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toning up

I've been running on my lunch hour for 20 min the last 8 weeks and haven't seen any change in my body. I'm 5'4" and 120 lbs. I've had two kids and am 34. I'm athletic and played soccer in college. We live on a horse farm, so I've always been active. My issue is I still have a little stomach pouch and a little extra on my outer thighs. I just can't seem to tighten anything up. I've tried to do kettlebell and abs a few timed a week. We eat overall healthy. Any suggestions on how to tone these areas?

Hi Stefanie,

It sounds like you're doing all the right things!

For being 5'4", 120 lbs sounds perfect for you weight-wise. Women naturally have much more body fat than men. For example, a male bodybuilder in peak shape for a competition will generally never get below 4% bodyfat, whereas a woman will generally never get below 8% bodyfat. However, it's very unhealthy for a woman to have below 10-12% bodyfat for an extended period of time, and most women at their ideal weight will be between 12-14% bodyfat, some more some less depending on their body type.

When you say you have extra on your outer thighs, compared to what? Without a picture I can't tell if it's perfectly normal or not. My best guess knowing most women who I've worked with is that it's a perfectly normal amount of bodyfat.

If you want to get more toned, first of all you're going to have to commit to doing exercises that will get you toned in your abs and buttocks/thigh. For abs, try Myotatic crunches and "cat vomit exercises" to get maximal ab workout with minimal effort and time. This will also help burn off any excess fat in that area (although it sounds like there's not much!)

For thighs/buttocks, kettlebells should work great as long as you're doing them right. You want to work up to 30 minutes 3-4 times a week. You should be sweating quite a bit when you're done.

Both of those exercises are expounded upon in The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss with detailed instructions.

Also, for stomach pouch you might consider a cleanse of some kind. The average American has 12 pounds of feces stuck in their gut - and you might find going on a gentle cleanse will get rid of the pouch quickly when you clean out your gut.

For more great nutrition and weight loss tips, you can get Dr. Candace Corson's Top 5 Nutrition Tips Report (Valued at $97) for free at www.AuthenticHealthCoach.com

Hope that helps!
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