Achieve a Flat-Tummy-Fast
Here are some simple steps to follow to help you achieve your goal to achieve a flat-tummy-fast. Most of us struggle with an expanding stomach as we age - here are some words of wisdom from James Duigan, top personal trainer to many celebrities including Elle Macpherson, Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley and Hugh Grant to name just a few.
- EAT FAT - that is, the kind of fat found in avocados, oily fish and nuts. Not those 'bad for you' trans fats - hydrogenated oil, hydrogenated vegetable fat and partially hydrogenated vegetable fat. Good fats help you to absorb vitamins and minerals more efficiently and encourage your body to burn the fat around your middle. So the trick is - whenever you have a salad, always add some good fat to it - a drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkling of chopped nuts or seeds.
- TAKE A BATH - have a soak in a nice hot bath to which has been added one or two mugs of Epsom salts. This is an ancient remedy for drawing out toxins, and taking one or two of these baths a week will speed up your weight loss.
- SPRING CLEAN YOUR INSIDES
Studies have shown that too many people in the West have the wrong ratio of good bacteria to bad. The ideal ratio is 8.5% of friendly good bacteria to 1.5% of harmful bacteria. If your stomach feels noticeably different after eating certain foods - ie if your stomach feels swollen, sore, bloated or just doesn't feel 'good' then it may be time to clean up your gut by eliminating all the foods, chemicals and products that cause the bad bacteria to breed.
- DON'T OVERCOOK IT
By overcooking food, you kill off or reduce the number of nutrients it contains. Try to make sure about 50% of the food on your plate is raw. If you can manage it, eat all your vegetables raw, If not, steam, blanch or roast them to retain as many of their nutrients as possible.
- BEWARE OF GLUTEN
Foods that contain gluten can weaken your abdominal wall and make it slack, resulting in a protruding stomach. There are a lot of people who are gluten-intolerant, and this can cause inflammation of the bowel which makes it look bigger, especially just below the belly button.
Some Foods containing Gluten:
- bread and pasta (unless otherwise stated)
- most breakfast cereals
- muffins, pastries and baked goods
- pizza bases & pie crusts
- biscuits & cakes
- croissants & bagels
- processed meats & sausages
- oats, semolina
- salad dressings & seasoning mixes
- Soy and most other Chinese sauces
- SLEEP IT OFF
We don't tend to follow the sleep timetable of our ancestors anymore - that is we don't sleep when the sun goes down and get up with the rising sun. We mostly follow a completely different sleep timetable. However, if you return to this old-fashioned time table, you will lose weight especially around your tummy and waist.
It is a hormone called leptin that is responsible for telling your brain when your stomach is full and it also helps to control appetite and metabolism. Not sleeping properly disrupts this hormone, which is why you find yourself eating more when you're sleep deprived. However, there are ways of tweaking sleep to resemble our ancestors' schedule, but which are still practical for modern life.
Here are some tips for tummy-toning sleep:
- Make sure that you have a quiet, calm environment before going to bed. Turn off your mobile phone, laptop & TV & keep the lights low.
- Ensure your bedroom temperature is neither too hot or too cold
- Keep your bedroom as dark as possible - use blackout blinds or an eye-mask if necessary.
- Establish a bedtime routine by doing something relaxing every night before bed and then go to sleep around the same time each night.
- EAT FLAT-TUMMY FOODS
It's hard to escape stress in modern life and this doesn't help us win the battle of the bulge. Studies show the stress hormone cortisol causes our bodies to dump fatty deposits all over our tummies and waists. Being stressed all the time is like sticking on an extra inch of fat. The following foods can help to reduce stress, which, in turn, will keep your tummy flat.
- Green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and asparagus - the darker the colour the better
- Red, yellow and orange vegetables, including tomatoes, carrots and peppers
- Turkey contains an amino acid called L-tryptophan, which triggers the release or serotonin (a relaxing, feel-good brain chemical)
- At least 2-3 litres of still, room temperature water sipped regularly throughout the day
- Blueberries are top of my list because they're a low-GI food, which keeps your blood sugar (and energy) levels steady. Eat a handful of blueberries every day, if you can.
- Natural, organic yogurt provides a good hit of minerals, including calcium, which is important for your nerves. Yogurt also neutralises the acidity caused by stress.
- Oily fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel contains lots of Omega fatty acids, which control levels of cortisol and adrenalin (another stress hormone) in the body
- Almonds, pistachios and walnuts are full of vitamins B and E, which boost your immune system (whereas stress weakens it) Have a small handful of nuts every day.
- Avodados help to lower blood pressure because of all the monounsaturated fat and potassium they contain.
- Rockmelonis an excellent source of vitamin C, which is great for beating stress.
- Beef is full of iron, zinc and B vitamins, all of which have been shown to chill you out. Limit yourself to one or two portions a week, organic if possible.
James makes a few more suggestions:
- Limit the time you spend watching TV or browsing on your computer - he says it will suck the life out of you, disrupt your sleep and overstimulate your brain.
- Steer clear of people with a negative attitude, and spend time with people who make you laugh or are fun to be with.
- Try to have a massage each week - it will release calming feel-good hormones into the body,
- take time to relax for at least 30 minutes each day.
- Always eat breakfast within and hour of waking, even if it's only a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
If you want to lose weight, slow down when you are eating and chew your food well. Listen to soft soothing music to encourage you to eat slower and enjoy your food.
will give you more information about healthy eating.
This article was taken from one that appeared in "The Australian Women's Weekly" Setpember 2011 edition.
The book referred to by James Duigan would be worth reading and you can purchase a copy by clicking the following link.
Clean & Lean Flat Tummy Fast: The Healthy Way to a Totally Toned Tummy in 14 Days
Maybe you'd like to try also these Tummy-slimming Yoga poses.