Q: i started off at 286lbs and i’m with you about the scale, i don’t like it i know that muscle takes up less space and weighs more. I see inches going down in areas like my arms..my legs..but my belly?!? Erika that sucker aint moving!!! I mean it’s going down, but slowly. I’m trying to eat 6 meals a day and my times to eat are about the same range as yours give or take an hour or 2. When i’m at work i’m GOOD right on point and on time. On the weekends all set times are tried and i don’t eat my true 6 meals. I work out smart…i keep changes in it, i get my cardo on, and push my body to the point of rubber legs and soaking wet with sweat and i feel great! My mind feels good, i feel empowered!! Unstoppable….BUT….my belly wont go down, im not sure what im doing wrong..is it my food? Why wont it go down?????? Any suggestions will help. I read your blog like the newspaper, so i’m here everyday…Tks and i love what your doing here for us!!!
“I mean it’s going down, but slowly.”
Is it supposed to move quickly? It won’t. I can tell you that much.
I know that my tummy is flattening out and my skin is tightening up, but I’ve also been watching my tummy for at least 18 months. There’s nothing quick about that.
For me, my tummy was among the first to go. I kept my sugar intake to a minimum – the only “sweet” I got came from fruits and vegetables. That made a huge difference. You know how you see men with beer/liquor bellies? You know how we always see college freshmen who’ve clearly gone a little hard on the bottle with the “buddha bellies?” What is alcohol, but fermented sugar with no fiber to temper our intake? An abundance of sugar translates to excess belly fat. (Let’s not even get on what an abundance of high fructose corn syrup translates into within the body. Just… let’s not.)
The reality is… it’d make sense if it was harder to lose weight in the lower half of the body, because fat is supposed to be hard to get rid of there. It’s there to protect our reproductive system, as women. To me, that implies that if things aren’t happening that way for me… its because an outside force is interfering. That can usually be found within the diet. (It could also be something hormonal… but the diet issue is far more likely, to me.)
Having said allll that… here are my original tips for beating belly fat:
I know, I know.. I harp on this all day, but this time, I have very good reason. Two of ‘em, actually.
First, processed foods are notorious for being devoid of fiber. I mean, there is little to no fiber in processed foods at all. What is fiber? It’s a substance in our food that your system is unable to digest, but it serves a very important purpose. Because the digestive system is unable to do anything with it, it basically serves the purpose of cleaning out your digestive tract and pushing the food out of your intestines into your colon… eventually leaving your system.
Yes, that means it helps you poop.
Think about it – all the food you take in, how much actually comes out? How much of it is still sitting in your intestines? Yuck. Take a look at where your digestive system sits: right in that belly area! I’m tellin’ you. Skip the processed foods, get your fiber in, treat your insides properly.
Secondly, you’ll be avoiding the sugar by default. As I wrote before, because sugar’s original purpose in nature was to draw us to the foods with the vitamins and minerals we need (think fruits), we do love it and can become addicted to it. But because it always came packaged with other vitamins and minerals, we were also able to get full from it, too. In a processed food item, that isn’t the case. It’s basically empty calories, meant to help you feel “belly full.” So because the sugar isn’t serving it’s original purpose, we’re eating too much of it. Couple that with the fact that since there’s no fiber to push the stuff out of your system… it’s a lose-lose for the belly. And again, like I wrote before… when you take in an excess of something, the body stores it… as fat. Not to mention, since high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is in almost every processed food you buy, it’s hard to escape.
[…]Get moving! No, really. Get some activity in your life. Changing your diet will help you avoid putting on extra fat, but you’ve got to get rid of the stuff you’ve already got… and being active is the best way to do that. Run! If you’re not a runner, walk. Hit the elliptical! Jumping jacks! Something.Excerpted from Battling Belly Fat | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss
I say take a long hard look at the food you’re eating, and see if you’re sneaking sugar (or enriched flour) in places you didn’t expect – pastas, breads, biscuits, most baked goods, anything processed and creamy – and start cutting down. Before you know it… you’ll be spotting the problems and things will start going much more smoothly at a quicker pace!