Hi everybody! At www.kiana.com, our in-box is full with health and fitness email questions, the most common is regarding losing excess fat around the midsection. Good news and not so good news: “The first place you want to lose fat, is typically the last place it comes off.” However, there are ways to speed up the process of losing excess fat, especially around the stomach area.
The battle to reduce excess fat in the midsection or anywhere for that matter is 3 fold:
Strength training, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition.
1. Burn more calories than you consume. In other words, eat less (but nutrient dense, healthy foods: not junk foods) and exercise more. Tip: Exercise first thing in the morning. You not only feel accomplished, you make better choices throughout the day and you will burn more calories all day long.
3. Monounsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, olives and flax seeds help prevent fat from “sticking” around your midsection. Tip: I keep a bag of healthy nuts in my gym bag, car and purse. They make a crunchy, healthy snack that my whole family loves.
4. Eat leaner proteinsas they burn more calories for your body to digest than simple carbohydrates and fats. Try to eat egg whites instead of the whole egg, skinless chicken breasts, lean meats. Tip: I like to hard boil eggs. They are a convenient way to increase lean protein and separate the yolk from the egg white.
5. Increase the amount of cardiovascular exercise you get to 3-4 times per week, 30 minutes per session in your fat burning zone. Priority train. If you love cardio. such as running and enjoy the runners high, save it for after weight training. Do the most challenging exercises first and save your “favorites” for the end as a fun way to finish off your workout. For me, I love to jump rope. I do this at the end of my workout and do the exercises I enjoy the least first.
6. Eat complex carbohydrates and whole grains. Stay away from white, refined/processed breads and foods. Whole grains can help burn fat around the midsection as they keep your insulin levels lower. Tip: Teach yourself to enjoy the textures of whole grains. They are much more interesting and delicious than the sticky, gooey refined foods that stick to your middle.
7. Sleep at least 7.5 hours per night as studies show that less sleep increases the “hungry hormone”. Tip: To encourage relaxation, I keep our master bedroom in neutral earth tones of cream, tan, chocolate and mocha leopard print. Lots of relaxing candles, no work related items, deep cleansing breaths, only the sound of the waves.
8. Quick fix to look thinner: improve your posture. Pull abs in and up. Shoulders back and down. Easy! Try it now as you sit at the computer!
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Kiana Spoke on behalf of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness