I think having a flat tummy could very well be a universal goal of just about everyone! It’s just so desirable, isn’t it?! Just about everyone I have trained, women and men, have brought up the fact they’d like a flatter tummy. It’s also the area I’ve struggled with the most due to digestive issues, so I can most definitely relate. It’s just not a nice feeling when your clothes feel tight around your stomach, right?
Here are my top 6 steps to getting a flat tummy!
1. Do an elimination diet. Finding out what foods you may be intolerant to and then cutting them out of your diet, will have a massive impact on how flat your tummy looks. Here’s what you do…cut out culprits such as dairy and gluten for 4 weeks and then slowly reintroduce them back into your diet paying close attention to how you feel (ie, bloated, change in bowel habits). Eliminating caffeine is also recommended as it can bloat your tummy from being so acidic.
2. Reduce toxins in your diet/lifestyle such as:
- Tap water
- Processed food
- Non-organic meat
- Birth control pill
3. Become more alkaline – One of the best ways of achieving a flat tummy is by becoming less acidic and more alkaline. Acidic food causes a lot of stress on your body. It inflames your gut, giving you that bloated ’pooch’ looking tummy you so badly want to get rid of. Now I’m not saying you need to eat 100% alkaline, some acidic foods in moderation are necessary but it’s always good to balance them out with alkaline foods. The general rule of thumb is to eat a diet that is 70% alkaline, 30% acidic. The infographic below, I found on Vibrant Wellness Journal. I did a search for a good acid/alkaline chart and found it surprising how many of them had foods such as coconut, dairy and certain grains in different categories. To simplify it, animal products are generally the most acidic and plant based foods, the most alkaline.
4. Add a good pre and probiotic to your daily diet. These are essential for good gut health and a flat tummy! A lot of the toxins mentioned in point one, inflame your gut wall and kill the good bacteria. Repopulating your gut with billions of friendly bacteria once you’ve cleaned up your diet and reduced the amount of toxins in your diet and lifestyle, will make a huge difference. My favourite probiotics (live microorganisms) are found in:
- kefir (in the form of fermented coconut water or milk)
- organic yoghurt
- and you can also get good ones in tablet/powder form from your trusted Naturopath (recommended)
Prebiotics (non-digestible ingredients found in certain foods that stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut) can be found in these whole foods:
- kidney beans/lentils/blackbeans/chickpeas
5. Eat plenty of fibre. Not having enough fibre can lead to inflammation and constipation in the bowel which is never fun. Eating plenty of vegetables and a small amount of fruit each day is the key to getting enough fibre in ya! If you’re not able to eat the recommended 5-9 cups of raw fruit and veg every day, I’d recommend taking Juice Plus. A few of my clients taking it (including myself!) have noticed quite a big difference in their bowel movements.
6. And finally, exercises you can do to help shape and tone your tummy! Although important, it’s not all about doing exercises that isolate your abs. You want to combine other types of exercises that work together to flatten, tighten and strengthen your tummy. My top exercises include:
- interval training
- push ups
- assisted chin ups
- renegade rows
- hanging leg raises
- all planks
- mountain climbers
- russian twists
- reverse crunches
- decline sit ups
- all pilates based core work
As you can see, your diet and lifestyle are key factors in achieving a flat tummy! Exercise is also important for fat-burning and toning the tummy area, but focus more on cleaning up your diet and making your digestive system happy
Learn something from this post or got some tips of your own to share? Why not leave a comment below!
Also, curious to know ladies – does a picture like the one above make you feel motivated or does it make you feel worse? Hard to know sometimes which pics to use. I certainly wouldn’t want to make anyone feel negatively about themselves…quite the opposite! Would love your feedback on this one xx