Fitness · Food

Do’s and Dont’s to a flatter belly

abs

Abs are made in the where? Kitchen! How many times have we heard this? Well you are hearing it for a reason so here are some tips and tricks to get rid of some bloat and get that envious set of chiseled abs.

Let’s start with exercise. The best thing you can do for your abs is to work on your Core. “Crunches work only the muscles on the front and sides of your abdomen, but it’s important to target all the muscles of the core to get more defined abs—including lower back, hips, and upper thighs,” says Lou Schuler, co-author of The New Rules of Lifting for Abs.

It is likely not reality to have absolutely flat abs every single day of the week. A lot comes into play like the foods we eat for example. Some foods contribute to bloating, gas, and water retention. So on those days you really want to avoid the bloat and squeeze into a bikini or a pair of your favorite skinny jeans try to avoid the following foods:

broccoli

  • Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale – do not say buh bye to these nutrient rich foods all together. What to do: smaller portions, and steam them to soften the fiber and cook some of the water out. This will allow for more space in your GI tract and easier digestion.

beans

  • Legumes (or beans) – Not new news but beans cause gas. Combine them with whole grains like rice or quinoa and your body will eventually start to get used to them. The more sporadic your bean intake the more likely you will have bloat and gas.

dairy

  • Dairy – Dairy products can cause gas and bloating as your body may not have the enzymes necessary to break down lactose. Try to choose non-dairy alternatives; there are a slew of products that are just as good if not better without the lactose.

salt

  • Salty Foods – it is hard to avoid salt these days. Sodium can be found in so many foods. Look at the amount of sodium in your foods and eventually you will become familiar with what to avoid or eat less of. If you cannot avoid salt at times you should drink lots of water to help flush it out

Incorporating these foods will contribute to getting rid of bloat, gas, and stomach discomfort:

ginger

  • Ginger – a natural anti-inflammatory that helps with your digestion, ginger will reduce puffiness and gas. Try adding ginger to salad dressings, smoothies, and teas.

lemon

  • Lemon – add lemon to your water. Lemon has so many wonderful benefits like antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers. Lemon is also a digestive aid and a cleanses your liver.

tea

  • Peppermint and chamomile tea – have some peppermint tea in the evening to relax your GI muscles and dissolve gas in your stomach.

asparagus

  • Asparagus – a natural diuretic, anti-bloating super-food will help rid that pesky water weight away.

cucumber

  • Cucumbers – contains quercetin, an antioxidant that helps get rid of swelling. Add to your water, or just snack away on some cucumbers and say goodbye to that puffy belly.

banana avocado

  • Bananas, avocados, pistachios, oranges, and kiwis – these delicious treats help to regulate sodium levels in your body.

Please share your tips and tricks on obtaining rock hard abs! I would love to hear from you!

Having shared these tips and tricks I do want to disclaim that I am by no means a doctor or nutritionist. I am a personal trainer and fitness and health enthusiast. The information provided comes from my personal experience and if you have any concerns, questions, etc… you should always consult medical professionals.

-Yesenia Whipple

Fitness · Food

How to make those Abs pop

abs

Abs, everyone wants them, everyone has them; so how can we get them to appear?

While exercise is important,  your diet is even more crucial on your journey to rock hard abs. For exercise focus on strengthening your core muscles. In addition, mix in workouts targeting all abdominal muscles not just upper or lower. Now keep in mind if you have a lot of extra weight hanging out you will need to get your cardio on as well. Cardio well shed those pesky layers of fat that are hiding those abdominal muscles. Creating a good mix of cardio, core, and ab specific exercises will get you started on your quest for an ‘abtastic’ physique.

As mentioned above, diet plays an important role in getting those abs to come out and play. Here are some foods that you can incorporate into your diet:

Salmon

  • Lean protein such as seafood containing omega-3 fatty acids; think salmon, tuna, etc… Omega-3 fatty acids are great for fat burning and promote a more efficient metabolism.

almonds

  • Nuts like raw Almonds contain both protein and fiber. In addition almonds provide antioxidants found in vitamin E and minerals like magnesium which promote energy as well as build muscle.

berries

  • Fruits like berries. The more fiber you get from foods like berries the less of the unhealthy calories you will absorb from the not so healthy choices.

leafy greens

  • Veggies are essential in fueling your body. You will have more energy while also keeping the calorie count down. Veggies like broccoli and leafy greens also contain carotenoids which help prevent cancer.

eggs

  • Eggs contain a wonderful balance of essential Amino Acids. Studies show consuming eggs in the morning will help curb your appetite throughout the day. They are one of the best sources of protein you can add to your diet.

how-to-make-yogurt-1

  • Yogurt is a great sources of calcium and helps keep your digestive system in check. A healthy digestive system will help keep the bloat away and you may see a less flabby midsection.

brown rice

  • Healthy Starches such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa.  Along with the health benefits you  also benefit in feeling fuller sooner and longer.

For more fitness tips check out my fitness tab, or comment below with questions.

-Yesenia Whipple