This week, the trainers at Icon Health Club, Camden Street, have put together their thoughts on top tips to get a flat tummy.
“This is the number-one question we get asked as fitness trainers,” says personal trainer Dominka Wolek. “Often people tell us that they have been working on their abs but they are not seeing any difference.
“As qualified trainers, our role is educate our members on how to get real results that last. With that in mind, here are the secrets to getting that flat stomach.”
Make sure you’re doing the right type of exercise: Abdominal fat is one of the most stubborn to shift, due to the nature of the ‘beta fat’ cells that re-quire a different approach.
Belly fat is simply where your body stores energy, so you need to train your whole body to tap into this fat reserve.
HIIT training (high-intensity interval training) is a great way to burn fat and get your heartrate up. Another sure way to reduce belly fat is to include strength (resistance) exercises too. Exercising the large muscle groups, such as your legs, chest, bum and back will burn way more body fat than cardio alone.
Try lifting weights, using resistance bands or using the weight machines at the gym as these will increase your metabolism, increasing weight loss, and improving your muscle tone and strength.
A good gym will also provide good resistance classes designed to do just this such as Body Pump, TRX or Kettlebells.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep: When we don’t get enough sleep, our ghrelin levels (the hormone that makes us feel hungry) rise, and our leptin levels (the hormone that makes us feel full), drop.
So, try getting to bed a little earlier and avoid scrolling through social media or having a late-night coffee, and you’ll start to need quantities of food to feel satisfied.
Watch your sugar intake: Consuming fizzy drinks, flavoured waters, or sugary foods like chocolate and cakes will make losing weight harder.
Watch out for low-fat food options that might actually have high amounts of added sugar in there, by making sure to check the food label.
Also, don’t forget about the sugar you’re adding into your coffee or tea as these can add up quickly and are often forgotten.
Eat more protein: Protein is great for fat loss as it helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue. Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, eggs, milk and chickpeas.
Take control of stress: Stress and anxiety can cause our body to produce the steroid hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure.
However, exercise is a great way of reducing stress and anxiety. Try classes like Yoga, Synergise, Mindfulness or go swimming or for a walk to destress and reduce your cortisol levels.
Crash-dieting: Cutting down how much you eat might help you to lose a few pounds at first, but realistically this is hard to sustain and won’t help you keep the weight off.
Make sensible, healthy changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to and avoid the fad diets.
If you need help getting that flat stomach, then pop down to the trainers in Icon Health Club who will put a full plan together for you and ensure you get real results that last.