FLAT TUMMY TIPS
OK a quick, boring disclaimer before we get to the good stuff -
I’m not an expert on fitness or nutrition, and you should always consult your doctor before any changes to diet and/or exercise*
Although with that said, I’m not a complete novice. Growing up as a competitive athlete and working with many trainers and nutritionists over the years, I’ve picked up a lot of useful knowledge! I know what works best for my body personally, I’m just hear to share that with y’all=)
So lets get started with a reality check: No two bodies are exactly the same.
People carry weight differently. Some people have heavy thighs with a thin upper body…thin arms, thicker legs… thin legs, heavier abdomen… and then there are the ass holes with a near “perfect body” Example: Candice Swanepoel.
Everyone has their “sweet spots” and then those stubborn AF areas. In addition, some people are naturally thin, others have to work their ass off (literally) to get the body they desire.
I’m more on the naturally thin side, but I’ll look like an overcooked spaghetti noodle if I don’t eat right and keep the muscles moving… and when I gain weight, it heads straight to the booty and inner thighs.
“Skinny-fat” in my opinion is a worse look than having a few extra lbs… because it just looks unhealthy… and it is.
What’s your body type? Which areas are tough for you? It’s always good to be aware so that your gym/nutrition plan can be a little more targeted.
My point is, everyone is different… and it’s important that you don’t ever aim to look like someone else. Instead, be the best version of yourself and do it because it’s good for your overall health…and regardless of your body type, there are a few tips you can follow to help the abs make their debut.
DIET, ever heard the quote “abs are made in the kitchen”? Couldn’t be more accurate in my experience. I’ve gone through periods of time where I cardio’ed (yes I’m making that a word) my little heart out… but ate and drank like crap. Regardless of the calories I was burning, I would still have that unhealthy and “skinny-fat” look. Not cute.
Quick tips without getting too specific right now:
AVOID/LIMIT: white starchy carbs, fried foods, processed sugar, alcohol.
CONSUME: high protein, high veggies, high fiber, up the water intake.
Basically: the cleaner you eat, the more it’s going to show on the outside. Period.
CARDIO, aka fat burning. If you carry a little extra weight around the tummy, up the cardio via interval training. Interval training meaning: high intensity, short bursts (60-90 seconds) with breaks in between. Ex: sprints on treadmill or a quick 10 flights on the Stair Master… anything to get your heart rate up up up and then take a breather. Repeat. You be the judge of how long your cardio sessions last! I’m usually on the stair master for 25-30 mins tops… depends on the day and how hard I went at brunch over the weekend. However, if you’re looking to lose weight, I’d aim for a bit longer. Although make sure to build up a tolerance! Don’t expect to go all out for a full hour starting off.
* Stair master is my go-to form of cardio. It’s an absolute bitch but it does the body good. *
- Here’s a great article I found from bodybuilding.com that explains the importance of interval training for fat loss.
CORE STRENGTHENING, in addition to cardio and eating right, you have to put those muscles to work. A few of my go to’s that I try to incorporate daily:
- Planks: ohh is it a love-hate relationship. Start with 30 second(ish) intervals and work your way up. You can throw in some side planks too (leaning on one forearm)
- Crunches: the classic crunch. Check your technique: make sure your back isn’t arched and there’s zero space between the ground and your lower back. This will help engage the core properly.
- The Rope Climb: I’m not sure if I made this up or it’s an actual thing, but I’ve done it forever. Lay on your back with your feet on ground (knees bent). Now using your core, reach up to the sky with one arm, and then higher with the next like your climbing a rope. Or reaching for a martini, or a donut… whatever your little heart desires. Keep reaching until you need a break.
- Side Toe Touch: starting with the same position as above (on back, knees bent) lift your upper back slightly, engage core, and stretch your arm out to reach as far as you can to the outside of your shoe, do the same on the other side and keep alternating. Kinda like how a penguin walks but on your back. Not sure how that visual popped into my head, but it works.
- Scissors: on your back, hands planted to the ground (or under your bum) lift both legs up straight, now alternate lifting one up and down.
Tip: I don’t really count reps. Instead, I listen to my body. Whether it’s crunches, planks, rope climbs, etc… I’ll continue until it’s burning burning burning, and then I let myself rest before repeating. Same with cardio… I do my interval training until I physically need to stop, take a break… and then continue.
<<< P.S. If you’re looking for a great protein shake brand, this is my favorite for endless reasons. Snag it here!
My protein shake:
-2 scoops of Orgain
-2 tablespoons of chia and flax seeds
-1 frozen banana
-1 cup of frozen spinach and/or kale
-just enough almond milk to get the blender going
– (optional, 1 tablespoon peanut butter)
-(also optional, a small handful of frozen berries to sweeten)
If I’m feeling lazy, I always have a few of the Orgain bottled protein shakes in my fridge to grab & go.
NOW ON TO THE GEAR..
Cute workout gear always gets me motivated to show it off at the gym. Anyone else?!
I’ll wrap this up, but a final note:
I’m all about balance. Balance is what this blog is all about. Don’t deprive yourself! Life is too short to be overly obsessed with diet and exercise.
The most important thing to learn to do is balance the good with the “bad”: If you were a little aggressive at the buffet over the weekend, maybe take note to eat extra healthy during the week. Or if happy hour got a little too happy, give yourself a week long detox.
I promise your body isn’t going to go from a size 4 to 12 after one bad meal, or weekend…or even a week. Just check yourself more often than not, and ask yourself if your lifestyle is healthy, or if you need to put a little more effort in.
… and if you want rock hard abs, then your going to have to be a little more diligent with your health routine (and by a little I mean a lot). |
But regardless of your goal, it’s ok to occasionally allow yourself to enjoy your favorite foods, or skip the gym if you’re feeling lazy- just make sure it’s all in balance and moderation, and that your overall “lifestyle” remains healthy and in check.
That’s all =) More to come on fitness and nutrition I promise.
Off to go do a few planks (fml)