Fat around the stomach area is generally the hardest to shift, which means it's something a lot of us are self-conscious about.

Even if you're not hoping for washboard abs, excess stomach fat can be a danger to our health as it signals a high level of fat around our internal organs too.

So it's worth taking on some of these simple diet and lifestyle changes to help melt away stubborn fat around your middle. 

And regardless of fat loss, you'll find these tips will make you feel better all over – improved mood and more energy can only be good things, right?

Here goes…

1. Eat MORE fat… the good kind
A diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids can actually serve to burn fat faster. So try to have a few servings a day – a handful of nuts, half an avocado or a tablespoon of olive oil all count as servings. More guac – as if you needed an excuse.


2. Avoid blood sugar spikes with smarter snacking
Insulin spikes not only cause you to have more cravings for sugar, but they can also lead to more fat storage than is necessary for your body. If you're eating sugary or high GI foods like chocolate, sweets or processed carbs, balance out the blood sugar spike by eating a low GI food like a handful of raw almonds alongside them. 


3. Try high intensity exercise
Any form of activity that gets your heart pumping and causes you to break a sweat is a surefire way to burn fat. Go for high intensity interval training (HIIT) – bursts of high-powered activity followed by short periods of rest. For example, try running 600m at a fast pace, then resting for a minute. Repeat 5 times and you'll certainly feel the burn.


4. Eat the rainbow
Avoid 'beige' diets that consist mainly of white carbs and sugary foods (pizza and potato wedges, we're looking at you). Try to add at least one serving of fruit or veg to every meal, or even better, base your meal around those colourful foods. It'll mean more nutrients, more energy and a happier you.


5. Be mindful
High levels of stress (and lack of sleep) are directly related to excess belly fat, so be sure to take time for yourself each day. Whether it's ten minutes of meditation before bed or a walk in the fresh air after work, do something to clear your head and calm your mind.