Asked by Steve, Antelope, California
I have been working out religiously and eating very healthy for the past six months and have lost about 25 pounds, now down to 170. I am 5 feet 9. However, I am still having a difficult time getting the area around my stomach trimmed down. It is so frustrating to keep losing weight but not see the "spare tire" go away. My question is, what should be my ideal weight, and what suggestions do you have to focus that weight loss on my midsection? My workouts consist of running on the treadmill, various ab exercises and some light to moderate weight training. Thank you.
Diet and Fitness Expert
Dr. Melina Jampolis
Physician Nutrition Specialist
Hi, Steve. Congratulations on losing 25 pounds. You are already much healthier despite the frustration with your remaining "spare tire." Your BMI (body mass index), which is a simple calculation of your weight relative to your weight and is a good indicator of total body fat and disease risk, is 25.1. Normal BMI is 18.5-24.9 so you are just a few pounds overweight, according to government criteria, so losing a few more pounds is reasonable. To lose those last few pounds and keep them off, here are a few suggestions:
1. Change the intensity or duration of your running workout to boost calorie burning. Your body may have become accustomed to your current workout and may not be burning as many calories as it did when you were less fit and weighed more. You could run for an extra 10 to 15 minutes several times per week, add a slight incline to your run or try interval training (adding five to 10 30- to 60-second "sprints" during your regular run). This can boost calorie burning and may help you take off those last few pounds.
2. Increase the intensity of your weight training. Building muscle can help burn more calories 24 hours a day, giving you a big metabolic boost. It can also help offset the muscle loss associated with aging (about 3 percent per decade).
3. Measure your waist. If your waist is greater than 40 inches, you might consider cutting back on carbohydrates somewhat, especially processed and sugary carbs, to get rid of those last few pounds in the belly area. Carrying extra weight around your waist can be associated with a decreased tolerance for carbohydrates, so cutting back on carbohydrates may help you lose weight more easily, especially stubborn belly fat.
Hope this helps. Good luck and keep up the good work.
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