Q:I have a problem with belly fat – after I had my son in ’07, people keep asking me how many months I am… it looks like I’m about 6mos pregnant, and I hate it! Can you please help me?
Hmmm.. If your tummy is sticking out like it was when you were pregnant, it sounds like – for starters – you might want to try to add WAY more fiber to your diet. It will help rid you of some of that excess waste (which means you’ll be spending lots of time on the potty), but it will help you figure out where your tummy really is.
Secondly, here’s the short version of dealing with fat: you can’t control where it burns. Sure, you might be able to do crunches to tone it up, but if you have lots of fat covering it up, you’ll need to tend to that first. Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is your best bet. Give yourself a slow start – walking each day. Walk for weeks until you feel like running, then run. Take your little one for a walk in the stroller. Walk until you feel like running (I put my daughter in an umbrella stroller and pushed her while running). If you can hit a gym, hit the treadmill. You’re going to have to move something to get it down.
You’ll also have to ease up on the processed foods. Go light on the breads, fries, and excess sugars. That alone will get you down to looking more like 3mos than 6, at least! Couple it with the walking, and you’re on your way.
Q: Is losing inches a prerequisite to losing pounds?
If you’re losing pounds, you’re definitely losing inches, but if you’re losing inches, it doesn’t always mean you’re losing pounds. Here’s why:
Losing inches can mean that you’re either losing fat, or becoming leaner by developing muscle. Since a cube of muscle weighs just as much as fat, if not more, you can lose inches and not see any change on the scale (unfortunately.)
Losing pounds means that you’re losing mass. So theoretically, this means that the tape measure has to move. Just don’t always expect it to move in the exact same place each time.
Q: How many times did you quit exercising/eating right before you started toughing it out?
Honestly… I went back and forth countless times. I’d actually give up out of embarrassment. I’d be ashamed of being at the gym and seeing all these fit people struggling to not snicker at the fat girl who couldn’t survive an incline on the treadmill. I’d be embarrassed and frustrated by eating a salad around my skinny friends who OD’d on pizza and crap when we dined out. I’d be mad that I couldn’t figure out the formula…
…until I figured out the formula. I stopped giving a damn what the people around me thought/were doing, and started focusing on me and what I needed. I realized just how WRONG the people around me get it, so I figured I couldn’t trust anyone else’s understanding of what was best for me BUT me. From there, I sought out my own answers, and I was straight. It took one final time of quitting the gym, frustrated that I hustled for 6 months only to lose 20lbs and then gain 10 back in 90 days (that’s one pound every nine days…sigh) for me to realize I didn’t have my head together. Once I got my eating habits right? I was straight. I’ve been smooth sailing ever since.
Q: How important is it to actually eat three meals per day? If you don’t, how does it affect your metabolism?
I have a post coming up on this, but you absolutely must nourish yourself regularly throughout the day. Without it, you become sluggish, and your body – now feeling like food may not come for a while – starts to hold onto the energy it has stored within (read: the fat you have on your body) and makes it harder to burn. This is why you become sluggish. It’s also worth noting, that not eating affects your ability to control yourself and prevent overeating.
Keep those questions coming, and I’ll have ‘em ready for next week! Have thoughts? Let me hear ‘em in the comments!