How to get rid of "THAT"!
So many people struggle with the post baby belly fat and the menopause mid section spread! From an aesthetic perspective no body likes carrying extra weight there, but from a health perspective the ratio between your waist measurement (around your belly button area) and your hips (around your bum) is a key indicator of health. In fact, having a high waist measurement is a key indicator in metabolic syndrome and can lead to type II diabetes.
So how did it get there?
How it got there has a few variables. The two we look carefully at here at Vision are your body type and your hormones. Your body type affects what type of exercise you do and the main hormone that helps you store belly fat is insulin. Many people get through their 20's and some their 30's without any trouble in this area, but eventually there is a change in how your body processes food and the belly fat accumulation starts. Two triggers we know of are child birth (sometimes it takes more than once) and the other is Menopause. Both have an effect on your body's hormones and can lead to this fat storage.
Do: Reduce your total intake of carbs.
Don't: Count calories and eat less.
When you have taken in too many carbs, your body starts turning those carbs to fat. For most people that is between 120g a day and 400g a day (depending on muscle size and activity level). So rather than count calories, which you can do and still eat too many carbs, count your grams of carbs you take in a day. Carbs aren't essential. Your body can make its own. But having some carbs will make you function better.
Do: Eat lots of protein
Don't: Eat sugar and high GI carbs
When you under eat protein your body will not burn through fat like it can. One argument for this is our bodies have remained unchanged for roughly 200,000 years. In that time food has almost exclusively been hard to come by (except the last 50 or so years) and so one trigger to let our bodies know that times are good and you can burn off the extra fat calories is protein. You ideally should be getting in between 1.2 - 1.8g per kilo of body weight per day. The misconception that excessive protein is bad for you still persists even though there is no evidence it does any harm other than make your body work a little harder to excrete it. And we all know sugar is doing you no favours. The most harmful form is fructose which is particularly high in Agave Syrup, Dates and fruit juice. Other high GI foods that cause fast fat storage are things like white rice, bread and corn. (a complex topic I can go into at a later date)
Do: Lift heavy weights
Don't: Do stupid exercises like sit ups.
Lifting heavy weights may be the best kept secret in weight loss. Lifting light for 'toning' is a wast of time and should be called cardio. And lifting heavy for women, particularly over the age of 31, is extremely beneficial and almost impossible to put on much muscle. If you lift heavy, your metabolism will be raised for roughly 72 hours and that will make you a better fat burning machine. Avoiding silly exercises like sit-ups and isolated exercises helps too. For one, spot reduction is not possible… if it was, all that talking and chewing would have us overweight with skinny chins? Sit ups are particularly bad, by flexing your lower back and compressing the vertebrae you are wearing on a commonly injured body part with very little benefit (almost none). Stick to the built joint lifts like squats, push ups, pull downs etc. They are better for your joints, allow you to lift heavier and are better for your muscles, and realise more good hormones. Leave the fiddly little curls and kick-backs to the singlet crowd in the gym with hours every day to work out.
Note: If you have any special conditions like diabetes or any injuries, be smart, consult a professional before you make any changes or follow general advise like this article. This article is intended to inspire you to look deeper into the info, not make wholesale changes without considering your specific circumstances. Vision Personal Training take an hour to dive into this info before we recommend any program of exercise or eating.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.