A flat tummy is one of the best, and most priceless, accessories you can have that will go with everything! Nutrition and fitness expert Kristi Dowler reports the best way to achieve a flat tummy is to take a two-pronged approach: nutrition and fitness. When you start from the inside, with proper nutrition, your reward is a flat tummy on the outside.
When taking the inside out approach to nutrition, Dowler recommends starting with foods that prevent digestive issues and bloating, and, she says, it is more fun to add foods than to think about eliminating them. Add these:
- Lemon water. Starting the day with a glass of warm lemon water is one of the best ways to wake up the digestive tract. Not only will it help to loosen up any toxins in the digestive tract, it is also great for reducing bloat.
- Fiber. Fiber not only fills us up, it also reduces bloat and keeps digestion flowing. The best sources of fiber are raw fruits and vegetables as well beans, nuts and seeds.
- High quality fats. The third, and final thing to add to ensure our digestive tract is running smoothly and aiding us in our flat tummy goal is high quality fats. The best options are avocado, coconut oil and fish oils.
A daily plan to use as a guide:
Breakfast: Warm lemon water to start, Steel cut oats w/chia seeds, almond butter or almond slivers, and blueberries
Lunch: A large green salad w/avocado, beans/legumes of choice, and a small piece of fish, turkey or chicken
Dinner: Green salad or vegetable w/avocado, small sweet potato, and a piece of salmon or tuna
In addition to adding lemon water, fiber and high quality fats, it is extremely important to drink water throughout the day. Drink an amount of water that equals half of your body weight in ounces, so a 130-pound person should drink a minimum of 65 ounces of water each day.
Of course, our tummy-flattening plan would not be complete without a few exercises:
- One of the very best exercises to tighten up the core is the squat. The squat is fun because there are so many different forms, and every one of them works the entire core. Try adding the Jump Squat to your routine three times a week, 3 sets of 20 and you will notice a difference in your glutes, lower back and abdominals in no time.
- The classic bicycle is a terrific abdominal exercise since it engages and targets the entire abdominal area. To be effective, bicycles should be done in a slow and controlled manner really working to touch the opposite elbow to the opposite knee. Complete 3 sets of 20, three times a week.
- And finally, the roll down is a fantastic full-core exercise. Start with your legs straight in a seated position on a mat, arms straight out in front of you and slowly roll down vertebrae by vertebrae until your shoulders touch the ground, then return to the seated position as slowly as possible. Complete 3 sets of 20, three times a week.
Kristi Dowler is the owner of VyAyr Fitness.