Let’s do two things today – both of which mean just that: You will have to DO something. First some soul-searching (in a helpful sort of way) then some Abdominal Exercises. Gosh, you’re in for a really fun day!
First, some soul-searching.
Tired of gaining weight? Of course you are – none of us enjoy it when the number on our scale begins to climb. So why are you gaining that extra weight now?
That is a valid and frustrating question. And the answer is often found in recent changes in your life.
According to Edward Abramson, Ph.D. the author of Emotional Eating, “Any change in your life circumstances can produce changes in eating and exercise, which leads to weight gain.”
Let’s dive into the major changes in your life that have caused that annoying weight gain…
Life’s Fat Traps: We all gain weight for different reasons. You often hear about one-size-fits-all weight loss solutions that take little or no consideration of how the extra weight piled up in the first place. To experience true weight loss it is important to understand why you gained it in the first place.
Think back to the time in your life when your weight was just right. Were you in your teens? Your twenties? Or maybe your thirties? Picture yourself as you were at your ideal weight. Now when did things change? Was it a gradual addition of pounds that accumulated over a span of multiple years? Or did you gain it all at once?
Check out the following weight gain triggers and determine which one is responsible for your plight.
College: The college years are some of the easiest for gaining weight. In fact, a recent study by Cornell University found that on average, college freshman gain about 0.5 pounds a week – almost 11 times more than the average weight gain among 17-and 18-year olds and almost 20 times more than the average weight gain among American adults.
Marriage: There’s nothing like holy matrimony to encourage a barrage of calories to overtake your diet. Late night comfort snacks are always more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with—and who better than the person who pledged to stick by your side through sickness and health?
Pregnancy: Talk about a great time to gain weight! And we’re not just talking about women here—many men admit that they gained ‘sympathy’ pounds right along with their wife. Hormonal changes along with strong encouragement from everyone you know to indulge in anything their heart desires leave most pregnant women with a feeling of entitlement when it comes to food.
Career: Though you may not realize it, your career choice plays a major hand in your weight. Those who go from an active lifestyle to spending 8 hours a day behind a desk and another 2 hours commuting almost universally gain weight. Conversely, people who spend their 8 hours in constant motion find weight loss a natural byproduct of the job.
New Habits: Close your eyes and go back to the fat trap that triggered your weight gain. What changed in your lifestyle?
Now then. To help sort things out, I’ve broken things down into two specific behavioral categories.
1. Eating Habits: Did your eating pattern change at this time in your life? If your weight gain occurred in college then maybe you went from eating 3 square meals to an all-you-can-eat buffet style cafeteria. Or if marriage was your weight gain trigger, then maybe you went from eating small meals to fattening comfort food. Pregnancy brings on the perfect environment for a change in eating habits. You go from eating normally, to eating ‘for two’, to munching on your baby’s snacks right along with the little critter! Your job can also dictate your eating schedule. Long hours and early meetings may cause you to grab a donut or chips from the vending machine.
2. Activity Level: The second category that leads to weight gain is your activity level. Simply put, what kind of exercise were you doing before your life changing event and how does it compare to your current exercise regime? Chances are good that you were doing more exercise before your weight gain began—which means that you are doing less exercise today! Go ahead, think back to the exercises or physical activities that you used to do and compare them to your schedule today.
Your Transformation: You’ve figured out which fat trap in your life led to weight gain, and then narrowed down the exact behaviors that changed as a result, so this naturally leads us to a solution.
It’s time to make a change.
Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will make you immune to all of life’s fat traps.
Once you start working with me, those numbers on your scale will quickly change direction. Let’s do this!
OK, now for the Ab exercises.
AH, THE ABS!
The athletes I work with know that just because those crunches won’t reduce your body fat, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strengthen your abdominal muscles. Regular ab exercises are an essential part of your strength and conditioning – necessary in order to get that fit physique you want.
Meaning, simply, that you’ll have something nice to look at when the tummy fat goes away.
Here are three of the best critters for toning those abs –
Plank: Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
One key element in planks is to be sure to release all your tension between repetitions. Your muscles benefit from the release and re-tightening more than if you just keep the tension between reps.
Knee Tucks: Start on your back, bend your knees into your chest, point your toes together, and open knees out to the sides, keeping toes touching. Extend both arms overhead on either side of your ears, palms facing up. Lift your hips off the floor and bring your knees up towards your armpits. Slowly lower your hips back down to start position. Repeat for 12-15 reps.
One-Arm Full Sit Ups: Start lying on your back with your right knee bent, foot flat on the floor, and left leg extended straight out on the floor. Extend your right arm to the ceiling and reach your left arm towards your left foot. Sit all the way up, rolling through your back, keeping your right foot on the floor, and your right arm up over your shoulder and your left arm reaching in front of you all the way up. Slowly roll back down to the floor. That’s one rep. Repeat 15 times on one side, 15 times on the other. For an extra challenge hold a kettlebell in your extended arm.
If this feels like to much at first, simply treat it as a crunch, bringing your left hand to your left knee.