I’m interested in people and their goals so what I love about my job is that I get to chat to the public and offer everyday fat-loss and fitness advice. Through my experience as a fitness coach, through the Blast Plan and my columns here, there are certain questions which pop up all the time so I thought I’d share some of them with you.

Q1: Which is the most important for fat-loss, diet or exercise?  The answer is diet, although I don’t really like that word, but yes it’s what (and how much) you eat which counts when you’re trying to lose fat. That said, moving your body has serious and wondrous benefits. See next question!

Q2: What does exercise give us, if it’s not that important for fat-loss?  No-one should ever think that exercise is just for losing weight!  Exercise will always be at the top of the prevention list for mental health, serious disease, heart conditions, some cancers and high blood pressure (and that’s just the start).  So do move that gorgeous body of yours! If you look on the NHS website and search for any serious illness, included in the list of prevention strategies will always be exercise.

Q3. My upper body is weak, how do I improve that? By lifting weights across a range of muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders, triceps, biceps).  Maybe start with easy push-ups standing up against a wall, then progress to the floor.  But keep practising with weights using all upper body muscles.  Start light at first, then work with weights which really challenge you.  Your muscles adapt to that challenge.

Q4. I’m 58 and I seem to have got more belly fat as I’ve got older.  Why is that? As we age we lose muscle, which means our body won’t burn so much energy.  That’s why strength training is so important at any age.  As women enter the peri and post-menopause stages, oestrogen levels drop and this has an effect on muscle density and the collage content of connective tissue.  Plus, your lifestyle may have changed.  A retired partner who wants a slower pace of life (and wine every night) may mean you’re storing more energy as fat.

Q5: What exercise can I do to reduce my tummy? You can’t choose where fat comes off.  If you want to lose fat from your torso, then eating a better diet is key, plus move your whole body rather than focusing on isolated abdominal work.

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for women in their midlife to be using their muscle.  Yoga, low impact hiit, weights, so long as there is some form of challenge.  Making muscles firmer means you’re less likely to put on fat, less prone to injury and your bones and joints are supported.  You’ll sleep better too!

For help, diet advice and strength training sessions online, drop me a message !  annie@anniedeadman.com.


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