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How do I lose this belly fat, sis?

One of the most common questions I’ve been asked is how to get leaner as well as toned. Most times, after a few questions, the person inquiring is an avid runner or what we call a cardio bunny who is consuming way too few calories because in some magazine it showed a lean woman, running and eating only salads. Pause. The entire diet culture preys on women – men too – by constantly showcasing ridiculously lean bodies with outrageous headlines: try this diet for six-pack abs; do you want to lose that stubborn body fat? Worse, it does it without ever fully diving deeper into what a healthy and sustainable diet really looks like. This is done simply because we live in an “instant results now” culture and the editors/writers can almost guarantee that their readers will “listen”. Why are we so impatient? So how do you get leaner? Lose body fat? Possibly reveal abs? Firstly, remove the notion that you need instant results, have to mirror the body of your “fitness hero”, or that you need to starve yourself. Accepting that it takes time will make it easier to accept not starving yourself, which will make it all the more enjoyable as you watch your nutrition improve and body transform. Demanding any change in our bodies requires patience and commitment – the kind of patience it takes to sit and watch grass grow it may seem. LOL. More seriously, making any change to our physical bodies requires changing what food we put in – leaner meats, copious amounts of vegetables, fruits; increasing our consumption of complex carbs. It’s very important to stay away from refined sugars and processed foods. Whilst it isn’t my practice to call any food “bad”, we still have to remain honest with what foods increase body fat, cause higher cholesterol and have an overall negative effect on our bodies if consumed in high quantities. On top of what we eat, our workouts should reflect our goals. Building lean muscle and losing body fat requires strength training in some form, whether lifting weights, power yoga classes, high intensity interval training or body weight training. All of the options listed will tax your muscles once you push until fatigued. It is in pushing until muscular fatigue that strength is built and lean muscle develops. Change does not come in our comfort zones. Workouts can include both isotonic (push-ups, squats, step-ups) and isometric (planks, wall squats, warrior pose) exercises. Whatever strength workout you choose ensure you increase the reps or workout time, or decrease the rest between sets as you get stronger to always remain “uncomfortable”, demanding muscle strength. When you remain brutally honest with all of your efforts, in the kitchen and gym alike, you can look at your results and accept what is occurring, making changes only when necessary. So, how do you get leaner? Lose body fat? Simply put, be patient, eat an overall healthy diet consisting of lean meats/proteins, veggies and complex carbs, remembering your goal always and not shying from a strength-training regime. As we go about this week if you are stressing about that stubborn body fat, remember we all have belly rolls when we bend over and no amount of fat makes you any less of an amazing person. Write down your goals, be patient with your body, be kind to yourself and remain honest with all your efforts. Your results are a direct reflection of your efforts (unless there is something medical is at play). Have a great Wednesday fitfam!


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