Are you feeling frustrated because no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to lose that extra weight around your middle? We have clients who come in and say that one of their goals is to get rid of the “belly pooch.” While you may often hear that its as simple as calories in calories out, there are a lot of factors that can affect how your body stores and burns fat, such as diet, stress, sleep, muscle mass, and more! Let’s dive in to some of the details.

WHAT CAUSES A “BELLY”?

There are a few things that can be causing your middle to be more prominent than you’d like:

  1. WEAK OR SEPARATED ABDOMINAL MUSCLES (DIASTASIS RECTI)

Our outer abdominal muscles (the 6-pack muscles we think about) do many things, including hold our organs inside our belly. When our ab muscles are weak or have been stretched or separated from child birth or overstraining, they are no longer holding in those organs. This can cause the appearance of a belly or gut even if there is minimal fat present.

Photo: Before and after healing diastasis recti.SOLUTION: This can be fixed with learning proper pressure management and breathing, and with consistent exercises that focus on bringing your ab muscles back together. Posture is also important here. Sign up for our Core & Pelvic Floor class to learn more.

2. BLOATING

When we have inflammation and poor gut health, we can get a lot of excess bloating, which can visibly change the appearance of our midsection. For women, menstrual cycles can also affect bloating.

SOLUTION: Gut health is so important for reducing inflammation, bloating, and feeling more energized overall. The gut is sometimes called the “second brain.” We have lots of options to help you optimize your gut health. Speak with us today! And see our blog post on inflammation.

3. SUBCUTANEOUS FAT

This is fat that lies under your skin on top of your muscle (as opposed to visceral fat, which is around your organs). This is that excess weight (or “extra fuel”as my midwife so kindly called it after I had my son).SOLUTION: This one is where it gets complicated, as each of us has a different body composition, and we burn fat in different ways. If you are interested in getting rid of that last 5-10 lbs around your middle, let’s meet for a one-on-one consultation to find the program that is going to work best for you. Sign up here. That being said, below are some general guidelines.

As we age, it gets harder to maintain our weight or lose weight. Why? Because over time, our muscle mass naturally decreases. In fact, after age 60, even if you maintain your current diet and exercise regimen, you will gain about a pound every year. This is due to the natural loss of muscle mass over time. So, as you age, you actually need to do more weight training and eat more protein to stay healthy. This is one reason we love power plate! It makes building muscle easier to do!

A trainer I know likes to say “Abs are made in the kitchen.” What does that mean? It means that no matter how much you train and how strong you are, if you aren’t eating the right things, you won’t see those ab muscles, even if they are there hiding under that belly fat! Having the right nutrition program is essential. Contact us to get connected with the right nutrition for your body.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK?

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: FOCUSING ON THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE. WHY?

1 LB OF MUSCLE VS. 1 LB FATMuscle is more dense than fat. What does this mean? It means as you get stronger and replace fat with muscle, the number on the scale may not move, and may actually increase. You could be burning a lot of fat and not seeing the scale move at all.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: SPOT TRAINING. WHY?

Our body stores extra calories and energy as fat. We do not get any say over where our body stores that fat. In the same way, when we burn fat, we don’t get any say over where our body takes it from. Sorry! It doesn’t work that way. So, while we want to work on our core to make it stronger and build more muscle, focusing solely on our core is not going to guarantee we lose any fat from our waist. (It WILL help with the ab separation we mentioned though!)

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: FOCUSING ON HOW YOU LOOK. WHY?

I know this one is touchy, but hear me out. When you make your outcome the way you look, you will likely end up frustrated, disappointed, and feel like you aren’t making any progress, EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE! You are getting stronger, you are decreasing fat around your organs, you are improving bone density, blood flow, blood sugar regulation, hormone regulation, cardiovascular endurance, increased energy and more. When we make the way we look the only outcome, we miss all of the important gains we ARE making, and end up quitting because we haven’t seen any “change.” I am not saying you won’t ever see a change in the way your body looks. I am saying let’s not make that the primary goal we are working towards, but instead, work towards getting stronger and healthier, and our physique will follow.

WHAT TO FOCUS ON INSTEAD:

  1. Make sure you are getting enough protein
  2. Get enough sleep and reduce your stress
  3. Focus on building muscle (which might mean lifting more weight). 
  4. Learn proper pressure management –  how to breathe properly and maintain good posture

If you would like to learn more about each of these topics above, we are diving into them this June with our 30 Day Healthy Summer Jumpstart Challenge! 
This 30 day program includes 5 weekly zoom training calls with our amazing group of professionals, goal setting, accountability calls, and a Ready Set Wellness bundle of yummy products. 

SUMMER JUMPSTART CHALLENGE ZOOM CALLS (1:00 PM EASTERN):

June 1Gut Health with Suzanne Jeffreys, Certified Health Coach and Nutrition Therapist

June 8Stress Management with Sarah Dant, Owner of Fit For You and Golf Instructor & Lydia Dant, Certified Personal Trainer and Masters in Public Health 

June 15Sleep with Charmin Good, Owner of Inside Out Fitness and Life Coach

June 22Stretching, Weights and Bone Density with Dr. Kathy Hoeft, Doctor of Physical Therapy

June 29Recovery and Supplementing with all Coaches

The price of this challenge is $199 and that includes the customized products and training. Don’t miss out on this offer to jump start your healthy summer!

Sign Me Up for the Summer Jumpstart!

A few important things to remember as we close:

  1. Nutrition is not one size fits all. To see results, it is important to speak with one of our experts to make sure you have the right program for your body.
  2. Women need a higher percentage of body fat than men to stay healthy. “For people 40 to 59, women should fall between 23% to 33% and men should fall around 11% to 21%. If you’re aged 60 to 79, women should have 24% to 35% body fat and men should have 13% to 24%.”(1)
  3. The most important thing to remember is that your weight, your looks, and even your health do not dictate your worth. You are a beautifully created soul who brings value and light to the world with your life and presence. Nothing can change that. 
  4. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Lydia Dant 10:15 AM (0 minutes ago) to me