Friday, February 22, 2013

Bye Bye Belly Fat

I think one thing that many people struggle with in their weight loss is losing the jiggle in the abdomen. The reasons for this is multifactoral. But belly fat is the worst to have for this fat sits at the top of your abdomen and wraps around your organs. And this specific, Visceral Fat, produces bad chemicals and hormones that can put you at risk for a lot of health problems.  A lot of us are just predisposed genetically to collect more fat around our midsection. I for instance have the genetic make up to have more junk in the trunk than my midsection. So fighting your genetics is not really very easy. But as for some other reasons, if you work hard, you can fight against them.

If you are exercising like crazy but still feel you are not noticing much visual change, it could be your diet. Double check what you are eating. If you still have a high about of carbs, processed foods, eating out, large portions etc., you are not going to get that loss you are looking for. (check out my previous blogs on tips for a clean diet) So you may need to revamp your eating habits.

Put your stress in check. When we live with high levels of stress, our bodies tend to produce high levels of a hormone called Cortisol. This is our "stress hormone". While it normally helps to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, our immune system and inflammation, too much of it can cause negative effects on our body. Cortisol is one of the hormones that is produced during fight or flight to help with survival instincts. Your body needs to return to a state of relaxation following high stress situations in order to keep Cortisol levels regulated. If you are in a state of chronic stress, which a lot of us are, this won't happen and therefore you will suffer from the negative effects of high Cortisol over time such as decreased thyroid function, lower immune system, mental fuzziness and increased belly fat. So this could be a big factor for you. Try some yoga or meditation when you get home from work to help decompress from your daily stress.

Make sure you are eating a consistent, healthy breakfast high in protein and fiber. This helps set the tone for eating habits throughout the day and is important for your insulin levels.

Rev up your cardio and calorie burn. And what I mean is start doing shorter, higher intensity cardio sessions rather than long, slow workouts. This is proven to burn more calories at a higher rate and help to shed fat all over. And do one's that involve your lower body too for these muscles produce the highest calorie burn and will in turn help burn your belly fat. You can't really spot burn any section, so doing crunches may help build your muscle, but won't burn all that fat on top so that could actually increase your waist line. Check out some HITT or Tabata training. Trust me, those will do the trick. As I have said before I have lost about 12 pounds and gone down at least 1 pant size in about 1.5 years doing just this type of exercise.  And my muscle tone is more than it has been over any other exercise I have done.

I read in an article, "you didn't gain your belly overnight, so you won't lose it overnight" but be patient and continue to work hard. Make this a way of life. You will see results in no time.

A few of my work out routines from this week:

Hope you have a great weekend. I will be back Sunday with a new recipe. 
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Fitness Friday!