As a personal trainer, people often ask me how to get rid of “belly fat” or shrink their waistline. This is a good question, not only is the waistline important for aesthetic reasons but your waist circumference (distance around your belly, measured from the belly button) Is a risk factor for some serious health conditions. According to the CDC, “Excessive abdominal fat may be serious because it places you at greater risk for developing obesity-related conditions, such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease.” Also, a large waist circumference can be associated with back pain and sleep apnea.
What should I do about it?
When I’m coaching my clients, I tell them that we can address waist circumference in two ways. The first way is obvious, we need to reduce body fat. This can be achieved with dietary changes and workouts at least 3x/week. Unfortunately, we cannot choose where we lose fat, this is called “spot reduction” and it’s not a thing. Some people lose a little bit all over and others lose more in some areas than others. The determining factor for where we lose or put on fat is largely genetic. So, for the most part, it is out of our control. Sometimes a hormonal imbalance can cause you to be storing excess fat specifically in your belly. That’s why I recommend my clients have their hormones tested if they are struggling to shed the belly fat even after making lifestyle changes.
Tighten your corset
The second way to shrink the waistline is to strengthen the core. Think of your core as a natural corset. It goes a full 360 degrees around your waist and the stronger it is, the tighter it becomes. This means that with core strengthening that you can lose a couple inches off your waist without even losing a pound. It’s important to strengthen every aspect of the core. Train the front with crunches, reverse crunches, and sit ups. Train the sides with side bridges, oblique crunches, and side bends. And train the back with quadrupeds, back extensions, and the superman. If you are not comfortable working out on your own or if you have any questions about core strengthening, please reach out to a member of the Trivida team
-Andy Adams, B.S., CSCS, Pn1