You’ve probably noticed that a diet that worked great for someone else may not work at all for you. Researchers now attribute this to your body’s specific biology. They now believe that the areas where you gain weight are predetermined by genetics. This means that the most effective weight-loss programs are customized. Find out which plan is the right choice for your body.
Despite your best efforts, weight in certain areas can seem impossible to lose. However, you can trim and tone your problem parts if you know how to specifically target them. Discover the secrets to solving your biggest body dilemmas.
Body Dilemma: Big Belly (Truncal Fat)
People with truncal fat have higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in their body. Cortisol breaks down muscle, making these individuals hard-wired to store fat.
Obstacles: Extra belly fat slows down your metabolism and puts you at risk for heart disease and cancer.
Diet Solution: Concentrate on a diet of monounsaturated fats, which increase fat-burning and flatten your stomach. Start eating olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Click here to quiz yourself on which foods will help to flatten your belly.
You also want to concentrate on eating whole grains and fiber. Studies show that whole grains help to trim fat from waistlines, and fiber will help with metabolism.
Meal Plan: Eat three 300-400 calorie meals that include whole grains and 2 fiber-rich snacks.
Fitness Solution: Target the belly by building core strength with the exercises below.
- Knee to Nose Planks: Begin by placing the elbows/forearms on the seat of a chair, and toes on the ground. This creates a modified (easier) plank position. Then alternate pulling each knee in toward the nose, with the goal being to touch the kneecap to the nose. The focus during this move is to pull the belly button in as deep as possible throughout the move.
- Sit Downs: Your lower back muscles were designed for support, not for heavy lifting. Maintaining awareness and posture in the lower back while slowly sitting onto a chair will strengthen the lower back for its critical support function. Advanced: Adding weight to the front of your body, like a gallon jug, will increase the intensity.
Body Dilemma: Big Behind (Gluteofemoral Fat)
People with gluteofemoral fat have less blood flow to break down the fat in their buttocks, so their behinds function as a long-term fat-storage site.
Obstacles: The buttocks are not as responsive to weight loss as other areas.
Diet Solution: To reduce your backside, minimize processed foods high in saturated fats and salts, which can contribute to fat retention.
Meal Plan: For breakfast, have steel cut oats topped with fresh berries; make a batch that will provide you with breakfast for the entire week. Click here for one of Dr. Oz’s favorite oatmeal recipes.
For lunch, have a pita pizza. Use a whole grain pita with natural low-fat parmesan and top with peppers or other vegetables. Click here for a healthy pita pizza recipe.
Click here for a dinner recipe of turkey meatballs with whole-wheat pasta, tossed in olive oil and tomatoes. Ditch the ice cream and instead choose frozen Greek yogurt and blueberry popsicles for dessert.
Fitness Solution: Target your backside with the exercises below:
- Slow Step-Ups: All you need is a stable chair for this effective butt exercise. Placing one heel on top of the chair, step up onto the chair slowly. The one key to this exercise is to use only the top leg to move yourself onto the chair. Avoid bouncing off of the bottom leg.
- Sumo Squats: Place the feet wider than hip-width apart and turn the toes slightly out. The key to perfect form is that the knees are in line with the toes. Slowly lower yourself down while keeping your head and shoulder up and back, similar to the form in the sit-downs. Advanced: Holding a gallon jug in the hands between the legs will increase intensity.
Body Dilemma: Big All Over (Global Fat)
A slower metabolism will cause people with global fat to gain weight all over.
Obstacles: Individuals who are big all over have a combination of problems: non-responsive fat (buttocks) and high cortisol levels (belly).
Diet Solutions: The best way to fight global fat is to stick to the principals of a Mediterranean diet. Focus on incorporating fish, fruits and vegetables to insure that the calories you consume are full of nutrients.
Meal Plan: Cut your carbohydrates in half, and double your vegetables. Three times a week, replace meat with fish and replace sugary snacks with fresh fruit. Click here for a Mediterranean chicken recipe. Click here for a delicious fish dinner from chef Rocco DiSpirito.
Fitness Solution: For a full-body workout routine, review the following routine:
- 20-Minute Morning Melt: The best time to do cardio is first thing in the morning, before you have eaten. This taps into stored body fat instead of food you have recently eaten. If you can’t walk outside or on a treadmill, you can melt pounds in place. Turn on some upbeat music and walk in place pumping your arms and bringing your knees as high as you comfortably can. Advanced: To advance the move and tone the body further, hold a soup can in each hand and “punch” one can alternately up and forward on each 4 count of steps. Example: Right can up, 1, 2, right can down, 3, 4, left can up, 1, 2, left can down, 3, 4, right can forward, 1, 2, right can back, 3, 4, left can forward, 1, 2, left can back, 3, 4. The entire sequence should be fluid, not choppy.