Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Awesome Abs, Part 1

Here is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from my clients:

How do I lose the love handles and get awesome abs?

For the record, these are not my abs :)

Although we know we are fabulous just the way we are, there are always going to be areas that we would like to improve.  For our health and to feel more confident.

That is totally cool in my books.  We should strive to be our best as long as we don't let it control our lives.

So, why should you sculpt your stomach? 

Waist To Hip Ratio
Excess weight around the middle carries health risk such as heart disease.  What you want is to have a good waist to hip ratio.

To find out yours, measure the narrowest part or your waist (just above the belly button) and the widest part of your hips (around the buttocks).  Now, divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.

Women =  less than 0.85
Men = less than 0.9

If that number is higher than the values above, it would benefit your health to lose some weight around your middle.

How do you do it?

Unfortunately, you don't get to decide where the body uses fat for fuel, it takes it from the area that is most readily available.  The good news is that the abdominal area tends to be just that place for most people.

A combination of cardiovascular fitness and weight training is the key to fire up your fat stores.  I am talking about the whole body here.  Increasing muscle mass helps you burn more calories and that is exactly what we want for weight loss.

Of course you can include some core exercises into your program, but you want to make sure you are getting a full body workout.  Interval circuit training is a great way to do this.

Anyone with a six pack did not get there through exercise alone.   The abdoninmals are a very large group of muscle and they need to be fueled with proper nutrition like lean protein, fibrous veggies and whole grains.

Eating this way not only helps you trim your middle, but it improves your overall health.

Next week I will give some specific diet and exercise suggestions to help you whittle your waist!

Have you ever checked your waist to hip ratio? What do your think of your middle?

Stay Healthy,

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