“I have been working out for over a year and have lost a significant amount of weight. I eat a pretty healthy diet, but I still need to shed some pounds around my middle. How can I accomplish this?” This is a question that I get asked on a regular basis.
Here’s my advice for trimming inches from your waistline:
1. Increase your cardio. Contrary to what people wish were true, there is no such thing as spot reduction. Meaning, if you are losing weight from your waistline, your fat cells are actually shrinking everywhere. Genetics determines which parts of our body have the highest concentration of fat deposits. The best way to lose weight and strengthen your entire body is by doing lots of cardio (with strength-training as a second priority). When was the last time you saw an overweight marathon runner or cyclist? Cardio burns lots of calories and keeps you lean.
2. Avoid starchy carbohydrates. If you stop (or dramatically reduce) the amount of bread, pasta, potatoes and cereal you eat, your waistline will magically start to appear.
3. Eat lean protein and a clean diet with lots of green veggies. Americans eat entirely too many carbohydrates, which is why obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are so prevalent within our country. Lean protein forms the building blocks for our muscle growth and repair. Eating a diet comprised mostly of protein and vegetables will allow you to maintain stable blood-sugar levels.
4. Work on your core. While there is nothing wrong with doing crunches, they tend to work just the surface of the muscle. Core exercises work from the inside out and can actually trim and sculpt your waist in a more dramatic way.
5. Drink lots of water. Water helps flush your system of toxins and fat and makes your entire body function more efficiently. It also helps keep your appetite controlled.
6. Avoid alcohol. Drinking excess alcoholic beverages is a recipe for a big gut and spare tire. Clinical studies have shown that alcohol consumption causes fat to be concentrated in the abdominal area. Hence, the term “beer belly.” Alcohol is also very high in calories, carbohydrates and sugars. There’s no way you can get a lean mid-section and drink too much. Do it only in moderation, or avoid it completely for remarkable results.
7. Excess sugar and salt. Anything that is sweet is high in carbs. Be leery of excess sweeteners which have been linked to all sorts of horrible side-effects and health risks. Salt and sodium not only cause water retention and bloating, but can also lead to high-blood pressure.
If you follow this advice, you will trim your midsection in no time. You can thank me later.