Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Your Body Is Like An Iceberg

When I first started Weight Watchers, I heard a quote that has really stuck with me through the years. I don't remember now if it was a published quote or just something someone said to me once, but I think it's a great reminder of how our bodies work. The quote was more or less, "Your body is like an iceberg. You've got the small part that sticks above the water and the thick part that sinks below the surface. As much as you want to melt that thick part (i.e. hips), the smaller parts will always melt first (i.e. boobs, arms, etc.)."

I think everyone is guilty of wishing that they could lose weight in one particular area and maybe have even tried targeting one area to lose that weight first, for example, doing 100 crunches every day. But, unfortunately, that isn't possible. Our bodies are like the icebergs; the thinnest part of us is always the first to go. And unfortunately, it is often in our boobs!! How unfair is that?

So, how can we get rid of that stubborn belly fat or the jiggly under arms (which I like to call my "bat wings")? We've got to focus on the whole body rather than just that one spot. This goes back to my post on variety. And it includes fitness, but also nutrition. They say abs are built 80% in the kitchen, 20% in the gym... and it's true! In order to get the defined abs you always dreamed of, you've got to get rid of that layer of fat. You do that by watching what you eat, getting rid of the processed foods, the sugar, the hydrogenated ingredients. Instead, fill your body with fresh fruits and veggies, good protein, and yes, even healthy fats! You need them all to get a good balance. You will lose weight, and will be losing fat, not muscle.

Speaking of muscle, you need some of that to help you get rid of that belly or thigh jiggle too. It may seem a bit backwards to lift weights in order to get that toned tummy you're after, but muscle burns fat much more quickly, so the more you have it, the more tools you've got in your tool belt, so to speak, to get the job done. The Mayo Clinic states, "Research shows that 1 lb. of muscle burns seven to 10 calories per day, while 1 lb. of fat burns only 2 to 3 calories, according to the American Council on Exercise."

Plus, with eating healthy, you'll be losing that protective layer of fat and you'd prefer to have a nice set of defined abs underneath rather than being thin, but having a squishy set, right? Same goes for thighs or any other area on your body. Building muscle as you lose the fat will give you that slender look you want, but will also create definition, which is much better than soft, squishy bodies. I'm not saying body builder stuff, unless that's what you prefer, but somewhere in the middle is nice!

And if you're like me, having lost a large amount of weight, you may have some excess skin once you're done losing weight. Building muscle helps fill in that gap between where the fat used to take up so much space, and makes your arms look nice instead of the bat wings. I haven't done as well in this respect as I could, but I'm working on it now. Those pushups will help get your chest back looking more full and even perkier too. That's always a plus! : )

So instead of torturing yourself with 100 squats every morning or 200 crunches before bed in hopes of trimming down the booty or tummy fat, stick to a healthy, balanced diet, get in a variety of workouts (cardio, strength training, stretching, and HIIT [high intensity interval training]) and you will lose it where you may feel you don't exactly need to first, but keep it up and your trouble areas will disappear too! Not only that, but you'll feel so much better for having eaten healthy and will be much stronger and fit too! Win/win, I'd say!

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