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8 Tips to Reduce Excess Belly Fat & Improve Your Lifestyle

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Aloha! My in-box is full with health and fitness email questions, the most common is regarding losing excess fat around the midsection.

Good news and not so good news: "The first place you want to lose fat, is typically the last place it comes off." However, there are ways to speed up the process of losing excess fat, especially around the stomach area.


The battle to reduce excess fat in the midsection or anywhere for that matter is includes 3 components:

  1. Strength training - Studies show that a minimum of 3 days per week of strength training can help you increase lean muscle.  Why? More lean muscle mass helps your body burn more calories all day long-even while you are asleep, helps your body burn calories more efficiently and revs your metabolism all day long! - Sign up for my Strength Training online classes here to enroll in weight training classes.


  1. Cardiovascular exercise - To lose body fat you must burn more calories than you consume.  Cardio will help you blast calories and strengthen the most important muscle in your body, your heart. The trick is to make cardio. workouts fun because it can be boring running for 30 minutes or walking on the treadmill.  I lead SUPER FUN cardio. workouts that will energize your body and mind! The workouts include all important Plyometrics exercises that amp up the calorie burning benefits and increase muscle speed and power!  - Sign up for my FIT HIIT and Dirty 30's a challenging mix of strength & cardio. workouts here to get super lean and strong - FAST!


  1. Proper nutrition - more than half the battle.  Eat clean to stay lean. Try my Cheat Day method that I've been doing since the body building Flex Appeal days!  Eat super clean for 6 days and then eat clean plus the foods you love on the 7th day.  This way I don't feel deprived 🙂  Sign up for my Meal Plans, 3 Day Detox, Eat Clean Food Guides and Fit & Fast Cooking Recipe Program here




1. Burn more calories than you consume. In other words, eat less (but nutrient dense, healthy foods: not junk foods) and exercise more. Tip: Exercise first thing in the morning. You not only feel accomplished, you make better choices throughout the day and you will burn more calories all day long.


Live and recorded workouts MWF mornings at

2. Increase lean muscle. You will burn more calories even at rest or while sleeping. Tip: Strength training, push ups, pull ups and plyometric exercises will increase lean muscle.


3. Monounsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, olives and flax seeds help prevent fat from "sticking" around your midsection. Tip: I keep a bag of healthy nuts in my gym bag, car and purse. They make a crunchy, healthy snack that my whole family loves.

4. Eat leaner proteins, as they burn more calories for your body to digest than simple carbohydrates and fats. Try to eat egg whites instead of the whole egg, skinless chicken breasts, lean meats. Tip: I like to hard boil eggs. They are a convenient way to increase lean protein and separate the yolk from the egg white.

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5. Increase the amount of cardiovascular exercise you get to 3-4 times per week, 30 minutes per session in your fat burning zone.  Priority train. If you love cardio. such as running and enjoy the runners high, save it for after weight training. Do the most challenging exercises first and save your "favorites" for the end as a fun way to finish off your workout. For me, I love to jump rope. I do this at the end of my workout and do the exercises I enjoy the least first.

6. Eat complex carbohydrates and whole grains. Stay away from white, refined/processed breads and foods. Whole grains can help burn fat around the midsection as they keep your insulin levels lower. Tip: Teach yourself to enjoy the textures of whole grains. They are much more interesting and delicious than the sticky, gooey refined foods that stick to your middle.

7. Sleep at least 7.5 hours per night as studies show that less sleep increases the "hungry hormone". Tip: To encourage relaxation, I keep our master bedroom in neutral earth tones of cream, tan, chocolate and mocha leopard print. Lots of relaxing candles, no work related items, deep cleansing breaths, only the sound of the waves.

Add extra bursts of cardio. anywhere! With the dog, kids, at the gym, around the block!

8. Quick fix to look thinner: improve your posture. Pull abs in and up. Shoulders back and down. Easy! Try it now as you sit at the computer!


Mom was right 🙂 stand up straight


3 Discussions on
“8 Tips to Reduce Excess Belly Fat & Improve Your Lifestyle”
  • I love my husband!!
    Thought I’d start out with loving you first huh(just picking:-))
    If it wasn’t for my wonderful husband mentioning you to me I probably wouldn’t have been lucky enough to find you.
    I’m so glad a couple of years ago when I quit my trainer and the gym to get my own gym stuff at home that he told me about you.
    Time wise I needed to exercise at home. When he had to be home years ago (before me)he was layed up on the couch hurt and watched you on Flex Appeal.
    He saw me trying to continue my workouts alone and lost, surfing the web for different moves to change up my workouts. I really missed my trainer at that point and the positive support she gave me.
    I was stuck, til I found you. I had gotten stuck at 153 and not getting anywhere. I started watching you a couple years ago and fell in love with the whole ball of wax.
    I got down to 138 and bought a bikini for the first time in fifteen years.(I’m 41, glad to see you still going and helps me to know I can still do this into the future, please never stop because you are my inspiration.)
    Well for some ungodly reason last summer/early fall I got it into my head for whatever stupid reason that I could eat anything,anytime. WRONG! Wrong on so many levels!After 5 years of eating right and exercising I fell off the wagon. (They laughed when I told them that in surgery.) I guess falling off the wagon means only to drinking 🙂
    I usually do that cheat one a day a week thing and it worked til I fell off that wagon,or should I say fatly rolled off!!
    In just about four months or maybe a little longer I had gained to 160 and was miserable in so many ways, so much so that I went to the gyno for woman pain and after a surgery everything is a ok and then they send me to the bowel people who think it’s Irritable Bowels and I have a colonoscopy. After all my body is checked and I am healthy thank god it scared the crap out of me. I am back to you.
    I will not allow myself to fall off the wagon again!!
    This is a long way to tell you how much I love following you but I just had to get it off my chest.
    You are so funny, keep up the great work! In February when I started working out again my husband laughed (in A good way, not being mean)when I tried doing plank with feet on the bench and just about fell on my nose. He’s like honey what happened you used to be able to do pushups and everything.
    I feel myself getting my balance back now and things are starting to tighten again, thank god cause it got UGLY!
    I follow you again and I love you to death, I would be lost without you!I’m looking forward to getting back into shape. I like that you change everything all the time because I bore easily. I had one of those dvd workouts a couple years ago that was very good but I got sick of the same stuff over and over.
    You keep everything perfect for me. I tell all my friends and customers about you. I can’t wait til one of them gets enough of a brain to also join. I told my hairdresser and nail girl and anybody I see when the topic comes up.
    Thanks is not enough of a word but I’ll say it anyway and hope you know how much I truly mean it.
    THANKS Kiana
    Carla P.
    Harrisonburg VA

    • Aloha Carla! Thank you so much for the most thoughtful and meaningful email 🙂 You are a ray of sunshine! I am so happy that you are enjoying the online workouts, as you an tell – I love it too! I am so proud of you that you are back on track and training regularly with me online. Doesn’t it feel great to feel strong and fit? That is so great you are telling everyone about the Online Gym, it’s a new concept that is really taking off, people just need to understand the new concept! I love that I can be your trainer online! – it’s so exciting to hear of your success! Keep in touch – I’d love a before and after picture of you to see what you can accomplish in 90 days? Tell your hubby that I’ll have you doing a decline plank in no time! Hugs & Tight Buns! Kiana

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