boditone team workout, flat belly workout, womens fitness

Is A Flat Belly Really Possible? Here are our Hints and Tips To Help You Achieve A Flatter Stomach.

Is A Flat Belly Really Possible?

Well yes of course it is, for lots of people, unfortunately for me, that's never been quite the case.  My stomach seems to be a fat magnet.  I've got a short torso and long legs, so when I put on weight I tend to look like a lemon on toothpicks.

My stomach is always going to be my problem area, no matter what I do, I can't seem to regain my pre-pregnancy shape - I know give it time.  Is 16 years long enough?  Yes after all that time I am still battling to get a flatter stomach.  I have toyed with the idea of surgery to repair some of the damaged muscles, I just can't face it, the risks, the recovery and what if I'm not happy with the result.

In pursuit of my abs I have learnt a few lessons, some I am better at implementing than others, hopefully you will find these tips helpful if you are also trying to find the route to a flatter stomach.

Whole Body Approach.

A jelly belly is not just down to lack of muscle, excess body fat also has a part to play.  Now don't go rushing off doing 100's of crunches and spending hours in the plank position.  Working on one area will not remove the wobble from that region, sadly fat cannot be spot reduced.  Revealing your abs is going to involve working the whole body, routines using core based exercises such as bear crawl or mountain climber utilise multiple muscle groups.  This will make your heart work harder, giving you a greater calorie burn, which in turn will help reduce fat levels.

Ramp Up Your Workouts With HIIT.

Exercise for me is not a problem, I am one of those awful people, who actually enjoy it.  I usually go for a mixture of strength/boxing style routines and HIIT.

Here's the sales bit (although I do really believe it is beneficial).

Bodifit is a cardio routine for all levels of fitness, using the principles of HIIT training (high-intensity interval training) to fluctuate the heart rate.  This workout combines high-intensity periods of activity with low-intensity recovery periods, making it a very effective fat burning workout, encouraging the body to burn calories while maintaining muscle mass for optimal results.  This type of exercise will suit all fitness levels and abilities, there is no excuse not to give this a go, most people can manage 30" of exercise if they know a break is coming.

Healthy Diet.

Now I can't preach to you on this subject (katie is the clean eater), I am most definitely not perfect when it comes to food.  Ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen ".  This is where I am going wrong, in order to reveal my efforts in the gym I need to eat a cleaner diet.  After all what's the point in working out, if I am going to come home and eat a packet of M&M's.  What I am trying to say is don't waste your hard work by eating rubbish.  All joking aside I am a lot better at ditching the junk food than I used to be and enjoy the results of that in most areas of my body - just need to be really good, to get rid of my stubborn belly fat (caused by excess M&M consumption).

I think we all know deep down what our food culprits are and this can vary from person to person.  My best advice for eating a healthier diet is to tackle one area at a time, making small changes will make them easier to maintain long term.  That could be drinking more water, eating more fruit, cutting out some of the bad stuff in your diet, including more home cooked meals.  I know the home cooking is easier said than done. Not being the worlds best chef I have found that the slow cooker is my saviour.  I really don't enjoy cooking in the evening, I am usually too tired or busy being a taxi driver for my kids.  I would much rather get up a bit earlier and chuck the ingredients in the pot.  I now have some tried and tested slow cooker recipes that are easy to prepare, the whole family will eat and are healthy (ish). I used to rely on far too many processed ready meals, these tend to contain a lot of sugar and sodium.  Too much sodium in your diet, can lead to dehydration, causing your body to retain water, which in turn will make you look and feel bloated.

Drink More

No I am not talking wine, I mean more water.  The last thing you probably want to do if you are feeling bloated is to drink water.  However the bloating you are feeling might be down to lack of fluids, your body will retain water to prevent dehydration.  Water retention causes bloating.  To prevent water retention and bloating it will actually help to drink more water - the recommended amount is 2ltrs per day.

Sleep.

Well I don't get enough sleep, it's all very well to be told to try and get 7-8 hours , wind down, relax, shut off the phones/iPads etc.  In reality that doesn't happen, by the time most of us sit down in the evening, there is no time to 'wind down" and an hour searching the Internet for random rubbish is when we relax.

Having kids has put paid to me ever having a full nights sleep, after years of being woken up by children I have never managed to regain a good sleep pattern.  Now in my 40's, I seem to have the delightful prequel to what I guess will be the menopause, a bit of insomnia mixed with occasional night sweats.

Lack of sleep can play havoc with your metabolism, triggering the release of the hormone cortisol.  This is a stress hormone which comes into play when your body believes it is in a time of famine, it was traditionally utilised to protect your body when food was scarce.  So even though we now have plenty of eat, cortisol does not distinguish between lack of food or sleep as a source of stress.  It tells your body to slow down until the crisis has passed, encouraging the conversion of blood sugar into fat for long term storage.  Lack of sleep can also increase the hunger hormone ghrelin, making your body think it's hungry, encouraging you to eat more than you actually need.

We are more susceptible to making bad food choices when we are tired, usually picking something sugary as a pick me up.  We might also feel less inclined to move as much, due to lack of energy.  So as you can see a good nights sleep really is important in maintaining a healthy body.

There is plenty of advice out there about what food and what routines will help to enhance your sleep, I have tried a few and nothing really works for me, so unfortunately I don't have a magic formula for you.  I try not to get stressed by my disturbed sleep, otherwise it leads to a vicious circle of thinking about how many hours sleep I'm missing out on, resulting in even more hours spent awake instead of sleeping.  Maybe I can blame my less than perfect stomach on lack of sleep rather than excess M&M consumption after all.

I'm Not Sure How To Break It to You.

I have saved this bit until last, as I know you will want to stop reading as soon as I mention cutting back on alcohol. Before you run away, I just wanted to let you know, that your favourite tipple might be the culprit for your jiggly belly.  I know this is painful to hear, you might just need to cut back a little on your weekly consumption to help you in your pursuit of a flatter stomach.

Everyone talks about the empty calories in alcohol and assumes switching to a vodka and Diet Coke is a good option. What you might not realise is, it's not just down to the calories consumed that contribute to weight gain.

When alcohol is consumed it can impare liver function, making it difficult to cleanse the blood of excess oestrogen. Raised Oestrogen can cause insulin problems, instead of pushing glucose towards your liver and muscles, it leaves higher sugar levels in the blood stream which can lead to your body storing glucose as fat. Oestrogen dominance can be caused by diet/lifestyle/health issues.

Plus if you are anything like me, you have probably made some really bad food choices after one to many - kebab anyone? now that's not going to help reduce the wobble.

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