Archive for September, 2012

Belly Blasters!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Jen Rowley, A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

We all know it is impossible to spot- train and spot-reduce (training just your trouble areas or reducing a problem area) when we are trying to improve our fitness and health. If that were possible, we would all have our own ideal bodies, right? However, we can make small changes in our lives to make reaching our goals a little bit more fun.

As a personal trainer, I love finding new workouts that I can use at home and in the gym. It is so important to have a variety of exercises in order to reach both long-term and short-term goals. The reward of discovering a successful workout, one that is fun and makes you  sore in all the right places, is instantaneous!

As a “foodie” and vegetarian, I also love finding healthy food choices that fuel my workouts, my mind, and help keep me feeling full without packing on the extra calories. Plus, any findings that advise me to add dark chocolate to my shopping list are definitely encouraging!

Here are some tips for your home, gym, and shopping cart to blast that belly fat and help to flatten your stomach.

At the gym:

Do the bicycle exercise to target ab muscles. Lie with your hands behind your head; alternate touching each elbow to opposite knee.

Work in intervals. People who do 20 minutes of interval training three times a week lose more belly fat than people who do 40 minutes of just cardio three times a week.  Try mixing in 1 minute of jump-roping, jumping jacks, or running in place in between exercises.

Hit the gym and watch calorie intake! Time spent in the gym is not a free pass at meals that day. Keep your calories in check to be successful at tummy trimming.

At home:

Read your labels. Don’t just look for fat and calories, but be aware of things like sugar, protein, fiber, and sodium, too. Sugar should be low, as should sodium. Both of these will increase belly fat and bloat. A good amount of protein–between 9 and 12 grams–will keep you full and satisfied. The fiber content is important–at least 3 grams–to help you feel full and keep you from overeating.

Drink a little wine. Light wine drinking can protect against bell bulge, but make sure to limit yourself to just one daily glass.

Avoid carbonation. Fizzy drinks are full of gas–and you will be, too, if you drink them! The result is a not-so-svelte profile.

In your life:

Get more sleep. People who get only 5 hours of sleep a night are almost twice as likely to be obese as those who get 7 hours. Impossible for you to get a solid 7 hours? Be sure to nix the late-night noshing. Enjoy your healthy dinner at a reasonable hour and then be done. If your feeling hungry, you may just be dehydrated…try some hot tea instead.

Keep yourself hydrated. Drink a healthy amount of water to keep your digestive system moving–about 8 glasses a day. Sometimes feelings of hunger can be mistaken for thirst. Feeling hungry? Drink a glass of water and go for a short walk around the block or office.

Add these surprising fat burners to your shopping list:

-Pears. Rich in fiber–15% of your daily recommended amount–they help you feel full and satisfied. Eat them with the peel on though, as most of the fruit’s beneficial fiber is in the skin.

-Grapefruit.  A compound in this delicious fruit helps regulate insulin, a fat-storage hormone. Eating half a grapefruit before each meal may help you lose weight. They are also great segmented and cut into salads or tossed with shrimp.

-Almonds.  Dieting-study participants who ate almonds daily for 6 months lost 18% of their body fat. They are a satisfying snack with  healthy fats and proteins. And they are great chopped in oatmeal, salads, and yogurt.

-Dark chocolate. High in antioxidants, it may help prevent the accumulation of fat cells in the body. Try a chocolate that is 70% or more cocoa to reap the full benefits…a half ounce has less than 100 calories and will satisfy your sweet tooth, too!

These tips are simple to add to your daily routine and will help keep you on track for more healthful living, whether you are trying to lose weight or just maintain a healthy lifestyle.

September, 2012