Top Tips for Flatter Abs

Phew, I don’t know about you but I am so glad that the election is over (and hopefully done with). Enough said!

Today’s blog is all about Abs, probably the most sought after and talked about subject in relation to weight loss and improving your shape. Exercise alone won’t guarantee you washboard abs, you need to adjust your diet too. Here are my top six pack “flat abs dietary tips”.

1. Deflate the bloat

The main causes of abdominal bloating are generally food intolerances, poor digestion and Candida, a form of yeast found in our gut. If you suffer with bloating it is worth keeping a food diary and noting which foods seem responsible. Then try cutting them out completely for a couple of months and then when you reintroduce them see if the symptoms return.
Common culprits include bread/wheat based foods, dairy, eggs, onions.

2. Eat more fibre

Because fibre rich foods, such as whole -grains, vegetables and fruit supply lots of bulk to your meals without adding a lot of calories, they keep you feeling fuller for longer. In addition fibre helps to slow down the release of sugar into the blood stream, avoiding the exaggerated swings in our blood sugar levels, which often results in cravings to eat sugary refined carbohydrates.

3. Drink up

Many people think that drinking lots of water causes bloating and so restrict their fluid intake. Actually drinking more can help to flush excess sodium out of the body, reducing bloating. Not drinking makes fluid retention worse.
How much water you need depends on several things, including the weather and how active you are but as a rough guide aim for at least 1. 5 – 2 litres daily. Good old plain water is the best, try to avoid fizzy/sugary squashes. If plain water doesn’t do it for you, try adding a few slices of orange/lemon or lime to jazz it up a bit.
Coffee, tea and alcohol are a bit of a double edged sword. On one hand you are replacing fluid, but they are diuretics and cause you to lose even more fluid.

4. Watch the liquid calories

Many of us watch what we eat but not what we drink when watching our waistlines.
Add up the calories from a large glass of orange juice (100 calories), a cafe latte (132 calories), two cups of sweet tea (80 calories), a can of Coke (129 calories) a half bottle of Sunny Delight (225 calories), two glasses of wine (200 calories) and a regular milk shake (403 calories and 10 grams of fat) and your grand total is no less than 1269 calories!
For someone who is trying to lose a few pounds, that’s almost the amount of calories to eat in one day and you’ve already drunk it all!

5. Cut back on salt

Eating too much salt can cause bloating. The food standard agency recommends you consume a maximum of 6g salt daily with an intake of 1.6g being adequate for 97% of the adult population. Unfortunately most of us get around 6 times that amount. This isn’t good news for your abs because where sodium goes, water follows. When you eat a high salt meal, your body holds on to extra water to dilute it. Cutting back on salt will stop fluid retention and result in more defined looking abs.

Foods high in salt include most processed foods, tinned soups, biscuits, sauces etc.

6. Curb late night eating

If eating in the evening is your downfall then it could be undoing your fat-burning efforts during the day. Your body needs calories when you are active, not at night when your natural rhythm is slowing down (note this does not apply if you work nights as your body clock will be working differently). Eat more of your calories early in the day and less at night.

7. Watch your stress levels.

Fat around your belly button can indicate high levels of cortisol in your system. Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. Whilst we need a little to get us up in the morning it should progressively decrease during the day. However in our busy 24/7 lives unless we look after ourselves we can find ourselves under constant stress throughout the day (nutritional stress through poor food choices, emotional, mental and physical stress ) resulting in more cortisol being released into our body. So by the end of the day our cortisol levels can be way to high to allow us to sleep and so we add in yet another stressor, sleep deprivation!

AS they say great abs are made in the kitchen but lifestyle and a good exercise programme are needed to lose the dreaded belly fat and get Fab abs!