I was excited to get this question on my Instagram, but it really deserves a deeper dive here. We often overlook the importance of taking a more holistic approach to losing ab fat rather than solely tracking calories in and out. In fact, focusing more on your happiness can be just as key to achieving a healthier waistline.
Stress arises in our lives pretty regularly, and it’s the X factor that can (and will!) manifest itself in your body in various ways. For one, it can lead to higher levels of the hormone cortisol, which encourages the body to park fat in the abdominal area— despite your efforts in the gym and the kitchen.
But don’t fret! How we handle, process, and move through stress can make all the difference. It’s about finding the calming reset button your body will respond to. One technique to feel immediate calm is to switch off whatever device is in front of you for two quiet minutes. You can also build reset time into your day, so you know you’ll have a release waiting for you, like a kickboxing class. My key stress reliever has become nesting my home and work space. I get organised, create actual physical space by decluttering, and write to-do lists.
Your happiness is tied deeply to your health, so consider those everyday resets as important as doing your workout.
I’m very lean, but I can’t get rid of that lower-belly pooch. How do I get it gone?
Doing HIIT can burn off fat more efficiently than steady cardio, but also make sure you’re working those four to six inches of muscle below your belly button to firm and tighten the foundation beneath that so-called pooch. My go-to moves are low-leg scoops (sit at the end of a bench, knees bent in to chest in tabletop position; scoop legs in a downward motion, then circle them back to tabletop) and controlled candlesticks (lying faceup on a bench with hands gripping the bench behind your head and legs extended straight up, lift and lower hips off the bench).
Jen Widerstrom, your monthly get-fit motivator, is a member of the Shape Brain Trust, a fitness expert, a life coach, and the best-selling author of Diet Right for Your Personality Type.
CHANGE YOUR VENUE Walk outside for five minutes to put some mental distance between you and what’s stressing you.