Summer season is upon us and for some that means hitting the gym a little harder. But, if you’re finding that for all your efforts you’re still left with a stomach that is not as flat at you’d like, then listen up. Doing crunches won’t cut it. As much as we’d all love it if we could spot train to shrink body fat in one area, that’s not how it works. In order to flatten your abs you need to observe a few new rules. These next few tips are for you.
Change your diet: Always remember the tried and true: diet and exercise go a long way in getting healthy and sculpting your body. Through both diet and exercise you can change the shape of your belly. But, if you’re currently suffering from an injury and can’t exercise, then there are a still few ways you can slim your stomach.
First, you must change the amount of food you’re eating on a daily basis. Face it, you can’t lose belly fat maintaining the same diet. Fruits and vegetable, healthy fat, and foods high in fiber and protein are the best type for a slim belly. Avoid junk food and foods that are loaded with refined sugar and carbs.
Mind your stomach: Monitor how your stomach feels while your eating. It’s simple. Less food means less of a chance of your stomach staying stretched during the digestion process. Your stomach will begin to naturally reduce as you eat less. If you’re not sure of how much you should reduce your portions by, remember the rule of thumb that says a piece of meat should be no more than the size of the palm of your hand. Then, use your fists as visual to measure the rest of your meal (sides, starches, etc).
Listen to your body: Realize that every healthy food is not meant for every body. For example, I have a hard time digesting anything with lactose while my sister can process that just fine. Everything from improper intestinal bacteria balance (good vs. bad), to food allergies/sensitivities, weak digestive enzymes, or any other of a number of issues can cause a food to be great for me but lousy for someone else. Listen to your body and decide what foods you can do without.
Lose the Gluten: Once you’ve identified a food that causes bloating or other digestive problems, pay attention. Over time you will be able to know exactly which foods agree best with your body. If you haven’t identified the cause of any stomach issues after changing your diet, then you may want to cut back on diary or foods high in gluten.
This simple (but not easy) tip could help eliminate some of your digestive and health issues. However, it’s best to consult a doctor before completely taking foods containing gluten out of your diet. While it may be helpful, if done incorrectly, you could be doing your body more harm than good. Most foods have gluten in them and you might deprive yourself of the nutrients your body needs by eliminating foods with gluten.
Work out: For those who have the time to invest in working out, a simple ab routine will not do. Try doing a few high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts per week. A great example of a HIIT workout are the ones contained on Julian Michaels workout tapes. While Popular Critic isn’t endorsing her, the bootcamp style workouts are the best examples we could give of this type of exercise routine. The best part is that HIIT workouts can be short, as little as 20 mins, and still very effective.
Two other important factors for a flat belly are:
Get moving: Move more. Just doing 1 hour of walking is good enough to maintain a healthy exercise regimen. Chasing after kids, washing your car, etc are all ways to be more active during the day.
Sleep more: We can always get more sleep. A good 6-8 hours per night is the perfect way for your body to reset and maintain a high metabolism.