Getting flat abs and a trim tummy requires a little more than doing planks and eating clean. If you are looking for a flat belly, you have to adopt (and stick with) healthy habits that help you reach that end. Luckily for you, the changes you're required to make are not big -- but when done together, they have a massive impact!
Here are 5 things people with enviable abs do as second nature:
1. They don't eat plain oatmeal
Or cereal. Or yogurt. A handful of fruit will not only make your oatmeal taste better, it will go a long way to helping you get the abs of your dreams. Research published in the BMJ
suggests that flavonoids, particularly ones called anthocyanins -- which give fruit like blueberries, cherries, and strawberries their dark colour -- may help promote weight loss (want to work other healthy foods into your diet? Check out the BodyRock Meal Plan
). For every 10 milligrams of anthocyanins people consumed a day, they weighed 0.2 pounds less. It doesn't sound like much but when you consider that a half cup of blueberries contains 12 times this amount, it can add up for you in a hurry! Prior research in rats has found that these antioxidants may impact the chemicals in the brain that are linked to appetite. "Some of those studies found that higher flavonoid intake decreased energy intake and increased energy expenditure, which are two ways eating flavonoid-rich foods may relate to weight maintenance," says BMJ
study author Monica Bertoia, PhD, a research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
2. They talk to themselves
Talking to yourself does not make you crazy. It can actually be a very useful and powerful tool. "Asking yourself one simple question on a daily basis is very powerful," says Robby D'Angelo, who lost over 100 pounds and co-authored The Struggle Is Real
. "And the question is 'Will this choice get me closer to or further away from my goals?'" That question could make the difference between whether or not you have a massive bowl of ice cream for dessert or go for a post meal walk. One decision is obviously more ab friendly than the other.
If you want to take this method a step further, write down your next goal on a piece of paper the size of a business card and keep it in your wallet. Or, put it on your fridge. Put your written goal in a place where you will see it every single day. The reminder will keep the goal in the front of your mind and help you make healthier choices over the course of the day.
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3. They move their bodies
People with flat stomachs actively focus on moving their bodies each day. Making it a priority goes a long way in helping you reduce belly fat. According to a study published in Obesity,
moderately active people reduce their belly fat by 7% compared to those who are less active. Moving more may feel daunting but it doesn't have to be. Going to the grocery store? Park as far away as humanly possible. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you have 10 minutes to spare during your day (and let's be honest, who doesn't have 10 minutes?), you can squeeze in a full workout. Many BodyRock workouts last only 10-20 minutes! For access to over 115 hours of real time, on demand BodyRock workouts, check out SweatFlix℠! Covering every fitness level from beginner to advanced, and various interests from 21-day bootcamps to yoga, you'll always be able to find something that suits your needs! With new and exclusive content being added all the time, there will always be an exciting workout at your fingertips! Start your free trial today
4. They keep a water bottle on them at all times
If you swap out your meal time soda for a glass of water, you'll see the difference. One recent study found that soda drinkers had 10% more visceral fat -- the type of fat that settles around the organs, than people who did not drink soda. Another study found that people who drink more water, gain less weight. "Drink at least 8 ounces of water first thing in the morning to re-hydrate yourself, and keep a reusable water bottle with you during the day," says Nicole Avena, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmacology and systems therapeutics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "This will help prevent you from overeating at meals."
5. They practice mindfulness
In a study published in the journal Appetite,
mindful folks were more likely to lose weight over the course of 12 months than the people in the control group. "Turn off the TV, put away the laptop, put down the tablet reader, and simply focus on enjoying your meal as you eat it," says study author Ashley Mason, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. "People feel more satisfied after eating without multitasking, and may therefore be less likely to go seek other food rewards later on. Try eating one meal without distraction—mindfully—each day, and note how you feel afterwards." Try to extend this to other areas of your life as well. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine,
found that mindful people had less fat around their trunk and upper bodies than those who evaluated their mind and body practices in a more judgmental way.
That's not so hard right? Do you think you will be able to work these habits into your daily routine?