The cold hard truth is developing a flat and defined stomach takes time and effort. I always remind my clients that, “abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.” Targeting specific muscles, say through crunches, to get toned abs only works once we have achieved a certain level of body fat (less than 20%). Think about it, no matter how much you work your core through strength training, you won’t be able to see those beautiful and toned abs if they are covered by a layer of fat. So over the long haul, eating right and the right amount, combined with both a cardio and strength training regimen is what will give you that perfect and highly desirable flat tummy.
BUT, do not fear, if you are heading to the beach for the upcoming Holiday weekend, here are some “tricks” to eliminating bloat and making your stomach appear flat!
The week before:
- Eat clean. You want to eliminate any foods that can cause inflammation, bloat, or excess water retention. Try my Real Food Cleanse, this cleanse is designed to eliminate any foods that can potentially cause belly bloat.
- It takes at least 250,000 crunches to burn 1 pound!!! Pick yourself up off the floor and get your cardio on! Focusing on cardio will help you slim down ALL over and thus give you a flatter stomach.
- Start EACH day of your vacation with an INTENSE cardio workout. Before hitting the beach or pool, get your butt to the gym and do some cardio! Nothing will make you feel more confident and sexy in your bikini than a tough and sweaty workout. Not to mention, a good cardio workout helps reduce any excess water weight and bloat in the tummy area.
- Avoid salt. It is crucial to avoid foods high in sodium, as excess sodium causes your body to retain more water and excess water equals belly bulge!
- Avoid cruciferous veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are awesome most of the time, but just not right before or during your beach vacation. These veggies contain raffinose, a complex carbohydrate, which can cause bloating and gas.
- Just say no to that pina colada. Sugary beverages are plentiful when lounging on the beach, but the high level of fructose in these cocktails can most definitely lead to some lovely bloat. Instead mix your liquor with club soda and add just a splash of fruit juice to sweeten your drink.
- Watch portion sizes. We have all seen the celebrity that has been put on “bump watch” only to later discover that, “no they are not pregnant, they just ate a cheeseburger.” Eating too much at one time will absolutely cause belly bulge. Remember that no meal is your last meal. Eat smaller more frequent meals and snacks to avoid a full belly.
Photo via Tory Burch