The #Fix: How To Zap Lower Ab Fat
Byon 26 Sep 2013
As a relatively thin and petite woman, I've started to gain weight right where they say it begins: In my lower belly.
Pot belly, belly pooch, a flap of fat I can grab sitting or standing -- call it what you want -- it doesn't appear to be leaving my body anytime soon. I've officially entered the "I don't want to put on my bikini club" and the fat is congregating right in my lower-belly region. My legs are toned, my arms are fit, I still even have a slightly protruding collarbone, but my lower belly is a different story (see photo above). My search for the perfect fix begins. FITNESS FIX Sit-ups seem like a sensible solution in this situation, but celebrity trainer Sara Haley tells me there's so much more to it than your typical up-and-down movements. "The key to getting rid of belly fat is a combo of cardio and core strength training. I can’t stress enough how important the cardio component is. The more fat you can burn, the more you will be able to see definition. So just simply doing abdominal exercises is not enough," she says. Sara suggests that I mix cardio with ab-defining exercises to diminish my irritating fat.
"A perfect example is the Sweat Box workout on my DVD Sweat UNLIMITED. It alternates between boxing cardio drills and core strengthening exercises to keeps your heart rate up as you burn the belly fat," she says.
And if I'm looking for a go-to exercise, Sara says a simple plank pose can do the trick.
"The plank is one of the single best exercises you can do to strengthen the core. Begin in a push-up position on hands and toes. Feel free to come down to your forearms for an added challenge and feel free to modify by going down to knees. Shoulders should stay down away from ears. Your back should stay nice and flat. Squeeze your glutes and abs tight. Work to hold for at least one minute," she says.
Before I get knees-deep in my core exercises though, I turn to a too-good-to-be-true solution that I hope will work magic overnight. Bliss' Fat Girl Sixpack claims to reduce belly fat with caffeine, amino acids, creatine, oat kernel extract, latex-rich manilkara tree extract, menthol, and a special botanical extract. Sounds exotic, enticing -- and more importantly -- easy. I put it on before I go to bed hoping to wake up the next morning with washboard abs, but after spending the night with a mint-scented stomach, it looks no different than it did the night before. This clearly won't give me the results I'm looking for. I continue my search and learn that Zeltiq's CoolSculpting is a possible real fix. With a Worth It rating of 72% on RealSelf, CoolSculpting freezes unwanted fat cells in a non-surgical procedure. "Pre-dated by many non-surgical devices claiming to reduce fat, Zeltiq (Coolsculpting) has been the effort of much research by well respected labs. The device does indeed freeze the fat (Cryolipolysis) and these cells eventually die, diminish and are removed by the body. this takes 60-90 days, but has appeared to be very consistent. We have performed this treatment to paitients for over 1 year. I had it done myself," writes Barry E. DiBernardo, MD in a discussion about the topic. Unfortunately, I don't have an extra $1,000 to shell out and combat my belly fat. On to the next one.
Weighing my options, I consult my friend Rory McDonough who is a stylist in New York City. Coming from one who dresses women to the nines for magazine covers, he shares his number one fix with me: "Suck it all in with Spanx." Duh! FASHION FIX But Spanx aren't exactly the sexiest undergarment to wear and I don't even own a pair. How can I look slimmer and hide my bulging belly in clothes that I already own? "I'd try to draw the eye to a different area. If you have great legs, show them off. If you have a great chest, accentuate the chest. Also play with the silhouette of a dress. Try an empire waist, that doesn't cut into your stomach," Rory says.
If I want a serious and extreme solution, Smart Lipo seems hopeful and reasonable -- especially since I'm not dealing with excess skin after giving birth. I'm only 23 and I'm just suffering from a case of stubborn belly fat. "...For those recalcitrant areas of focal fat deposition, some dieting with *Smart Lipo for the finishing touches will be a winning combination," Dr. Peter G. Lee says.