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how to lose your jelly belly

Postby kate_turner2000 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:52 am

found this article at ninemsn.com.au and thought it was a good read
Lose your jelly belly now!
Most people have issues with their jelly belly. No matter how hard they try to get rid of it, that fat pouch around their lower stomach stubbornly stays put. So how can you get it to budge, minus the gruelling, celebrity-worthy, work-out regime? With a little bit of exercise, a simple food plan and lots of clever tips, you'll have a flatter stomach in no time.
Beating the bulge

It's an unfortunate fact of life that as we age, we get thicker around the middle. This is partly due to changes in weight distribution, but it's also because a certain type of fat — visceral fat — becomes more prominent as we get older and collects around our organs. This fat is potentially dangerous if it gets out of control and can cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

So why is it so hard to get rid of? It's very difficult to spot reduce certain parts of our body. This means that while you may be able to lose weight overall, targeting certain areas like your tummy is tricky. Our abdomen is also where we store a lot of the 'the baddies' when it comes to weight loss — stress, bacteria, bloating and inflammation can all add to the fat concentration around our middle. Women's menstrual cycles and food allergies also contribute unnecessarily to rounded stomachs, so if you are experiencing severe stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhoea in conjunction with either of these, see your doctor.

The other reason jelly bellies are so hard to ditch is because there are a lot of misconceptions about how to lose excess stomach weight. Contrary to popular belief, sit-ups and abdominal work-outs are not the answer. While they will add to the overall tone and shape of the area, the only way to get rid of the bulge is with cardio exercise. So to set you on the right track, we've put together a general program to help you target your jelly belly. Try and stick to it for at least eight weeks and then reassess your goals.

What exercise should I do?

Cardio: Ideally three cardio work-outs a week for 40 minutes each is the way to go. Whether you choose to hit the treadmill, swim, walk, do an aerobics class or jump on a bike is up to you. Try and mix up your work-out routine though, so you don't get bored.

Strength: This is where the abs workout comes in. While sit-ups are great, there's no point in doing 30 of them a day for six weeks because your muscles need to be challenged. We suggest doing two of the below exercises after your cardio workout and alternating them weekly.

Basic crunch: Lie flat on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Put your hands behind your head for support only, not to take any weight. Using your stomach muscles only, rise a few inches off the ground, hold for three seconds and return to your starting position. Do three sets of 15.

Standing twist: Stand tall and hold a towel or resistance band high above your head so your arms are straight. Slowly draw a large, wide circle over your head using your stomach muscles to move only the upper half of your body. Do three sets of 15. To make it harder, use a weight instead of a towel.

Feet lift: Lie flat on the ground and keeping your feet together and legs straight, raise your legs three inches off the ground. Hold for five seconds, lower them an inch and hold for five again. Don't let your feet touch the ground at any time. Do three sets of 15.

Hanging knee raises: Hang from a high bar, like a chin-up bar. Bring your knees up to your chest, hold for three seconds, then bring your legs back down. Only use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs, keep your body still and use controlled, slow movements.

Slow bicycles: Lie on your back with your left knee bent towards your chest and your right leg extended a few inches off the ground. Place your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders slightly. Swap your legs slowly, keeping your feet and shoulders off the ground. Do three set of 15.

Other options: The rowing machines at the gym, sit-ups on exercise balls, belly dancing, Pilates and yoga are all great for toning and reducing your stomach. Mix up your workout routine by replacing one of the staples with one of these each week.

What should I eat?

Follow a normal healthy eating plan (see our guide to fad diets), keep these food tips in mind and you should notice a difference around your middle within a fortnight.

The yes list:


Water and cranberry juice will flush out toxins.
Vegetables.
Rice, corn, gluten-free products and potato.
Protein. Go for organic chicken and meat because they have less hormones and bacteria.
Low-GI foods. Look for the label on foods in supermarkets.
Fibre. It regulates your bowel movements so include wholegrain bread, cereal and nuts in your diet.
The no list:


Too much fruit, wheat and dairy can cause bloating. Don't cut these out of your diet altogether, just reduce your servings to two a day.
Alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks.
Salt makes you retain water unnecessarily so stay away from processed (takeaway, packet) foods which are high in sodium.
Sugar.
Chillies and spices. While they can kick-start your metabolism, they can also upset your stomach, so just monitor your body's reaction to spicy foods.
Tricky tips to a flatter tummy

As well as exercise and healthy eating, there are a few small things you can do to reduce your jelly belly…


Stand up straight: be conscious of your posture and pull your stomach in, it'll force your middle muscles to work 24/7.

Breathe: it's perhaps the most important, yet most neglected, aspect of ab-training. Deeply exhale through your mouth and inhale through your nose as often as possible.

Laugh: having a good giggle works all the muscles in your stomach.

Get a good night's sleep: lack of snooze time will lead to poor digestion and weight gain.

Eat early: the later you eat dinner, the harder it is for your body to digest so the food just sits around your stomach.

Colonic irrigation: some people swear by the process of flushing bacteria out of your stomach with pressurised water. It will flatten your belly, however, it's a tad uncomfortable and not for everyone so do some research.

De-stress: we hold stress in our tummies so find an outlet for your worries like Tai Chi, boxing, reading, swimming, painting or writing.

Moisturise: supple, tanned skin gives the illusion of a tighter tummy so invest in a good moisturiser and fake tan.

Dress right: certain fabrics cling to our skin more than others so if you want to play down a jelly belly, opt for softer, more flexible fabrics like cotton, silk and chiffon.
Article by Melissa Ironside, June 2006
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Postby KarinAnn » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:05 am

That is a really good read.. Thanks for finding and sharing that!!
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Postby SarahC » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:53 pm

Thanks for that Kate - very interesting. I like the laughing tip! How about watching a hilariously funny TV show whilst sitting on a excercise ball.... instead of doing a million situps. Sounds good to me :D
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Postby sassi » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:23 pm

sounds great! couldn't quite bring myself to throw out the coffee i was drinking as i read it though :lol:
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Postby ISparkyI » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:01 pm

some great advice there !

my lifestyles coach said that situps are nowhere near as effective as the ones mentioned in that information.

just one question i do have though, should you do the ab workout every second day to allow the muscle to heal and strengthen, or are they suggesting everyday ?

cardio is a definite everyday workout but still confused on the abs.

thanks again for the info

Shaun
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Postby sassi » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:10 pm

i'm no expert shaun but my pt said that abs can be worked every day :)
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Postby ISparkyI » Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:00 pm

thanks sassi

very interesting to hear . . as i would prefer to do my abs everyday also . . i do pushups and crunches before going to bed each night as one last exercise before sleeping.

hope we can get some confirmation on this as you always want to know your doing the right thing . . and i have to say i am aiming big time for at least a hint of abs before the end of the year.

shaun
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Postby HappyBella55 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:31 pm

Thanks for posting that, it's given me some ideas on how to work on reducing my jelly belly :D

I want a flat tummy :D Which I will work to get even if I have to do sit-ups (though I find this painful cos they hurt my neck)
Start weight - 77kgs
Goal weight - 53kgs
Current Weight - 50.1kgs


No more weighing, no more scales. My measurement is my success at health. It's an investment I make every single day. My priority: be healthy!
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Postby milkyway » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:13 pm

Hey Bella - sit ups shouldn't hurt your neck at all, you're just using the wrong technique :) Try focusing on tightening your stomach muscles and these should do the lifting, not your neck (though my neck gets sore too when I've done heaps of sit ups and my muscles are fatigued and I lose focus and let my neck do the work). Hope this helps somewhat. Ask a friend in the know or someone at the gym (if you're a member?) to show you the correct technique as I don't think I've explained it very well :P
Just keep moving! And don't be lazy...
------------------------
SW: 74.3kg - 1/1/09
CW: 71.1kg - 3/5/09
GW 62kg
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Postby HappyBella55 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:50 pm

Hey Milkyway. You've explained it well, I get what you are saying - using the abs to do the lifting rather than the neck and shoulders. I would love to go to a gym but as a uni student paying my way through uni and everyday living I just can't afford the gym memberships, even the Uni gym is expensive.

I would think that they would make gyms more affordable but no :roll: I have a mate who lives in the States and she tells me how cheap their gym membership is. One day when I have a full time job I'll be able to afford it.

I don't really have anyone I can ask to show me proper techniques, this is the next best thing. Thanks for your advice :).
Start weight - 77kgs
Goal weight - 53kgs
Current Weight - 50.1kgs


No more weighing, no more scales. My measurement is my success at health. It's an investment I make every single day. My priority: be healthy!
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Postby milkyway » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:56 pm

Totally understand about the gym membership. They should at least be tax deductible!

This might help...

http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/fitness/ti_situp.html
Just keep moving! And don't be lazy...
------------------------
SW: 74.3kg - 1/1/09
CW: 71.1kg - 3/5/09
GW 62kg
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Postby kate_turner2000 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:04 pm

i find that pilates really hurts my neck and i get quite dizzy. i think a lot of it is that my core strength is not good AT ALL so i gradually build up to things. like if i do pilates i keep my head on the floor instead of raising it off the ground until i build up that strength.
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Postby HappyBella55 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:23 pm

milkyway wrote:Totally understand about the gym membership. They should at least be tax deductible!

This might help...

http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/fitness/ti_situp.html


Thanks for that link Milkyway. It's going to help heaps :)
Start weight - 77kgs
Goal weight - 53kgs
Current Weight - 50.1kgs


No more weighing, no more scales. My measurement is my success at health. It's an investment I make every single day. My priority: be healthy!
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Location: Bomb Chicka Wah Wah

Postby HappyBella55 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:25 pm

Kate is Pilates hard, good for toning muscles and core strength?
Start weight - 77kgs
Goal weight - 53kgs
Current Weight - 50.1kgs


No more weighing, no more scales. My measurement is my success at health. It's an investment I make every single day. My priority: be healthy!
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Posts: 881
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:54 pm
Location: Bomb Chicka Wah Wah

Postby kate_turner2000 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:16 am

yeah i find it really hard. some people really enjoy it, i dont really like it that much, but i have poor core strength LOL
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