Tuesday, 20 October 2009

want to lose your belly?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the saying “how can I lose my belly?” “what exercises are the best to help me lose my belly?” “can you give us more stomach work?”

If your goal is to lose weight from around your stomach, your not going to do it with lots of stomach crunches! Carrying weight around the abdomen area is linked to nutrition and hormones, namely your carbohydrate intake and your cortisol levels (fat production around the stomach is a sign of over production of cortisol), the stress hormone. Stress levels need to remain as low as possible, depending on what type of stress you may have.

The best way to combat this is to reduce your carbohydrate intake, follow a good diet high in lean protein, green leafy vegetables and dark fruits (berries for example) - best time to eat your fruit is during the 2 hours post training.

Have a good wind down procedure before going to sleep, lower the lights, read, stop watching TV, if you have any electrical items plugged in where you sleep remove them - this will make a difference to your sleep and weight loss believe it or not! Leave the mobile phone out of the room where possible - don't sleep with it at the bed side as the electro magnetic forces can disturb our sleep. You should to be getting to sleep at around 10pm and waking at 6.30am in a completely dark room.

Drink plenty of water and reduce your caffeine as this will stimulate the already overworked adrenal glands, Choose peppermint, ginger and green tea instead.
If you are suffering from any work/relationship/parental stress then gentle breathing exercises or meditation may help.

Take a good quality omega 3 supplement with every meal
Other supplements that might help:
Licorice Root - this can help regulate the production of cortisol.
A good quality multivitamin
Betain hydrochloride taken with 1 or 2 meals could aid with nutrient absorption because for some people it also causes a digestion issue.

Carrying weight in your lower stomach might also be a slight postural problem too, your pelvis might be tilted forward slightly (anterior pelvic tilt), exercises that activate and work the core, stretch the hip flexors and work the glutes to bring your pelvis back might also help.
Exercise examples:

Forward Lunges/split squats x 15 each leg
Plank x 30 seconds to 1 minute
Side Plank x 30-45 seconds each side
Supine bridges
x 15 (on one leg when more advanced)

repeat 3-5 times per week

So answer to the question – clean up your nutrition, look after those hormones and concentrate on postural correction through the correct exercise choice.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Is Low Fat Food Stopping You From Losing Fat?

Could your low fat diet be doing you more harm than good? You have two options when buying food - normal or low fat, if you struggle with your weight I'm guessing you'll go for the low fat option every time?

Contrary to what we've been conditioned to believe these last few decades, low fat is not necessarily the best option. When a product is advertised as low fat it generally means that it will have gone through a lot of process to remove the fat, by doing these food manufacturers generally strip the fat and replace it with sugar or sweeteners which when processed will be stored as fat anyway!

We all tend to put too much trust into the foods that we eat without really checking the labels, if you do check the labels on everything you eat you can't go wrong. If your on a quest for fat loss then you want to be cutting out processed foods, foods containing wheat flour, alcohol (this is a big one alcohol is LOADED with empty calories!), and sugar.

It's best to go back to basics, with meat and fish if its free to run around, fly, swim in the open water then it can be eaten.

Fruit and vegetables: as long as its been farmed without the use of pesticides and other chemicals, is as fresh and in season as possible it can be eaten!!

Nuts are great but only in moderation because they are high in fat and calories, one or two small handfuls is great but no more because you will get fat!!

Fluids: water and herbal teas are the best, two or three cups of tea/coffee is ok too.

The next time you reach for that low fat bag of crisps, your 'healthy' breakfast cereal or the diet coke, just have a good look at the label; it could be doing you more harm than good!! If you can't pronounce the ingredient it's probably best not to put it into your body!!

Personal Trainer North Yorkshire, Fat Loss North Yorkshire