Whether you rock a midriff baring bikini at the beach or not, you deserve to know what can help you shrink that belly, avoid the bloat and feel fabulous!
1. Limit cocktails to one a dayThe first thing your liver processes is alcohol. It processes alcohol before other carbs and protein and in doing so it slows down fat burning in the body. So you don't have to skip out on those happy hour fun times, you just have to limit yourself to one drink. That's 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1 ounce of a spirit.
2. Eat frequent small meals
Eating too little is not good as it sends your body into "starvation mode." This means your body will store fat for energy because it doesn't know when it will be refuelled. For some wonderful, healthy meal and snack ideas, check out The BodyRock Meal Plan!
3. Strength train
Don't overdo your cardio. Muscle is metabolically more active than fat and this means that the more muscle you have, the more active your metabolism is and you'll burn a greater number of calories over the course of your day. Resistance training builds lean muscle and exercise physiologist and author, Tom Holland, recommends doing 2-3 total body strength sessions a week. As for cardio, Holland says you only have to do your weight. For example, if you are 145 pounds, you need to do 145 minutes a week and you can break this up into whatever will fit your schedule. Like 60 mins on Saturday, 40 on Tuesday and 45 Thursday.
4. Work your abs from every angle
When you are doing your ab circuit, celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, says to think about three planes of motion. Think crunches for front to back, up and down movement, standing side bends for frontal side to side movement, and twists or chops for transverse or rotational motion. There are lots of different moves that cover this range of motion. Be creative with it but just make sure to incorporate all three planes. If you feel like your creativity has run dry, we can help. Get over 80 hours of on demand, real time workouts with SweatFlix℠. Have a look!
5. Drink green tea to boost metabolism
EGCG is an antioxidant found in green tea and studies have shown it to be effective in boosting metabolism and even possibly targeting abdominal fat. The studies all used high doses of tea and so if you aren't able to drink massive amounts, know that any amount is beneficial.
6. Eat herbs to reduce bloat
There are a few natural, and effective, ways to reduce bloating. Ginger, peppermint and chamomile aid in digestions and may reduce bloat. If you don't feel up to drinking herbal tea, have a little snack of pineapple. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which appears to do the same thing.
7. Eat protein and leafy green veggies for dinner
To avoid holding water when you wake up, eat protein and leafy greens -- and only protein and leafy greens -- at dinner. No dessert or nighttime snacks, just the protein and greens at dinner.
8. Do plank vacuums and suck in your stomach
Peterson works his clients toward holding a plank for 1 minute. Then, he has them perform vacuums. To perform a vacuum, while planking, suck in your abs like you are trying to button a pair of pants that are too tight. Hold for 3 counts, then release for 3 counts. Repeat until the end of the plank.
9. Keep a food journal
Keeping a food journal is not only a good way to keep your weight loss on track, it is a good way to identify your bloat triggers. Write down what you are eating and how your stomach feels afterwards. Ask yourself, 'do I feel gassy?' or 'do I feel full after only a few bites?' If the answer is yes, you've likely identified a trigger.
10. Eat more monounsaturated fats
Monounsaturated fats, like the fats found in olives, nuts and avocados, are great for helping you keep your diet on track. They are filling and add flavour to your meals. They also help increase fat oxidation. But they are high in calories so make sure you are only having 2-3 servings a day and be very careful about portion size.
For more flat belly tips, head here. Have you mastered a flat tummy? What are your tips?
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