Top 10 Tips to Tone & Tighten your Waistline
The excess belly fat around your waistline can be a challenge to get rid of. With all the different diets advertised and weight loss trends it can be difficult to understand how to really decrease your body fat in a sustainable way. It took a lot of trial and error for me to really understand what healthy looks like and how to sustain it long term. While you can’t spot fat reduce in any particular area you can tone your waistline through a combination of healthy eating and a consistent workout regime. A few simple lifestyle tweaks with these 10 tips will help you lose the excess fat surrounding your waistline all while becoming a healthier you in the process.
1. CUT OUT SUGAR
Sodas, Energy Drinks, Fruit Juice and the list goes on, if you haven’t noticed sugar is in almost everything. A 12 oz can of Dr. Pepper alone has around 40 grams of sugar and is loaded with calories. The recommended daily consumption for sugar for women is 25 grams per day or 6 teaspoons and 36 grams or 9 teaspoons per day for men. So you can imagine how quickly that can add up and significantly impact your body. Swap out your soda for a Zevia instead which is a Sugar-Free, Calorie Free Soda that comes in a variety of flavors and tastes amazing! Choose beverages that are naturally flavored and when shopping keep an eye on contents of your items. A good rule of thumb is to do most of your shopping on the outskirts of the grocery store, this is generally where the healthier fresh foods are located and limit your time in the center aisles where all the processed foods reside. As you begin to slowly reduce your sugar intake you’ll begin to notice how much better your body will begin to look and feel.
2. GET THAT HEART RATE UP!
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that cardio makes your fat cry and in order to lose body fat you must incorporate some form of cardiovascular activity. With that being said you don’t need to be a slave to the treadmill. The best way to maximize your cardio sessions is to train with intention. Wear a heart rate monitor and keep track of how many calories you burn in each cardio session and log them. (I recommend the Garmin heart rate monitor watch. It comes in a variety of styles and is reasonably priced!) Aim to keep your heart rate around 75–85% of your maximum heart rate during the duration of your cardio session. You can do this by incorporating intervals into your training. Incorporating consistent cardio each week will keep your metabolism functioning optimally, reduce bloating, all while making you look and feel like the most amazing version of yourself in the process. Minor changes in the intensity of your cardio sessions will accelerate your metabolism and improve your overall health.
3. INTENSIFY YOUR WORKOUT
Intensify and boost your workouts by adding in L-Carnitine Supplementation. L-Carnitine is a derivative of an amino acid that is found naturally in the body that turns fat into energy. When incorporated with physical activity studies have shown an increase in muscle mass, decreased muscle soreness and injuries, decreased body fat, reduced fatigue and improved physical performance. L-Carnitine is most effective during exercise and comes in a liquid form in a variety of flavors that you can take right before you workout. My favorite flavor is vanilla, (MRM is a great brand to look out for) I usually take it right before I start my cardio, you can also mix it into your protein shake!
4. INCORPORATE LEAN PROTEIN
If you want to kiss those love handles goodbye one of the single most important ways is to up your protein intake. Try to incorporate some form of lean protein into each of your meals. Diets rich in protein boost your metabolism (due to its thermic effect), keep you fuller longer and helps maintain your weight and hormones. To optimize weight loss your diet should consist of about 1.2–1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Next time your craving something sweet grab your favorite protein powder, mix in a little bit of unsweetened almond milk, sprinkle in some cocoa powder and Stevia, throw it in a blender with ice & then freeze it. BAM! Delicious, guilt-free protein ice cream. (Dymatize is a great clean protein powder that is low in sugar, comes in a variety of flavors and tastes amazing!)
5. CUT OUT COFFEE CREAMERS
Start your day with a cup of black coffee and Stevia and try to avoid coffee drinks packed with calories that can easily add on a few hundred calories in a single drink. Many coffee creamers are filled with tons of sugar, oils and artificial flavors and even worse the serving size is usually around 1 tsp. Try adding in some healthy alternatives like almond milk, cinnamon, cocoa powder or caramel Stevia to your morning brew. Commit to making a small change in your daily routine and you’ll save a significant amount of calories with minimal effort.
6. USE PORTION CONTROL
Have you ever sat in front of the TV with a bag of your favorite chips and before you know it you look down and the whole bag is gone with nothing to show for it? To understand how much you should be eating you need to understand portions and nutrition labels. If you buy a bag of almonds and the serving size says 10, divide the bag up into 10 small zip lock bags ahead of time that way they are prepped and ready to go and you can avoid mindless eating. Meal prepping and preparing your meals ahead of time for the week ahead will not only teach you proper proportions it will keep you on track towards your weight loss goals and you’ll spend less money eating out.
7. AVOID HEAVY CONDIMENTS
Condiments can tend to be the culprit of weight gain. Heavy cream, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, ketchup and butter based sauces can quickly add up and are packed with calories and added sugars. Some great lighter alternatives are vinaigrette’s, hot sauce, yellow mustard, fresh salsa, homemade hummus or homemade guacamole. Walden Farms, Skinny Girl and Primal Kitchen are great salad dressing brands that come in a variety delicious flavors. Next time your eating out instead of ordering a meal that is heavy cream based opt for a lighter option like a meal with fresh tomato sauce or pesto instead.
8. UTILIZE FULL BODY MOVEMENTS
Get the most out of your workouts by incorporating compound movements which create a greater change in body composition in less time. Instead of going to the gym and working one particular muscle choose compound exercises which will work multiple muscle groups at one time. This will allow you to push through your workouts more intensely and provide a powerful full body workout which will result in more calories being burned in less amount of time.
9. STAY HYDRATED
Consistency is key in weight loss and drinking adequate amounts of water each day will ensure you are staying hydrated and only eating when your body is actually hungry. Water consumption needs can vary from person to person although a good rule of thumb is to aim to drink around 3-4 liters a day. Often times when we are feeling hungry it is really our body telling us we’re dehydrated. The next time you feel hungry drink 16 ounces of water before you eat, wait and see if your still hungry. Staying properly hydrated will also ensure that your lymphatic system is working well. The lymphatic system’s primary function is cleansing the body of toxins, preventing infection and creating a stronger reactive immune response.
10. NEUROLOGICAL RESPONSES
Weight loss and self control are two peas in a healthy pod. Weight loss success comes with developing an awareness of your trigger foods and cravings and training the mind to respond differently to them. Studies have shown that people who practice self control have greater success in weight loss and keeping it off long term. Neurological responses can trigger the mind to think you need whatever it is craving. Over time the longer we go without certain foods those neurological responses become less and less. Control the mind, control the body. The body will achieve whatever the mind believes it can do!
While your on the journey to a healthier lifestyle remember to be kind to yourself and your body. This is sometimes easier said than done when we are trying to lose those extra pounds. Keep track of your progress, log your workouts and take progress pictures each week to monitor your progress and keep your motivation levels high. Aim to set small attainable goals each week and you’ll slowly begin to see your small goals chipping away at your larger long-term goals. Embrace and enjoy the process of becoming healthy, have an accountability partner to keep you on track and you will be much happier on your journey to becoming the absolute best version of yourself!
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