good habits

7 Tips for A Flatter Tummy

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One of the first things my new clients say is that they want a flatter tummy. Belly fat can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. It also affects a woman’s confidence and how she feels in her clothes.

Even more important is the problem that this type of fat around the mid-section is a risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The good news—you can do something about it.

Here are 7 tips to help you lose belly fat so you can wear those form fitting clothes and feel beautiful in them:

1.    Eat a high protein diet: Protein should be a part of every meal. It keeps you full, decreases your appetite and helps build strong muscles. Studies have shown that eating quality protein (i.e., beef, salmon, eggs, turkey, pork, fish & chicken) throughout the day decreases abdominal fat—the type of fat that can be a precursor for obesity and disease. Not sure how much protein to eat? Strive for 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. 

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2.    Cut out sugar: For many of us, this is easier said than done. Sugar tastes good and many compare it to a drug that you can become addicted to over time. Quitting cold turkey usually doesn’t work. Instead, try to find healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Swap out candy for some fruit, and if you crave chocolate, eat a small piece of dark chocolate (at least 70% dark or higher), which is also heart healthy. And don’t forget those sugary drinks that are often overlooked. Ditch the sodas and juices, which are loaded with sugar. Flavored unsweetened seltzer or water is just as good and ten times better for your waistline. 

3.    Get active: It sounds obvious, but it’s always worth repeating. Cardiovascular exercise and resistance training will always work in reducing belly fat. You’ll burn calories whether you’re running, walking, biking, rowing or taking your favorite dance class. Studies show that aerobic exercise leads to weight loss, which ultimately results in reduced abdominal fat. What women sometimes forget though is the strength training part of the equation. Resistance training at least three times a week will not only get you stronger, but the muscles you build will take the place of fat. So don’t forget to lift those weights!

4.    Cut refined carbs and processed foods: Carbs often get a bad rap and there is some good reason for that. The problem occurs when you don’t eat the right carbs. A refined carb has basically been stripped of its nutritional value including fiber, vitamins and minerals. The lack of these important nutrients has been linked to obesity. Opt for complex carbs such as yams, sweet potatoes, whole oats, quinoa, and wild brown or black rice.

The same goes for processed foods. Just seeing the word “processed” on a food should be enough for you to stay away from it as it’s far from being natural and healthy. These foods are usually loaded with sugars and other ingredients that do nothing to keep your body healthy or your belly flat.

5.    Drink apple cider vinegar (ACV) every day: A tall tale or health hack? Whatever you may think about drinking apple cider vinegar, the truth lies in the science. One study showed that daily intake of apple cider vinegar significantly reduced belly fat. The acetic acid in the vinegar is what does the trick. And not only that, ACV has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Just be sure to dilute it with some water so it’s easier to drink.

6.    Drink plenty of water: Water is essential for all living things and that includes you. Water regulates your internal body temperature through sweating, it metabolizes and transports carbs and proteins, it helps flush waste out of your system and it keeps your joints lubricated. The list goes on and on. When it comes to belly fat, water is the perfect weapon to keep your body healthy while flushing out whatever may be causing belly bloat.

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 7.    Get more sleep: They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. A good night’s sleep, which should be at least seven hours a night, is important for a variety of reasons. Not only is it beneficial for mental clarity, but it also reduces cortisol (the stress hormone). Lack of quality sleep has also been shown to increase the levels of ghrelin—the hormone that regulates your appetite. That means you’re more likely to eat more, which can lead to belly fat.

Some of these tips may be much easier than others and that’s okay. Rome wasn’t built in a day so no one expects you to change your habits over night. Pick the one that you know is the biggest contributor to your belly fat and work on changing that behavior. If you can break the most challenging habit, the rest should be easy!

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3284412/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17637702

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25477716

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632337/


 

5 HABITS OF ENERGETIC PEOPLE

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You know the kind of people who always seem to have boundless amounts of energy? Those who glow with vivaciousness? Those kinds of people have a few behavior habits in common that help them stay on top of their energetic game. It can be easy to assume they were born that way, and some were, but others have to work for high energy levels; for that beautiful breezy blush. Here are the secrets to putting an extra spring in your step (or another rep in your set!)

  1. Drink Your Water - Our bodies are made up of 55% water (or more based on gender) which is why it’s essential to hydrate. Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. And, one of those bodily functions is how energetic you look and feel. Some tricks to drink more water include: carry a gallon of water with you wherever you go. Invest in one of those fancy water bottles that automatically monitors how much you’ve had to drink that day. Find a water bottle with a motivational saying on it and bring it with you wherever you go.

  2. Eat Regular Meals - Skipping a meal means not fueling your body to perform at optimum energy levels. Additionally, it slows down your metabolism which encourages your body to gain extra weight. Some tricks to make every meal include: taking your food with you in tupperware wherever you go.

  3. Get Enough Sleep - Falling short on your sleep goals spells exhaustion, mind fog, and more the next day. Being vivacious isn’t easy if you’re continually running off of only a few hours of sleep a night. Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it with regularity to feel more energized on the daily. Tips to get more sleep include: setting an alarm on your phone for bedtime and having a rule no TV or computer pasted 9:00pm.

  4. Stay Positive - Laughter is the best medicine! No, really, it creates national endorphins that help your mood. But, we can’t be laughing all the time, and life can throw some serious curve balls. Learning how to keep our head above water is a wonderful life skill to hone. So to keep up with a positive attitude here are a few tips: write down positive affirmations, spend time with positive people, laugh more, and listen to positive music.

  5. They set realistic expectations with themselves and others - You’re going to feel totally drained if you’re continually trying to meet expectations that are above your capabilities or that you plain just don’t want to. Or, that aren’t fair to you that others have demanded. Say “no” to unrealistic expectations and “yes” to your own health. Say “yes” to giving yourself permission for stillness that empowers your soul.