It sounds like a tall order, right? So many of us have been trying for years to lose weight, flatten our bellies, etc, etc. Much easier said than done and in some ways it seems like a mystery. Why, even after eating right and working out, does it seem almost impossible to lose weight in that area? Well, a former instructor from the Ranch, Nancy Parker, who now has her own wellness practice, shed some light on why that might be and for once, it made sense! In her seminar at the Ranch, Flatten your Belly…Finally!-Maximizing Digestive Health through Lifestyle Change, Nancy gave us the secrets on how to attain that fleeting flat stomach.
Essentially there are three factors that affect weight loss overall, but especially in the belly region; what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat. What this all boils down to is the health of your digestive system.
What you eat: What I found most interesting about Nancy’s talk was how many of us have food intolerances that we are not aware of. She described her own experience as someone who was allergic to gluten, dairy and soy about 10 years ago, but didn’t know it. She had sudden weight gain plus digestive issues, and her doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Through the elimination diet she discovered her food intolerances, thus losing the weight and the digestive issues. So what you eat makes a huge difference in whether you can lose weight and if you have any sort of food intolerances that you’re not aware of, that can cause you to gain weight. How do you find out which foods are right for your body? You can either take the MRT test or use the elimination diet.
When you eat: If you eat more calories later in the day, that has been shown to increase weight gain. Our digestion is strongest during the middle of the day which is why lunch should be the biggest meal and dinner the lightest.
How much you eat: Portion still plays a huge roll in weight gain and weight loss. Eat until you’re semi-full and see how you feel after a couple of minutes. It usually takes us about 20 minutes for fullness to kick in, so eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. This will help you not to overeat as well.
Here are a couple of action steps you can take to facilitate the process:
- Identify and decrease stress
- Slow down for meals
- Avoid processed foods
- Stay hydrated
- Move your body
- Every so often fast (check with your doctor first)
- Try the elimination diet
By the way, Nancy also gave us a piece of advice that made my day. Crunches will not give you a tight stomach. She explained that you have to activate the inner muscles through Pilates, posture work and breathing that elongates your spine and body. So I found that to be good news!
So as you can see, it’s not just doing one thing or the other, it’s making sure that all of your systems are working together at maximum potential to weed out the toxins and help you absorb the nutrients you need. For more information about Nancy Parker and her wellness program, you can visit her site at BalancedWell.com.