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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I lose the last of my belly fat?

    I am a 16 yo girl and I participate in HIIT workouts at least 5 times a week before school for at least 35 minutes and follow that by strength training using body weight for at least 10 minutes.

    Every second day I might follow that with an afternoon jog, swim or rollerblading. I try hard to avoid high fat, high sugar and high salt foods.

    Despite all this I seem to only be maintaining my current weight of 52.5 kg (I am 160cm) and still have excess fat on my stomach and thighs. I really need advice on how to achieve that completely flat, toned stomach that doesn't bulge over my jeans as it doesn't feel comfortable.
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    Hi, I’m an Inner-West Sydney based Nutritionist and Accredited Practicing Dietitian. I’m committed to helping people finding a way of eating that allows them to … View Profile

    Hello, 
    It sounds like you're pretty unhappy with how your body is looking at the moment. 

    I just wanted to let you know that your current body weight is perfectly healthy for your height, and you would still be a healthy weight if you were 10kg heavier! It's also important to remember that having fat is normal and important. It keeps our hormones working correctly, and protects our insides from damage. 

    At your age it's important that you're eating enough to grow - you probably have at least few more centimetres to grow. 

    It's great you care about your health by exercising and eating healthily, but remember that the point of exercising and a good diet is to look after your body, not just to lose weight.

    As you're a healthy weight, and probably still growing, I wouldn't recommend you try to lose any weight. Maybe go and treat yourself to some jeans or other clothes that you feel comfortable in? It's not that you're too big - your clothes are probably just too small! 

    Please feel free to get in contact with me if you have any questions. 
    Sincerely, 
    Jessica Bailes
    jessica@jessicabailes.com

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    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I think that Jessica has offered you excellent advice.

    One thing that you wrote struck me (and I do not mean it to be challenging):

    "I really need advice on how to achieve that completely flat, toned stomach"

    With respect, that sounds like something from a fashion magazine.

    From what you have written, you are a healthy young woman who is eating and exercising well - please ignore the fashion magazine nonsense.

    With care.

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