Training religiously but still have that stubborn layer of abdominal fat? Your diet is probably to blame.
Abs might be made in the gym, but they’re revealed in the kitchen. Here’s the lowdown on what you should and shouldn’t be eating if you want to shrink your stomach, and get rid of those love handles for good.
BACK OFF THE BOOZE
Stop drinking your calories – water might not be the most exciting beverage on offer, but the seemingly innocuous glass of beer or wine you downed with dinner packs a caloric punch. Go back to basics and opt for water with meals, or mix it up by squeezing lemon juice into mineral water.
If you do choose to drink on weekends, select lower calorie and carb options like vodka soda or sparkling wine.
SAY NO TO SUGAR
Sugar feeds candida, a bad gut bacteria. Bad bacteria in the gut causes poor digestion, gas and bloating, making it hard for your abs to come out of hiding! Steer clear of the lollies and sugary soft drinks. Lollies and sugary soft drinks are the obvious culprits, however be wary of hidden sugars lurking in processed condiments like BBQ and sweet chilli sauces, as well as low fat or ‘fruity’ yogurts! Check out our MACROS approved tips to curb sugar cravings here.
QUIT THE COMFORT EATING
It can be tempting to reach for the ice cream or donuts when stressed, but indulging in comfort eating is directly linked to larger waistlines and a higher body fat percentage. That’s because emotional eating causes a higher secretion of the hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is also released when the brain detects any sort of threat, whether it be an angry ex or a high utility bill. Known as the ‘stress hormone’, cortisol signals your body to replenish your food supply – great for our ancestors who burnt thousands of calories fighting off wild animals, not so great for our more sedentary modern lifestyle. Elevated cortisol levels stimulate glucose section from the liver and limit insulin levels, which results in high blood sugar levels, and ultimately weight gain.
Resisting the temptation to comfort eat when stressed stops the vicious cycle of fat gain around the belly region.
FILL UP WITH FIBRE
Soluble fibre slows the passing of food through the digestive tract by absorbing water. This delays stomach emptying which makes you feel fuller for longer and prevents overeating. Consuming a high intake of soluble fibre also reduces the likelihood of fat accumulation around your organs, which reduces your waist circumference and visceral fat (stored around the stomach) levels.
Try adding flaxseed/linseed, chia seeds, beans, berries, and avo into your diet for a hit of soluble fibre.
DITCH THE DAIRY
Some people suffer from mild lactose intolerance without being aware of it. This can manifest as having gas and feeling bloated, which in addition to being uncomfortable, prevents those abs from peeking through. Swap out cow’s milk and yogurt for coconut or nut-based dairy free alternatives and see how you feel!
ADD APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
ACV aids in speeding up metabolism and improving digestion by stimulating gastric acid production in the stomach, which plays a crucial role in breaking food down.
For an extra fat burning kick, add a shot of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your morning routine – 2tbsp in half a glass of water should suffice!
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