Hi Hayley,

I really dislike the fact that I have a flabby stomach and I don't know how to get rid of it. Although I'm not super-fit, I'm no couch potato either and I'm smack in the middle of my BMI range. My regular weekly routine includes 2 spin classes, 1 ballet fit class (adopted recently to replace a 30-minute run and to improve my posture/core) and one optional chill day of swimming/long walks/run/badminton/whatever I feel like. I cook nutritionally balanced, flavourful meals most nights. I also occasionally treat myself to unhealthy yet tasty foods like fish & chips and buffalo wings, because life is too short to not to. I drink beer when I'm out with friends, but usually no more than 2 pints because I get drunk easily.

I know exercises that focus on one body part are not effective. Still, is there anything I can do to flatten my stomach a bit? I know part of it is my genetics (my mom and grandma are both pear shape ladies). But for once, I would like to not have to suck my stomach in at the beach. Nothing drastic.

Thanks a lot!



I'm going to be honest with you and tell you that you cannot out-train a bad diet. It really does not matter how hard you work out, if you are not eating properly all of the time that dream of a “flat stomach” may stay a dream. There is no magic answer or pill I can give you that will help.

Life is about choices and I am a firm believer in accepting the consequences for the choices we make. I like wine, I like chocolate and I like to enjoy delicious meals with my friends. I work out more than anyone I know but yes, I have fat on my stomach and on my ass. I know I could get rid of it if I just stopped drinking wine or if I ate less chocolate but I choose not to and therefore accept that I am not perfect. But who is?

If you want to look like Jessica Biel you have to eat like Jessica Biel. That means no pints and no fish and chips or wings. If that is something you are willing to do then you'll have your flat stomach (assuming you are continuing with your workouts plus adding 1 or 2 more) sooner than later. If you aren't willing to give that up it doesn't matter how hard you train, you will always have a little bit of fat on your stomach. Cutting down portion sizes, exercising more, drinking more water, eating less sugar, sleeping more and having less stress in your life will all help but fine-tuning your diet and getting rid of the extras is really the only guarantee.

Those are your options. I would suggest you accept yourself for who you are but also cut back a little on the fried food, not because it will make you skinny but because it isn't good for you. Learn to treat yourself to clean, healthy meals and stay away from foods that come out of a deep fryer. Yes, once in a while is ok but once and a while really means once or twice a month.

Thanks for your question and keep sending them to [email protected].

Attached - Liv Tyler heads home after a workout in New York.