Heather Gannoe-Hart is an avid runner, adventure seeker, Exercise Physiologist, and writer for her blog Relentless Forward Commotion. For Heather, running started as an attempt to shed some pregnancy weight after having her first baby—eventually, it turned into a passion that kick-started a new outlook on life. Relentless Forward Commotion is a place where she shares her passion for fitness, the outdoors, and the newest adventure she encounters, whether its trail running, mud runs, obstacle courses, cycling, or hiking. Her fitness journey will inspire you to step outside your comfort zone, try something new, and see the world in an entirely new way.
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Successfully flattening your stomach is a matter of burning body fat and building muscle. The best way to burn body fat is through cardio exercises such as running, walking, elliptical training, and bicycling. With these exercises, burning stomach fat, shedding love handles, and building a six pack is completely do-able. So send your body the memo: flat abs are in style and it’s time to get yours!
Committed runners have athletic bodies with little excess fat.  Committed spinners do too, the same way committed cyclists do.  The advantage of spinning over other forms of exercise is that it puts very little stress on the joints.  Runners experience constant stress on their feet, ankles, knees, hips, and spine as they run.  Bicyclists do not torture their feet and ankles, but potholes and bumps do jar the spine and major joints.  Both runners and cyclists are in an uncontrolled environment, exposing themselves to the hazards of the trail or the road.In fact, Dr. Todd Battaglia of St. Joseph’s Hospital claims there are more than 200,000 ACL injuries occur each year in the United States alone and affect individuals of all levels, from recreational athletes to professionals.Spinning offers a safe alternative, being conducted in a controlled, professionally managed environment that offers all the cardio benefits of other forms of exercise, in company with an enthusiastic group of co-conspirators.   
Jennifer, you have given absolutely wonderful advice here. You get it! The only thing I would tell you is that while milk chocolate is not good for you, dark chocolate is (65% cacao or higher). The principles you outline are basically what I’ve been following, so I know what you say is accurate. The other thing I’ve learned is that one can have alcoholic beverages in moderation and still lose weight. I am certain that if you stick with the principles you’ve outlined, you will keep your weight off. Congratulations on a job well done!
To overcome this obstacle, you need to turn your thoughts around.  Instead of feeling intimidated think of the fit people as role models in the gym.  Mimic their tenacity and realize that they are in shape because they are not only working out consistently, but they are working out hard.  They commonly put themselves in a physically uncomfortable place to reach their goals and so can you.  Also, pick your chin up and realize that instead of wondering why you are there, being overweight and out of shape, change your thoughts to how they are applauding you for stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a positive step in the right direction.  Once you start realizing that you have just as much right to be there as they do, you will get past that uncomfortable place and move forward with your goals.
Have Protein at Every Meal and Snack. Adding a source of lean or low-fat protein to each meal and snack will help keep you feeling full longer so you're less likely to overeat. Try low-fat yogurt, small portion of nuts, peanut butter, eggs, beans, or lean meats. Experts also recommend eating small, frequent meals and snacks (every 3-4 hours), to keep your blood sugar levels steady and to avoid overindulging.
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