Imagine yourself with a flat tummy, not just flat but ‘fitness cover model flat’ – abs in proud evidence, tight and toned with a neat line shaping into your hips. Now think of your options and journey to achieve that. Fasting? Running 10k a day? Strict dieting? Hundreds of daily crunches, knee lifts and numerous other physical exercises.
Or is it easier to just assume it won’t happen? Well, follow my 7 tips and it will.
Fat doesn’t build-up over night and it doesn’t leave overnight – It’s bulky, lumpy and full of volume.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Muscle on the other hand is dense and compact – it takes up much less space than fat and looks significantly better. So if you carry an extra 2.25Kg/5lbs of fat you’ll be lumpier than with 2.25Kg/5lbs more muscle. A 2.25Kg/5lbs pile of fat will take up more than twice the amount of space. So someone of 1.75m/5’6’’ weighing 63kg/10 stone with 19% fat will look much smaller than someone who is 1.75m/5’6’’ weighs 63kg/10 stone and has 30% fat.
They weigh the same, yet the composition and therefore their look will be very different. So let’s forget about the fat and weight and start paying attention to composition and how to balance the body naturally, for the long-term without over training or gimmicks, such as fad diets.
Here’s my straightforward set of 7 principles that will get you out of the fat trap:
1. Eat every 3 hours
You’ve heard it before and there’s a reason for re-iterating it – it works! When blood sugar levels are low you’ll be hungry and fatigued. That is when you’ll reach for a pick-me-up, such as caffeine or starch. This will work for a few minutes, however, your choice will be one that keeps you wanting more of it. This means that it will quickly get you onto the blood sugar roller coaster of sugar rush, sugar low.
There are certain carbs you really don’t need and make you tired, even wholewheat breads and cereals, those seemingly healthy carbs – still set off the blood sugar levels.
Eating every three hours helps avoid poor choices without a struggle. Choose easy nutritious snacks, for example, half a cucumber with lots of humus or an apple and a good peanut butter. Mix protein into every meal and snack, this will also help keep your blood sugar stable too. Pick your bread, grains and cereals wisely, spelt, millet, sprouted bread, quinoa and brown rice for starters.
2. Choose good fats
This is an easy change to make without making you feel deprived. When you give your body the right kind of fat you’ll burn fat… keep it simple… real butter (in moderation), whole eggs, coconut oil, raw nuts, avocado oil, natural unprocessed fats.
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3. Keep your liver happy
Get the body into a healthy balance. Your health, body shape and vitality are all very dependent on how effectively your liver filters and breaks down harmful substances (processed foods).
Stop thinking about quantities and get focused on quality. If your liver doesn’t have to work hard filtering processed foods and chemically dense drinks it can do its job better, breaking down nutritious food and have you glowing from the inside out. This is the best platform for a healthy chemical balance and a body that will shed excess fat and not bloat.
4. Training – up the intensity
Get out of the ‘temperate’ fat burning zone, shorten your workouts and up the intensity.
High Intensity Training will keep your metabolism higher and faster daylong, whereas long runs and more steady state exercise only turns up the metabolism for a few hours.
HIT types of workouts can be done anywhere, there’s no need for apparatus. So commit to 15 minutes of heart pumping, blood flowing, energy bursting exercise. Here’s an example based round running: – 4 minutes warmup – 2 minutes slightly more intense – 1 minute easy – 1 minute tough – Repeat x2-3times
5. Do gentle training after fasting
By this I mean on an empty stomach before breakfast – it isn’t a fast cure for fat reduction but over weeks it plays its part. If you’ve got a dog, this is the perfect solution, a brisk walk with him/her before returning for your breakfast. You’ll benefit from slow and steady – almost effortless – fat loss.
6. Restrict Caffeine
When the body takes in caffeine it releases adrenaline, which simply put, releases energy into the body to fuel the ‘fight or flight’ action. But mostly we don’t drink coffee as a precursor to fighting or fleeing. Instead we sit down and feel the buzz instead. However, once the energy has been released into our system, if it is not used for its purpose (scrapping and scampering!), it has to go somewhere and unfortunately it is stored as fat.
7. Get leaner!
More muscle equals a higher metabolism. Now, this is often dismissed for its marginal difference to creating a lean body but margins add up over time. No matter the figures and tests, muscle is an active and calorie demanding tissue, fat isn’t. So if we have two individuals of the same weight and height with different body compositions – the one with more muscle than the other, even if he or she burns as little as 120 calories more each day will be a better fat burning machine.
Do you also want to get rid of belly fat? Check this out: 5 unexpected natural ways to lose belly fat
It all adds up, that extra 120 calories equates to 875 more calories per week, then 3,500 per month (the energy required to burn a 0.5kg/1lbs of fat). So don’t be afraid of resistance training and lifting heavier weights than perhaps you normally would.
* Joey Bull has written a brilliantly thorough and personal 28 day guide to great health and fitness through exercise and nutrition.To find out more about ‘Tidy The Temple’ visit www.tidythetemple.com. Also available through www.amazon.co.uk & www.waterstones.com
Also check her plan on WatchFit app: Joey Bull combines her extensive experience and expertise in fitness with her love of skiing to deliver a great 7 Day Pre-Ski/Snowboarding Holiday Workout. Joey has shot her instructional film in the beautiful sunny Swiss Alps and it’s a must have plan if you are tackling the slopes this winter!