You want a tighter tummy. Welcome to the club. And if you’re like us, you covet a smaller waistline not merely because it looks good, but because it's also a reflection of better overall health. While beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and you don't need a 28 inch waist to be hot as hell. Still, too much abdominal fat is often indicative of health short-falls ranging from a consistently poor diet, stressful lifestyle and a chronic lack of sleep.
Overtime, carrying too much weight around your midsection can lead to a truly terrifying array of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Granted, this information is probably not news to you.
What may be news to you is that getting a taut tummy is easier than you think. You don’t need to do crunches until it hurts to breath and you don’t need to bid farewell to your favorite foods.
You probably do, however, need some sensible, simple and transparent information. We’re here to give it to you.
Here are the 5 essentials for a trimmer, healthier stomach.
We know, we know: we just said you didn’t have to say bye-bye to bon-bons or nachos, and you don’t — but you do need to eat clean, most of the time. 90% of your food should be whole food: this means non-processed foods. Most cereal, for instance, is processed. Steel cut oats on the other hand, are not. (Unless you count the act of cutting processing, which we, for one, don’t.)
If you keep your diet pretty tidy and keep the scarfing down of treats to the same frequency as neap tides, you can expect your stomach to shrink.
Sleep is one of the most powerful ways you can control your appetite. Sleep helps balance your production of ghrelin and leptin, which are hormones that control hunger and satiety, respectively. When you’re well-rested, your body won’t over-produce ghrelin and you won’t eat your bodyweight in gummy bears just because you stayed up late to watch the first five episodes of the new season of Jessica Jones.
What now?You can get a toned tummy by working your legs and butt? Absolutely. Your lower half has the biggest muscle groups in your body: your glutes and quads. By building up these muscles, you increase the overall muscle mass of your whole body — and since muscle requires more energy to sustain than fat, you energy isn’t stored around your tummy: it goes to fuel your gorgeous gams.
More good news: you don’t have to start squatting a Buick. A little resistance can go a long way. Grab some Booty Bands or a pair of 10 lb dumbbells and you’ll enjoy a perkier behind, leaner legs, as well as a more taut tummy.
Ready to take your training to the next level and really start seeing results? Join our Two Minute No Limit Challenge!
Here’s a refreshingly simple tip: drink up! Bloating can really take a toll on your tummy’s trim appearance, so to flush out stored water, drink water. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true: the more water you drink, the less water you retain.
Short, sensible periods of fasting (a.k.a intermittent fasting or IF) are one of the best ways to shed excess fat, especially from around your midsection. In addition to crushing fat, IF has been shown to improve cellular health, hormone balance and insulin response, while also bolstering your mood and focus.
How IF works…
Your body starts really torching fat 12-14 hours after your last meal. Intermittent fasting allows you to capitalize on that time by simply not eating for 14-16 hours. You can drink water, black tea or coffee, but nothing with calories.
It’s easier (and way healthier) than you think. Most of your fasting can be done overnight when you sleep. Think of it this way: Stop eating at 6pm, and you can start eating again between 8am and 10am. We recommend starting at 14 hours and gradually work your way up to 16 hours. You’ll never be truly starving, and most of your hunger will be physiological, but you will still need time to adjust. Once you do, your hormones will adjust to your new routine and you’ll stop feeling hunger — physical or physiological.
Follow these simple tips regularly, and you’ll see the proof of their effectiveness smack-dab in the center of your body. Remember: you don’t need to aim for perfection. Just aim for better. This is all it takes to get started on your way to a healthier, happier body.
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