I meet with women all the time who make exercise a priority in there lives but have yet to see the miraculous changes they read about in magazines and see on Instagram from working out daily. I find this a lot and am asked time and time again. I want you to know that as much as exercising is important and you should not stop exercising any time soon, what you consume is more important to reaching your goals. Certain forms of exercising can help you reach your physique goals depending on what you want to focus on but for right now lets focus on your DIET..that’s right I said DIET.
With all the stress I have been going through with my Grandma’s passing and going back and forth from Las Vegas to Orange County I have been noticing a little budge in my stomach area. The thing is I have been keeping on point with my diet and exercise, it has been the stress and lack of sleep that added a little pudgy in my mid section. I know diet experts claim calories in calories out BUT I go above and beyond that because I know how eating dairy changes my digestive system, I know what eating a TON of sugar and crashing to eat MORE feels like and I sure as heck know what lack of sleep and tons of stress brings to my body..
I constantly get asked why belly fat won’t budge no matter what you do so here are 3 factors that relate to reducing belly fat and what you can do about it!
3 Steps to Slim Down Naturally
Cortisol stores body fat. While we all have stress in our lives there are ways to manage your stress. If you have a high stress job, you may need to consume your healthy fats to control your cortisol levels, learn how to use breathing patterns to relax your adrenals and skip caffeine, alcohol and high glycemic foods that stress your body out. I also suggest to clients who have high stress in their lives to focus less on cardio and more on strength training as cardio moves your cortisol upwards and if you have a TON of stress strength training might be your answer. I go through some techniques I used to reduce stress here
Not just found in candy and pastries, sugar is hidden in foods you would never think such as ketchup, salad dressings, low fat yogurts and granola. The healthy foods you are tricked into consuming may be harming you more than helping you. I suggest going through the foods you normally consume and checking the nutrition labels to see how much sugar you are truly consuming throughout the day. You may surprise yourself! I also find that many clients eat too many fruits throughout the day and limit their veggie intake, it is better to have a 5:1 ratio for weight loss. I talk about ways to reduce your sugar intake without DYING here
and go over the truth on WHY you need to stop eating sugar here.
: Yes, sleep affects body fat. You may think you are sleeping 8 hours, but are you getting that deep 8 hours of sleep or an actual deep 4 hours? When experts say SLEEP they mean hitting REM, it means actually sleeping and not just closing your eyes. I know how hard you want to hustle, I know you want a social life and I know that the stress of work can eat at you.. but if you REALLY want results you have TO SLEEP and sleep for 8 hours..yes 8 HOURS. You can learn more about my sleeping troubles and why you should nap here
. (P.S who else LOVED Arianna Huffington praising SLEEP? More naps please..)
The next thing to do is figure out where you are struggling diet wise, are you eating carbohydrates like rice, oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potatoes/yams at the right times, are you struggling to get enough lean proteins, are you eating enough healthy fats from nuts, seeds, fish and oils?
What Else Can I Do:
I usually suggest writing what you eat, portion sizes and timing out for 3-5 days. Try to do this on days that are normally set up so don’t record during the holidays or when you’re out of town. From there you can usually find a pattern, are you struggling with a sugar crash at around 4 PM? Are you eating a late night snack every night because dinner did not have enough healthy fats and vegetables (fiber) to keep you full before sleeping? Are you waking up early enough in the morning to prepare a healthy protein based breakfast?
Sometimes all it takes is a few switches, pre prepping your meals on a Sunday or whatever day you are free and planning out snacks to start seeing results. I created this meal planning guide to help you get out of your rut because I know how difficult it can be when you don’t plan..its like they always say FAIL to PLAN, PLAN to FAIL! Check out this post for more meal planning tips.
If you have a question please feel free to contact me or leave a comment below!
SO I wanna know..
- Do you store fat in odd places? My stomach is where I will gain if one of these three things is out of whack! SO unfair.