The Weekly Hot Flash: Say Goodbye To Your Belly

Tuesday, 28 May 2013, 9:35:00 AM

Barbara Bishop

Grey Goose Citron Martini?
Thinkstock
Grey Goose Citron Martini?

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Belly Be Gone!

Earlier this month, I woke up and looked in the mirror. Aaaaaahhh! I was turning into my Granny Annie – in the belly at least. Seemingly overnight! I turned 50, and wham! I didn’t even see it coming. I rushed to squeeze on Spanx. Oh-oh, even those were not helping!

In a panic, I turned to a well-known personal trainer and weight lifting champion, Fabian, calling him at 7 a.m. that morning. I asked how many sit-ups do I need to do to get rid of my belly? His answer surprised me. “None,” he said. I wondered if he was still sleeping.    

Once I made him drink a cup of coffee while talking to me, to make sure he really was awake, I learned that no amount of spot reducing or abdominal exercises would get rid of my bulging belly. Denial and acceptance of a bigger belly in women over 50 was not the answer either, as so many of us (aka me) have done. Although Fabian acknowledged that as people age, especially women over 50, metabolism slows down, muscle mass is lost and fat tends to be stored in the belly. But, he said, “You don’t have to condemn yourself to having a big belly just because you’re over 50. I have a proven formula to lose weight.”

His answer was something I expected. The best way to get rid of a belly is a combination of nutrition, cardiovascular exercises and resistance training. Yada yada yada. Fine. I am once again ready to commit, but this time, once and for all.

The way he told me to do it surprised me. He said that I needed to get in one hour of weight training – a total body workout – once a week. Weight and resistance training helps to build muscle, which, in turn, increases metabolism and helps to burn fat. For example, he said, if you build 10 pounds of muscle, you’ll burn an additional 500 calories a day.  Okay, I can commit to that. I would be such a wimp if I couldn’t! It’s only one hour.

The next piece of the regime was to walk at least four days a week, for 20 minutes or more a day. Piece of cake - I mean carrot. I love to walk. And walking four days a week at 20 minutes a pop can work into my crazy schedule.  Maybe I will ask my neighbors if I can walk their dogs in the morning. Maybe I can charge them. Hmmmm.

Now for the nutrition part - not my favorite: He told me to stay away from stuff like “junk” food, candy (really?), cookies (no way!), processed food and pasta, and start eating “whole” aka “real” foods, like brown rice (yum), potatoes (yum), veggies (does anyone ever really crave a vegetable?), meats, and fruits (those will do). Also, based on my size (very short) the calorie level I should eat for weight loss is a baseline 1,200 calories (that’s not very many cookies at all!).

So, if I follow the work out regime, and eat a daily diet of 1,200 calories, my belly should melt away. Oh, and the way I am supposed to consume those whopping 1,200 calories is by eating six small meals a day. So, each meal is 200 calories, a major adjustment for me. But that’s how my belly ballooned in the first place; duh-uh!

So, I am making this commitment to show all of my fellow women-over-50 comrades that this can be done. Fabian said so. I hope to show a hot, sexy after photo sometime soon. Bye-bye belly! One last question for Fabian – can I still drink my Grey Goose Citron Martini, up with a twist and two olives? I’ll give the olives to BFF Nancy, I promise!

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