With the New Year around the corner you are probably planning your most Savvy resolution to date. This year you will make a plan and stick to it, but before you go crunching that heart out, or latching on to the next craze diet, try these seven tips to flatten your tummy, and help your resolution become a reality.
- Sleep: Lack of sleep produces cortisol, causing the body to go into protection mode, storing belly fat. Cortisol also increases your appetite causing you to crave comfort foods, instead of healthy fuel.
- Stress: Did I mention the stress hormone cortisol? Relaxation and meditation are a great way to de-stress, and it only takes minutes a day.
- Water: Drink an average of 3-6 litres of fluid per day. Water helps flush out the toxins from the body. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in your system (shrinking inflamed muscles and tissue…hello abs!).
- Nutrition/Diet: Diet is 80-90% of your weight loss. So be prepared! It’s easy to grab a croissant for breakfast, but quick fixes add up to calorie-laden, unhealthy choices and nutrient-depleted meals. If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it! Food is fuel for your body, helping you concentrate, exercise, and be happy. Try using a side plate instead of a dinner plate for meals.
- Exercise: Believe it or not, doing 1000 crunches is not the secret. You will strengthen your core, but you will not reap the rewards of full body strengthening. Muscle burns fat more effectively than any crunches or cardio you do. Building the larger muscle groups (glutes, quads, hamstrings, back and chest) will help you burn fat faster.
- Fish Oil: Omega 3 (DHA and EPA) acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body (including abdomen) and improves eyesight, brain function and joint pain. As an added bonus, fish oils are said to help with anxiety and depression.
- Green Tea: In its purest form, green tea is said to have über anti-oxidants (which helps rid the body of toxins) and a weight-loss quality as well.
So make a resolution this year that is not only going to help you get your pre-baby tummy back, but will help you feel healthier too, and all without doing the dreaded crunches.
Julie Watson is the owner of AfterGlow Health & Fitness, for Prenatal, Postnatal and Beyond
, in Toronto. Her 3 small children are the reason she strives everyday to be strong and healthy. For more information about Julie and AfterGlow, visit www.afterglowtoronto.com
, and check out her blog here