With the warm weather (when its not raining), summer is just around the corner and we all have the desire to have a flat stomach. So one of the biggest questions I get this time of the year is “how do I get flat abs or a 6-pack”? The first and most important requirement for getting that flat stomach is that abs are made in the kitchen. You can do all the crunches and planks you want, but that is only going to take you so far. Getting that flat stomach comes down to what you eat. Here are my five tips, that if you begin to follow, you will be on the track to a flatter belly. And remember, you still need to do some exercise and get plenty of sleep.
1) I know you are all tired of hearing this by now, but seriously, drink hot water with lemon every day. If you can’t seem to down a glass, then any herbal tea will do. I would recommend either one of the Ayurveda dosha teas, a detox tea, peppermint tea, or green tea. Black tea, coffee, and chai tea lattes don’t count. And on top of the hot water with lemon, be sure to drink lots of water. Drinking water is just as important as what you eat. Have 2 litres of filtered water a day. Not only does water keep you hydrated, but it helps to flush all the toxins out of your body. Water helps to keep your digestion strong and helps to prevent the build-up of excess fat.
2) Avoid sugars and sweeteners, which is what leads to the “muffin tops.” Those who were at my workshop now know how to read food labels in more detail. But the important part to remember is that keep the pantry clear of biscuits, muffins, pastries, and other baked goods. If you must have something baked, then bake it yourself. Have you seen the ingredients label on the bread you buy? Have you noticed how many different sugars and sweeteners are in it? All that sugar adds up. Therefore, try to keep your sugar consumption down to a minimum and have a fruit and yogurt as a snack. Or my new favourite snack is coconut milk with chia seeds!
3) Eat clean and fresh by avoiding food additives. When you are trying to boost your metabolism to get that flat belly, avoid packaged foods, especially those with ingredients that you don’t recognise. My general rule of thumb is that if you can’t recognise the name or ingredient in the list, why would you eat it? Here is my list of additives that you should always avoid. On top of that, be sure to avoid refined oils (which are highly processed, hard to digest, and lack nutrients) and avoid fried foods, which also lack nutrients and lead to many health problems.
4) Keep your digestion strong. I say this time and time again, because your digestion is key to good health. More than often, bloating is usually caused by an imbalanced digestion and an imbalanced digestion will prevent you from having a flat stomach. Essentially, if you are having trouble digesting your food, then the undigested food sticks around on the inside of your body and thereby adding layers of fat. In Ayurveda, the undigested food is known as Ama, and when there is a build up of Ama, then that flat stomach is further away. A detox or cleanse is a good way to reset your digestion and to get you on the healthier path. Ask me about my detox plans, which are easy and they allow you to eat.
5) Your diet should be based on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with protein. Quite the contrary, you do not have to go gluten-free to get those flat abs. All you have to do is eat well. The recommendation is to have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but I recommend 7-10 servings. And to accompany your fruits and vegetables, be sure to have whole grains (nothing bleached, white, or refined), and accompany that with some protein. Protein helps to balance blood sugar levels and it helps to get rid of the muffin-tops. Therefore, if you are having a fresh blended juice (remember, don’t use juicers), I recommend adding in some nuts or seeds (I like to use flaxseeds), so that you get your fibre, essential nutrients, and the seeds are high in protein and healthy fats. Base every meal around a fruit or vegetable with a protein source and you are good to go. But be sure its healthy! Boxed and packaged foods don’t count, just like overcooked vegetables and meat don’t count either.
Flat abs are just a few dietary changes away. If you think about your food choices and make the right ones, you can actually begin to have flatter abs in a matter of just a few days. As a reader of this blog, I am offering you a special of 2 nutrition consultation sessions for £95 (normally £130) to help you get on your path towards flatter abs. Just quote “Flat Abs” and you will be on your way to flatter abs. And of course, in the mean time, please do let me know if you have any questions.
Health and Happiness,