Mistakes You’re Making When Trying To Lose Belly Fat

Mistakes You’re Making When Trying To Lose Belly Fat

We’re on a journey to self-improvement, and we all have specific parts of the bodies we’re trying to work on. Some women want lean, long legs, some want a firm booty. Most women tell me they want to lose belly fat instead.

Belly fat is a common problem for women. Many ladies want to burn the fat in their lower abs and love handles. If you want to slim down, but you’re struggling to lose belly fat, keep reading. These problems might be holding you back:  

Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

Eating when you’re hungry is essential to a healthy, lean body. Being hungry is never any fun! But, it is so, so easy to eat mindlessly when you’re bored, stressed, or binge-watching Gilmore Girls (please don’t try to follow their eating habits!).

When you think you’re hungry,stop yourself.  Drink some water,preferably a full 16-20 ounces, and then re-evaluate your stomach cravings in 15 minutes. If you’re still hungry, pick something healthy to snack on. Here are a few easy, healthy snacks to go for:

  • Chopped bell peppers
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • One apple and two tablespoonsof natural peanut butter
  • Mini carrots or celery slices with hummus
  • Nuts but be careful asthese can really increase calories without realizing. 
  • Beachbars or Shakeology

Here’s one tip: Portion out what you’re going to eat ahead of time. That entire bag of pretzels in front of you won’t close itself!  Also, keep snacks prepped and ready to grab and go. So much of our success comes down to preparation.

You’re hydrating with the wrong thing — alcohol.

In my experience, a little extra stomach fat and drinking lots of alcohol often go hand in hand. Alcohol is full of empty calories that will never fill you up. Plus, we all know it often leads to that mindless snacking we talked about already.

It isn’t just the extra calories with alcohol that contribute to belly fat. The infamous “beer belly”is real. Alcohol impacts your midsection more than the rest of your body.  If you are doing great all week long but spend the weekend drinking, you are going to stay in the circle of not getting the results you are looking for.

You are using creams or wraps to lose belly fat and want it gone now.

Girlfriend, hold the eff up!  Creams, wraps, body sprays, they will never work to get rid of fat.  You must eliminate grains, processed foods, and sugar if you truly want to get that killer 6 pack. 

And as far as timing…..

Want a flatter stomach in 3 days or even a week? Weight loss and creating a lean body takes time and patience. Remember, Victoria Secret models train and watch their diets every single day, not just for a short period of time.

I understand the desire to change your body quickly. Seeing physical changes is so exciting! Unfortunately, expecting quick results can just slow you down. It is easy to get discouraged when you don’t see the fat falling off after a few days. Stick with it! You can do it!  You will have times when you lose weight but not inches and weeks where you lose inches but no pounds.  Keep going, it is not a fast process.  Those who lose super fast almost always gain it back.

You’re doing the wrong exercises for belly fat.

You guys know I love my cardio as it is so great for leaning out your legs and keeping a slimmer look. But doing cardio only will not get rid of belly fat. 

To get rid of belly fat, you need to do resistance training.  Stop being afraid of weights.  You will not bulk up.  You will burn a crap ton more calories as muscles burns far more calories than fat. Any type of resistance training helps (even if it’s on the lighter side,such as Pilates). But generally, HIIT combined with Lifting gets the quickest results. I have an awesome workout you can try at home here.In my personal experience, high intensity cardio such as Zumba or kickboxing also helps a lot.

I also make sure to include ab exercises in my workout routines. Some people say that they don’t need to do abwork to see definition (and this can be true if your workouts consist of heavy lifting and Crossfit). But I prefer to do ab exercises because:

  • Ab workouts can help improve your posture.  When our core is weak, it leads to our pelvis rotating and glute muscles not firing correctly.  This leads to low back pain and hip issues.  Not fun.
  • Ab workouts target more than just abs without even realizing it

Working on your abs also helps to increase your flexibility.

You don’t have a nutrition plan.

Why am I mentioning food again?  Because it is that damn importnatn.  ?
When you eat foods that turn to sugar once digested, guess where that is going to rest in your body?  Yup….belly. Also legs and hips but really for the belly.

Eliminating processed foods is the easiest way to achieve great results. This is truly the key to getting rid of your stomach fat and getting flat abs. Major key components I teach all my clients:

  • Eating enough for your body type and activity level.
  • Eating only when you are hungry
  • Eating healthy, whole foods
  • Eating veggies with every single meal
  • Drinking water before each meal
  • Once you finish dinner, do not go back in the kitchen to snack.  Dinner means done.

You’re positive it is really fat, not bloat.

If your stomach only seems bigger at the end of the day, after a big meal, or on your period, you might not have stomach fat to lose. Instead, you might just be bloated.

Bloating affects everybody at some point in their lives. Here are some things to do when your stomach is is bloated:

  • Drink lots of water! Eating a lot of salt and sugar throughout the day often leads to a bloated stomach in the evening. Just keep in mind that your stomach expands with too much water intake as well.
  • If you are new to healthy eating, sometimes your body can react negatively for a few days or a week. Try portioning your fresh food throughout the day, so you aren’t eating it all at once.  Keep your fiber and water balanced together.
  • Write down what you’re eating to see what’s causing your bloat. Some foods, especially beans and lentils, can cause bloating. Try to limit those foods, especially the day of a big event!
  • Poop….we all do it but some of us don’t do it regularly.  If your gut health is poor and you are not able to absorb nutrients the way your body needs, it will fight back with constipation, bloating and gas.  The first step in all of my programs is a cleaning phase.  Restoring gut health and create a system that ignites your metabolism.
  • Hormones, especially excessive estrogen.  Women carry excess estrogen right in the middle section.  I use a couple different supplements and adaptogen herbs to lower my estrogen levels.  We also cover this in great detail to get you on the road to success.
  • Exercise. Seriously, light exercise can really help with digestion and bloating. 

Losing belly fat requires a healthy lifestyle, so it won’t happen overnight. To get the best results, make sure you’re eating healthy food, exercising properly, and drinking lots of water. You CAN reach your goals!

Think about everything that goes in your mouth and keep a diary of it. Monitor how each food affects you and if it causes bloating, gas,etc.  The most important piece that helps me is being held accountable.  It all comes down to doing the best practices every single day!  You can do this, and I am here to help you!

Why is Corn Unhealthy?

Corn, a staple of the American diet, isn’t looking so golden anymore. Here, read about the kernels of truth.

Made into chips, it’s the perfect salsa partner. Popped, it’s movie-magic in a bag. And cooked in its most natural form, on the cob, it’s one of the great tastes of summer. It’s hard to imagine life without corn. But should we?

For starters, corn’s inherent starchy sweetness can be a problem for anyone hoping to maintain a six-pack. Nutritionist Haylie Pomroy considers it her go-to food if an actor client needs to gain weight fast for a role. And like wheat, corn has been subjected to hybridizing and genetic modification (the altering of an organism’s DNA) over the years. This doctoring has increased yields and pest-resistance, one reason corn is so pervasive in our food system, but it’s also made it more likely to cause weight gain and potential disease.

“The corn we have today is not like what we saw 200 years ago or 10,000 years ago, it’s been hybridized and genetically modified and this creates changes within the corn and also changes how our bodies handle the corn,” says Dr. Terry Wahls, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and founder of The Wahls Foundation. Here, the nutritionist and the scientist sound off on why you should sideline this ubiquitous staple:

What The Nutritionist Says: Haylie Pomroy

Corn’s natural ingredients can make it a diet foe
Corn is easy to overeat since it gets paired with fats like butter for popcorn and guacamole for chips. But it also contains lectins, proteins that can interfere with leptin, your feel-full hormone. If leptin isn’t functioning properly you’re more likely to overeat. That’s why corn is added to lots of packaged foods to stimulate cravings. It also contains the phytonutrient phytate, which can prevent proper absorption of iron, as well as zinc and selenium, which can lower thyroid function.

Corn is what we feed livestock to fatten them up
Corn is naturally sweet but today’s corn is practically a bucket of sugar. It’s become so refined and hybridized—even the organic corn—that the rate of sugar delivery is intensified, so it’s even more likely to cause an insulin spike that encourages your body to store fat. Farmers feed cows corn before slaughter to increase fat marbling; not exactly what you want for your body.

It can cause allergies
Corn is often a hidden ingredient; it can act as a binder in your salad dressing or even your vitamins, which can lead to allergies. Some people react to corn like they do pollen; the body creates histamines and they easily feel bloated. Watch out for ingredients like cornstarch, vegetable glycerin, maltodextrin, and artificial sweeteners like xylitol and maltitol.

What The Scientist Says: Dr. Terry Wahls

Today’s corn contains more pesticide, less nutrition
The biotech company Monsanto engineered their genetically modified corn to have a tolerance for herbicides like Roundup. Plus the amount of Roundup that’s put on these corn crops has also dramatically increased over time. Roundup, among other things, kills other plants and weeds by binding up the minerals in the soil. As the soil becomes less healthy and robust, the nutritional content of the corn decreases and pesticide exposure increases. 

GMO corn can wreak havoc on your health
New genes inserted into corn result in new proteins that our bodies haven’t seen before, which changes how our cells respond. Instead of recognizing it as corn and seeing it as safe, it sets off an alarm response in the body. This causes a number of problems — food sensitivities, changes to the bacteria in our gut, and confused hormone signaling in the body. Whenever you confuse hormone signaling in unpredictable ways, it’s going to lead to disease. You will have more of a tendency toward obesity, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian disease, erectile dysfunction, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

Before you prepare that next batch of corn on the cob, ask yourself if it is really worth the health risk.

To learn more about Terry Wahls and The Wahls Foundation, click here.

Healthy Summer Snacks

Summer time is a fun filled time with barbecues, baseball games, pool time, and beach fun.  Grabbing a bunch of processed snacks to hit the road is less than healthy and can get expensive.  Here are some great snacks for the whole family to enjoy without feeling guilty.

Cucumber and Apples

I love to chop up pink lady apples and cucumbers and store them in a baggie or container so the flavors mix together.  It gives a great compliment to both fruits.

 

Greek Yogurt PB Dip and Apples 

Combine your favorite greek yogurt with either Peanut Butter or PB Powder and serve with red and green apple slices.

  • 1 6 oz. container of Greek Yogurt (plain, honey, or vanilla is best)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of natural Peanut Butter, plain or crunchy
  • If you want to add a little more flavor: add honey, vanilla, or cinnamon.

Chickpea and Avocado Salad

My family loves this dip and we eat with celery, bell peppers or pita chips.  Mix all together and enjoy!

  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas, or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • Zest of 1 lime and juice of 4 limes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (for less heat, remove the seeds)
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 avocado, coarsely chopped

 

Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 110 g
  • 1 cup puffed brown rice cereal I prefer Arrowhead Mills brand which you can find at most health food stores for about $3/bag., 20 g
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chopped almonds 80 g
  • 1/2 cup roasted and unsalted pumpkin seeds 80 g
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup medjool dates packed, (9-10 dates 195 g) , pitted
  • 1/3 cup honey 60 ml
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter 100 g
  • 1 TB pure vanilla extract homemade

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: rolled oats, puffed brown rice, chopped almonds, pumpkin seeds, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Place the pitted dates in a food processor bowl, or you can do this step with a knife but it will require more time. Slowly pulse the dates, pausing between pulses, until the dates are chopped into pieces. Ideally the dates shouldn’t form a ball, but if this happens you can separate the dates into smaller pieces with your hands. Add the dates to the dry ingredients, and then combine the ingredients with your hands (it helps to wet your hands first!). The mixture should feel sticky once the dates are incorporated in the dry mixture.
  3. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the honey and peanut butter. Stir the honey and peanut butter until smooth and creamy. You may need to use a whisk to combine the ingredients. Turn off the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract (yes, 1 tablespoon).
  4. Pour the sticky honey and peanut butter over the dry ingredients. Stir to combine the ingredients, making sure the honey and peanut butter covers all the dry ingredients.
  5. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. Press the granola down into the pan. I like to use the back of a measuring cup (you’ll want to wet the back of the measuring cup first) to level the top of the granola and make sure it’s packed tight in the baking dish.
  6. Freeze the granola bars for 30 minutes. Remove the granola bars from the freezer and cut into even bars. Place the bars in a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze the granola bars until you’re ready to enjoy. I like to pull a granola bar from the freezer, and let it warm up at room temperature for about 1 minute before enjoying.

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies 

Ingredients

  • 8 TB butter softened
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose einkorn flour whole wheat pastry flour may work for a substitute.
  • 1 cup shredded carrots about 2 medium-large carrots
  • 1 cup finely chopped apples I like sweet apples: Fuji, Gala, Jonagold., about 1 large apple
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-mixer (you can also use a large bowl and wooden spoon), on medium speed with the paddle attachment, beat together the honey and butter until creamy. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, until the eggs are incorporated into the butter/honey mixture.
  3. Now it’s time to add the remaining ingredients: rolled oats, einkorn flour, shredded carrots, chopped apple, chopped pecans, shredded coconut, ground cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Over low speed, combine the ingredients until the dough is wet and sticky.
  4. Scoop the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet. I use an ice cream scooper to create the perfect size cookies. Dust the back of a spoon with flour or grease with coconut oil or butter. Flatten the cookies (versus just a round ball of dough) with the back of the spoon.
  5. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with extra shredded coconut, if desired. Allow to cool before serving.

 

Fruits and Sliced Veggies are always a huge hit and can be taken pretty much anywhere.  Have fun and let your kids make kabobs for easy carrying and quick projects to keep little ones busy.

Hope you enjoy these and would love to know your thoughts on what your favorite go to snack is in the summer.