Q: My biggest challenge with staying fit is that even though I exercise 4-5 days a week and I eat healthy food, I just eat too damn much. It’s not that I don’t know when I’m “full,” it’s that I don’t care. So some willpower tips would be totally welcome. Also any hints on targeting/toning the area around my hips…until recently this was never a trouble zone for me and I don’t know if it’s age or what, but DAYM. Can you help a girl out?
First, congrats on doing more than most people: conscious eating and 4 -5 days a week of workouts. I’ll get to the rest as well, but want to address your opening comments first.
Regular workouts are an important part of the fitness and health equation, yet it’s also necessary to look at the chunks of sitting time that may be taking place in between your exercise bouts. Research tells us that even if we are getting in our workouts, if we are off of our feet for several extended hours at a time, our disease biomarkers elevate just as much as for those who don’t work out! And of even more concern to you, being conscious of your weight, is the effect that too much sitting time has on your LPL. Extended sitting time drives up the action of LPL in your fat tissue and down in your muscle tissue. You want to maximize its activity in muscle to help you with your weight goals.
Also, I don’t know what “healthy food” means until someone actually shows me their food diary. One of the most common culprits here is dietary fats that parade as “health” food, such as the ever popular olive oil. I don’t care how “virgin” it is, it still has the power to find its way quickly to your fat stores, especially for the genetically predisposed. Yes, the fat you eat is the fat you wear.
You also asked for hints on targeting the areas around your hips. The challenges in the hip zone are most likely due to two things:
1) Body composition shift, meaning perhaps more avoirdupois being carried in the hip area
2) Insufficient challenge to the gluteals that give shape and lift to all things hip zone
By focusing on a whole-foods, low-fat, plant-based diet, keeping up with your activity and sitting less, you will impact body composition, which will reveal your muscle shape.
Targeted body-shaping exercises will shift your hip shape in ways that you wouldn’t believe. There are no less than five targeted exercises in Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Targeted Body Shaping Workouts that focus on the gluteals. Why? Because the gluteals are one of the muscle groups most responsible for the shape and strength of your body, they burn a boatload of calories when you exercise them, and by focusing on these body-beautifying gems, you will get rapid results. Most people have underdeveloped glutes because we sit so much and we don’ t really engage them sufficiently while exercising, letting the back muscles and momentum take over too much of the time.
Personally, I have a body type that doesn’t naturally have too much shape “back there.” But I’ve defied these genetic odds with exercises that hit these muscles from a variety of angles to deliver lift and a nice flow of the back into your seat and hips.
As for the willpower, here’s where I have great news for you! But first, let’s start with the bad news: Willpower comes in limited supply, but we can learn to replenish that supply on demand. This is such a juicy topic that I’m saving this part of the conversation next time here at Healthy Bitch Daily, so stay tuned.
Lani Muelrath, MA, CGFI, CPBN, FNS – the Plant-Based Fitness Expert – is the best-selling author of Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Targeted Body Shaping Workouts and creator of The Plant-Based Blueprint. Lani specializes in helping people who struggle with health, weight and energy levels transform their bodies – and their lives – without going hungry or working out like a maniac. Lani created and starred in her own TV show and has recently been featured on ABC, CBS, Prevention, Fox News, and Huffington Post. As celebrity coach for the PCRM 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, she is also Fitness Advisor for the McDougall Health and Medical Center and is associate professor at Butte College in California. Lani maintains credentials and certifications in many exercise modalities and is Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University and hold the National Academy of Sports Medicine Advanced Fitness Nutrition Specialist Credential. More resources from Lani on her website.