Tummy fat can be very stubborn, especially for women who have recently had a baby. Even though there aren’t any specific exercises that just focus on reducing excess fat from the abdomen, there are several basic lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce excess weight and trim and tone your tummy so that you look and feel your best!
Diet is of course important, and we all know that avoiding deep fried foods or foods high in saturated fats is a good step towards cutting back on any extra weight we may be holding. However simple carbs are also another tummy topper! Foods and drinks rich in sugar provide high levels of energy that often don’t get completely used and end up being stored on the body as fat. Here are a list of common simple carbs and some healthier alternatives:
White bread - Instead try whole grain breads rich with seeds. Not only will this provide you with slow release energy and have you feeling fuller for longer, it is also much more nutrient dense and you will need less to satisfy your hunger!
Sweet drinks - This includes everything from sodas, to ice teas/ iced coffees and even fruit juices. These are all packed full of sugars (even if the fruit juice says ‘no added sugar’ it is still incredibly high in fructose!) and even though it doesn’t seem too bad because you are drinking it, if the energy isn’t used it gets stored! If you like a refreshing drink, then opt for plain soda water or mineral water with a squeeze of lemon or lime, or even a couple of frozen raspberries in it to give it a little flavour.
Sauces - Most sauces are packed full of sugar and salt and are really not that good for you at all. So if you are trying to trim your tummy, avoid using bottled sauces when making your dinner. Instead try and work from scratch so you know exactly what you are using and instead of adding sauce to your foods for extra flavour, try alternatives such as a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of spices or some fresh herbs… Or you could try enjoying your food just as it is!
Fatty salads - People often think that if it has ‘salad’ in its name, then it must be a healthy meal. However many salads are packed full of cheeses, fatty processed meats and are drenched in creamy or sugar filled dressings. So when opting for a salad be aware of what is in it and try to enjoy it without salad dressing, or opt for a light vinaigrette.
Exercise is also the other important ingredient in working towards trimming your tummy. Though how much you exercise and what kinds of exercises you do will determine how successful you are at achieving your goals. When it comes to determining what types you should be doing, it is important to incorporate a balance between cardiovascular endurance, and resistance training. You want to get yourself huffing and puffing, as well as working those muscles.
Endurance training - Incorporating cardio into your workout is incredibly important. Using exercises such as swimming laps, cycling, jogging, sprinting, rowing, skipping and HIIT are all great ways of burning stored energy.
Resistance training - Even though working on your abdominal muscles will help give you definition here, it is important that you work your whole body. Building your lean muscle mass will help you burn more calories as you go about your normal everyday activities. Plus focusing too intently on your abdomen, whilst neglecting your back muscles and the rest of your body, can actually create unbalance. In fact, focusing on just your abdomen, without incorporating cardio and a balanced diet, can actually build these muscles and give the appearance of a larger belly!
By simply making a few alterations to your lifestyle you can create and maintain a healthy and strong body that makes you feel confident and happy!