Feel like you’ve been doing crunches forever or eating like a rabbit and still not seeing the results you’re looking for? Well it all comes down to what you think is right, may actually be wrong. Now before you stop exercising and reach for that lunch bar, hear us out. Diet and exercise are a very important factor in losing weight, and one thing to keep in mind is weight loss is not area specific meaning you cant just lose weight in your tummy, when you lose weight you lose it everywhere.
Are you exercising wrong? You very well could be, again you cannot spot reduce so doing crunches to get a 6 pack is not going to work alone. You need to look at more functional exercises, that use muscles in your core as well as other body parts. More muscles working means more calories burnt. One of our favorites is planking as this not only activates your abdominals, but your arms legs, chest and bum all get in on the action.
The more you move the more you lose
Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day mixing cardio, like cycling, swimming, running or circuit training burns fat faster, and also incorporating strength training as this will slowly burn more calories over time.
Some of our favorite exercises to help tone your tummy include:
- HIIT (High intensity training) this is working at your max heart rate 80% of the time and then resting heart rate 20% of the time
- Pilates – has a strong mind/body connection but with a more intense core focus than yoga
- Yoga - can help you lose weight and tone from head to toe, including your abdominal It also is a great stress reducer which will help with high levels of cortisol
Now lets look at food – here you need to remember the 80/20 rule, diet is 80% of the work and exercise is 20%. But you need both to achieve maximum results. 80 + 20 = 100%
To lose belly fat you need to focus on a diet that is high in fiber and low in carbs as well as remembering to keep the calorie intake low.
You don’t need to go no carb but rather focus more on complex carbs like lentils, sweet potatoes and beans and up your intake of protein and vegetables. How you cook your food is also important, trade frying food for baking and broiling. Also reach for better cooking fats like avocado oil or coconut oil over canola oil. We also came across a great article here with some great suggestions on foods to counter balance hormone disruption.
One last thing to do is get plenty of sleep; Sleep loss and stress can sabotage your health and fitness goals. A 16-year study of almost 70,000 women found that those who slept five hours or less a night were 30% more likely to gain 30 or more pounds than those who slept 7 hours. The National Institutes of Health suggest adults sleep seven to eight hours a night.
We spoke last week about the 2 types of fat subcutaneous and visceral and the good news is, visceral fat responds very well to diet, lifestyle change and exercise and even better for every kilo you lose, you lose some visceral fat as well!