Use winter to burn off those extra kilos
IT’S no secret that losing weight is not as easy as it is to gain weight.
With winter in full swing, many people relish the cold days as it is easy to layer their clothes to hide excess fat, especially around the waistline. But those who exercise often use this time of the year to target the stubborn belly fat – otherwise know as a “muffin top”.
Rushda Moosajee, 33, a personal trainer and owner of the Glow, a women’s-only gym in Cape Town, says belly fat is one of the toughest areas to tackle as it requires more than just exercise to banish.
“It’s more about what you eat than what type of exercise you perfect. If the combination of food and exercise can be mastered, the results will speak for themselves,” says Moosajee.
A structured eating plan of controlled calories will result in gradual loss of fat over time. She suggests cutting out processed foods.
“Go back to basics: eat your micronutrients, fats and carbohydrates as they were intended by God. Keep it clean and simple. Enjoy real food. Eating healthily is fun and exciting. Over the years humans have complicated food and drink. Drink plenty of water, avoid any liquids that are not water, and cut out sugars.”
Moosajee suggests eating lean protein at every meal, to keep you fuller for longer and help add muscle.
“We lose muscle as we age and we need to keep our bodies strong and prevent us from falling apart.”
She advises loading up on greens and trying to incorporate spinach, green beans, broccoli, asparagus and Brussels sprouts into your daily meals.
When it comes to exercising, personal trainer and fitness coach Romeo Jacques Brand says the best way to get a toned tummy is to ensure that you do core exercises. The following exercises may help you achieve good results:
Planking: this is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time. With this move you strengthen the core muscles. You can increase the time to do it as you develop strength.
Side planks: although this exercise may seem like it is working the arms, side planks are also great for the belly because your belly muscles stay upright, so you’ll definitely feel the core work immediately or a day after.
Spider planks: this exercise starts in a traditional plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body perfectly straight. Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position. It may take a little more patience to master.
Boxing: this exercise is a good fullbody workout. It covers all body areas and provides a useful workout which is a balance between cardio and resistance training, which is beneficial to the core muscles.
Plate rope exercises: these are a must as they help develop strength, especially in the core and shoulders.