Trim The Fat
Trim The Fat
How to Get a Smaller Waist and Stronger Core
So the Holidays have come and gone and of course there has been much celebration, quality time spent with families and lots of memorable moments. As we roll into another year filled with hope, determination and a fresh list of New Years goals in our sights, ninety percent of us probably included a goal regarding health, exercise and trimming excess fat. Specifically, trimming the fat around our waistlines. In this article I will address the TOP 3 WAYS to lose weight around your midsection.
The first step is to make peace with the body type and waist size you were born with and then take the appropriate steps towards shaping up what you have. Your waist size is essentially predetermined by your ribs and hip bone skeletal structure but the rest of the end result of what lies around your waist depends on the lifestyle habits you keep. We all have a “six pack” screaming to be seen. It’s simply a matter of removing the layer of fat that lies between it and your “close-up” moment. None of us want to hear we must lose the fat in order to reach this goal, because that will mean things in our lives have to change.
How many of us happily gravitate towards change? Yes, it’s true…change is hard, but without change, all things remain the same. Including your waist size. The reality is that the body has a mind of its own when left undisciplined. But with a bit of discipline and some old fashioned hard work you can become the master of your body. A smaller, tighter midsection along with a stronger core are all within reach if you are ready to do what it takes. Before I discuss what you must do to reduce your waist size, let’s dispel some misconceptions that exist regarding this topic.
#1 Breathing exercises will shrink your waist
While it is true that breathing and diagrammatic exercises will tighten your tummy they will not reduce the body fat that expanded your tummy to begin with.
#2 Electronic Abdominal Exercise Belts will give you a six pack
These belts do nothing more than reduce the size of your wallet. Fortunately, most of the companies that lied in their claims on TV infomercials are now being sued in a class action suit for their false claims.
#3 Hundreds of crunches a day will give you a smaller waist
No matter how many crunches or leg lifts you do you cannot crunch your way to a tiny midsection. While they are still an important component in the ‘battle of the bulge’, remember, the fat around the waist needs to be shed before you will ever see the results of all those crunches.
Now that we know what doesn’t work for obtaining a smaller waist, let’s look at what DOES work.
Choose A Goal
First you must choose your goal. I will always sing the praises of goal setting. Why? Because it really does work. Now with a goal in mind, you must WRITE IT DOWN! Seeing it in front of you each day in black and white makes all the difference. Do you want to lost five pounds overall? Do you want to “slide” into your skinny jeans again? Do you want a smaller waist but also a stronger core? What’s your goal? Whatever it is, choose it now and write it down. I know, I sound like a broken record, but speaking from experience…it truly works!
Most goals in life take hard work, so know that this is not any different. If it were easy, we wouldn’t spend billions of dollars a year in this country on diet and exercise products. More importantly, we wouldn’t have the obesity pandemic America has beginning with children age 3 and up. So if you’re ready to commit to the work, here are some action steps to help you achieve a smaller – stronger waistline.
Diet – Diet – DIET! (no that is not a typo – your diet – the food that you eat daily – NOT a restrictive eating plan – is the most important component for any fitness/weight loss goal)
The most important thing is not to skip meals so that when you finally do eat you inhale large unbalanced meals. Ideally, you should graze throughout the day. Small but frequent meals are one of the keys to a smaller waist. If you continuously train your stomach to expand with large meals, eventually it will permanently extend to accommodate this eating pattern. Small meals throughout the day (3 to 4 meals with a snack in between) will keep you satiated and your stomach won’t have to keep expanding to allow room for the overabundance of food.
Also, eat slowly. Chew your food as this will aid in the digestion process. The slower you eat, the sooner the brain will be able to register when you are full. You must allow time for this to occur. We tend to overeat when we eat in a rush. Try to make meal times relaxed. Be sure to eat a diet full of vegetables, grains, lean proteins and some good fats.
From my own personal experience, this is one of the greatest tips of all…eat your last meal 2 to 3 (more if you can) hours before bedtime. This will give your body time to begin the digestion process before you lay down for bed and all your bodily functions begin to slow down. This simple habit will truly make a difference. Although if you do find yourself a bit “snick-snacky” late at night, a healthy shake or some sliced apples with a touch of almond butter or celery and carrot sticks with a healthy dip of some sort would be a nice alternative to the other “usual suspects” of late night snacking.
Probably the most important element on this mission to a smaller waist is that you begin to include exercise. From here on out whenever you hear me refer to exercise, just know I always mean both cardiovascular movement (aerobics) AND some type of a resistance routine, whether it’s using weights or a workout where your own bodyweight is used as the resistance. As a suggestion, if you haven’t heard about my new workout, Booty Slide®, which is an excellent cardio blast combined with butt lifting and core strengthening exercises, click here to check out my new DVD, “7 Moves in 7 Minutes”. Anything you can do to begin moving your body on a regular basis is key! If you are carrying excess body fat around your waist, the only way to make your waist smaller is by losing that fat. Additionally, cardiovascular exercise needs to become your friend. Whether it’s, walking at a brisk pace, jogging, cardio at your gym, whatever it is, you need at least 3 days a week for 30 to 60 minutes a day to make a dent in the fat loss goal. Make a serious commitment to your goal and ask yourself these questions as you do your cardio exercise: Are you working up a sweat? Are you feeling challenged? Are you glad when it’s over? If you answered yes to these 3 questions, chances are your doing the cardio work at an appropriate level to encourage fat loss and changes in your body. Otherwise, why bother. Don’t just go through the motions, do the work and the results will be yours!
Area Specific Exercises
I know in the beginning of this article I said all the crunches in the world wouldn’t give you a smaller waist but once the excess fat is gone from your midsection, yes, abdominal exercises and core strengthening moves will give you the finishing touch to a tighter and smaller waist. I will describe 3 excellent exercises for working the midsection and strengthening the core. Of course there are many others, but start with these and add others as you progress. Include these exercises 2-3 times per week with your new exercise/cardio program.
Basic Crunch Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Gently clasp your hands behind your head. Never pull on your neck. Slowly curl up, bringing your shoulders off the floor about 6-10 inches. Be sure to exhale as you curl up. Lift with your abdominal muscles, don’t pull with your hands. Slowly lower. Repeat 15-20 times. Do 3 sets.
Twisting Crunches (obliques) Begin in the same position as the basic crunch only this time bring your knees up, feet off the floor. With your hands clasped behind your head, twist your upper body so your right elbow meets your left knee. Squeeze and pause for a 1 count, then return to starting position. Now twist your body so that your left elbow meets your right knee, squeeze and pause, then return to starting position. Repeat 20-25 times on each side. Do 3 sets. Try varying the tempo for a more advanced version. Always maintain excellent form.
Plank (core strength) Lie face down on the floor. Place your hands directly under your shoulders. Press your toes into the floor. Firmly, with total body strength, press up until your arms are locked out straight and your body is in a nearly straight line (push up position). Hold this position for 15 seconds to start with. Then slowly lower down to the floor. Repeat 3 times. Work up to 30 second holds. This movement is an excellent core strengthener.
Follow the above suggestions and you should be well on your way to obtaining the waist size you desire, providing it’s a realistic goal. Remember, there is no magic pill to any health and fitness desire. The only way to get there is through hard work, commitment and discipline. There is truly no better feeling than reaching your goal and knowing you did whatever it took to get there. So go for it…start today! Be sure to check out my online store where you can find out more about my new DVD “7 Moves in 7 Minutes” which features my specific new workout – Booty Slide®.
Article by Rebecca Kordecki
Rebecca is also available for media, speaking and fitness consultations. Email CCMG Management or call their office (323)883-1983.