Body & Mind
How to beat Eid belly bulge!
'Flat abs don't grow on trees'.
Like the quest for the 'Ever Living' potion, many people are on a mission to beat those bulges and improve their abs during vacation. You need to train hard and keep an Eagle's eye on your diet. But it's pretty tough to maintain dietary sanity during Eid vacation, though luckily, lost abs can be found again with a bit of extra effort.
Try these seven simple lifestyle tips which really work:
Improve your posture
Slouch and your stomach pooches, while straighten up, and your tummy looks trimmer without breaking a sweat! For better posture, align your ears over your shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over knees, and knees over ankles. Keep your shoulders open like a shirt on a hanger. Draw your navel to your spine. Not least, keep your weight even on the balls of your feet and your heels.
Put your mind into diet
You can do AB exercises until the packs get visible. But if you have got extra belly fat, your strong abs won't show. To budge the belly fat, you have to look at what you eat and how active you are. Eat less and move more, and make good-for-you food choices. Think lean protein and veggies, not greasy burgers and fries.
Here are some necessary tips to follow:
Eat a high-protein breakfast: Eating a high-protein breakfast has been shown to reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day. Adding protein to your diet is a very effective way to lose weight. It may also help dieters sustain long-term weight loss. Eggs, protein shake with banana make a great, high-protein breakfast.
Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice: These are the most fattening things you can put into your body, and avoiding them can help you lose weight and flatten abs.
Drink water a half hour before meals: One study showed that drinking water a half hour before meals increased weight loss by 44% over 3 months.
Choose weight loss-friendly foods: Certain foods are very useful for losing fat. Whole egg, leafy green, salmon, lean beef, chicken breast, beans and legumes, apple cider vinegar, nuts, whole grain, chilli pepper, yogurt, coconut oil are very good examples of weight loss friendly foods.
Eat soluble fiber: Studies show that soluble fibres may reduce fat, especially in the belly area.
Drink coffee or tea: If you're a coffee or tea drinker, then drink it whole heartedly as the caffeine in them boost your metabolism by 3-11%. Avoid adding milk and sugar though.
Eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods: Base most of your diet on whole foods. They are healthier, more filling and much less likely to cause overeating.
Eat your food slowly: Fast eaters gain more weight over time. Eating slow-ly makes you feel fuller and boosts weight-reducing hormones.
Set realistic goals
Your favourite star's or athlete's abs is worth aiming for, but don't expect to mimic them. Your genes may play a role in your body's shape. That's no excuse to give up and head for the cookie jar, of course. Set realistic goals that are focused on your body, not on some perfect image. You'll wind up both firmer and happier.
Think whole body exercise
Don't get so into your abs that you overlook your other muscles. You'll look better if all your core muscles are firm. That includes your glutes and back muscles. Pilates exercises are one way to work all of the core muscles, plus the arms and legs. A Boot camp or Cardio Kick Boxing class or personal trainer can do the job, too. If you are new to exercise, start slowly. If you've got a health issue, check with your doctor first.
Weigh yourself every week
Studies show that people who weigh themselves every week are much more likely to lose weight and keep it off for a long time.
Get a good night's sleep
Poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for weight gain, so taking care of your sleep is important.
Take things slow
Changing your midriff is a matter of slow and steady progress, not fast fixes. Your road to flat abs may even have some setbacks like this Eid holiday eating!
But if you give it time and keep at it, your middle really can go from flab to fab.
The writer is Owner at Combat
Gym (Ladies Section)