[By Fiona Li]
I know it’s just the beginning of spring but if you want to get your body ready for summer, you better start RIGHT NOW! Are you tired of having to limit your swimwear choices due to your body shape? Are you always worried about being caught on camera unaware? When was the last time you wore a two piece swimsuit that flaunt both your figure and confidence? Read on to find out more about how to achieve a toned and sculpted mid-section in our exclusive interview with ex- model turned fitness trainer and mother of two, Trisha Sullivan.
RSB: Hey Trish, I was just looking at the swimwear pictorial you did recently. Your body is amazing and I can’t tell the difference between those pictures now and those taken 12 years ago. And you were telling us you just had twins a year and a half ago?
Trish: Haven’t you heard of photo-shop? I’m just kidding! (She proceeded on to lift up her tank top to reveal her eye-popping abs). Everyone has abs but there’s fat covering them. It’s all about determination and discipline. In summary, there’s only two ways to get a six pack abs — Lose your fat and strengthen your abdominal core muscles.
RSB: I’ve been doing my sit-ups and crunches religiously for ages but nothing seem to be showing! Why is that so?
Trish: You need to lose some of that extra fat over your abs. Even if you work out and get gigantic abdominal muscles, if there is still a layer of fat over them, no one will ever get to see them. And the best way to lose fat is by cardio workouts and good dietary habits. Cardio workouts can be jogging, biking, rowing or more fun activities like skipping, swimming and dancing. Switch around so you won’t get bored and will be more likely to engage in them in the long run. We are talking about at least 30 to 45 minutes sessions, 3 to 5 times a week. Try Interval training which is short burst of furious activity followed by longer periods of low activity. Researchers think that interval training helps burn fat better than exercising at the same intensity for longer times. So for instance if you are running, alternate between jogging with lapse of sprinting.
RSB: I know that diet is the cornerstone to weight loss and I’ve tried many but gave up as many times as well. Any tips on how to keep the tough going?
Trish: Fad and crash diets are sure to fail and backfire! The trick is really to eat everything in moderation. Have a breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper. In our fast and hurry world, many people skip breakfast because they don’t have time for it. The harm of skipping breakfast is twofold from a weight loss perspective. Firstly, it causes you to get hungrier later on which might leads to overeating, and secondly it fails to jump start your metabolism which could be raised by up to 10% of its baseline with a hearty, healthy breakfast. Go for lean protein, fiber and whole grains and cut back on sugary and high fatty processed food.
RSB: A lot of guys and gals I know exercise and watch their diet like a hawk and yet they reach a frustrating plateau in getting that 6 packs abs. What’s the next step?
Trish: First we got to be aware that there is no way to target fat loss in any one area of your body with exercising. Just like your body deposits fat in many different places, it burns fat in your entire body, not just from your abs or your thighs. In addition, weight or resistance training is important to limit the amount of muscle mass lost whilst reducing your calorie intake. If you do only cardiovascular exercises without weight training, you may lose the muscle mass, including the muscle in your abs. It’s a genetic fact that for some people there will always be just a little more fat over the muscle layers than we’d like. (shrugs)
RSB: So does this mean that these people will never be able to have a toned and sculpted mid-section like yours?
Trish: Well, sometimes we just have to bring our expectations a notch down and explore other possibilities. Usually those belonging to this group will not have ‘enough fat’ and any respectable plastic surgeon will not perform a liposuction on them and subject them to the surgical and anaesthetic risks that come with it. Ok, to be honest, let me share a little secret with you. After having my twins, I worked really hard to try to get back my figure but no matter how much I work out and control my diet; I just can’t seem to lose that last bit of fat. Also, with a preggers’ weight gain of 18kg, I had a fair bit of loose skin which contributed to my ‘lost abs’. (chuckles) Ah well…(paused) I did have a little help somewhere along the way.
RSB: Oh really? Please tell!
Trish: The truth is, I had a little help from 2 fabulous non-surgical medical procedures for target fat loss and skin tightening; namely Coolsculpting and Thermage Abdomen.
Also known as cryolypolisis or fat freezing, Coolsculpting is rapidly becoming a popular and mostly pain-free in-office procedure. All you have to do is to lie down for an hour or two when the applicator is placed over the area(s) to be treated when suction is applied. I felt so little discomfort during the procedure that I was able to catch up with some reading! When it’s done, the only sign that the procedure has been carried out was a little redness which didn’t last long and I was able to go back to my gym routine shortly after. The frozen fat is then gradually eliminated through the urine over 2 to 3 months with scientific papers recognized by the FDA showing results of up to 22% of fat loss. In other words, a fifth of the blubber around the waist is gotten rid of for good. It’s really more of a ‘shaping’ and not a ‘de-bulking’ fat loss procedure excellent for treating stubborn pockets of adipose tissue.
The other technology, Thermage CPT uses radio frequency to stimulate collagen production and tighten skin. In addition, it also helped me with my cellulite! Similar to Coolsculpting, results were best seen 2 to 3 months down the road and by keeping a photo diary on Instagram in my iPhone, I was able to track my progress of pairing these two wonderful procedures with my diet and exercise regime.
RSB: That’s giving me a load of inspiration and hope! Thanks for sharing the wonderful tips, Trish!
Trish: My pleasure! And remember, opinions on weight loss and exercise routines are like noses — everyone has one but they’re all different. Ultimately, you should find something you enjoy and that you will adhere to. See you at the beach this summer, babe!