5 Tips for a flat tummy!
I don’t know about you, but my belly is the first place on my body to accumulate fat! I always had this tendency and it got worst after I had kids. That stubborn lower belly fat was always the first to show up and last to go! If you have the same problem you are not alone, as most women have a really hard time getting rid of abdominal fat, especially after having babies.
Here are a few things to remember:
• You cannot specifically target abdominal fat.
Your tummy will get flatter as you lose overall body fat. You can definitely strengthen abdominal muscles with specific exercises. So those crunches will not help if you are not combining them with other effective exercises.
• Fat loss is a gradual process.
You cannot/should not expect to lose more than 2-3 pounds a week. Of course there are many factors like your age, sex, health, fitness level and most importantly current body fat percentage, that will influence this fat loss.
• You can gain back all the fat you have lost very quickly!
Fat loss is not a permanent thing. You have to make changes in the way you eat and live and stay consistent with them. This process can become easy and fun once you get use to it.
Here are 5 things that have helped me to get rid of that stubborn lower belly fat and keep it off for good!
1. I avoid refined sugar!
When I say avoid, I don’t mean that I have completely stopped eating sugar. I stick to sugar from natural sources like fruit and avoid refined sugar! Keep in mind that honey, agave nectar and maple syrup are all forms of sugar and are not a part of my daily meals. I also stick to complex carbs like grains, starchy vegetables and beans and avoid simple carbs like white bread and pasta.
Of course, I indulge in that occasional piece of cake or ice cream, but sugar is not a part of my daily meals.
Why does cutting out sugar help?
Sugar is highly addictive, just like cocaine or heroin! No kidding, I just compared sugar with drugs. But here’s the truth, when you eat sugar, it releases a substance called dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers and you immediately experience a pleasurable sensation.
As you eat more sugar, your brain gets desensitized to it with chronic overconsumption, and you develop a tolerance. That means that to create the pleasurable feeling, you have to eat more. This launches a vicious cycle of increased consumption leading to further desensitization, and you end up with an insatiable appetite for sugar. All that excess sugar gets converted to body fat and stored around your belly!
2. I exercise smart, not long!
The biggest thing that has helped me to get rid of those last few pounds sitting on my lower belly was the big change I made in the way I exercise. Instead of spending hours doing steady state cardio like walking or running, I started doing shorter, intense circuits. I now workout anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes everyday, depending on how much time I have. I incorporate high intensity AMRAP circuits in most of my workouts.
Why do AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) circuits help?
It is much easier for me to stay consistent with my workouts now, as they are short and I can do them at home or at the gym. My circuits are intense, so my body is in continuous fat burning mode, even after I am done with my workout.
3. I keep my abdominal muscles engaged even when I am not working out!
Just consciously keeping my Abs engaged all the time, was a huge game changer! I now do this while sitting, working, driving or even walking.
Why does this help?
It helps because just like any other muscle, the more you train your abdominal muscles to contract, the tighter your core will be. This also helps to give your back the support it needs when you are sitting or standing.
4. My meals are always loaded with lean protein, good fats and fiber!
I eat about 5 small meals through the day, but each meal is loaded with vegetables, protein and good fats. Also, I am mindful of portion sizes and when to stop.
Why does this help?
When you eat a well-balanced meal, you feel more energetic through out the day. This helps to avoid mid-meal cravings and over eating as you are giving your body fuel every 2.5 to 3 hours. Nutrition is a major driving force when it comes to shedding body fat.
5. I live a very active lifestyle.
I take the opportunity to walk, climb or move, as against taking the elevator or driving. If I am working at home, I make sure I get up and move for a few minutes after every 45 minutes of sitting down.
Why does this help?
This helps to burn calories even when I am not exercising.
We are launching a brand new program called “Fit In Fifteen” based on the very concept that your workouts do not need to be long. They need to be effective for your fitness level and short enough so that you can commit to doing them everyday I will share more about Fit In Fifteen as we get closer to the launch.
Here is a video I recorded on the day of the Fit In Fifteen shoot, I talk about why I created the program. Check it out:
We also work one-on-one with women who feel stuck in their fat loss journey and need help to reach specific weight loss goals in our program “Om Mind & Body Reset”. If you are interested in learning more about this program, here’s the link: Learn More About Om Mind & Body Reset >
Ok, that’s it for now. Have a fantastic day!