Understanding the Infamous Stomach Pudge<br />
(and How to Get Rid of It!)

Tips on how to minimize the pudge!

Many people are self-conscious about stomach fat---the appearance of “the gut,” if you will. Of course, a certain amount of abdominal fat is normal, and, depending on one’s age, genetics, body composition, etc., some may find it more difficult than others to tone things up. Still, no matter your situation, there are several things you can do to minimize the pudge.

But, before we begin, a common misconception about shedding fat is that you can do so by spot-training—only doing resistance exercises, (e.g. lifting weights) for a given muscle group with the expectation that that same muscle group will consequently emerge triumphant, overshadowing the unsightly specter of any surrounding fat, once and for all. 

Of course, if this were true, every person that only does “15-Minute Abs” three times a week would automatically have rock-hard abs after several weeks.  Unfortunately, it takes more than that.

Things You Can Do To Reduce The Pudge:

1. Mind Your Diet. 

Your eating habits are heavily involved in your body’s ability to shed pounds and develop lean muscle mass. Processed foods, saturated fats, alcohol and refined sugars should be consumed as rarely as possible.  Lower your calorie intake and find healthy foods you like.  Think whole grains, lean proteins, foods with complex carbohydrates (fruits and veggies), and foods with natural, healthy fats (nuts, avocados, fish, etc).

2. Manage Your Stress

Easier said than done, right?  Although stress is an inherent part of life for many, it’s also a huge cause of what causes the body to produce excess abdominal fat.

In addition to the fact that your body regulates stress by releasing excessive amounts of the hormone Cortisol (a process which, over time, can increase the appearance of subcutaneous ab-fat), stress also leads to over-eating.  Most times when we over-eat because of stress, we aren’t making healthy food choices. 

So find a ritual.  Meditate, pray, pummel a punching bag with a photo of your boss taped to it, whatever you have to do.  If you’re a habitual stress-eater, find yourself some healthy snacks so that you don’t opt for unhealthy selections when the going gets tough. 

Ever find yourself looking for candy, or other sweets when stressed? Try some fruit instead.  Grapefruit, oranges, and other healthy snacks are a great way to get an influx of robust sugars that will re-energize you while helping to take the edge off.

3. Sleep

It’s common knowledge that getting a good night’s rest (7-8 hours) is good for you, but doing so is also crucial to allowing your body to healthfully process fat. 

Research has shown that adults who go without sleep for extended periods of time are often prone to gain weight as a result of certain physiological imbalances that develop, over time.   

But, is that any surprise?  Do you ever find yourself over-eating on any days that you haven’t much sleep?  If so, what sort of foods do you eat?  How about exercise?  How often do you feel like exercising after having pulled a series of all-nighters?

Then, of course, there’s:

4. Exercise

Working out preferred method for getting rid of ab-fat. It's a well-known fact that to burn fat, you've got to burn calories, but there are better ways than others to go about toning up the stomach.

So what works for the abs, specifically?  Find out Tahir's favorite exercises next week!