When you’re in shape but you want to see that six-pack, here’s your prescription
Here’s where you start if things aren’t too bad – sure, you’re a bit more Jason Segel than Zac Efron, but you can see some muscle definition under good lighting and all your T-shirts still fit. At this stage, your key concerns might actually be internal: being “skinny-fat” (where the only place you’ve got visible fat deposits is your belly) can indicate a build-up of visceral fat, which has been linked to everything from coronary heart disease and cancer to diabetes and dementia.
Your hormones could also be an issue because if you’re struggling to shift that mini-beergut, it’s possible that your body’s producing too much oestrogen, which makes your body store more fat around the middle (and can cause man-boobs). You’ll also need to address your stress levels to minimise build-up of the fat-storing hormone cortisol, which means more sleep and taking proactive steps to calming down. If you train already, it’s an easy fix: shift your focus to compound movements and switch steady-state cardio exercise for high intensity. First time in the gym? Even better – you don’t have any bad habits to fix.
And rejoice, because you don’t even have to knock the beer and takeaways entirely on the head. Make smart choices and minimise the damage of the occasional binge, and you can still trim the fat and improve your odds of hitting a ripe old age .