Forrest General Hospital

FALL 2014

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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3 1 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m FA L L 2 014 S P I R I T O F W O M E N SHUTTERSTOCK ful fruits and vegetables is also important as they are loaded with phytonutrients that help fight inflammation. Nuts and seeds (and other healthy fats like avocado and olive oil) play a role in reducing inflammation and reducing blood sugar, which can help make it easier to get rid of belly fat." FIGHT FLAB ACTIVELY While the battle of the bulge may begin in the kitchen, it should continue in the gym, or anywhere you can take a few minutes to get active. "Both cardio and strength training are critical," says Dr. Jampolis. "Research shows that exercise, even with- out weight loss, can improve insulin resistance, which can help reduce belly fat. In addition, studies show that combining exercise and strength training helps reduce belly fat more than either alone." Cohen says she encourages her female clients to start doing weight training or to increase the intensity of their current weight training. This can help you retain or increase your lean muscle mass, which leads to burning more calories and speeding up your metabolism. "People, especially women, tend to be very cardio- centric when it comes to working out," says Cohen. "Any activity is good activity, but strength training becomes so crucial as you grow older to improve not only your overall body fat percentage but your mental health and your posture. Good posture is very important when we spend so much time in front of a computer; it will also help keep your abs tucked and strong." Interval training, which incorporates short bursts of intense activity with lighter activity, can also be helpful, says Dr. Jampolis. For example, several times during a walk, try breaking into a jog or a run to really get your heart rate up and burn extra calories. "I often find that as women age, they don't push them- selves quite as much physically," says Dr. Jampolis. "This type of exercise helps burn more calories for hours after your workout too, so it is much more time efficient." • 1. Eat more protein. 2. Choose whole-grain rather than refned carbohydrates. 3. Opt for colorful fruits and vegetables, along with nuts and seeds, to help reduce infammation. 4. Combine both aerobic exercise and strength training. 4 WAYS "There's no such thing as a special diet or special exercise to target belly fat." ~ Jennifer Cohen, trainer and co-author of "Strong is the New Skinny: How to Eat, Live, and Move to Maximize Your Power" t o a t t a c k b e l l y f a t Getting rid of belly fat can be tough, but the key is making lifestyle changes to address your whole body, not just your middle. THE SKINNY ON BELLY FAT It's no surprise that the heavier you are, the more likely you are to have a spare tire around your middle. The tendency to gain weight in the abdomen has a genetic component as well. If Mom was an "apple," you're more likely to be one too. As you age, muscle mass begins to decrease, your metabolism slows and the loss of estrogen can change how your body distributes fat, or "butt to gut," as Dr. Jampolis pegs this migration. Even if you're not tech- nically overweight, having a larger waist measurement may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. FOOD FOR FITNESS Before you can start losing belly fat, however, you first need to get rid of the idea that you can whittle it away all by itself. "There's no such thing as a special diet or special exercise to target belly fat," says trainer Jennifer Cohen, a co-author of "Strong is the New Skinny: How to Eat, Live, and Move to Maximize Your Power" (Harmony, 2014). "You have to reduce your entire body fat per- centage and be very proactive about the food you put into your body. Exercise is good, but your first exercise needs to start in your kitchen. "If you can't grow it, don't eat it," she adds. "I never say no sugar, no bread ever, but you have to moder- ate. And if you are going to eat it, choose a better version, like multigrain bread or sweet potatoes." Dr. Jampolis says studies have shown that slightly more protein and fewer carbohydrates, particularly refined "white" carbohydrates that lack fiber, can help decrease belly fat in women, especially as they age. "Studies show that consuming at least three servings of whole grains per day can help decrease belly fat, so I encourage my patients to make most or all of their grains whole grains," she says. "Eating lots of color-

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