So you’re on a mission to shrink down stubborn fat in your stomach and hips, and you have a deadline … 2 weeks. Maybe you have an important event to go to, bikini to sport, or maybe you just need a jump-start as a motivation booster. Either way you want it done yesterday, right?
With your mission in mind, you probably want to hear what exercises will blast fat in those areas. Trouble is fat loss doesn’t quite work that way. You can’t just target or “spot shrink” a certain area. But don’t let that discourage you. With this smart plan, you can still get some fantastic results over your entire body, so you look and feel great in no time.
How to Lose Weight In Your Stomach And Hips
You’d think that doing a bunch of sit-ups and squats would spot reduce fat from your hips and stomach, but in reality, you can’t control where your body burns fat from first. Similarly you can’t control where fat gets deposited (well not entirely, but more about that later). Fat is distributed and stored throughout your body based on your genetics and hormones. For this reason, fat isn’t always distributed evenly and some people develop certain”stubborn” areas that look pudgier and always appear to be the last to go.
On the flip side, when your body burns calories, fat is mobilized and converted to usable energy in an uneven pattern as well … again based on genetics and hormones. So you can’t just mark off an area and go … Alright then, off with this bit first, although that would certainly be convenient. We wish!
Furthermore, much of the unwanted fat in the hip and stomach area is subcutaneous fat. This is fat the lies just under the skin, and is infamously hard to lose. It really does take quite a bit of cardio and weight training to make a dent in this type of fat. Not to mention an excellent diet.
For women the battle to lose fat in the hips is even more challenging because they tend to store extra fat there to support babies during pregnancy. Subcutaneous is also the last to go because it provides a layer of insulation for our bodies.
A second type of fat specific to the stomach is visceral fat. If you measure around your waist and the circumference is 35 inches (for women) or 40 inches (for men) or more, then you may have excess visceral fat in addition to subcutaneous fat.
This type of fat is actually more of an immediate health problem because it surrounds your internal organs and secretes harmful substances. Luckily visceral fat is more metabolically active, and is quick to respond to exercise. When you drop weight, visceral fat is the first to go and it’s immediately noticeable.
The Best Diet For Fat Loss (And The Diets To Absolutely Avoid)
Just because the clock is ticking, doesn’t mean it’s worth it to go on a crash diet … some weird fad diet where you eat celery or potatoes for the next two weeks. Although these silly diets are marketed as the next best thing, all they really do is set you up for failure.
Even one day of restrictive dieting is a waste of time. Chances are you’ll miss out on vital nutrients and lose muscle mass anyway. And what happens after two weeks? You can’t stay on that diet forever, so it’s back to old habits; then poof, just like that, the weight is back.
Two weeks is actually plenty of time to put into action a sustainable eating plan that will keep you from storing excess fat in the future and for burning it off today.
A reasonable goal would be to create a deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories a day. That would be a 1 to 2 pound loss in weight by the end of the week.
The first source of calories to go should come from empty calorie foods like sugar and refined carbohydrates. Cutting out foods that increase your insulin hormone can keep your body from depositing fat in your stomach and hip area. Even traded those foods for fruit or whole grains can make a huge difference.
You can further reduce calories by reducing portion sizes and by giving yourself time to digest, so you don’t overeat.
Then, to lose an additional 1 or 2 lbs from water weight, which really makes you look slim fast; you can reduce your salt intake. So no high sodium microwaved meals or salted pretzels.
Finally, turn your exercise up a notch … maybe even two.
By the end of two weeks, not only will you have lost upwards of 5 to 6 pounds, you’ll be on track to continue losing 2 pounds every week until you get the look you want.
Turn the Fitness Up a Notch
Becoming more active in the next two weeks will help you lose weight faster. Exercising doesn’t have to be a drag, and like dieting, it doesn’t have to be drastic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week. That’s only a 20 minute brisk walk per day.
If you don’t currently exercise this may sound doable, and then any exercise you do on top of that would just be bonus calories burned. Even taking the stairs, floor exercises during tv, or looping the mall burns off additional calories.
If you are a regular gym goer, then your routine may simply lack intensity, which is what you need if you are hanging onto that last 15 pounds of subcutaneous fat. Your body burns fat more efficiently when you do short burst of high intensity exercise followed by short periods of lower intensity exercise.
A paper published in the Journal of Obesity’s 2011 issue, showed that this type of high intensity interval training (hiit) is highly effective for burning subcutaneous fat. hiit includes such exercises as sprints, push-ups, squats, burpees, jumping jacks and many more.
A hiit example would be: 3 Rounds of …
20 seconds push-ups, 10 seconds running in place
20 seconds squats, 10 seconds running in place
20 seconds jumping jacks, 10 seconds running in place
20 seconds butt kicks, 10 seconds running in place
20 seconds burpees, 10 seconds running in place
Lifting weights also kicks the intensity up a notch. When you drop pounds you want to make sure you aren’t losing muscle mass in the process which can happen, especially from dieting alone. You may not gain a whole lot of muscle in two weeks, but it will contribute to your calorie burning efforts.
Muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain. For this reason you may feel hungrier after a workout, and this can be problematic when you are trying to diet. Having a big salad and protein shake ready for when you return from the gym is a great way to replenish your body, boost calorie burning, and fuel your muscles.
Set out to lift weights 8 times over the next two weeks hitting all major muscle groups, the hips and abs, the arms, back, and shoulders, the chest, and then legs. After the two weeks is over, don’t stop there! Keep up the good work to improve your posture, joint function, and maintain a higher metabolism.
Embrace Holistic Weight Loss
Two weeks or no two weeks, the most successful weight loss plans are holistic in nature, meaning you take a comprehensive approach that includes eating all the foods that are good for you, reducing calories across the board, and calculating your personal weight loss requirements.
You can start by using a rmr online calculator to determine how many calories your body uses daily, so you know how many calories to eat per day. An rmr calculator tells you your resting metabolic rate. You just plug in your sex, height, age, and weight to find out how many calories your body burns at rest. You can then subtract 500 or 1,000 calories from that number to burn 1 to 2 lbs of fat. Just be aware that women should not eat less than 1,200 calories and men 1,800.
more: Online rmr Calculator
You can find other “baseline” numbers such as bmi, or Body Fat Percentage, as well. These numbers give you a starting point to fitness so you can track your progress.
As for food, it’s best to think holistically as well. Try to construct your meals with whole, natural foods from all sources including lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, and whole grains.
To reduce calories across the board, use an easy technique for portion control. For example, fill half your plate with watery, fibrous vegetables such a broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, or peppers. Then fill one quarter with whole grains such as brown rice or 100 % whole wheat pasta.
The last quarter of your plate is reserved for your protein source. Good sources of protein include animal sources such as fish, no-skin chicken or turkey breast, and lean beef. Plant sources include tofu and quinoa. Aim to get 0.6 grams of protein per pound of your body weight per day. For a 120 pound person that’s 72 grams of protein per day.
You might be surprised just how little protein you currently consume which could be slowing down your metabolism. People who eat mostly empty calories and less protein tend to remain hungry all day and end up consuming more calories. Plus they tend to have less muscle mass. Adding healthy protein is a must now and the benefits will extend well beyond these two weeks.
Lastly, you might notice sugary treats, alcohol, and refined white-flour products didn’t make the cut. Avoiding these indulgences for the next two weeks is a must if you really want to see results.
Good Luck, and p.s. stay hydrated, this will also help.