Having problems shifting fat? Lean up your body with these female-friendly fitness tips
Trainer Nisha Obaidullah is a published author, leading female fitness entrepreneur and the creator and owner of Pilates Fusion Bootcamp, The Abs Project and Nisha's Fat Loss for Fitpros.
She hosted an extremely popular online Expert clinic with us recently. Here are some of her answers to the female fat loss issues you raised.
Nisha says: 'Sleep deprivation has a massive impact on fat loss. Lack of sleep, high stress and a toxic diet will pack on fat around the belly. The best and most effective way to manage this is to be in bed by 10pm on six nights of the week for optimal hormone balance. However if you struggle then there are a few things that will help. 'We are looking to restore balance to your cortisol rhythm. Licorice and cinnamon tea will help fortify cortisol in the morning when it should be rising and tulsi tea will help it drop out in the afternoon. 'Magnesium supplementation with Zinc should be taken one hour before bed (9pm) and make sure your supplements are chelated forms.'
Nisha says: 'Fat deposition around the body is controlled by hormones. Belly fat is down to cortisol (stress hormone), lower body fat (thighs, bum) is an over-dominance of oestrogen and love handle fat shows insulin resistance. 'Your first priority (and this goes for all fat loss issues) is to remove all toxins from your diet. So you should be eating only from natural food sources. 'The body holds excess fat to protect you from harmful toxins in your system. Eliminate toxins and the fat has no reason to hang around. So all food should be things you could get if you lived wild. Fresh fruit/veg, clean (preferably organic) meat, fish, poultry and eggs and some whole grains (by the way wheat is not a wholegrain, no matter what the box may tell you).'
Nisha says: 'Shift workers have a really tough job when it comes to managing body fat. Your circadian rhythms are all over the place so you will have a tendency to pack on belly fat as your cortisol is running at a chronically elevated level.
'As for workouts you need to keep them VERY short and super intense. Its important you don't add more stress to an already stressed system. Physical exercise is also a stressor. I would focus on 3 short lifting sessions with time based intensity workouts using compound movements that use as many muscles as possible (the staples like squats, deadlifts, rows, chins, push-ups) and any additional sessions would be oxygenation type stuff - so 25 minute walk/cycling outside in the fresh air and sunshine. 'It is more than possible to get a super intense workout in less than 12 minutes.'
Nisha says: 'Aerobic exercise is brilliant for making you fitter but rubbish for fat loss. You see, when we exercise aerobically the body seeks to drop weight the quickest way possible. And the densest tissue on the body is lean muscle. So aerobic exercise will catabolise lean muscle to make the exercise easier for you. 'Problem is that lean muscle is the ONLY substance in the body that burns fat. So effectively every time you cycle you are reducing your body's fat burning tissue. Body fat and lean muscle have an inverse relationship. The more fat you have the less muscle you have. 'So here's the key: increase your lean muscle and it will eat your fat for breakfast! You need to hit the weights... bodyweight resistance exercise is the best thing for you right now. Short and intense.'
Read the Expert clinic in full to find out more of Nisha's fat loss strategies for busy women.
Posted: 29/11/2012 at 08:47
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