Belly fat is our worst nightmare! I know because I used to spend a lot of time trying to avoid it myself. Up until six years ago, I stayed in the gym trying to achieve perfect abs. I glided on the elliptical, ran on the treadmill and performed traditional abdominal exercises to no avail. After giving birth to my second son Gabriel, I discovered The Tracy Anderson Method (and my abs)! I would have never known they were hiding under everything else if it weren't for her method. That's when I discovered that everything I'd been told I should do was way off the grid.
Nobody told me back then that “abs are made in the kitchen,” or that healthy fats encourage our bodies to burn fat. I'm happy those days are over, and I'm equally as happy to give you some tips on how you can achieve a flat belly in no time! 1. Avocado
Avocados are full of healthy fats. The monounsaturated fat found in avocados actually helps reduce high cholesterol and prevent blood sugar spikes that instruct your body to store excess calories as fat, especially in your belly.
2. Coconut oil
Like avocados, coconut oil is high in healthy fats. Don’t run away or be turned off! The fat in coconut oil has been shown to speed up metabolism and reduce fat faster. Small amounts can also help improve digestion, which reduces bloating in the belly. You don't want to skip this amazing oil.
3. Green tea
Green tea is rich in metabolism-boosting properties, which aid in burning fat in the body. Many studies continue to prove that drinking green tea helps activate thermogenesis, or heat production, which helps stimulate fat burning. Additionally, green tea is rich in polyphenols and catechins, in particular epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to burn fat.
4. Fruits and veggies
You simply can't get around eating your fruits and vegetables! I swear by this; and as a matter of fact, you can just call this my mantra for fat burning and a flat belly. The best way to increase your fruit and veggie servings for the day is to have a huge smoothie for breakfast. I drink a 38-48 oz. smoothie most days of the week and I recommend my clients do the same. This insures that you are getting a large amount of your fruit and vegetable intake for the day. Additionally, you are getting tons of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that aid in keeping you strong and healthy.
5. Avoid refined sugar
Refined sugars found in pastries, cookies, cakes, candy, and sugary drinks will keep the fat around your midsection for sure. If you're trying to get rid of extra belly fat, avoid anything with refined sugar and excess “healthy” sweeteners. Why? Because we all know (say it with me) that sugar turns into fat. Too much sugar can have negative effects on your hormone levels, which also influence weight gain. If you need something to satisfy your sweet tooth, try variations of dark chocolate. You can find a wide variety at your local health food store. Some of my favorite dark chocolates contain things like goji berries, coconut flakes and nuts.
6. Drink plenty of water
I know it sounds repetitive, but this one is important because water flushes out your body, keeps you hydrated and aids in digestion. Drinking enough water also helps satisfy hunger cravings and tame your sweet tooth! Since we know that toxins are stored in our fat and excess sugar causes us to store fat, it makes sense that increasing water consumption helps reduce belly fat.
7. Reduce sodium intake
Excess sodium intake tends to make our bodies swell all over, including the belly. Instead of using tons of salt to season your meals, go heavy on the herbs and spices for flavor. Garlic, onions and ginger are wonderful healthy ways to add flavor without adding more sodium. If you do need to use salt, use pink Himalayan salt instead of white table salt or regular sea salt.
8. The proper fitness routine
It’s important and helpful to train your midsection if you want definition; however, you have to make sure you are doing the proper routine. I don’t want to run my favorite routine for abs into the ground, but I'm excited to tell you what worked for me! The Tracy Anderson Method is magical in transforming the abs, especially for moms. Additionally, body weight ab exercises work best. When training your abdominals, adding weight tends to add bulk, something most people want to avoid in favor of a more flat and toned tummy. It is worth noting that abdominal fat is among the most dangerous to have on the body. It has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The good news is that many of the same lifestyle changes that will help you prevent belly fat will also help improve your health!