A very common question I get as a health coach is “how do I lose belly fat?”.
[Note: I’m not going to evaluate the validity of the question- if it matters to you, it matters to me! I’m here to support you the best I can!]
Well unfortunately, there is not a simple answer. There is a lot of information out there, a lot of it is nonsense. Please skip the “teatoxes” or anything that guarantees fast results. Furthermore, no amount of crunches will eliminate that extra cushion in the front! You may have heard that abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym– and that is absolutely true!
I believe the best approach is one with slow, sustainable progress. That’s not what most people want to hear, but that will leave you with lasting results. It’s important to remember that it is very common that belly fat is the last to go! You need to be consistent, and put in the time to even approach losing excess from your midsection!
The Shed program is designed to help you tackle this issue! You eliminate and scale back on some of the most problematic foods for your middle!
Foods that can hinder belly fat loss:
white or refined carbohydrates (see above bagel)
alcohol (beer especially can be problematic!)
You don’t need to eliminate these from your diet forever. But skipping them for a concentrated period of time will help push your body out of it’s current de facto state and will allow you to start losing.
But if you are skipping the foods above- what do you eat? Prioritize eating lots of vegetables, protein at each meal, and healthy fats! (If you are looking for guidance on this- the Shed program has meal plans included!)
You may eventually hit a plateau. There are a variety of ways to tackle a plateau– it really depends on your body and circumstances. Oftentimes you just need to change up your exercise routine. Doing more or LESS may be the solution. If you are putting too much stress on your body, it releases cortisol- which is the enemy to weight loss! If you have been doing light exercise like walking, it may be time to add an extra boost. Plateaus are really where coaching is the most helpful– everyone’s life is unique and what may be causing your plateau may be completely unique to you. (Shoot me an email if you are interested in one-on-one coaching!)
Back to cortisol– if you perpetually feel stressed– this could be your biggest issue with losing weight around your tummy. Try to find ways to manage your stress. I highly recommend meditation and yoga to bring some calm to the chaos! Other people manage their stress with running or other cardio. Just try to find something that can consistently bring you some zen!
In summary, the steps to losing that pesky tummy:
Eliminate problematic foods (white/refined carbs, sugar, dairy, alcohol) from your diet for a period of time
Eat a healthy diet filled with lots of vegetables, protein and healthy fats!
Push past plateaus
Manage your stress
Have patience and enjoy the journey of changing your lifestyle for the better!