Fitolution – Exercise #3 and Habit #3

Welcome to Exercise #3 of the Ab Challenge and to Habit #3.
 Today you are going to work on the obliques. 

Exercise: 
Side Riser Plank

This plank variation is a hybrid of a side forearm plank and a high plank.

  • Begin with the high-plank set-up (see below). Lower down onto the right forearm and spin the legs so they are stacked with weight on the outer edge of the right foot. Reach the left arm up toward the ceiling.
  • Place the left hand down and push the body back up to high-plank position.
  • Lower down onto the left forearm and spin the legs so they are stacked with weight on the outer edge of the left foot. Reach the right arm up toward the ceiling.
  • Place the right hand down and push the body back up to high-plank position.
  • Repeat this alternating pattern for 10 reps. Perform two sets.

High Plank

Position the body face down with hands underneath the shoulders and inner arms close to the body. Tuck the toes and contract the quadriceps and glutes so the knees come slightly off the floor. Engage the abdominals, inhale, and on the exhale press the body up in one unit to high-plank position. You should be in a straight line from head to heels. 

Forearm Plank

Position the body face down with the elbows bent underneath the shoulders and the forearms and palms firmly planted into the ground. Tuck the toes and contract the quadriceps and glutes so the knees come slightly off the floor. Engage the abdominals, inhale, and on the exhale press the body up onto the forearms. You should be in a straight line from head to heels. 


Habit:Keep doing your first & second habit.  Why?  Habits are cumulative — they build on each other, one by one.  So a new habit doesn’t mean ditch the old one.  A new habit means you simply add one more tool to your tool belt.  In other words, keep doing the older habits:

  1. Take a 5-Minute Action 
  2. Eat Slowly

Habit #3 – Stop When 80% Full
Key points

  • This is the second “anchor habit”. To lose fat, you usually have to eat less than you do now.
  • “80% full” is not a specific number, but rather an idea: Eating until “just satisfied” or “no longer hungry” but not full or stuffed.
  • This habit continues to teach appetite awareness, building intuitive understanding and control of hunger/fullness. Over time, you can learn to sense your hunger and satiety cues properly, as well as distinguish physical hunger from cravings.
  • This habit helps you analyze eating habits as a process (rather than something that “just happens”). You can identify situations/cues that contribute to your eating habits. Improves mindfulness.
  • This habit puts the burden of action on you — you have to struggle to figure this out.
  • This is a “hard” habit: Harder to do, although simpler to understand.

The How to

  • Be ready for questions and resistance. Allow yourself to figure this out slowly. This can be mentally, emotionally, or physically uncomfortable.
  • At first, you may not be able to feel hunger or fullness, or any stomach cues. Just keep learning and paying attention to any signs that you are physically hungry or full, such as:
    • Hunger cues: “hunger headache”; light-headedness or “spaced out”; being “hangry” (hungry + angry); growling or empty-feeling stomach; etc.
    • Over-fullness cues (ate too much): feeling stuffed/bloated; heartburn; feeling nauseated or gassy; feeling heavy and sluggish; etc.
    • Satiety cues (ate just enough): feeling energized and no longer hungry; feeling generally satisfied; feeling as though you could get up from the table and do something (such as go for a walk); etc.
  • You may need to learn what “100% full” or even “120% full” is first, before you can get to “80%”.
  • Once you learn your cues, you can learn to stop short of “stuffed” or plan to eat before you get too hungry to make good decisions.
  • Reassure yourself that although you should start working on this anchor habit now, you will have many chances to practice it throughout the program. 
  • Do you have chronic stomach upset?  You may find that this habit plus the previous one actually helps your condition — perhaps even to the point of helping you cut down or get off stomach medications.
     

Strength or Cardio:

Is it a strength or cardio day? If you don’t have a solid strength exercise plan, refer to the plan given on Day #1.  Cardio day?  Walk, run, jog, dance, elliptical, Arc, row, bike, whatever you prefer.

Nutrition:

Get enough protein at each meal?  Keep those carbs down and those proteins high at each meal. Great abs, the kind that turns heads, are only visible when you do this consistently over time.Don’t be strict . . . be SMART!

Have questions?  As always, I’m only one click away.