Ohhh the dreaded bikini and the very, very, very bright sun that exposes every inch of us. Sigh. Well I am always in search of new ways to banish my booty and belly (amongst other things) and saw this article in the Daily Mail today! I love it and the tips in it are some that I have been told by trainers and nutrition experts. I hope that this will help you feel a little more confident in your swimsuit. My personal favorite tips are the eating of the good fats, exercise, lots of water, eating mostly fruits, vegetables and nuts (I am a vegetarian so don't do the lean meats they recommend ). I like to run but since my ankle has been bad I have had to tone it down and do maybe 4-6 miles 4-5 times a week instead of the 10 miles I was doing most everyday and that has been hard on me so I have been compensating in my eating by focusing on hummus and carrots or nuts for snacks, egg white and vegetable omelets and unfortunately not nearly as much wine as I would like. lol. Also, I like the recommendation below of doing weights because that really does help in that the more muscle you have the more you are going to burn calorie wise.
As you can see by my bikini pic I am a work in progress and trying everyday to improve my health and body but the temptations of my beloved sodas, Cheetos, chocolate and wine make it hard. I don't care what anyone says.... there is no way a berry tastes as good as delicious chocolate.
Anyway, enjoy this great article-it is a bit long but very, very, very helpful!
How to tame your tum: Is yours a spare tyre or a stress bulge??? Finding out your tummy type is the key to getting a perfect midriffBy Daily Mail Reporter
THE SPARE TYRE TUMMY
- Cut down on alcohol. ‘Alcohol is a fat bomb for the tummy — pure sugar which goes straight to your waist and stops you burning all other fat until the booze has been processed,’ says James. ‘Just a few glasses three to four times a week will lead to a “wine waist” — a thick midriff and podgy tummy. ‘If you want to drink occasionally that’s fine, but the bottom line is that you have to cut back on booze to get a flat belly.’
- Once you cut out alcohol for two weeks, it’s time to overhaul your diet. ‘In a nutshell, eat well and move more,’ says James. Avoid low-fat and so-called ‘diet’ snacks. ‘These pre-packaged products are often packed full of chemicals, refined sugar, salt and preservatives to give them flavour.
- ‘Ditch calorie counting in favour of a healthy diet full of unprocessed fresh foods such as fish, eggs, organic meat and vegetables. ‘Start the day with eggs and smoked salmon, or even grilled chicken and vegetables, and snack on sliced lean meats. ‘And don’t be afraid of eating good fats, such as avocados, nuts and oily fish. These encourage your body to burn midriff fat, giving you a flat tummy.’
- ‘Exercise is the key to helping this tummy type,’ says James. Simply going for a long walk, doing lunges, squats or dips at home or a yoga class will be beneficial. You don’t need a gym.
THE STRESS TUMMY
‘Stress tummies are easy to spot, as the weight is specific to the front of the midriff and the umbilical area,’ explains James. ‘When stressed, we produce cortisol, a hormone which encourages the body to cling on to fat around the stomach.’
Stressed tummies will also be fairly hard to the touch, rather than wobbly.
- Get an early night. ‘Stressed women nearly always sleep badly, which disrupts the production of leptin, the hormone which helps regulate appetite and metabolism,’ James explains. ‘This is why we eat more when we are tired and crave fat-depositing sugary snacks for an instant energy boost.’
- Combat exhaustion with a relaxation strategy of deep-breathing, meditation and long baths before bed to encourage a good night’s sleep and limit coffee consumption to no more than two cups a day.
- Don’t go for the burn when exercising. ‘Excessive cardio which increases cortisol levels isn’t the answer,’ says James. ‘Instead, yoga, long walks and resistance work with weights is perfect for sculpting and building up strength while calming the system.’
- Magnesium is a calming mineral to help soothe a stressed belly. James advises eating lots of magnesium-rich foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, Brazil nuts and seeds.
THE LITTLE POOCH
- Good nutrition and plenty of fibre are essential to improve digestive conditions such as inflammation, bloating and constipation, which can make a pooch tummy worse. Green leafy vegetables, oatbran and wholemeal grains are good, natural sources of fibre.
- Sit-ups done incorrectly increase your lower back curve and accentuate the ‘pouch’ effect. Swap sit-ups for planks. Do these by lying face down on a mat, resting on your forearms. Push off from the floor, rising onto your toes and elbows, so your body is parallel to the floor from your head to your heels. Start off doing ten seconds and build up to a whole minute.
- It’s a common misconception that using weights bulks women up. In fact, the opposite is true. Using weights will burn serious amounts of fat in a short space of time, so try introducing circuits — repetitions of exercises like squats or lunges which work individual muscle sets.
THE MUMMY TUMMY
‘You need to re-train your pelvic floor and lower abs to increase blood flow and strengthen loose muscles.’
- ‘Fish oil supplements turn on fat-burning hormones and turn off fat-storing hormones,’ says James. ‘Begin by taking three 1,000mg capsules a day with meals and build up to five. I’ve trained Elle Macpherson through two pregnancies and she takes these every day.’
- Try to eat good fats — found in sources such as nuts, oils and olives — every day. ‘Not only do they help you burn fat and absorb vitamins from food effectively, they also help combat tiredness — a big help for tired mums,’ says James.
- Gentle pelvic floor exercises (known as Kegels) act as a natural corset for the body to flatten your tummy from the inside out. Squeeze and clench your pelvic floor muscles 15-20 times, in five sessions a day.
- Steer clear of sit-ups. ‘After giving birth, the linea alba muscles — which run down the mid-line of the abdomen — separate and you need to allow them to recover,’ says James. ‘Crunches are the worst thing you can do, as they will force these muscles farther apart. Instead, breathe deep into your tummy while on all fours, then slowly exhale while doing a pelvic floor exercise.’TOP TIP FOR THIS TUMMY
THE BLOATED TUMMY
- ‘The most common intolerances I see are wheat and gluten (bread, pasta, pastries, pizza, cakes and cereals), alcohol, yeast (in muffins, beer and pastries) and processed dairy (cheese, milk, butter),’ says James. ‘Gluten in particular can inflame the bowel and make the stomach look bigger.
- ‘Experiment to work out what bothers your belly as you know your body better than anyone else. Try eliminating key culprits such as gluten for a fortnight to see if your bloating reduces, or worsens when you reintroduce foods. Focus on a diet with lots of fresh veg, meat, chicken and fish.’
- Sluggish bowels are often a result of eating the wrong foods in the wrong way. Make breakfast your biggest meal, as this is when digestion is at its peak, and avoid eating late at night which leads to bloating. Chew food properly and drink plenty of water to keep the digestive system moving.
- Bloating can be a sign of imbalanced gut flora. So to get your tummy really flat you need to repopulate it with friendly bacteria. Prebiotic and probiotic supplements are the simplest way. Natural sources include miso soup, sour cream and some fruit and veg including kale, garlic and onions. A healthy gut means a flat stomach.
Believe it or not, breathing can be the best thing you can do for this kind of tummy. Try this each morning: lay on your back, completely relaxed, and breathe deep into your tummy ten times. After eating, a walk will help the digestive process, too.