01/11/2012 12:13 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Body Fat Peril, Can You Enjoy a Hearty Christmas Guilt Free?

Did you know that statistically on average all of us gain a pound a year from the age of 28 onwards - for the rest of our lives? We all probably know someone in this day and age who has excess abdominal fat. Most people also think their fat tummy is simply ugly and it probably makes many of them self conscious about showing off their body. Conversely, what most people don't realize is that excess abdominal fat in particular, presents a dangerous risk factor to your health.

There are two types of fat that you have in your abdominal area. The first type that is called subcutaneous fat and lies directly beneath the skin and on top of the abdominal muscles. The second type and more of a health concern is called visceral fat. This is the fat that lies deeper in the abdomen beneath your muscle and surrounding your organs. Visceral fat is a big part of the reason many men (and increasingly more women!) have what is known as a "beer belly" appearance. A large, rotund and protruding stomach that looks particularly unsightly and also feels sort of hard if you push on it.

Both kinds of fat are serious health risk factors, increasing the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, various forms of cancer, and other degenerative diseases, but excessive visceral fat is particularly dangerous because it releases more inflammatory molecules into your body on a consistent basis.

Arteriosclerosis, the presence of fatty plaques in the vital arteries, is a chronic circulatory disease caused by these inflammatory molecules so if you truly care about the quality and value of your life losing your tummy if you have one has to be one of your main priorities! Not only will you probably extend your life by more than a decade you'll also look better in and out of clothes!

So what gets rid of excess abdominal fat? The first thing you must understand is that there is absolutely NO quick fix solution that you can buy on the shopping channel or anywhere else for that matter! You can't throw money at the problem and expect to apply no discipline on your part. None of the gimmicky 'twenty second abs' or other contraptions out there will help reduce the size of your stomach. You also can't 'spot reduce' just your stomach fat by using any of these worthless contraptions. It simply doesn't work that way. The only solution to consistently lose your abdominal fat and keep it off for good is to combine a sound strategic nutritious diet full of unprocessed natural foods with a properly designed exercise program that stimulates the necessary hormonal and metabolic response within your body. Both your food intake as well as your training program is important if you are to get this right.

In studies, a diet-only group lost significantly LESS abdominal fat than the diet and exercise combined group.

Treadmill and cycle cardio routines also didn't reduce tummy size significantly either. People lose weight but stay the same shape - thick through the middle! Take a Personal Training client of mine as an example we'll call her Jane. She first come to see me in September this year, she believed that she only needed to lose her tummy to feel and look great. It quickly became clear to her however that the weight needed to come from all over - true more from some parts than others but that's fine as you will lose most bodyfat from where you carry the most.

Three months and 15 kilos later she looks fantastic and has lost weight from her face, arms, legs and torso. She also toned those body parts to a higher degree than they had ever been and now, people meeting her for the first time can't believe she was ever overweight! The main reason for that is her new found confidence she exhibits. She knows exactly what's required for keeping in shape but also knows when she can kick loose and enjoy the party!

She follows a program that is NOT just abdominal exercises, (that is only a very small portion of it) or hip and thighs or whatever other combinations of problem areas some uninformed exercisers may follow. The holistic routine she follows is a lifestyle, it gives great and lasting results for the entire body and mind, using the most effective strategies for losing stubborn abdominal fat, so you can get rid of that dangerous health risk, and be happier with your entire body and performance.

Can you look forwards to a festive Christmas with all the extra eating and drinking it entails, knowing you can make the right adjustments in January 2013 to be back in great shape? Or do you already need to lose weight and shape up before you can party? Make a choice now-you can still make a difference in the eight weeks or so beforehand-just get the right advice.