Whenever I go back to China, I'm so happy to see my friends and family that I eat too much delicious food, and I'm always much heavier coming back to the UK than I was leaving. I used to be able to lose weight quickly but now I'm in my late thirties, I find it harder to shift and I notice that all the fat goes to one place: my belly. Belly fat slows a fighter down and for middle-aged people it can lead to health problems later on. The belly is a very stubborn keeper of fat. To successfully shift weight from this place, we need to tackle it from not only a fat burning angle but also hormonal and diet. These are my top tips.
1) Eat breakfast
Studies show that people who eat a quality breakfast, consume less calories during the day as whole. If you're like me, and you like to workout after waking, then eat a banana or a healthy milkshake. I use a food processor to blend a banana with some cashews, walnuts and milk. Food eaten before a workout boosts performance and enhances your workout.
2) Reduce Cortisol Levels
Too much stress leads to an increase in cortisol which leads to fat gathering around the belly. Holistic workouts like Qigong balance the hormones so it's important to factor these in as part of your workout. If you're rundown, stressed or busy then take a holiday from your workout and focus only on doing Qigong. Once you're feeling better then do a regular workout and include strength training, cardio and interval training. Shaolin Kung Fu has all of these elements in one fully integrated unit.
3) Eat Mindfully
At the temple we say a prayer to our food before eating it and use the eating of our food as a meditation. Mindful eating not only makes us eat more slowly, and enjoy our food, it also helps us to eat less.
4) Eat less fat and sugar
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, grains and healthy proteins. Try to cook your own food. Avoid processed food, ready-meals, cakes and sugary drinks. I never saw cereals before I came to the West. They are full of sugar and salt. Try not to eat these types of cereals and also don't drink sugary drinks more than once a week.
5) Listen to your body
Our life is complicated enough so don't over complicate your healthy living and workout. Listen to your body, tune in to it on a daily basis and listen to your own intelligence. Your body has the intelligence of the universe, it knows what it's doing. Let it talk to you and take action on its guidance.
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