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Weight Loss, Postpartum Belly Fat Loss And Fitness

Updated on January 19, 2011

Tips To Get You Started

Weight loss. Exercise. Fitness. There's so much information out there, it can be overwhelming.

Should a dieter go with fad diets? Soup diets? Pre-packaged foods? A weight center, with meetings and counselors? There are a lot of options that can work - and some that are less helpful.

What a dieter should look for is a program that's focused on long-term health and vitality. It should be one that promotes exercise and proper eating, without stripping the dieter of the joy of celebration of life. A lot of our joy in life comes from food!

To get you going in the right direction, see the video below. It has six great tips that will put your feet on a path to healthy weight loss and fitness.

Six Tips For Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind

So Many Options!

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what a person has to do to lose some weight. Many people think they have to starve themselves, or follow some weird regimen that they could never maintain (or shouldn't maintain for very long), or spend all their time in the gym. It's not true!

Did you ever try the "cabbage soup diet?" I did. You make this soup that makes the house smell terrible. It has next-to-no nutrition, and depends on its being a hot liquid to "fill you up." You're supposed to eat it whenever you're hungry, and the weight will fall off you.

I was starving, lightheaded and miserable all the time. Really ravenous. I could hardly maintain that diet for the prescribed week, and that's not enough time for the average dieter to lose significant weight.

On this diet, you eat all bananas for a day. All bananas, and ONLY bananas, one day of the week.

Another day, your big treat was one small baked potato. I don't even remember what food was allowed for the rest of the day, but boy, I got to really appreciate that little baked potato.

The rest of the week was similar. I remember having one precious tomato at some point. I believe there was also a homemade soup on this one. Hungry, hungry, hungry. Not a fun diet at all, and the weight loss was not that great either. How could it be? I'm sure my body went directly into panic mode with this starvation diet, and hoarded every calorie it could hang onto.

So - what to do? See below.

What's Wrong With Fad Diets?

You Can Do It!

Abdominal Fat - Very unhealthy.

Unless someone has been blessed with the perfect genetic makeup, most adults in the civilized world today, especially women, have struggled with some amount of abdominal fat. We hate it. It’s unattractive, inconvenient – and it could seriously impact our health.

Where does this fat come from? Why is it so hard to get rid of? Why don’t exercises make it disappear? There are many factors at work.

We know that the fat on our bodies comes from the food we eat. There have been enough weight-loss programs and diet information around for the last few decades that we know that if we eat more calories than we expend, we’re going to gain weight as fat.

Each person’s genetics play the main role. As soon as we are conceived, we have a genetic “map” for what our hair and eye color will be, the size and shape of our nose, our height, our body type, and how our fat will be distributed over our body. Some people’s metabolism is programmed from conception to run at a faster rate throughout their lifetime, and these people will naturally be thinner than other people. Environmental factors do play a part, but genetic makeup is the key factor.

Women face a special challenge with abdominal fat. In pre-menopausal years, women have fat distributed in the arms, legs, thighs and hips as well as in the belly. As women pass into menopause and the hormone levels change, fat moves from the limbs, thighs and hips into the abdomen. For this reason it’s possible for women’s waistlines to become bigger without any appreciable weight gain.

It’s not just the fat you can see in the mirror. Abdominal fat also lives in the muscles of the abdomen, and crowds the organs in that part of the body. When the organs are crowded, it can cause difficulty in breathing, circulation, and other organ functions. Also, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through these crowded areas of the body. This raises the blood pressure, which in turn speeds up a process of wearing down of the lining of the arteries. When the lining of the arteries is worn down, the body becomes more susceptible to stroke and other health problems.

Revising abdominal fat isn't rocket science.

You're in, right?

The wrong plan can be discouraging.

You certainly shouldn’t blame yourself if you’ve fallen into the cycle of fad exercise and diet programs.  So many people have tried programs geared to the “get fit quick” mentality.  Sadly, it usually ends in disappointment.  Also, out of frustration about another failed diet, many dieters overeat, and end up weighing much more than they did before they started the diet.

It's important to realign the thinking about diets.  A "diet" shouldn't be something a person "goes on."  What's built into that mentality is, that the dieter will "go off" the diet eventually - and most likely right back into the old eating habits.  Every time you go on another unhealthy, fad diet, you teach your body how to hoard calories better - so it's harder to lose weight in the future.  It's a vicious cycle.

Instead, focus on making a real change meant to last a lifetime.  So many baby-boomers spent so many of their childhood hours in front of the TV being inactive eating unhealthy snacks, and that's a hard habit to break.  Look to investing in your lifelong vitality and health, and you'll be much less likely to fall victim to another fad.

You Can Finally Get There!

Are You Approaching It Correctly?

If you think of exercise, nutrition, and rest as separate things, you're going to be disappointed with your fat burning and fitness results. If you think you need to spend hours a week in the gym or adhere to some strange unnatural eating strategy, you're going to be disappointed with your results.

If you choose to re-think what you thought you knew, and start off with the right approach, the one that focuses on making long term changes in your lifestyle, you'll improve your results by 1000% right away.

When your approach includes combining proper exercise that takes very little of your time, simple nutrition the way nature intended you to eat, and the rest and recovery that is essential to lifelong vitality and energy, you'll experience an awakening of both body and mind. Plus you'll burn more fat, too.

You can embrace a lifestyle that includes brief, progressive, and intense resistance training, eating a diet full of nutrient rich foods, drinking lots and lots of water, and getting plenty of quality sleep and rest. You’ll turn your body into a fat burning furnace. But know that when you do so, you'll be joining the select few who understand that one of the true secrets to life long fat burning and fitness is never found on a fad diet or in a bottle, on the shelf of your local megastore.

What does extra abdominal fat do?

Abdominal fat affects hormone levels throughout the body.  It has also been linked to the development of Type II diabetes, colorectal cancer and breast cancer.

Abdominal fat seems harder to get rid of than fat in other parts of the body because we lose weight uniformly, all over the body.  Much as we’d like to just target the belly, the fat is going to come off from around the whole body, and not just the abdominal area.  When they diet, people who wear the same rings every day will probably notice that as their belly starts to shrink, their rings will begin to get looser too, because the fat comes off everywhere – fingers too. 

How much abdominal fat is too much?  There are a couple of rules of thumb to go by.  First, measure around the belly at the level of the navel.  Don’t suck in and don’t push the belly out.  Just stand normally and wrap a tape measure around without pulling tight, and see what the measurement is.  One source suggests that your waist should not measure more than half of your height.  Another source suggests that, no matter what your height, your waist measurement should not be more than 33 to 35 inches.

The good news is that we can combat our abdominal fat, no matter what our genetic pre-programming is.  The baby boomer generation, currently the adult generation starting to move into the senior years, was raised in a more sedentary lifestyle than any preceding generation, and ate a more processed and fast-food diet than any other generation.  This is a very unhealthy lifestyle, and people in this generation will have to make a serious shift in lifestyle to reclaim their health and improve their abdominal fat levels. 

Here are some ideas to work with.  Reduce portion size, and substitute more fruits and vegetables for simple carbs like white bread and pastas.  No canned fruits – they are loaded with sugar.  Also, don’t depend too much on fruit juices, which are also loaded with sugar.  Increase exercise too.  When you develop more muscle, your metabolism is higher because lean muscle requires more calories than fat does for maintenance.  So, with more muscle you win two ways: you expended calories to build that muscle, and the muscle itself raises your metabolism and consumes more calories just by being there.


Review Video - Find Out What It's Not

"But I've just given birth. Can my belly ever be flat again?"

Pregnancy is beautiful, motherhood is a miracle, and isn't it wonderful to snuggle that new, precious little person in your arms?

Yes, that's all true. But.

Most new (and maybe not-so-new) moms are faced with postpartum belly fat. That loose, poochy, wrinkly skin where the abs used to be. What to do about that?

Never fear. You can regain your pre-pregnancy body. It will take some time, though. You need to remember that your postpartum body is full of hormones, and these make your body keep plenty of nutrients and fluid onboard in order to produce milk for the baby. So you might not lose weight like you did when you were a teenager. Pregnancy weight can be pretty stubborn.

Take it slow. Look to the long-term. Don't diet like a teenager (Just potato chips and tofu? - not a good choice for a new mom, or the baby!). Turn to healthful, vital foods that will carry you through the day, not sugary or caffeine-loaded foods that will give you a quick rush, but ultimately leave you depleted. Sleep deprivation comes with new motherhood, and the deprivation is tough enough to deal with when you're well-nourished. Poor nutrition is a bad choice for a new mom.

When you feel a bit recovered from the birth, especially if you've had a Cesarean like I did, start with walking the baby in the stroller around the block, or up and down the street. If you're not sure how you will do at first, take an adult companion with you, who is not a new mom herself. Build up your walks in length and speed only when you feel up to it. Easy does it. When you and your doctor feel it's safe for you to do more strenuous work, or to return to the gym and more regular workouts, build up gradually.

You don't have to live in the gym to rid yourself of the pregnancy fat. Check out my link for an exercise program that gives you very effective workouts in less time.

Enjoy your new baby. There's nothing like that wonderful bonding time, and looking forward to the years ahead with your growing child.

Can't I Just Skip Meals? You'll Be Skipping Benefits of Weight Loss

It's true that, in order to lose weight, we must burn more calories than we use.  That's almost intuitive knowledge.  But a lot of dieters take it too far, and skip meals - which leads to skipping benefits of losing that weight.

Why doesn't skipping meals work?  Well, the human body is a very smart machine.  When we suddenly give it a lot less food than it's accustomed to, the body "thinks" that there is no food available.  It then slows down its metabolism.  The end result of this is that the body matches the reduced caloric intake.  In effect, it has outwitted your dieting efforts.  You hit what's called the "weight loss plateau."  It's effectively what a geographical plateau is: a flat place, no ups, no downs.  Weight becomes stable.

So, what's a dieter to do?  Exactly what feels like the wrong thing to do.  You actually have to eat more often, not less often.  Eat more frequently, but eat the right things, and make each meal smaller than a regular meal.  This works because the body will realize that there's plenty of food available, so it burns up all the food it gets very quickly and runs at a higher metabolic rate.  Also, with the more frequent input of fuel, the dieter's blood sugar will remain much more stable.

Also, a dieter can shift around the exercise regimen, and add in some weight training.  Let's look at each of these approaches separately.  Why shift around the exercise regimen?  This will confuse the body, so that it doesn't hoard up fat for the expected everyday routine.  Also, exercising different muscle groups gives each group time to recover from the previous workout; and you develop your whole body, not just selected groups.  Adding in some weight training will help you develop more lean muscle mass.  Muscle mass requires more calories even in its resting state than fat does, so, having more lean muscle will raise your metabolism 24 hours a day.

Each body will have different requirements and different reactions to changes in diet and exercise, and finding the right balance will take a little time and tweaking.  Stick with it, though, keep your body fueled and develop plenty of lean muscle.  Don't starve yourself - you'll be skipping all the benefits!




You Really Can Conquer The Postpartum Belly Fat!

Tried everything with no success?


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