Ripped, cut, defined, firm, tight, trim abs. Who doesn’t want them? Abs can be the most stubborn body part to slim down and tone up. Our body naturally wants to hold on to our abdominal fat and is usually the last to go. There are a few really easy things you can do, and all it takes is time and planning.
One of the first things you can do that doesn’t involve much planning and a lot of time is to drink more water. Distilled water for me has always been my number one trick to beating bloat. Carbonated beverages like sodas, beer, and even energy drinks (that are loaded with sodium and sugar, which I’ll get to later) are the culprits of that heavy, bloated feeling after you consume them. Not only that, but they’re loaded with unnecessary calories. As far as alcohol is concerned, fat burning hormones that help create lean muscle are inhibited by up to 36% when consumed. Water isn’t the most exciting thing ever, but our body performs at it’s best when saturated with it.
Another thing that helps is dissecting your diet, just a little. Eliminating simple sugars like processed bakery items, white bread, white rice, white pasta, and processed cereals make a huge difference in our appearance. Switching to whole grains like whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal helps keep your blood sugar from spiking and your cortisol levels low, which translates to less belly fat.
When we consume simple sugar from sweets and simple carbohydrates like those found in pancakes and pizza, it spikes our blood sugar levels sky high and sends us crashing – hard. But whats even worse than that, sugar is a killer for our buns and thighs ladies. For those that know me, they’ll tell you that I’m such a stickler when it comes to sugar. I’m so against it, not only because it goes against every effort to fit into my skinny jeans, but because it’s a toxin to every cell in our body.
Lowering your sodium intake is another thing to watch out for when focusing on that six pack. Consuming too much sodium can make you retain a lot of water around not only your hands and face, but your abs also. Things like cottage cheese, soups, and salad dressings all contain loads of salt. There are plenty of healthy alternatives to all of these, so opt for the low sodium options if possible. Sodium is hidden in even the most seemingly healthiest of foods. Celery for instance has 136mg per cup, so your best bet is to read nutrition labels and keep it to a minimum.
Its time to get out there, whether at a gym or on the beach, and sweat. Cardio is one of the fastest and most effective ways to really trim down fast. This is a love hate relationship for me – I hate the thought of running, and running, and running. It just seems so boring, right? I’ll tell you what though, as soon as you get into it, the endorphins get flowing through your body, and you’re tearing up that pavement to your favorite music like there’s no tomorrow, it’s like nothing can stop you. Cardio can come in any form, as long as you get your heart rate into your target zone. My favorite cardio outlet is rollerblading. Other options are the elliptical, stairs, stationary bike, your favorite gym class, swimming, spin or taking a nice bike ride or walk outside.
You want to aim for 30-45 minutes a day, 5-6 times a week. You want to be able to hold a conversation without huffing and puffing, but you don’t want it easy enough to where you can sing a song. If you can’t fit in the time all at once, no problem. Cutting your workout in two, 15-20 minutes in the morning and 15-20 minutes again at night is just as effective. As long as your caloric deficiency is at least 500 for the day, between diet and cardio, you should have no problem losing around a pound per week.
- Drink at least 100 ounces of water a day. Green tea and black coffee are great options too!
- Stay away from carbonated beverages as much as possible. The carbonation and artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause bloating.
- Reduce the amount of sugar you consume. Remember, certain foods turn to sugars when digested (if you have questions, ask me on Facebook or below)
- Reduce your sodium intake, but don’t cut it out altogether. The body needs sodium, especially muscles.
Does cutting out sugar, salt and drinking more water sound like something you could realistically do? What about some cardio?
Let me know if this works for you, comment below. And while you’re here, follow me on Instagram and “like” me on Facebook – Search: Christinas Fitness for both 🙂