Even in the absence of excess body weight, a lot of girls are self-conscious of their stomachs, and it can sometimes seem as though losing that little bit of belly fat is impossible. Luckily, this isn’t the case! There are lots of factors that affect your body depositing fat. Nutrition and exercise are the two most obvious and easy to change components, so we are going to delve deeper into this! This is one of the reasons that I started my Workouts By Katya programs, so I could give you girls the tools to know how to overcome these hurdles.
First, we have to ask ourselves, do we really need to lose weight? For a lot of women, we store any excess body fat in our abdomen because it is an area where it is most mobilized during high-intensity exercise. Remember that our bodies haven’t changed much throughout evolution: in times of famine, the body relied on fat stores, and those fat stores needed to be mobilized easily for intense exercise to catch prey and relieve famine. In modern times, the body still tends to store fat in this way.
Secondly, if your goal is to get THICC then weight loss should certainly still not be the goal. To gain muscle (eg build the glutes) we need to be eating enough food to fuel this growth. By restricting your calories, when training and lifting weights we will just be expending energy and losing muscle. By eating a sufficient amount, we can stay lean while we get thicc in all the right places. While a combination of exercise and diet is the most appropriate and effective means to combat abdominal fat, what you eat and specifically how many calories you eat, plays the most potent role in body weight. Calories above all determine weight outcome and the likelihood of storing extra fat anywhere.
If you need to lose weight, reducing the number of calories you consume is the most influential component in weight management. If you’re trying to lose, allow 10-11 Calories per 1 lb goal weight. BUT don’t just reduce your calories and eat the same foods - look for nutritionally dense, low-calorie foods like leafy green vegetables, and avoid the high-calorie things like white bread and cakes. It’s about eating properly, not just eating less.
If you don’t need to lose weight and are simply hoping to slim and tone your midsection at your current weight, exercise becomes an even more important component of your routine. Nutrition, however, still plays a vital role.
A diet containing processed or refined carbohydrates and starches (white bread, white rice, pasta, potatoes), high-sugar beverages including fruit and vegetable juices (yes, even 100% natural, no sugar added fruit juice or juice and veggie blends), snack foods, is one that is more likely to cause high levels of abdominal fat.
Whenever a food containing carbs is quickly metabolized, the units of sugar are broken down and enter the bloodstream very quickly. The body, in an attempt to rid the bloodstream of excess sugar, converts that sugar to fat, where it is primarily stored in (you guessed it!) the abdomen.
To put this in perspective, 1 cup of steamed white rice contains 200 calories, while 1 cup of boiled spinach contains 41 calories and contains far more nutrients and vitamins to keep you full for longer. The worst part? White rice is quickly broken down, as mentioned above, so you won’t even feel full for very long and will be reaching for snacks in no time!
To tip the odds in your favor, your diet should be mostly based on lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and whole fruit, with low-fat and non-fat dairy and whole grains in moderation, as well as unsaturated fat sources such as olive oil and avocado. Not only are these foods less calorie dense, but they are also more nutrient-dense! This means that they will keep our body functioning to the best of its ability while providing us with enough energy to SMASH each and every one of our workouts.
My #WBKgirls LOVE all of the recipes in my programs because they are packed with nutrient-dense ingredients and keep them full and energized all day long (not to mention they are so delicious). So if you are feeling stuck on where to start, or just want an amazing new workout and nutrition regime, sign up today!!