This is the most common question I receive. First, keep in mind that fat loss isn’t specific, which means that just because you are doing hundreds of crunches does not mean you are burning the fat surrounding them. Crunches, planks and more are great for sculpting the muscle and strengthening your core, but not for cutting fat. There is a lot of truth to the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Unfortunately, the idea of dieting really turns people off and can be stressful. Just like anything else, start small and work your way up.
Here are a couple strategies that I recommend for my clients who are trying to cut fat.
- Stop eating late. If you eat breakfast at 6 a.m., try to not eat dinner past 6:30 p.m. This concept is called intermittent fasting, which is a great start to disciplining your eating habits.
- Limit your grainy and starchy carbs before bedtime (this include alcohol). When you eat a lot of grainy/starchy carbs before bed, you are doing your body harm because as your body is trying to regulate itself, your blood sugar is increased. This results in waking up with a higher blood sugar. You also may wake up feeling drained or cranky. This can lead to weight gain and possibly other issues in the future.
- According to a dietitian I consult with, the estimated daily caloric count per person is 10 calories per pound of body weight. Calorie counting can be annoying, but once you have a feel for it, it becomes easy. Keep in mind, this number needs to be adjusted on days you are more active.
- Drink plenty of water. Sometime dehydration masks itself with hunger pains. Don’t give in to dehydration!
- Balance your exercise regimen. Running on a treadmill is great, but not the only answer either. Make sure your regimen includes a combination of cardio, resistance training and dynamic agility movements.
Megan Niño is a kinesiologist and personal trainer who trains out of 12th Street Gym. She is an energetic and positive person, who prides herself on teaching others to find empowerment in their lives through fitness.