Isn't it frustrating to be eating healthy and exercising and still find yourself facing the question of how to get flat abs? It is to me and one survey showed that 72% of women between the ages of 45 and 64 list this area as being the part of the body they feel the most insecure about. So I know I'm not alone. It is often very tricky to get that midsection flattened out. There are a variety of reasons for this including:
- water retention
- stored fat
- poor digestion
Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, Georgia State University professor emeritus, says that the key to controlling belly fat is the acronym SED:
- S: Strength training to preserve muscle mass
- E: Exercise aerobically to burn fat
- D: Diet that is healthy, calorie-controlled, and includes heart-healthy fats
Do Cope with Stress
Finding a way to cope with stress whether it is meditation, deep breathing, a hobby, massage or whatever helps you relax is an important DO. When we are stressed or anxious our bodies produce more cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that signals the body to store fat. This fat is quite often stored in the abdominal area.
Don't Eat Heavy
This seems like an obvious don't, but take it further to include changing your eating habits to several smaller meals throughout the day instead of eating the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many people are stuck in the routine of it is time to eat so let's eat instead of checking in with their bodies to see if they are actually hungry. Eating to satisfy the hunger instead of eating until you are full is another consideration. Do you really need to eat that huge restaurant serving for lunch or is your hunger satisfied by only half of it? Usually when I go to a restaurant I find the portions enough to make 2 meals or more instead of one if I really pay attention to hunger pains instead of focusing on cleaning my plate.
Do Build Muscle
Whereas fat tends to be stored instead of being used up by the body, muscle can help raise your metabolism and burn calories. To build more muscle make sure your exercise regimen includes strength or resistance training exercises. This would include exercises of the type that cause the muscles to contract against an external resistance to increase strength, tone, mass or endurance. The external resistance could be from objects such as weights or dumbbells or even your own body weight or exercise mat such as with lunges, leg abductions or plank type exercises.
Don't Miss Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, Americans getting 8 hours of sleep a night dropped from 35% to 26% in a 7 year period. A lack of sleep can slow down the metabolism and increase fat storage.
Do Support Digestion
Your digestive system needs healthy friendly bacteria to digest your food. If you do not have enough of these bacteria working for you, your digestion is slowed and bloating occurs as well as having undigested food causing belly bulges. Yogurt and kefir are good sources of probiotics vital to this digestion process. When buying yogurt or kefir, make sure you get the ones with live active cultures. You can also add a full spectrum probiotic supplement to your diet. Our favorite probiotic supplement has twelve key good bacteria that are microblended with bluegreen algae. Digestive enzymes are another way to help with digestive support. Enzymes can help break down all kinds of foods including fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber for improved digestion.
Don't Eat Processed Foods
Processed foods generally have a lot of sugar. Check the labels on boxes, jars and packages and how many do you find that say high fructose corn syrup? Sugar can be hidden in these types of foods under different names so know what you are getting by looking up ingredients that you are not sure what they are. Or even better, just stick with natural, unrefined foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, and sources of lean protein. These are not only healthier for you overall, but will help you in your quest of how to get flat abs.
Do Ab Flattening Exercises
Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson recommends working on big and multiple muscle groups through exercise rather than isolation movements. That means doing exercises such as squats and lunges will be more beneficial in flattening abs than leg curls and burn off more calories. Exercise physiologist Tom Holland recommends also adding some periods of high-speed, more intense exercise into your routine to burn more calories in a shorter time period. To help you get the most out of your exercise routine, we've found taking this supplement high in antioxidants and bluegreen algae superfood to be supportive in giving you a boost. When you feel good you improve your amount and quality of exercise. The nourishment from bluegreen alage and antioxidant nutrition help you feel your best.
Do Eat Fat
What?? I'm trying to flatten my abs and you say eat fat! As long as it is the right type of fat and of course you don't overdo it, then yes. The fats to look for are the monounsaturated fats such as you find in olive oil, avocados, nuts, soybeans, flax and sunflower oil. Research is showing that this type of fat has many health benefits including helping lose belly fat. They also help you fill full so that you can avoid overeating.
Do Support Overall Health and Energy
Every body cell must have energy to survive and function. Coenzyme Q10 is needed for energy in every normal cell of the human body. Our favorite COQ10 supplement contains 82% of the daily value of antioxidant vitamin A along with a full spectrum of carotenoids (natural antioxidants) from red beta algae and bluegreen algae. In addition, this Conenzyme Q10 supplement is emulsified in organic cold-pressed flaxseed oil which makes the body absorb it better than powders and provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. CoQ10 is essential for life to exist, as it is an integral part of energy production within every cell. Having your cells energized and supporting overall health and vitality means you feel better and have the energy to get those ab flattening exercises done everyday.
When wondering how to get flat abs, consider these dos and don'ts and how making a few exercise and lifestyle changes can lead to a healthier flat bellied you.
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