I’m often asked by my clients how I can help them shift the weighty wobblies from around their waist. Well, if there was an instant fix, we’d all be trim right… but there isn’t. There are, however, a number of tips we could all take away from this article that will certainly help decrease and potentially remove the body fat from the abdominal area.
Some of these you may find surprising! Check them out…
1. Carb eliminators
Carbohydrates are not the enemy! The impact to the body of little-to-no carbs is quite damning. So many times I hear friends and family talk of “No-carb diets” and how they will just shred the weight. Body myth #1. Since our brains are fuelled by glucose (which is created when carbs are digested), when we remove all carbs from our diet, our brain suffers.
You’ll experience reduced concentration levels, you may get headaches and feel tired – not to mention your mood swings. Eliminating carbs from the diet will help you remove a few kilos – but don’t be fooled; it will mostly be fluid/water. Now this doesn’t mean you can reach for the bread and butter pudding – choose your carbs wisely. The best sources of carbs to consume on a regular basis are complex carbohydrates including oatmeal (unsweetened varieties), brown rice, sweet potato, whole grain bread, and whole grains. Avoid highly processed, ‘man made’ carbs such as white bread, muesli bars, cereal and cakes.
2. Protein avoiders
Are you having protein with every meal? If not, start now. I’m not saying have a chicken breast with each meal, be adventurous. For instance, add some cottage cheese, boiled eggs, slices of lean ham or even a protein shake to meals. Protein is an important part of the nutritional equation. Not only does it keep you feeling fuller for longer, but it helps improve your body composition, especially if you are weight training (we’ll get to that shortly). If you supply your body with enough protein to ensure the growth of lean muscle mass, you can build a more aesthetically pleasing body shape … abs anyone?
3. Dietary fat is the new black..
When something is “low fat” we’re educated to believe that this is a good thing. We’re made to think that just because we eat fat; it automatically gets deposited as body fat. Wrong. Well to an extent. Yes, there is bad fat (eg, hot chips, cheeseburgers, doughnuts etc), but there is also good dietary fat which our body needs. Trans fat is the bad fat for the body and will react negatively and promote disease. Dietary fat can prove to be quite helpful to the body for weight loss –as it helps to provide a slow release of energy without experiencing the feeling of “hitting a wall”. For a portion of dietary fats, try foods like: nuts, natural peanut butter, olive, flaxseed or coconut oil (substitute this for your vegetable oil when cooking), fish and avocado.
In any case, stored fat doesn’t necessarily mean it entered the body as fat – carbohydrates and protein can turn to stored fat if you eat more than you should. I’m always saying, energy in versus energy out; so the calorie intake versus the exercise or activity output that determines whether fat is gained or lost.
4. Mrs Schwarzenegger
No, you won’t turn into the female version of Arnie for simply lifting weights or pumping iron 3 or 4 times a week. There is much more to having a body like that than just bench pressing (diet, lifestyle, hypertrophy training). Gone are the days of running until your feet turn blue to shred the extra kilos. While low intensity, cardio aerobic training will help, metabolic resistance training (MRT) is the latest craze in fat burning. MRT combines short bursts of high intensity resistance exercise with minimal rest periods while maintaining a moderate-to-high heart rate. No need to spend hours at the gym either – a solid 20-30 minute session is all you need.
MRT can have the potential to burn calories and speed up the metabolism for days after the actual workout – that means lying in bed will still have you burning calories! Try this workout if you like…
5. Don’t do it alone!
Surround yourself with positive like-minded people who will guide and support you through your health and fitness goals. Try teaming up with a friend who’s also trying to achieve the same goals, train together, and encourage each other. Alternatively, employ the assistance of a qualified personal trainer who can point you in the right direction and keep you accountable.