Amanda is a mum to 20 month old Chelsea, a Personal Trainer and owns her own Women’s Only Outdoor Fitness Business, Blue Sky Health & Fitness, based in Melbourne. Blue Sky Fitness offers Women of all ages, sizes and abilities a supportive & friendly environment in which to get fit, get healthy & be happy (but it’s also challenging!)
Amanda has recently launched a Healthy Lifestyle eBook Series, which includes a 6 weeks healthy eating meal plan & a 6 week exercise plan to help women all over the country, lose weight, tone up & feel great about themselves.
For more information on the eBooks and Blue Sky Health & Fitness, please visit www.blueskyfitness.com.au
The number one question asked by Mums….How do I get a flatter tummy?
Everyone wants a flatter tummy right? If you want one, it’s something that you have to work at, it’s not something that will just happen overnight. But it is possible! Even if you have had kids – I promise!
1. Exercise – yep, that’s right.
And by exercise I don’t mean doing millions of sit ups or crunches. They are great for strengthening your ab muscles, but that’s about all they are good for. If you want a chance of seeing that 6 pack, you need to get rid of any fat above the muscles. Cardio exercise is great for fat burning, but so is doing all over body strength work – squats, lunges, push ups, plank etc. When doing cardio exercises – Running, Skipping, walking, swimming, you have to step outside your comfort zone. You need to push yourself to your limits.
2. Take wheat & dairy out of your diet
This is a whole other blog topic (more info on my website), but just as a test take them out of your diet for 1 week – 2 weeks would be better and see how much better you feel. That means no pasta (try gluten free), no bread (try fresh sour dough) – other alternatives are brown rice, rice noodles, quiona, sweet potato. It also means no milk, no yoghurt, no cheese. It’s only for 2 weeks. I bet you will feel less bloated, have more energy, may have even lost a bit of weight!
Once the 2 weeks is over, if you actually feel like adding these things back into your body, try it and see how you feel afterwards – take it slow and add either wheat or dairy one at a time.
3. Eat good fats & other great foods
That’s good fats (not bad fats), the type of fat found in nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish and olive oil. You should be eating good fats every day. Good fats encourage your body to burn fat around your middle, helping you to achieve a flatter tummy. Don’t be afraid of good fats. Try and have a small amount of good fats at every meal. Add some nuts/seeds to your porridge, add olive oil or avocado to a salad.
4. Take Acidophilus
Taking a pro-biotic is great for putting good bacteria back into your gut and your digestive system. Taking it in tablet form is the best, most efficient way of getting the good bacteria back in there. Inner Health Plus or something similar is good. Make sure you keep it in the fridge.
5. Reduce your stress
I know it is hard to escape our busy, over worked lives – but stress doesn’t help the fat around the middle. The stress hormone Cortisol causes our bodies to dump fatty deposits all over out tummies. So it’s time to relax – take a bath, focus on some relaxation breathing, go and have a massage, have a bath with some epsom salts, read a book, take some time out for yourself. Tough I know as a mum, but even if you can do it once a week, it will help!
6. Don’t skip meals, especially Breakfast
Skipping meals just makes your body think that you are starving it, so it starts to store fat as a reserve. If your body is constantly nourished, it won’t think you are starving it, so will focus its energy on digesting your food and functioning properly, therefore not reserving extra fat, giving you a flatter tummy!
7. Take Sugar and other bad toxins out of your diet
Sugar – that includes Low Fat products! Another blog topic, but in general, if you can’t take these toxins out of your diet, at least be conscious of reducing them, while working to cut them out.
Other toxins include:
- Processed foods
- Chemicals in food – caffeine, E numbers, additives, colours, preservatives etc
- Soft drinks
- Negative energy & stress
When you put all these toxins into your body, your body goes into protective mode. It needs to protect your vital organs, so in doing this it wraps these toxins in water, fat, self made cholesterol and sends it away from your organs, to your lymph glands – under your arms, inner thighs and in women, right around your middle! Reduce toxins, reduce tummy fat!
8. Get more sleep
This is seriously important. You won’t lose weight if you don’t get enough sleep. A hormone called leptin is responsible for telling your brain when your stomach is full and it also helps to control appetite and metabolism. Not sleeping properly disrupts this hormone, which is why you find yourself eating more when you’re sleep deprived.
9. Do your pelvic floor exercises at least 3 times a day.
There are 2 aspects that I get my clients to do. The first one is a good habit to get into, which you can do ALL THE TIME. Just suck your belly button in towards your spine. Your shoulders will automatically go back, your pelvis will tilt under and you will stand taller, all the while you have sucked your tummy in. Do this ALL THE TIME.
Doing your actual Pelvic Floor exercises – you can do these at any time and anywhere – sitting, standing, driving, walking. All you need to do is to imagine you are stopping yourself from peeing (but don’t do it while you are on the loo).
Now that you are aware of these muscles, tighten them around your front passage, vagina and back passage as strongly as possible and hold for 5 secs. As you lift, imagine these muscles are going up a lift – level 1, level 2, level 3 – go up a level each second, till you get to level 5. Hold there for a second, or another 5 seconds if you can, and then slowly release – try and control this release. Try and repeat for 5-10 times at least 3-5 times a day. The more you do, the stronger they will become.
Make sure you don’t hold your breath and build up the number you do slowly.
I have often had pregnant women ask me if it’s OK to do your pelvic floors while pregnant – the short answer – Yes, it’s very important! Do them!