Research suggests exercise can also help keep the belly fat from coming back.
In a study at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, dieting women lost an average of 24 pounds and reduced both visceral and subcutaneous fat (the fat you can pinch), with or without aerobic or strength-training exercise.
In the following year, those who maintained their exercise programs — a modest 40 minutes twice a week — maintained their visceral fat loss, while those who didn’t exercise or abandoned their programs showed a 33 percent average increase in visceral fat.
Other key tips
In addition to engaging in an intensive exercise programme, diet also holds the key to keeping the belly fat at bay.