Getting mean and lean is as much about diet as it is about exercise.
It's no secret that losing weight is not easy.

With winter in full swing, many people relish the cold days as it is easy to layer clothes to hide excess fat. But those who exercise often use this time of the year to target the stubborn belly fat - otherwise know as a “muffin top”.

Rushda Moosajee, 33, a personal trainer and owner of Glow, a women’s-only gym in Cape Town, said belly fat was one of the toughest areas to tackle as it required more than just exercise to banish.

“It’s more about what you eat than what type of exercise you perfect. If the combination of food and exercise can be mastered, the results will speak for themselves,” said Moosajee.

She suggests cutting out processed foods. “Eat your micronutrients, fats and carbohydrates as they were intended by God. Keep it clean and simple. Enjoy real food; over the years humans have complicated food and drink. Drink plenty of water.”

Moosajee suggests eating lean protein at every meal, to keep you fuller for longer and help add muscle.

Personal trainer and fitness coach Romeo Jacques Brand said the best way to get a toned tummy was to ensure that you do core exercises. The following exercises may help you achieve good results:

Planking: this is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time. You can increase the time to do it as you develop strength.

Side planks: although this exercise may seem like it is working the arms, side planks are also great for the belly because your belly muscles stay upright, so you’ll feel the core work immediately or a day after.

Spider planks: this exercise starts in a traditional plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body perfectly straight.

Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position.

Boxing: this exercise is a good full-body workout which is a balance between cardio and resistance training.

Plate rope exercises: This is a must as it helps develop strength, especially in the core and shoulders.