A FLAT BELLY FOR LIFE 15 easy lifestyle tweaks that will melt flab and tone your body .

woman-asleep-bed-shutterstock__medium_4x3There’s one fitness target that’s universally understood: a flat belly. No matter how you look at it, a lean, toned midriff represents good health, a fit body and sex appeal.

If you’ve used TechnoShape to trim your tum then keep it slim with these top tips.

Want to see your abs? Here are 15 instant changes you can make that will help your flat belly dreams become a reality.

1/ Sleep more at night

There’s a lot of truth to the term beauty sleep. A Harvard University study of more than 68,000 women found those who slept less than six hours a night weighed 5.4 pounds more and were 15 percent more likely to be overweight than those who got more than seven hours a night. When you sleep less, you experience a drop in the hormone leptin, which controls your appetite, and an increase in the hormone ghrelin – which make you crave food.

Quick Fix #1: Want to eat less and look better? Aim for eight hours a night and don’t allow yourself to sleep for less than seven.

2/ Snack smarter

Snacks are a healthy part of any diet. But, Purdue University researchers say the biggest problem for our weight is that snacks have become meals, and meals have become feasts. In the last 30 years, snack sizes have increased from 360 to 580 calories. That’s a whopping 220 extra calories per snack. In just two weeks, your oversized healthy snacks can contribute to an extra pound of fat.

Quick Fix #2: Enjoy your food, but do it wisely. The lean, nutritious snacks in the meal plan will help you crush your cravings and whittle down your waist.

3/ Eat more, drink less

Want to instantly drop a dress size? Write down what you eat and drink every day, and then remove all the drinks that aren’t water. Now add up the calories. If you’re like most women, you’ll cut your calories by half, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Calorie-rich beverages are often the real culprit behind your weight loss struggles – not your metabolism.

Quick Fix #3: Stick to water, coffee (watch the milk) and tea to help keep your slim-down plan on track. And remember any sugary drink – even fruit juice – should be considered the equivalent of a dessert.

4/ Lift weights more often

The calorie tracker on the treadmill might look like a fat-loss genie, but all is not as it seems. That’s because the more miles you log, the more efficient your body becomes at running and the fewer calories it burns. In order to ensure your cardio keeps delivering results you need to introduce some variety: some new challenges for your body. Interval training is good, but weight training is even better. Just three days a week of resistance training will offer the metabolic boost you need to slash fat and look hot in any outfit.

Quick Fix #4: Head to the gym three times a week – but don’t make the cardio machines your first priority. Instead, use the workouts in this book to fast-track your fat loss.

5/ Lift heavier weights

Not only should you lift weights, you should focus on the larger dumbbells. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine found the more iron you lift, the more fat you burn.

Quick Fix #5: When you perform workouts in this book, don’t be afraid to use bigger weights as you improve. Each time you reach the goal rep range, increase the weights by 1-2kg. Your hormones will prevent you getting bulky. Heavier weights will only help you sculpt gorgeous, lean muscle.

6/ Eat more fish (oil)

There’s nothing fishy about fish oil, especially when it comes to your lean-body goals. Pennsylvania researchers found omega-3 fatty acids might be the secret ingredient to burning fat and gaining muscle at the same time. They also help to lower your cortisol levels – the stress hormone your body produces that makes it more likely you’ll store fat and less likely you’ll add lean muscle.

Quick Fix #6: Simply make sure you get some oily fish into your diet each day. Salmon, mackerel and sardines are all excellent sources. Or just pop a supplement.

7/ Load up on protein

Every time you eat a meal and don’t consume protein, you’re telling your body not to tighten your tummy. Here’s why: when you eat other foods – especially carbs – you stimulate insulin, which spikes blood sugar and makes it easier for you to pack on pounds. But protein is your solution. It controls blood sugar, reduces hunger and burns more calories during the digestion process so you can stay lean and fit and still enjoy your favourite foods.

Quick Fix #7: Carbohydrates are not bad. But when you eat them alone, they can sabotage your waistline. So always include some protein and you’ll drop sizes and stress.

8/  Don’t fear the fat

Eating fat makes you slim. The Institute of Medicine recommends fatty foods make up 20 to 35 percent of your total calories. This, of course, isn’t an invitation to head over to the nearest fast-food joint. The fats you want in your diet are saturated fats – from milk, red meat and pork – and monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like nuts, avocados and oils.

Quick Fix #8: As long as you are staying away from fried foods, trans fats, and partially hydrogenated oils, the healthy fats you eat will make you leaner.


9/ Eat real foods

Despite their low-calorie, low-carb, or low-fat claims, ‘diet’ foods might be the worst option if you’re trying to lose weight. The reason is simple: diet foods try to trick your brain. They provide you with the flavour of a high-calorie meal without all the calories but are filled with chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. Unfortunately, your brain isn’t fooled and craves more food, so you overeat. Diet foods are usually devoid of nutritional benefits, so not only do you gain weight, you also deprive your body of the nutrients that protect your general health.

Quick Fix #9: Stick to whole, unprocessed foods. As a general guideline, try to shop around your supermarket’s perimeter. That’s where you’ll find more fresh produce. For some of the best foods you’ll for your trolley turn to Supermarket sw

10/ Enjoy your food

It’s not just what you eat – the way you eat might be the best way to curb your hunger. Eating fast makes you gain weight. Japanese researchers found that people who ate faster gained more weight than those who didn’t. But if you want to flip the switch on your insatiable appetite, all you need to do is slow down and enjoy. It takes your stomach about 20 minutes to process food and then signal to your brain that you’re full.

Quick Fix #10: We don’t expect you to bring a timer to your meals, so instead focus on how much you chew your food. Chewing releases more flavour to your tastebuds, which will make all of your meals more enjoyable.

11/ Worry less, eat less

Take a deep breath before you head into the kitchen to cook your next meal. As you know, the more stressed-out you are, the more comfort food you crave. This is because stress activates ghrelin, a hormone that makes you feel hungry. The result: you don’t achieve satisfaction from your meal, which leaves you craving more food.

Quick Fix #11: The stress in your body is like a light switch: it turns on and off very easily. Simply find a distraction that calms you down and within 5 to 10 minutes, your stress levels will decrease so you can enjoy your meal, without going back for more.

12/ Enjoy dessert

Go ahead, treat yourself – keep it small and frequent. When you’re trying to lose weight, the worst thing you can do is ban indulgences. German researchers discovered that this mentality makes it harder to stick to a plan and more likely to pack on the pounds. Instead, satisfy your cravings in controlled portions.

Quick Fix #12: Within any diet, 10 to 20 percent of your calories can be a little treat, says nutritionist Alan Aragon. The key is watching the portion size, so that a cup of ice cream doesn’t turn into an entire bowl.

13/ Eat with your gym crew

People who work out together should dine together. Eating with those who have a similar goal helps you lose pounds faster, according to a study in the journal Obesity. When you’re with other people who are trying to lose weight, the social expectation creates different attitudes (for example, you won’t have to worry that everyone will be ordering cake for dessert). It’s like weight loss osmosis. The good intentions of your fellow eaters rub off on you, and it makes the entire process easier.

Quick Fix #13: Go out to eat but only with the right crowd! Try to make plans with buddies on a similar track to weight-loss success. Reward yourself with a trip to a fun new restaurant, with those who will encourage you to make the right menu choices.

14/ Shake up your diet

The stuff you see in the window of your local Holland & Barrett isn’t just for jocks or serious weight lifters. Those big tubs of protein powder can actually help you flatten your belly. While the appearance might be intimidating, it’s exactly what your body needs: an efficient source of protein that is low in calories, helps maintain your hard-earned lean muscle, and helps you lose more fat. The best kind of protein is whey. Consider protein powder the little bit of extra magic that will finally reveal your abs.

Quick Fix #14: Include a whey protein shake once a day or at least a few times a week. But don’t feel you can only have a shake before or after your workout. You can also substitute a breakfast for a shake. Just make them a secondary option to whole foods. You’ll find some great shake recipes in Chapter Three.

15/ Wake Up to Coffee

This might come as a surprise, but the least beneficial aspect of your morning cup of coffee is its ability to provide a sudden jolt and wake you up. When it comes to improving your health, there are few foods or drinks that offer more universal benefits. Coffee has been shown to improve your workouts by allowing you to push longer and harder and fight off fatigue. Coffee also contains more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables, helping you fight ageing.

Quick Fix #15: Don’t feel limited to just one morning coffee. Harvard researchers found the sweet spot is two to three cups for the most benefits, and the American Heart Association noted that five cups of coffee can still help your health. If you don’t like the buzz, you can still gain all the positives of coffee in the decaf version.

Read more: http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/fitness/sexy-abs/1127/a-flat-belly-for-life#ixzz2wG9yyPJp

Read more: http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/fitness/sexy-abs/1127/a-flat-belly-for-life#ixzz2wG9uut7P

Read more: http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/fitness/sexy-abs/1127/a-flat-belly-for-life#ixzz2wG9rIDbn

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