Summer’s coming. Almost time to show off those abs.
If you’re a little behind in the game, here are 12 tips to help you get on track to a flatter belly.
1. Chew your food. Digestion begins in the mouth. Better-digested food means less gas and bloating.
2. Eat breakfast! Having breakfast every morning can actually speed up your metabolism!
3. Diet first, cardio second, building muscle third, and abs exercises last. Prep healthier meals. Do cardio three to five times weekly. Do strength training at least three times a week. Do ab exercises at least three days a week.
4. Use natural sea salt or kosher salt, which is lower in sodium teaspoon for teaspoon than traditional table salts. Flavor your food with a little fresh tomato salsa or a hint of cayenne pepper, which has an added benefit of boosting metabolism.
5. Beer drinkers have higher waist-to-hip ratios than wine drinkers do.
6. Stay away from alcohol. It can inhibit your body’s production of fat- burning hormones.
7. Drink plenty water to help your body maintain proper fluid balance, stop water retention (a major cause of bloated bellies) and feel full so you’re inclined to eat less overall.
8. Green tea can also help to reduce belly fat thanks to antioxidants called catechins. For extra fat-burning power, sip green tea before a workout.
9. Ginger helps calm your GI tract and can help reduce bloating. Add some fresh, grated ginger to your green tea or boil some chopped pieces of the root to make ginger tea.
10. Peppermint is a digestive aid. Brew a peppermint tea or add peppermint leaves to water or green tea.
11. Avoid carbonated and fermented beverages. These drinks have gas in them. When you consume them, you end up with gas in your intestinal system, which leads to a swollen and bloated belly.
12. Improve your posture.
Do these things regularly and you’ll be one step closer to getting the abs you’ve always dreamed about.
Tracy Springs is a fitness instructor at LA Fitness. Feel free to contact her at [email protected] with any questions or to set up a fitness appointment at the LA Fitness Waukegan, Ill., facility.