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When you start to get a little older like me, it can feel daunting to go to the gym, which is often filled with the young athletes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay slim!

I’m guilty of eating not one but often two sweet rolls when presented the opportunity. But I’ve been staying firm on only eating one piece of pizza when this happens at group luncheons.

My lack of discipline has contributed to some belly fat that I would still like to lose. For this reason, I remain a work in progress with information to share.

My problem is that I’ve done well this year to lose about 35 pounds and maintain my smaller body, but there is more to do. I still have extra flab around the midsection that I’d like to lose.

And I intend to do that without getting a membership at the local gym!

At the beginning of 2018, I suffered from inflammation, a weak body, and feeling frustrated. I was overweight and out of shape. I finally had enough and set a goal to drops pounds until I weighed what I weighed on my wedding day, 26 years ago. I made the commitment to myself to start with a meal plan, shared below.

Even though resistance came from my family, I stuck to the plan. Sooner than I thought possible changes happened. I was getting results with looser fitting clothes and regained confidence!

Now that I’ve experienced some measure of success, I’d like to lose the belly fat around my waist. The goal is to reduce the flab you can pinch with your fingers. This layer below the skin is subcutaneous fat, formed to store glucose (sugar) in fat cells. These are specialized cells for later use, and difficult to get rid of.

If we eat more calories than we need, these fat cells will continue to grow and remain there until needed by the body. These cells only get used up when the body has no other source of sugars. Subcutaneous fat is the last energy source chosen for cell function if at all meaning it’s easier to build this fat than lose it!

Visceral fat is deep belly fat located under muscles in the stomach. It can cause significant health complications when there is an excess amount. This type of fat is can lead to cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

We cannot target which type of fat to cut. Fat cells from all around the body contribute when needed. However, calorie cutting diets and exercise are effective ways of reducing visceral fat.

So, if I want to lose the remaining belly fat that is still stuck to my midsection, I will need to eat less and move more.

When my body needs more calories than the food I’ve eaten, it will burn the fat stored in my body. This will result in the weight loss I desire. I can do this by performing simple exercises at home. Or get enough movement exercise by doing outdoor chores.

Losing belly fat can reverse symptoms of diabetes. It prevents the deadly effects of heart disease. It will restore youthful energy, strength, sex drive, and vigor. Total body transformation takes place.

However, the speed of weight loss is less important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends dropping 1-2 pounds per week. This is best for healthy and ideal long-term results. Weight reduction faster than this is a “crash” diet, and not recommended by physicians.

When your body goes through a weight reduction program you want to control the process. Results must be sustainable. Don’t risk starting the process and then regaining the weight. Make sure your body can adapt to the physiological changes.

Since the beginning of the year, I have lost weight and now maintain it by establishing meal routines. Throughout the week, I know when and what I’ve eaten over the past 24 hours. Meals include a smoothie for breakfast, salad for lunch, and lean meat, chicken, or fish for dinner. Often, I record what I’ve eaten during the day in a diary.

Menu items are plant-based whole food vegetables and fruits, and good quality proteins. When shopping at the grocery store I stay to the outside aisles. This helps me avoid purchasing any processed foods.

The foods to avoid include lunch meats and processed helper concoctions. I also avoid high sugar foods like yogurt, ice cream, and soda drinks. Milk and cheese and wheat bread are on the “do not buy” list, too.

Outside aisle food includes whole food vegetables, fruits, meats (beef, chicken, fish). Almond milk, pasta, brown rice, and frozen blueberries also find places in the cart. At home, ready to use green leafy lettuce, rice, beans, squash, potatoes are in the refrigerator.

Various meal combinations to suit most peoples tastes are possible with these items, and becoming less reliant on animal proteins will also help on the weight loss journey.

If I stick to the routine, this group of foods keeps me satiated. Between meals, I don’t snack on protein bars which are bad for you if you’re trying to control your weight.

I’m feeling good about this plan. I have better control over my body. I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself by eating reduced portions when I leave the dinner table.

If this plan sounds good, you may need to make changes. This is the plan I put in place that helped me lose 35 pounds. In a short three months, I had a new body. Now I maintain it and enjoy the health benefits.

This didn’t come easy at first though. There is a very good program called The Lean Belly Breakthrough that can help guide you and avoid the early mistakes I made. The program is great because it covers both dietary requirements and exercise routines which are easy and can be carried out without a gym membership!

Know that being overweight is no fault of your own. Our society and the media bombard us with ads that encourage the wrong selection of food. For healthy living alternatives, we must educate ourselves. Making the necessary changes in diet and exercise will regain control of our bodies. Let’s strive for weight optimization!

Now, I believe you are reading this blog because we have something in common. We want to be healthy and we want to lose a few pounds to feel better.

Understanding the adverse effects of being overweight will get you motivated to make changes. It is possible to end depressive moods, joint pain, sore feet, brain fog, as well as acid indigestion just by losing excess weight.

Reversing these symptoms will change your life and make weight control fun.

Join me on this health journey!