HELP! I've Got Ripped Upper Abs and a Down-Low "Pooch"

Plus, a futuristic fat freezing treatment for fit people. Alliteration forever!

Mar 12, 2012 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

Hey Julie,
Love your articles! And I LOVED how XOJANE did the real bellies project! BUT, I have a problem. I have a "pooch" - lower ab sag :( and I have tried to exercise but where everything else tones and shrinks my pooch refuses to budge! I have done everything under the sun - to the extent that I will get like ripped upper abs and a pooch! Can you please recommend any exercises for peeps like us stuck with the lower belly bulge!

Please and thank you,
Z

When it comes to abs, everyone has a different theory on what works. I'm convinced that's because there isn't a universal solution to melting away a "pooch."

Cat hates when I quote an expert, but Michael, who I worked with on "Fat Ass the Workout," says, "Abs are made in the kitchen." He believes is that diet plays more of a role in how the abdomen looks than exercise. That's his theory.

For me, Michael's mantra is true in the sense that certain foods cause bloating and distension. So much so that before I discovered which ones bothered my stomach, someone once asked me in earnest if I was pregnant. Can you imagine?

Anyway, a lot of these trigger foods are thought of as healthy or low-calorie, but you won't catch me eating them today while I'm in swimwear, albeit reluctantly (feeling comfortable in a bikini has nothing to do with size).

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When I need a flat stomach immediately, I skip artificial sweeteners, which are tough to digest and make me look like I swallowed a basketball. This means that diet soda, sweetener, sugar-free gum and foods with ingredients like sorbitol are all off limits. If you check the labels on low-calorie foods, you'll often find artificial sweeteners lurking on the list as well.

Other flat stomach saboteurs include vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and fruits such as apples and pears. For me though, fruits and vegetables are fine when you juice them like Cat. She's still juicing by the way, but has reintroduced solids as well.

Whether you agree with Michael or not, if it's washboard abs you're after, your body fat percentage has to be very low to see muscle definition. Cardio, not just spot training, makes for ripped abs.

If you find that diet and exercise still aren't cutting it and you really want to do away with the spot that's bothering you, there are, of course, medical options. CoolSculpting is the latest in non-invasive fat reduction treatment and it's great for fit people like you. Cat will tell you more about it soon though; she's the expert.

Okay, I have to run -- I'm in Miami -- I hope this helps! I know everyone has their own go-to ab exercises and diet things. What are they? What else works? Tell me!

[I say, love your pooch or whatever you want to call it.  It is part of you. ]

Follow Julie to the pool @JR_Schott.