Soooo….you are doing sit ups, crunches, and putting in serious time at the gym but still can’t get rid of that stubborn belly fat? This is one of the most common problems I hear from women and the question I get asked the most.
Our mid-section can cause such frustration which is why I’m sharing some specific strategies which will help to reduce body fat AND belly fat.
The first thing you need to know is that you cannot pick and choose where you lose fat. As individuals we tend to lose and gain fat in certain areas. Even if your only goal might be to lose belly fat, you cannot switch off the rest of your body from losing fat. The biggest problem I see is people thinking that crunches and sit-ups will burn the fat from their stomachs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Abdominal exercises will build the abdominal muscles, but will NOT burn the layer of fat over them. So then, HOW DO you burn the fat?
- Metabolic efficient exercise: If your goal is fat loss, then doing lengthy sessions of cardio is NOT the best route. Lifting weights 2 – 3 times per week combined with High Intensity exercise will help you to burn fat during your workout and after you leave the gym.
- Walking: You likely don’t associate leisure walking with fat loss because you hear the fitness industry telling you to “Go hard or go home”. Yes, you need to push yourself during your weight lifting and HIIT workouts, but you also need to create hormonal balance. Walk as much as possible, up to 60 minutes per day as many days as you can. Get outside, enjoy the scenery which directly helps to lower the stress hormone cortisol. The important part is LEISURE not power walking, learn to slow your body down and it will thank you.
- Reduce Stress: How we react to stress is largely determined by genetics and previous life experiences but situations such as caring for children, demanding work environments, relationships, and financial strain can contribute to elevated stress levels. Stress management is an important aspect of our health for a variety of reasons but in relation to belly fat, reducing stress will also shrink your waistline. Restorative exercise, meditation, increasing sleep, massage, binge watching your favorite show, and bubble baths are some good suggestions but the key is finding a method that works for you.
- Ditch the Restrictive Diets: One of the first mistakes women make when they look in the mirror and suddenly discover their waistline has disappeared is restricting their calorie intake. This has a negative impact on their hormones. Many women have a mindset that it is all about exercising more to burn a few more calories or it’s all about carbs so they eat less and can’t understand why their waistline is increasing. Sure, it is true that you need to have a caloric deficit to burn fat. But looking only at calories (as most diets do) will more or less ignore the hormonal aspect of fat burning. Those who take a calorie-centered approach to weight loss often find that the fat around their belly burns off at a much slower rate. This is because belly fat in women is much more related to a hormonal imbalance. As far as nutrition goes, quality counts. You need to be sure you’re getting adequate protein, plenty of green veggies and a bit of starch. The amount of starch will depend on your tolerance and preferences. This will take some trial and error to find what works for you.
Educating yourself or seeking advice on healthy, long term sustainable eating is by far the most important strategy to follow.
If you would like some help to balance those crazy hormones, boost your metabolism, renew your body’s natural fat burning abilities, and finally lose that stubborn belly fat then let’s chat!! Schedule a FREE 30 min Forever Fit & Healthy consult.