Beat the Bloat & Get a Flatter Tummy in 10 Easy steps

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Do you suffer bloating or have a bit of a wobbly tummy? Do you want lose some belly fat so you can see some abs?
I am here to tell you the BEST way to get a flatter tummy and to maximise your results.
I can reassure you that you won’t be doing 1000 crunches or sit-ups a day. You can do as many sit-ups as you like, it’s not going to turn your muffin top into a flat tummy….. and here’s why….

Before I get into it let me tell you: there are no quick fixes, there is no magic spell or magic pills – you’ll have to make some changes but it will pay off if you want to get that flatter tummy in just a few weeks.
When you put toxins in your body (think sugar, preservatives, alcohol, drugs, stress etc) your body needs to protect your vital organs so it wraps water, self made cholesterol, and fat around these toxins. Your body then stops these balls of fat from going to your vital organs by sending it to your lymph glands – around your neck, under your arms, inner thighs and for women that band around your waist (AKA the muffin top). For guys it goes vertically up your stomach (AKA the beer gut)

So with that in mind, it’s time to beat the bloat and get a flat tummy for good.. here’s how….|

1. Get rid of the toxins
Sugar is one of the worst culprits for belly fat. It’s time to take sugar out of your diet ( including low fat products )
If you can’t take these toxins out of your diet at least be conscious of reducing them while working to cut them out. Try cutting out the following:
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Medicines/Drugs
  • Processed foods
  • Chemicals in food – caffeine, E numbers, additives, colours, preservatives etc
  • Soft drinks – including diet ones
  • Negative energy/stress
Reduce toxins, reduce tummy fat!

2. Don’t skip meals, especially Breakfast
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, and the most important. When you skip meals, it makes your body go into starvation mode. Your body will start to store fat as a reserve, just in case. If you constantly nourish your body with fresh, clean, healthy food, while eating every couple of hours, your body will focus its energy on digesting your food and functioning at its best – boosting your energy and giving you a flatter tummy!

These next two may cause a bit of discussion, which is great. All I ask is that you give it a go for a couple of weeks and see the difference for yourself.

3. Take wheat out of your diet
I will talk more about this in upcoming blogs, but in a nutshell, try taking wheat out of your diet for a few weeks and see how much better you feel.
I often challenge my clients to take wheat (and dairy) out of their diet for 2 weeks just to see how much better they feel. The main questions/comments I get when I challenge them to this are:
  • Where will I get my calcium from?
  • Does Yoghurt count?
  • I won’t be able to eat anything
  • But I have a sandwich everyday, because it’s easy and pasta is so easy and yummy etc.
  • Do I have to do it forever?
What they say after they gave it up for 2 weeks…
  • I feel so much better
  • I feel less bloated
  • I have more energy
  • I had a piece of bread last night and then felt SO awful and yuk afterwards, definitely staying off it now!
So I want you to think about how you make glue! Yep, flour and water! Imagine glue in your digestive system! Think of flour as wheat (gluten) and your digestive juices as water – it makes a lovely glue type substance in your digestive system. Hence why many people often feel bloated, lack energy, depressed, and constipated after eating wheat. All your energy goes to your digestive system to help digest your glue!
Try taking the following out of your diet
  • White, brown, grain bread
  • White Rice
  • Pasta
  • Couscous
  • Breakfast cereals
And replace with:
  • Wheat/gluten free bread (sourdough is OK in moderation), and so is Spelt
  • Brown Rice
  • Rice noodles
  • Gluten/wheat free pastas
  • Quinoa, buckwheat, millet
  • Oats
Using Wheat free pasta is just as easy as using normal pasta, but better for you. Have a sourdough sandwich instead of the other breads. Or have a salad with brown rice, or quiona, or rice noodles instead – it is just as easy!

4. Take Dairy out of your diet 
When someone mentions calcium most people think of milk or dairy products first. The first question I get asked when I suggest taking dairy out of your diet is ‘what about calcium?’.
Think of it this way…humans are the only mammals that drink milk after infancy. And what’s worse, that milk is from another animal! Elephants are pretty big, strong animals right? They have pretty strong bones as well, and yet they don’t drink milk after they have ‘grown up’. They get all their calcium from other sources – greens etc.
Once we leave infancy (and for some, since birth) it becomes difficult to digest milk. This creates mucus and acid in the gut which can upset the balance of good bacteria. This can cause a number of problems with digestion and absorption of nutrients. I’ll go into more detail about this in upcoming posts so stay tuned.

5. Don’t forget the Good Fats
When I say eat good fats, not all fat is created equal! You want to ensure you are eating the type of fat found in foods like nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados and oily fish. You should be eating some of these good fats every day.
Why? Good fats encourage your body to burn MORE fat around your midsection which will lead to a flatter tummy. Don’t be afraid to eat them in moderation – add a ¼ avocado to a salad and some olive oil. Eat nuts and seeds as an afternoon snack or even add to your porridge.
Some other great foods to ensure you include in your diet are:
  • All different veggies – lots of colourful ones – sweet potato, cucumber, carrots, peppers, corn etc
  • Superfoods ( check out my earlier blog on superfoods )
  • Oily fish, free range/organic protein
  • Eggs
  • Brown rice, rice noodles, quinoa
 
6. Stay hydrated
How much water do you drink every day? You may think you are drinking enough (or maybe you know that you don’t and you should!), but many of us are unknowingly dehydrated. You should be drinking at least 2L of water every day. 3 is even better.
Staying hydrated is SO important. Did you know your body is made up of about 70% water, so it is one of the most important nutrients your body needs?  When you are dehydrated, your blood can become thicker, which makes oxygen and nutrients harder to get to your muscles.  When you haven’t drunk enough water, your brain has trouble distinguishing whether you are hungry or thirsty, so being dehydrated can lead to over eating! So get drinking!!
More on this topic in coming blogs as well!

7. Take Acidophilus
Lactobacillus acidophilus is basically Good Bacteria. When you take acidophilus you’re putting good bacteria back into your gut and your digestive system.
You may have heard about it being in yoghurts and drinks etc, but stay away from those and go for a tablet or powder form, it’s the most efficient way of getting the good bacteria into your system. It also needs to stay in the fridge to remain a live bacteria. Some types you may have heard about are Inner Health Plus, Swiss, and Bioceuticals. There’s a large range out there to choose from. If in doubt consult a naturopath or natural healthcare practitioner.
 
8. Reduce your stress
I know, everyone’s stressed! We’re busy and overworked and it’s hard to escape. Just keep in the back of your mind that stress doesn’t help your mid section and the fat around the middle. Cortisol (the stress hormone) causes our bodies to dump fatty deposits all around our tummy so next time you feel stressed go and have a bath, do some relaxation breathing, have a massage, read a good book, or just chill out and have some time for YOU!
 
9. Exercise – It’s time to step out of your comfort zone
I mentioned above it’s not all about doing millions of crunches or sit ups. Yes they are great for strengthening the ab muscles but if you want to actually SEE your 6-pack you need to get rid of the fat above those muscles!
Cardio exercise is great for fat burning – check out my blog on Cardio exercise and why it’s so important in losing weight.
You also need to do strength and conditioning exercises – check out my blog on Strength Exercises and why it’s also important in losing weight.
If you really want to see results the key when doing any exercise is to step out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, push your limits and give it 100%.
 
10. Get more sleep
I am sure you all love your sleep and would like more of it (who wouldn’t), but getting enough sleep is SO important for your health. You will NOT lose weight if you don’t get enough sleep!
The hormone leptin is responsible for telling your brain when you are full and it also controls your appetite and metabolism. If you aren’t sleeping properly it will disrupt this hormone which is why when you are tired you may find yourself eating more (and it’s usually the wrong types of foods!)
 
BONUS TIP….
Do your pelvic floor exercises at least 3 times a day. 
There are 2 aspects that I get my clients to do. The first one is a good habit to get into, which you can do ALL THE TIME. Just suck your belly button in towards your spine. Your shoulders will automatically go back, your pelvis will tilt under and you will stand taller, all the while you have sucked your tummy in. Do this ALL THE TIME.
Doing your actual Pelvic Floor exercises – you can do these at any time and anywhere – sitting, standing, driving, walking. All you need to do is to imagine you are stopping yourself from passing wind and urinating (but don’t do it while you are actually on the loo!).
Now that you’re aware of these muscles, tighten them around your front passage, vagina and back passage as strongly as possible and hold for 5 secs. As you lift, imagine these muscles are going up a lift – level 1, level 2, level 3 – go up a level each second, till you get to level 5. Hold there for a second, or another 5 seconds if you can, and then slowly release – try and control this release. Try and repeat for 5-10 times at least 3-5 times a day. The more you do, the stronger they will become.
Make sure you don’t hold your breathe and build up to the number you do slowly.
I’ve often had pregnant women ask me if it’s OK to do your pelvic floors while pregnant – the short answer – Yes, it’s very important! Do them!

So there you go, 10 ways for you to get rid of your flabby tummy.
If you need to take it one step at a time that’s fine, work on each point over a week or two and take note of the changes.

Yours in Good Health
PowerTrain Sports

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