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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the best exercises to tighten the lower abdominal region?

    I have recently improved my eating habits and increased my exercise and have lost 8kg. Whilst I am eating better I now need to work on reducing my portion sizes and snacking so I can bring the exercise back to a more reasonable level (currently 2+ hours a day at least 6 days a week). My general health has improved although so much exercise is starting to leave me exhausted and hence craving sugary foods again. I am reducing my flubber and increasing my muscle mass, but whilst I seem to have muscle building up in the lower abdomen I can't seem to lose the balloon belly. I have achieved the upper part of a 6 pack, but the lower end refuses to pull into line.
    I have my own weight bench with lat pull-down, exercise bike, elliptical, mini trampoline and weighted hula hoop.
    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1

    Thanks

    Dr Adam Gavine

    Chiropractor

    I am a chiropractor who specialises in Active Release Techniques and instrument assisted soft-tissue treatment. I have a keen interest in everything nutritional as I … View Profile

    You are overtraining. The symptoms you are describing are typical of over training (feeling exhausted, food cravings etc..) You need to figure out what you want to achieve from training: get lean, get big and strong, have lots of endurance for endurance sports. For each of these goals there is a different method of training. So you need to figure out what you want to train for.

    Your main problem is likely to do with cortisol levels being too high. Here are some ways you can help decrease your cortisol levels. Train less: cut down to a max of 4 proper training sessions per week and only for 60-90 mins. Cut down on your caffeine intake, if you drink a lot of coffee/tea/cola. Get more sleep, you should ideally get between 8-9 hours sleep per night. This will help decrease your cortisol levels.

    Cortisol is our fight or flight hormone and is useful in those situations, however, when we have long term high levels of cortisol we get some negative effects. Cortisol raises blood sugar levels, which can cause fat gain, it also increases blood pressure and decreases insulin sensitivity. 

    You may not be getting adequate protein intake. Ideally we should get 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you weight 200 lbs (90kg) you should be taking in 200 grams of protein per day. You can also try going low carb. Somewhere around 70-80 grams per day. You shouldn't have to worry about portion size if you are eating protein and fats.

    If you want to find out more look up Robb Wolf the author of The Paleo Solution.

    Cheers

    Dr Adam Gavine

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