate (no grazing).'

Exercise right:

Jamie says, 'Work on your body's muscles: these are the engines of the body. Strength training in conjunction with an awesome food plan - and the spare tyre will disappear.

'When you’re running, run tall, tighten your abs and run outside. Incorporate some strength training exercises into your workout to get your muscles to work a little harder: big exercises such as squats, vertical jumps, lunges, press-ups, pull ups. The benefit is that after a strength workout your body burns more calories for the next few hours afterwards.'

Best workouts for weight loss and toning? 

Jamie says, 'Definitely Crossfit, it will have better effects than something like spinning. However, be extremely careful with Crossfit. Make sure that your technique is A+ and that the teachers are correcting you. I have seen a lot of injuries from Crossfit and I have seen a lot of success as well. Crossfit will make your heart and lungs sing - you don't need to do any cardio unless you’re running a race.'

'Try Metafit - definitely better than a 30-minute jog. It will get your heart rate a lot higher, work more muscle groups and have a much better effect on burning fat especially after you have finished. Your metabolic rate will be higher for longer after a Metafit workout.

Find out more about Metafit workouts

'If it's toning you want, then hit the weights. Target the mucles you want to tone, then doing an 8-15 rep range using a weight that fatigues your muscles will work a treat. Cardio has a limit to its toning effect: it's great for heart & lung fitness but not to tighten muscles. And cardio after weight training for burning fat doesn't make sense.'

Should you be drinking protein shakes? Best kettlebells moves? Read the full webchat for more of Jamie Baird's expert PT tips on burning fat and building muscle