Q&A WITH THE FITNESS DIVA
This is Part II of how to turn your keg into a six pack. Enjoy!
Tip #3: Cut your carbs. We as a society are crazy about carbs—either we avoid them like the plague or consume them in excess. If you are overweight (or even obese), chances are, you enjoy a high-carb diet. If you were to simply cut down on your carbohydrate consumption, you’d be surprised at how quickly the pounds would fall off (and reveal that washboard hidden beneath). Try eliminating the heaviest carbs first: pasta, bread (including bagels), white rice, refined carbs, etc. Some healthier choices are nuts, seeds, veggies, and even some low sugar fruits like strawberries. This small act alone will jump-start your fat loss journey.
Tip #4: Feed your muscle. If you work out hard and don’t consume enough protein, your muscles won’t adequately recover. If you eat only protein and no carbohydrates then you face a similar issue. Your nutrition needs to be balanced. You only need a small portion of protein and healthy carbs every few hours to keep your metabolism humming and your blood sugar stabilized. Each person differs on the amount of grams of protein and carbs, as well as how frequently they need to eat. You should never feel full (from overeating), nor should you ever feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous from lack of food/calories. You should feel satisfied. In the beginning you may feel hungry because your stomach is used to larger quantities of food, but eventually it will adjust to the smaller portions.
Tip #5: Incorporate some cardio. I know the first thing people think of when they think of slashing fat—cardio! And lots of it. I’m here to tell you no—and that is why it is last on my list. Cardio is for exactly that—cardiovascular health. It strengthens your heart (as well as a slew of other health benefits). It does play a small role in weight loss, but that doesn’t mean that it is strictly burning body fat the entire time that you are doing it. Most of the time we are burning off “sugar” first—meaning carbohydrates. After we burn through that, our body can either attack the fat or eat away at the muscle—it depends on the duration and exertion of the effort. Sometimes the weight we lose is from muscle loss—not body fat. I like to incorporate cardio for strengthening the heart, bolstering the immune system, increasing oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, etc. and leave the diet and weight training to being the responsible parents of fat dissolution. This is my personal view, however. You can do cardio ‘till the cows come home and still just be a smaller, flabby form of your former self, or you can eat right, lift weights, and incorporate modest amounts of cardio to help shed unwanted body fat, build leaner muscle, and create a strong body to be proud of.
These are just some tips that will help you jump start your weight-loss program and help to reveal that hidden six-pack underneath. Remember to always check with your physician first if you have any health issues, contraindications, are taking medications, etc. before embarking on a fitness and nutritional program. .
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One- On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a certified personal trainer and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email Crystal@PinkIslandFit ness.com. She can also be reached at www. PinkIslandFitness.com or www.101FIT.com and (239) 333-5771.