14 Tips for Shrinking your Midsection
Are you tummy obsessed?
Do you look at fit pro posters and pine after the ‘beautiful girl’ abs?
Do you scream at the thought of your loved one touching your tummy?
Do you grab your tummy by the handful and shout “I just hate this part”?
Women and their stomachs are a match made in hell. So many of us just hate that area but we can’t hide from it. Abs and flat tummies are everywhere. Magazines, Instagram, Facebook posts, T.V.
The whole ‘perfect beach body’ world seems to be trim and lean and many of us want to be like that too.
Personally, I hate the fact that we do so much unhealthy comparison to others.
I hate that looking at a picture can make us like ourselves a little less and feel a little more inferior.
However I am not immune to it and neither are the people I train.
Many clients, when they first come to me say.
“ I just wish I could lose this bit”
“If only this was flatter”
“It would give me more confidence if this didn’t stick out”.
SO if getting abs or a flat stomach is your dream, go for it. Just do it in a healthy, happy, I don’t hate myself, smart way.
So here are 14 tips for becoming AB-lean.
- First stop it, just stop it. Stop looking at the pictures of the ‘perfect body’. Everybody’s abs are different. Even when you lose the excess fat, your abs may not look like those you have been dreaming about. Lots of the images we see are photoshopped, filtered, taken at the athlete’s or model’s prime time. Don’t let Facebook, Instagram or any other form of media, make you feel inferior. Support is healthy , comparison is not, take time to focus on you and your progress.
- You can’t eat whatever you want. If you truly want a lean, defined, stomach put down the cakes, the chocolate, pastries, sweets, crisps. Getting abs is a huge diet commitment. They take time and more than anything else they rely on a good healthy unprocessed diet. (By the way because it says sugar free, gluten free or any other health claim, does not mean it is part of a healthy diet).
- Work hard. Again if you want abs sacrifices will have to be made. Wishing for abs doesn’t work. Why, oh why can we not have some magic fairy dust to sprinkle on and poof we have abs. Well in the absence of fairy dust we just need to HIIT the cardio to burn the extra fat. 3-4 times a week of high intensity interval training will help.
- Build muscle. Whether you choose weights or calisthenics you need to increase your muscle mass. The following exercises are not what you may think of as ‘ab’ exercises but they do wonders for helping you to achieve that lean stomach. Squats, Deadlifts, Pull Ups and Strict Presses to name a few.
- Be truthful. What are you really eating. We can all be guilty of this: “I don’t understand I have been really good with my diet and exercise. ” Then when questioned we suddenly remember a chocolate bar, a bag of crisps, a pizza, a lovely meal we had all in the last week.
- You can have a life and still have abs. Having abs does not mean you can’t eat the food you crave ever again. It does mean you can’t eat the food you crave everytime you crave it.
- Do not believe the hype. 7 day Ab programmes are fantastic marketing, but they don’t work. So stay away from them. Train consistently, in a smart manner and eat well until they come. Then keep training consistently and eating well so they stay. There is no short cut to a lean stomach but their is smarter training so seek advice.
- Keep it simple. Your diet should consist mainly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fish, eggs and grains.
- Your diet should not consist of packaged food, make it yourself it is all part of taking time out to look after you.
- Read the labels, don’t fall for fat free products that have replaced the fat with sugar or any ingredient you struggle to pronounce.
- ‘Gluten Free’ ‘Contains Wholegrain’ and other ‘health’ claims does not mean they are a good food choice. Quite often they contain a minimal amount of wholegrain and those ‘free’ foods often contain chemical ingredients that your body just doesn’t need.
- You cannot get abs if sugar is regularly in your diet – and watch out for hidden sugars. (low fat = high sugar or chemical city usually)
- Focus on the amount you eat, if your portions are too big it is likely that your midsection will be too.
- You can’t have abs unless you are lean, so wether your prefer calisthenics (bodyweight) or weights you need to build muscle, move more, and eat good food.
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