Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Work Hard! Why Don’t I Have a Six-Pack?


Here is a common theme we see. We exercise consistently, do all the sit-ups and hip raises our bodies can take, and yet, we don’t see a big change is the size of our midsections.  This triggers a lot of questions. Are we doing something wrong? Are we just doomed to have big bellies? Is it something hereditary? No matter what your questions are, my advice is: don’t give up yet!

It is true that it is generally easier for men to get flat stomachs than women because for most women, fat tends to populate in our belly and hip region (Sorry ladies!). This is not to say it is completely inevitable and we have to just take it as it is. The truth is that most of us (men and women included) make a lot of mistakes when we’re focused on trying to burn belly fat.

Are you really burning more than you’re consuming?
We all know the theory. To lose weight, you need to be burning more than you eat. You have to reach a negative of 3500 calories to lose just 1 pound. However, when you exercise a lot, your body tends to hunger for more food. And so a lot of heavy exercisers eat a lot too to keep their energy up with all the calorie-burning activities they are involved in.

But we have to be really careful here because it could easily lead to eating more than we are actually burning. It might be helpful to use a tool that monitors your daily food consumption, just to assist you in figuring out your calorie consumption before you get on your own two feet. A great tool I love is MyFitnessPal, but there are several others you can use. These tools are also great with Portion control. Men, take note, because you are more prone to eat those super-gigantic meals when you exercise.

It’s not just exercise, it’s food too!

If you spend most of your time at the gym, there is a tendency to give exercise more significance than your nutrition. But what you eat has just as much importance as what you burn. You can’t eat anything and everything, and then believe it would all go away with exercise. And as much as we hate to admit it, most of us find ourselves doing this. The bottom line is that we need to eat right to get rocking bods.

Keep set mealtimes
I know, I know. With the busy lives we lead, we eat whenever, we eat fast, and we eat on the go. But in order to trim your midsection, you have to make a change. Try to set standard mealtimes; For example, breakfast at 7am, a snack at 10am, lunch at 1pm, another snack at 4pm, and dinner at 7pm. Our bodies respond well to routine when it comes to food, and so do our minds. If we set standard mealtimes, we are less likely to be dying of hunger late at night or in the middle of the afternoon. And of course a routine lets us know exactly what we want to eat, when, and how much.

Calm your ass down
Ever heard that belly fat tends to come from stress? This is not totally untrue. On one hand, stress makes us eat because we are looking for some form of comfort. On the other hand, stress physically affects how much our bodies are capable of, and reduces our concentration when we exercise.  So do what you must to calm your ass down. If yoga calms you, do that regularly. If food calms you, well, maybe don’t do that. Find something (or someone) that makes you stress-free, and make time for it.

The Ever-Life-Consuming Alcohol
Okay, so it’s not just alcohol. It is lattés, soda, milkshakes, energy drinks, and any drink that contains calories that we tend to overlook. If you have two sodas with your lunch, you have already added a couple of hundred calories to that one meal. A few beers also add a couple of hundred calories to your meal. If we don’t pay attention to what we are drinking as well as what we are eating, we could be consuming much more than we think we are, and then get frustrated. Also, carbonated drinks tend to make you bloat, so while you’re consuming several cans of “Diet” soda, consider that.

Foods that make you bloat
Okay, so I know women cannot always help that we will get bloated when we get our period, but if your belly looks flat in the morning, a different way in the afternoon, and then a different way at night, it may be due to the type of food you are eating. Carbonated drinks, fatty foods, and foods like chips with a very high salt content tend to make us bloat, giving us that pot belly feeling. It would pay both in the long and short term to minimize how much we eat or drink these, because they could also cause our stomachs to be uber-sensitive.

While exercise is great, and it is pretty difficult, there are other factors that we need to consider as well while we are trying to lose belly fat and build six-pack abs. So don’t knock your head against the wall if it does not seem to be working. Try the tips above, and reach out to me with comments here if you have any questions. You can also reach me at editor@eightsandweights.com anytime. Good luck!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

P.S.
The Nigerian Blog Awards nomination period has begun. Please nominate Eights & Weights if you feel we are deserving. Check out the nomination procedure here at Nigerian Blog Awards Nominations. Also, invite your friends, colleagues, families, and strangers to come check us out here as always!

3 comments:

  1. Nice post... now I should keep working to keep these pacs. I've been busy lately. Thanks for the lessons and reminder :)


    ...and I nominated you aleady :)

    - LDP

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just had this discussion about set meal times with my trainer today.
    Im writing a food timetable now
    trying to boost my metabolism

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks so much for the info..i gained a few and am trying to shed it off..this is a useful tip. oh and am so voting! check out my blog too! uduak-finallyme,blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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