Getting nice abs is more about what you do in the kitchen than anything else.
Abdominal fat control is based on hormones. The amount we accumulate depends on our genetic disposition. In saying that, there are several ways to keep fat off the belly for good.
8 steps to a flat belly…
- Cut calorie intake, but don’t go overboard. Calorie restriction is not about eating less food, it’s about eating quality, low calorie food often. Restricting calories too much can be counterproductive. This sends out body into starvation mode, where it holds onto every calorie we consume! That means fat gain. Be sure to pick low fat protein options, such as chicken breast, fish, tuna, turkey and eggs. These, coupled with green veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus and lettuce, will satisfy your hunger and create a calorie deficit over time. These foods should make up the bulk of your intake 5–6 times a day.
- Increase the amount of soluble fibre in your diet. Fibre slows down the passing of food through your digestive tract. It delays stomach emptying, causing it to expand and create a feeling of fullness. Fibre decreases your risk of developing several disease because it assists in the burning of fat around your organs. Some examples of soluble fibre are; Avocados, blackberries, flaxseeds, oats and brussels sprouts.
- Take probiotics. Having great gut health has a huge affect on how much weight we lose and how it’s maintained. Obese people have different gut microbes than lean individuals. Be sure to feed yourself pre-biotics as well as pro-biotics. This will allow the good bacteria to multiply in your gut, and help you reduce fat accumulation in the abdomen. Pre-biotic foods are; Sauerkraut, green veggies, carrots, green bananas and mangos and spinach (there are a whole list in the plant paradox diet book)
- Weight training. It’s essential to lift weights in order to reduce belly and overall body fat, tone and strengthen your body. It’s not enough to just do endless cardio. That is counter productive, and will leave you feeling fat and flabby. Strength training on the other hand, builds muscle mass, and increases your resting metabolism. That means, you can eat more food and not put on weight. The same thing does not happen with cardio. In fact, too much cardio can decrease your muscle mass, making your resting metabolism even lower.
- HIIT should be your only cardio. High intensity interval training is the key to fat burning, building strength and increasing your caloric burn hours afterwards. It’s also a great way to burn belly fat fast! Steady state cardio will not achieve this. HIIT is going all out for 20–30 seconds, and then resting for 60 seconds. Then repeat for up to 30 minutes. I would not encourage more, as it will leave your nervous system depleted. If you want to do more cardio, opt for walking on the treadmill at a good pace. this kind of exercise is actually quite good for you.
- Limit carbs and get rid of the refined ones. Refined carbs are not only bad for you, but they assist in the accumulation of belly fat, and overall body fat. They are filled with flour, sugar and other ingredients that have no beneficial nutrients. Carbs such as veggies and sweet potato have a plethora of vitamins, minerals and aid in us feeling full, as well helping us to burn body fat stores.
- Incidental exercise really helps with calorie deficit. Opt for walking as much as you can, and standing up often. Moving around expends energy, where as sitting increases our risk of disease and also the storage of body fat. Why not opt to take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to and from work, walk during your lunch break, or gather a group of colleagues and have a nice walk around your local area. There are many ways to increase the amount of activity you do, and you can watch your body and belly fat disappear!
- Drinks lots of water. Water speeds up your metabolism and assists in the elimination of waste. Drinking water before meals, allows you to feel full, therefore stops you from consuming more food. Sometimes we assume thirst is hunger pains. To make sure, drink 1–2 glasses of water before a meal and then wait 10–15 minutes. You will soon know if you are really hungry.
Good luck on your flat belly journey!