Why You are Exercising and Still Not Able to Lose the Belly

e_may_photo_1Are you in the same boat as one of my clients? She tells me, “all I really need to do is lose this little bit of weight from my stomach. I went to the gym but the trainer wasn’t able to help me.” I blame her trainer for saying that she could spot reduce belly fat.

That would be the most amazing thing ever. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. You can tone muscles and strength training does boost your metabolism but you cannot exercise fat away from a particular spot. In order to see the stomach muscles you need to reduce overall.

Weight loss is 70 – 80 % food related, that is where your eating plan comes into play. Take a look at what you are eating. One of my favorite tools is a food and mood diary. You write down what you are eating, what your mood is, what your hunger level is and where you are when you eat.

I’m sure a lot of you are cringing right now because you don’t want to write your food down. It smacks of diet and tediousness. The thing is if you don’t write it down you tend to forget and have what I call food amnesia. The 3 pm snack and the foods we pick on while making dinner go into the abyss of our memories.

What I like about the food/mood diary is that you see what your eating patterns are. Does what you’re eating change when you’re in a good or bad mood? What foods helped you have an amazing run or a great workout? If you didn’t sleep well maybe it was something you had before bedtime. (Red wine close to bedtime gives me some freaky dreams).

Knowing a pattern can help you break bad ones or make good patterns habits. I know when I’m stressed I will reach for chocolate. Knowing this lets me take a breath and figure out if what I really need is a good workout or some deep breathing to make me feel better. When one of my other clients is stressed she reaches for crunchy/salty. She either takes a time out or grabs carrots and hummus to snack on. It’s still crunchy and a bit salty but way better for her.

Need help figuring out what foods work best for you? I have five spots open this month for a 30 minute consultation. To arrange a complimentary consultation send me an email at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com.