The foods you eat and the diet you follow will be the deciding factor when it comes to a healthy flat, defined stomach. What you eat has a direct impact on how much you store fat, eating foods that are less likely to contribute to fat gain are essential to an abs in the kitchen diet.
Controlling insulin is a important factor to consider when you’re attempting to build your abs in the kitchen, so the food you choose is very important. Avoiding anything with added sugars that cause insulin to spike and those calories to be stored as fat is a total must.
1. Calories are not equal.
The source of your calories play a major role in what your body does with it.
Sugars – cause your blood sugar to spike and the pancreas to release insulin, when these foods are consumed regularly those calories will be stored as fat, this is a fact
2. Certain foods help you burn fat.
They can rather boost your metabolism, regulate blood sugar an avoid fat storage or help you build muscles and increase your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate – the energy you spend just to be alive)
A few examples of them:
Chilli Pepper, Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric, Green Tea, Cinnamon, Eggs, Avocado, Coffee, Coconut oil. Make sure you are including some of this foods on a daily basis.
3. Spot training ONLY doesn’t work.
You can exercise as much as you like and build strong muscles but if they are still buried under fat you won’t be able to see anything, actually we all have our 6 pack underneath our fat layer, that’s how the human body is designed to be. So, sort your diet out, it plays the most important
role in your progress
4. Reduce your carbohydrate intake.
It is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of some belly fat. The right amount for you will depend on your level of activity. Added sugars are definitely a NO, your healthy carbs will come from fruits and vegetables and that’s all you need.
5. Stop drinking
Alcohol can sabotage any diet and make a flat stomach nearly impossible. Watch out beer bellies, alcohol is high in sugar, has no nutritional value and stalls your metabolism from burning fat for energy. A glass of wine every now and again is fine, more than one can damage your liver.
6. Stop fearing fat
Dietary fat is not the same thing as body fat, and consuming more dietary healthy fats can help you reduce body fat in your belly and find your flat stomach. It’s also highly recomended to help keep your metabolism running, control your hormones levels, stabilize your blood sugar, provides energy for your body and brain, improve satiety, reduce hunger and sugar cravings.
Some of the best sources are olive oil, coconut products, fat fishes like salmon and mackerel, avocados, eggs, nuts and seeds, grass fed butter and ghee.
Don’t miss it out!
Once you have sort your diet out, add some lifestyle changes:
It promotes core balance and stability, but just the strength isn’t enough, to get that firmness you might want to think about adopting a cardio rotine. It doesn’t have to be a long exhaustive run, just include an 1 hour walk or 20 to 30 min jog or sprints (if you’re very fit) 3x a week + 2x a week strength workout and it will do the job. That will keep you motivated and full of energy throughout the day
8. Get a good night of sleep.
Sleep is important for muscle growth and fat burning because it lets your body grow and recover. The more muscle you have the faster you burn fat, and sleep helps both of this things. Sleep also balance cortisol levels (stress hormone) which is closely associated with weight gain and belly fat.
Tips for a better night of sleep:
1. Have a slown down evening ritual (like we do with kids) calm down, have a cup of herbal tea or a warm bath to send bedtime signals to your brain.
2. Avoid the artificial blue light coming from electronic devices and telly right before bed.
3 Avoid caffeinated drinks late in the day (black tea and coffee) and food stimulants like chocolate and cinnamon (even the dark ones)
If you are already doing all that and can’t sleep properly: avoid mouth breathing, check your homones level and manage stress.
Lose weight and Wake up full of energy every single day!!!
9. Manage Stress
You’ve got the diet, exercise and sleep sorted right? Still not losing fat? You better manage stress.
Stress produces high cortisol levels, a hormone that increases insulin sensitivity, appetite and cravings contributing to those extra kilos.
Some tips to calm your mind down
1. Have a good night of sleep, it is a good way to reduce cortisol levels (more tips about sleep – last post)
2. Write a “to do” list every week so you can relax and empty your mind while making sure you are going to get everything done and anything will be forgotten on the way.
3. Breath deeply and close you eyes for 1 minute especially in the mornings, before meals or before bed, go for a longer period meditation if you are used to, try to reach at least 20 minutes a day or more.
4. Create a positive attitude towards life and others around you, we all have problems and get stressed out won’t solve them.
Calm down, there is always a way!
* Ladies only *
10. Diet and exercise tailored to your menstrual cycle needs.
The menstrual cycle cetainly impacts a female’s fat burning physiology. It is important to know that estrogen and progesterone do affect insulin and cortisol, this means you can guide them (with diet) to achieve the body composition you are looking for.
During your period and the week after you’re going to be full of energy and more tolerant to high intensity exercises.
The third and fourth weeks, you are going to need more calories, chose good quality foods to avoid cravings (avocado and dark chocolate are good options) and go for a frequent/ long distance/ low intensity/ confortable exercises.