Are you frustrated and have tried so many methods and diet regiments to lose your belly with no avail? Have you done a ton of crunches, sit-ups or many ab exercises and still struggle?
So many try hard to eliminate their belly pooch by cutting foods or adding in a whole bunch of ab exercises. The intention is good and wanting to decrease it should be a goal for that healthy lifestyle. So much research has been done to show storing excess weight in your midsection is especially unhealthy and linked to the dreaded heart disease and diabetes. Did you also know so much of our food we eat causes inflammation in our gut and prevents the nutrients to absorb through the gut lining? So even if you did eat healthy, you could be still frustrated with lack of results.
Despite how motivated someone is, it becomes frustrating to work so hard but still not have success in eliminating that belly bulge. Before you give up completely though let’s see if your focus is in the right place.
Common Complaint Heard: I do a lot of ab/core exercises but still can’t see my abs
This is one of the biggest mistakes when you are trying to shred off that fat from your midsection. Training your abs in isolation is completely fine but if you want to burn a lot more calories, doing just ab exercises burn a very small amount. It’s not enough to reduce the subcutaneous fat and are often not focused on the right abdominal muscles either. By focusing on the whole body, you will burn a lot more calories. Doing workouts with moderate to high intensity resistance training a few days a week are more beneficial than doing an ab circuit. Doing the total body weighted movements, you are guaranteed to burn more calories which in turns burns more fat. If you are training at home or the gym, you can have access to all my monthly programs as a member of my website here. For my ab/core guide with demonstrations, click on this link.
Common Compliant Heard: When I gain weight, it goes straight to my belly
There are three types of adipose tissue found in humans known as brown, subcutaneous, and visceral fat. Originally, brown fat was only known to be in babies but recent research from Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia found that is does exist in adults. This type of fat is actually beneficial to adults and higher amounts are found in those that tend to be slimmer naturally. While adipose tissue (fat) will store 300 kilocalories per 50 grams, brown fat will actually burn 300 kilocalories per day. Subcutaneous fat lies just below the skin and yields a plump appearance and can give a cheesy look known as cellulite. Visceral fat is internal and surrounds our internal organs. Enlarged visceral fat cells release fatty acids into your liver through the portal vein. They begin to accumulate in the pancreas, heart and other abdominal organs. Having too much visceral fat puts a lot of stress on your organs and forces them to work extra hard for your body functions. They are not engineered to store fatty acids so the results are organ dysfunction along with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, certain cancers and many other health problems. Visceral fat cells also have more receptor sites for the hormone cortisol (these levels are increased during stress) and androgen along with an increased blood flow compared to subcutaneous. As we all know, cortisol and insulin promote fat accumulation in our bodies. Our fat cells exist in the form of triglycerides and can’t be used by our muscles as fuel. Instead, the fat must be broken down into glycerol and free fatty acids which enter the blood stream and can be cleansed out of the body that way.
So now that you understand the difference between the types of fats, the amount a person has of brown, subcutaneous or visceral fat will determine how it’s distributed in your body. As you eat excess calories or more energy than what your body uses, those excess calories are stored as one of those types of fat based on your GENETICS. Genetics determine the type and location of fat your body holds
If you are predestined to hold weight in your abdominal area, the only way you can get rid of it is through eating less calories than you ingest along with the right types of foods. There isn’t any supplement, waist trainer, saran wrap or cream that will reduce those areas. By limiting the consumption of refined carbohydrates and eating more high fiber ones such as oats, beans, sweet potatoes, etc., in the right amounts, you can make it harder for your body to store fat.
Common Complaint Heard: Working long hours at a desk job are making me gain fat in my gut
Sitting behind a computer or a sit down job all day, does cause your body to burn less calories than if you were even walking. One hour of sitting burns maybe 90-100 calories while walking at a moderate pace for an hour might burn 200-225 depending on the pace. A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity, showed the longer time spent in a sitting position, was associated with a higher risk of heart disease and bigger waist circumference. Sitting also affects your posture and relaxes those core muscles compared to moving about. A good suggestion is to increase your NEAT (nonexercised activity thermogenesis), by setting your timer every 30 minutes to an hour, and get up to walk, stand, pace, or fidget throughout the day. Add in some planks or bridges for 60 seconds to further engage that fat burning potential and help keep your core muscles stronger to keep away the aches and pains of desk slouching.
Common Complaint Heard: My belly bloats during my period and makes me look fat
Due to an increase in estrogen levels, women will retain more fluid in the days leading up to the start of their cycle. Many of us gain a couple pounds during this time. It’s also common for women to eat more carbs during this time without feeling satisfied. This is the time when you should cut out all carbonated or artificial sweetened beverages, high carb, high salt, and sugar free foods. These all give off a gas when they react with your intestinal bacteria and create distension in your belly.
Common Complaint Heard: I have dropped my pregnancy weight but still have a baby belly
This is one I’m very familiar with right now. Pregnancy stretches out the muscles which run down the center of your abdomen and take time to tighten up. In fact some mothers won’t see a tightening of them until up to nine months after. We have to build our core back up from the inside and do exercises which are often forgotten about. Exercises which target the pelvic floor, transverse abdominis, and the muscles that run along your spine are all areas which need concentration. Planks are excellent at targeting these areas. Any type of exercise program that includes compound movements will also help target all those areas in your abdominal wall.
Bottom line is to pay attention to your nutrition and eat foods that are higher in fiber, good fats (omega 3 especially), lots of colorful vegetables, legumes, and whole grain carbs to be sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily intake. By having the combination of a good diet and training program, you can obtain these results through consistency and dedication to the plan.
If you find yourself still frustrated, please send me a message by filling out the custom plan form here! Look forward to helping you achieve those goals!