A nice, flat stomach! That is usually the goal for women as summer months speedily approach. Winter tends to mean not only more layers of clothing, but hiding extra ‘poundage’ behind those layers. They say that summer bodies are made in winter – but if you’ve been a little lazy, no worries – I got you!
As I’m sure you know, exercise is the best way for a flat stomach, but equally important is the diet – the food that goes into your system. I was recently apart of this 60 day challenge at my gym with my trainer Tracy (I’ll be sharing her with you guys pretty soon).
Now, this challenge was called the little black dress challenge – basically getting our bodies to fit into a sexy little black dress. I’ve never been overweight per se and usually have a good handle on my weight due to what I eat and the portions I eat. Well, between diets and research, I know quite a bit about staying in shape from the diet side, well Tracy, a former competitive body builder, schooled me some more.
The foods you are able to eat as a teenager, that have no effect on your weight, change as you get older. If you maintain your eating habits as you get older, it begins to show on your body as metabolism naturally slows down. There are certain foods, that you ultimately have to minimize or completely eliminate if you have sexy body goals. Celebrities do it all the time, restrictive diets and completely changing eating habits in order to stay fit. A lot of celebs have recently made the decision to go vegan (good luck to them) – to each her own!
Anyhoo, listed below, from the flat stomach diet, are tips on what to eat and avoid to could keep your muffin top or belly pooch in check. If you are trying to get a bikini ready, flat stomach before summer hits, here is a food routine to try.
What to eliminate from you diet:
Dairy – anyone that is trying to build muscle (which is needed for consistent fat burning) knows that dairy is the enemy. Not only does it cause inflammation (bloat) but it counteracts muscle-building and keeps those muscles “soft” and not forming as they should.
Sugar – I’ve talked about this before, sexy body enemy #1. Sugar is the main culprit in causing unwanted pounds to creep up and stay put. Refined (white) sugar is obviously the worst of all – but brown sugar can halt your progress as well. Be careful when buying pre-packaged foods, (almost) everything has sugar! As a rule of thumb for me, if the sugar content (read the label) is more than 10 grams per serving then I leave it alone. Instead, opt for all natural honey/agave and stevia options.
Certain fruits – fruits and veggies are always at the top of the list for weight loss and diets. They are obviously great to eat, but when you are trying to see results in a reasonable amount of time, certain fruits need to be streamlined. Fruits like grapes, cherries, bananas contain high levels of sugar and your body processes sugar as sugar! Even if for a while, eliminate or minimize high sugar fruits from your routine.
Starchy veggies & refined carbs – potatoes are delicious – as fries, roasted potatoes or mashed. I know! But if you’re gonna adhere to the flat stomach diet and be ready for summer….they gotta go. Also, most breads should be out the door too. If you must have bread, a slice of a whole grain option is your best bet. And according to my trainer, if you must have the potatoes, half of a sweet potato (no butter, only cinnamon if anything) is okay. White breads, white flour (pancakes, waffles etc) should not be in your vicinity. The refined starch turns to sugar as they metabolize and again, sugar is enemy #1.
What to eat instead:
Lots of lean protein – increasing your protein intake helps in the formation of lean muscle. (I would like to believe that in addition to the diet, you are also incorporating exercise into your flat stomach regimen). Two or more eggs daily, fish several times a week or simply incorporate protein shakes as a meal replacement sometimes. Other lean meat like chicken breast is also a good idea.
Water – Lots and lots of water . Ok so I am sooo speaking to myself as well. Water is super, duper important for proper bodily functioning and we need lots of it – daily. If you’re like me, you may get 5 of the required 8 cups of water a day. That simply won’t cut it. If you can’t consistently commit to 8 cups then I suggest adding water based fruits/veggies to your diet (watermelon – and other melons, cucumbers, cabbage etc).Citrus and fruit infused water is also a good idea. Water keeps skin and hair healthy and it flushes your digestive system.
Colon cleanser as needed – so this is not something I would recommend for regular use by no means. Colon cleansers are a great way to release stubborn digestive components (yeah we’ll call it that) but use them too often and your digestive system can become weakened and not function properly on its own. So yeah, please don’t get accustomed to taking these. If you have a final few pounds, a slight “pooch” that seems like it won’t go away then you can resort to a couple sessions of the colon cleanser. A good natural, herbal cleanser (I have a bottle of Yerba Prima’s psyllium husk) is easy on your digestive tract.
So this is by no means the everything of everything, but this routine is a great place to start as you pursue your flat stomach goals. With the addition of exercise, if you commit to this routine then you will definitely see a reduction in your mid section. So give it at least 2-3 weeks and let me know how it goes (longer if you’re able to) I would love to hear about your results.