Posted by: Thimble | 2008-12-01


I am a 31 year old woman and during the past few years i have been putting on weight only on my stomach. i am 56 kg, 1.75 m tall with a waist measurement of 90 cm. During the past few months i began exercising (orbitrek) and changed my dietary habits, and i am losing weight on my thighs and legs but not any on my stomach. I dont think that i can afford to lose any more weight elsewhere except my tummy as i am beginning to look bony. what should i do and what home exercises can you recommend?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Thimble

It's not uncommon to put on weight in one area only - it's programmed by our genes, unfortunately. The same thing happens when losing weight - you're experiencing both!

The solution is complex it's not a simple case of focusing on those areas. The mistake people make is that they try to target the muscle group, often at the expense of doing the whole body exercise that is actually more effective. That's not to say that focus on a muscle group or area is bad, because you need it, but it's better to do whole body exercise. The exercise is cardio training - like running, walking, cycling, swimming, taebo, aerobics etc. Anything that is cardiovascular gets the heart pumping and energy burning is most effective. It is just a question of how you use these cardio sessions. I would suggest at least 4 days a week of cardio training, each session lasting about 30 to 45 minutes, AT LEAST. You have to build up this duration and then keep at it consistently in order to see change.

The specific exercises for the area in question have a relatively minor role, other than that they are responsible for developing the muscle in the area, which creates the appearance of being toned. That's obviously what you want, but you have to realise that you can't do the toning and specific work first and neglect the cardio - it has to work the other way around, cardio first, toning second. So focus on cardio, then on toning.

Diet is also very crucial, and if it's not 100% it will undermine any exercise benefits. So the best thing is to see a dietician or follow a very good diet plan. Just remember that low kilojoule is not necessarily better - too low causes problems as well, because it causes the body's metabolic rate to drop and that affects your ability to lose weight in the future. So don't try to starve yourself or go overboard, rather eat sensibly, cut out as much fat as you can, and listen to your body.

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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