DON’T EAT SUGARS OR REFINED CARBS. This one’s simple. Cut it out for a week and then tell me you haven’t lost fat on your tummy.
DON’T EAT PROCESSED FOODS. Yes even and especially diet ones. Flat tummies start in the kitchen. No amount of exercise can out do a poor diet. The cleaner your diet (this means no chemical nasties, unknown salts or sugars) the leaner your belly!
DON’T GIVE IN TO STRESS. It’s hard but stress, especially long-term, low level stress is a trigger for storing fat around your tummy. It can also be a trigger for comfort eating. Minimizing stress could mean letting go of commitments that aren’t serving you, booking in a weekly yoga or exercise session, or just taking time out to unwind but consider it as important to your health as cleaning your teeth (stress arguably causes more disease than bad dental care).
DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL ON A REGULAR BASIS. ‘Ha ha,’ you think … but it’s true. A glass of wine a night is like eating a chocolate bar before you go to bed. Empty calories which don’t fill you up but will keep fat on your tummy. An occasional tipple is fine but not if you’re serious about finding your waist.
DON’T SNACK. Cows graze, lions feast and famine. Unless you are training for an endurance event or pregnant, eating little and often is a misnomer. Cut out all snacks and aim to leave at least 4 hours between meals to regulate your insulin production.
DO GET PLENTY OF SLEEP. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can make you feel more hungry and crave calorie dense, fatty and sugary foods.
DO WORK ON YOUR POSTURE. Rounded, stooping shoulders lead to saggy boobs and extra belly rolls. Likewise a deep arch in your lower back makes it hard for your abs to work and can leave you with a permanent poochy belly. Lift weights and do Pilates!
DO DRINK LOTS OF WATER to keep you feeling full, flush out toxins and prevent water retention.
DO EAT A SELECTION OF HIGH QUALITY MEATS, FISH AND VEGETABLES – especially dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach and watercress, which are all great alkalisers.
DO CHANGE YOUR HABITS. If you’ve read all of these Dos and Don’ts and thought, ‘well I sort of do that but I can’t change that,’ then enjoy your belly roll. Changing shape = changing habits.
Karen Laing is a pre and post natal exercise specialist and journalist. Karen teaches Pilates (including pregnancy specific classes) in Epping, Essex and London and blogs about fitness, women’s health and wellbeing at http://www.alittlefitter.com.
Karen co-directs Fit School with her husband Chris. They run fitness classes, ladies only training camps and Pilates classes in Epping and Essex.