Don’t believe everything you see on TV. Though many infomercials suggest otherwise, fat is lost throughout the body — not just in one trouble area. You CANNOT train a certain part of your body to reduce fat in that one area. Yes, your body shape and composition (muscle to fat ratio) is dependent on many factors, including age, gender, hormones and good ‘ole genetics. However, women tend to hold most of their weight in their midsection, hips and thighs. Call it a blessing or call it a curse. No matter how you look at it, try to see the whole picture when trying to drop body fat.
Let’s blast through the three easiest — and sure-fire — ways to reduce body fat:
1. Healthy eating and smart supplementing: I consider supplementing a fundamental part of training to lower body fat. Diet supplements and fat burners are formulated specifically to assist your body in metabolizing fat more efficiently.* Some supplements may even help to sustain energy levels during your workouts, so you can endure longer and push a little harder.* Ever heard “abs are made in the kitchen”? Your food choices do play a large role in your body composition, particularly in belly fat. Beer guts are real — even for women — so indulge sparingly, control portions and eat a colorful serving of fruits and veggies every day.
Fit & filling meal idea: Try this satisfying Colorful Red Quinoa Salad, with healthy greens, filling quinoa and creamy avocado (a good source of healthy fat).
2. Regular cardio: I suggest enjoying a brisk walk most days of the week — preferably outdoors. You’ll soak up some natural vitamin D, get a breath of fresh air and will burn some calories all at once! For rainy days, or when you just don’t have a lot of time, invest in low-cost cardio accessories, such as a jump rope and a stop watch. Jumping rope will get your heart rate up to the optimal fat-burning zone, while the stop watch will let you track intervals. Interval training is when you alternate going all out for a period of time (60 seconds) and going slow for a recovery period (30 seconds), then repeating as many times as you can. Cardio intervals have been shown to burn more calories and increase your aerobic capacity.
3. Split-day strength training: Get over whatever fears you might have about lifting weights — because if you expect to drop body fat, you better expect to strength train. More lean muscle mass means less body fat. It’s a simple formula but one that is often overlooked. You must train to build muscle all over in order to successfully increase lean muscle mass. Now, this does NOT mean you need to be lifting weights every single day. This would actually reverse your progress and ultimately make you burn through muscle. Your body needs rest, which is why I recommend a split-day schedule. Strength train every other day or even every two days to guarantee your body has recovered enough to take on the next workout.
Jennifer Nicole Lee is an international fitness model, best-selling author and motivational speaker who has appeared on Oprah, CBS The Early Show, Inside Edition, E! Entertainment and Fox and Friends. She is the author of the The Fun Fit Foodie Cookbook and was named one of the “Three Top Females in the Fitness Industry” of 2011 by Yahoo Sports. Check out her health and fitness tip videos exclusively on the Vitacost Blog.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.