1. Avoid white bread and pasta and only eat carbs after exerciseAvoid refined carbohydrates (like white bread and pasta) because they enter the blood stream faster. They are absorbed quickly which causes an insulin spike and then an energy crash. Unprocessed carbohydrates (i.e. whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits) increase feelings of feeling full and release sugar into the blood stream at a much slower rate, stabilizing the blood sugar. Dr. John Berardi, from Precision Nutrition, says that your body is more capable of processing carbs directly after a workout so that is the best time to eat them. HOW THIS WILL HELP YOU: When you consume excess carbohydrate (and, by extension, if your carbohydrate consumption isn’t paired with activity) these carbohydrates are stored for future use, often as body fat.
2. Do full body exercisesThe more muscle groups you use, the more calories you will burn both during and after the workout. By doing complex movements instead of isolation movements, you are using more of your body and therefore requiring more energy. You will burn more calories after exercise due to EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). When you start exercising your body goes from rest to increased metabolic activity, thereby requiring more oxygen. You body delays in responding to an increased oxygen requirement creating an "oxygen debt," when you are done working out, your body pays back the debt through EPOC. HOW THIS WILL HELP YOU: EPOC has the additional benefit of increasing your daily energy expenditure as well as your metabolism, turning your body into a calorie-burning furnace, which will assist in losing those inches around the middle.
3. Do short bursts of high intensity exerciseThe most common excuse for not exercising is lack of time but skipping sweat sessions won't help you trim your tummy. A study from Canada’s McMaster University, found that high intensity interval training (short blasts of exercise followed by short periods of recovery) gives you the same exercise benefits as longer stints on the treadmill. Get more done, in less time! HOW THIS WILL HELP YOU: High intensity interval training will create a positive knock on effect in terms of EPOC, leading to higher energy demands for recovery and more calories burned for longer.
4. Write down what you eat (including how you feel 2 hours after)Make sure your eating is less a reflex response and more of a considered action. To get a sense of what you are eating and how it is affecting you, try this for the next 30 days:
1. Try on an outfit that currently doesn’t fit – take a selfie wearing this outfit.
2. Start writing down everything you eat, and the time you eat it, in a dedicated notepad. Be diligent and keep this up for 30 days.
3. When you finish each meal, set your phone alarm for two hours later, then ask yourself
- What is my energy level like?
- How full do I feel?
4. Record the results based on the following criteria:
- I have a high energy level/I feel satisfied and not hungry
- I have a moderate energy level/I feel just a bit peckish
- I have no energy/I could easily gnaw off my own arm I’m so hungry
5. In 30 days, take the selfie again.
HOW THIS WILL HELP YOU: Watching your energy level patterns is an effective way to monitor your blood sugar levels.
What do you think? Might this help you with your frustratingly difficult midsection? Do you have amazing abs? tell us how you got there.