Feeling the extra fluff after Thanksgiving dinner? You are not alone, I am definitely right there with you! I indulged, ate what I wanted on Thanksgiving, and enjoyed myself. I hope you did the same.
Muffin top. Belly bulge. Whatever you want to call it, it's definitely the most frustrating area of the body to lose fat - and keep it off.
Women, especially after the age of 40, have a difficult time losing weight in this area due to changes in hormones. It’s even more difficult if you are perimenopausal or going through menopause.
But the hard truth is, you CANNOT spot-reduce fat.
Now, read that again...and let me explain.
Spot reduction is the false claim that you can focus on an area to lose fat by only exercising that particular area. For example, if I want to lose extra weight in my stomach area, doing tons of crunches every day is NOT going to get rid of it. If I have flabby arms, doing a thousand tricep kickbacks isn't actually going to make it disappear.
The best formula for getting rid of that muffin top, belly bulge or love handles is to focus on full-body weight training and cardiovascular exercise in order to get your heart rate up to burn fat overall.
Definitely incorporate abdominal exercises into your routine (see video below for examples), but make sure to include working your upper and lower body as well.
It’s also essential to focus on adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and to watch your stress levels.
Stress can cause you to lose sleep as well as overeat. If we are stressed, especially for long periods of time, the hormone cortisol rises which creates an increase in appetite. And as you may have noticed, we do not normally reach for fruits and vegetables when we are stressed (or sleep-deprived). We generally reach for bad carbohydrates like cookies, chips, or ice cream.
Inadequate sleep affects your metabolism and the way your body responds to food. Poor sleep can decrease your self-control around certain foods and obviously make you too tired to exercise.
If you’re a busy mama like me, I know what you are already thinking. Low stress and plenty of sleep every night? Seriously? The best advice I have for this is to try your best. Not every week will be perfect, but ask for help when needed and all you can do is try your best.
BONUS: Best Exercises to Add to Your Routine
In the video below I have incorporated some of the best abdominal exercises you can ADD to your full body routine:
- Plank twists
- Supine heel taps
- Bridges (always important to strengthen low back with AB work)
- Reverse crunch
- Side plank + rotation crunch
- Russian twist (without or without weight)
If you still are not sure where to begin, head on over to FB, IG, or join our Private Facebook group, The Healthy Mama Huddle.
I am always here to support you!