Spring has arrived, bringing with it the promise of warm weather to come. You know what happens when the weather warms up?
People put on bathing suits.
Are you ready to bare it all on the beach? If not, no worries, there is still time. Follow these 12 steps to get your abs beach ready:
Step One: Do Some Burpees. Can burpees really help flatten your abs? You bet. Incorporate a few minutes of burpees into your workouts to burn extra calories and tighten your core.
Here's how to do a burpee: 1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart. 2) Drop to a squat with your hands on the ground. 3) Kick feet back while lowering into a push-up. 4) Return to squat position. 5) Jump up with arms overhead.
Step Two: Reduce Sodium. Did you know that salt causes water retention? Puffy skin is not going to make your abs look great in a bathing suit!
Take the time to pay attention to the sodium content of your food. Limit salt intake by not eating packaged foods and by putting down the salt shaker. Your six pack will thank you.
Step Three: Pick Up A Medicine Ball. Challenging the muscles of your core with resistance is a proven way to create a tighter midsection. The medicine ball is a wonderful tool to provide such resistance.
Do a sit-up holding a medicine ball at your chest then throw it to a partner as you raise your chest toward your knees; or hold a medicine ball with arms straight up in the air as you do crunches.
Step Four: Load Up On Fiber. Wonder how fiber could help you shed pounds and look great on the beach? It's actually quite simple.
High fiber foods are nutrient dense and low in calories. This means that you'll feel full from fewer calories, encouraging weight loss. Try these high fiber favorites: spinach, raspberries, pear (with skin), artichoke, peas, apples (with skin), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. Check out the high-fiber recipe for pasta salad below.
Step Five: Crank Out Some V-Sits. One of the most problematic areas for women, when it comes to baring it all in a bathing suit, are the sides of your waist, or obliques. This is partly because the sides of your abs are not challenged with traditional crunches and sit-ups.
Enter the oblique V-Sits. Target that problematic, muffin-top area with this effective move. 1) Lie on your side with legs straight and hands behind your head. 2) Raise your arms and legs simultaneously, while exhaling and squeezing your obliques. 3) Repeat on the other side.
Step Six: Eat Lots Of Lean Protein. Don't be afraid to eat when you are on the get-great-abs-quickly plan. It is really important that you are nourishing your body with quality, lean protein in order to develop that six-pack.
Lean protein helps support muscle growth while controlling blood sugar – all important factors when it come to washboard abs. Good sources of protein include: chicken breast, ground turkey, egg whites, and grilled fish.
Step Seven: Do Some Hanging Leg Raises. Now it's time to target your lower abs, which are also a problem area for most. Traditional crunches and sit-ups neglect to strengthen and tighten the lower part of your abs, so a focused effort is required.
Hanging Leg Raises are one of the most effective ways to strengthen your abdominals. 1) Hang from pull-up bar with legs fully extended. 2) Exhale and drive your knees up toward your chest. 3) Inhale as you slowly lower your legs back down.
Step Eight: Stop Eating Sugar. If you only did this step, and skipped all the rest, your abs would look significantly flatter by summer. I can't emphasize enough how quickly sugar will cover your hard earned stomach muscles with a soft layer of fat.
Yes, sugar tastes good, but indulging in it causes your body to store layers of fat. Enjoy fresh fruit, rather than refined sugar. Once you stop eating sugar your body will no longer crave it, so don't give in to the initial cravings.
Step Nine: Do Some Mountain Climbers. Here's an exercise that is intensely cardiovascular while also working your core. Add these to your routine to really whittle down your waistline.
Here's how to do a Mountain Climber: 1) Get into push-up position. 2) Exhale as you alternately pull your knees in toward your chest, keeping your back flat.
Step Ten: Pass On The Gluten Containing Grains. Yes, whole grains are essential to a healthy diet, but the truth is that you'll do just fine without the gluten containing ones for a while. Even the heartiest wholegrain bread will encourage fat storage, so put down the breadbasket as you prepare for beach season. Try alternate gluten-free grains like quinoa, brown rice, millet and buckwheat.
Gluten containing grains are full of insulin-spiking carbohydrates - the perfect combination for fattening you up. Learn to love grain-free meals that center around lean meats and vegetables.
Step Eleven: Do Some Sprints. High intensity bursts of cardio are a proven way to burn away layers of fat, so incorporate sprints into your exercise routine. If you haven't run for a while, take it easy as you start, and gradually increase the intensity of your sprints.
Run 60-90 second sprints in between resistance training sets to really kick your fat burning mechanism into high gear.
Step Twelve: Start A Professional Nutrition & Fitness Program. You wouldn't try to file corporate tax returns without the assistance of your Accountant, so why would you attempt to transform your body without the help of a professional? I'm here to get you into your ideal, fit body in the shortest amount of time possible. It's what I do, and I'm good at it.
Contact me about my summer ready programs that will get you those abs that you're wishing for. Call or email today to get started at email@example.com or 778-836-3831.
In good health,
Cheryl Wahl, RHN
You’ve just spent the last 2 weeks following your nutrition plan and are finally making progress in the fat loss department. You have more energy, you sleep better, wake up feeling rested and are even contemplating starting an exercise program.
Although you’ve had a rough day and missed your afternoon snack you have successfully held out against stopping on your way home from work for take out food. You walk in the door and bam, there is a hot pizza waiting for you on the table because no one made dinner.
Your inner voice says, screw it. One or two pieces can’t hurt, can it? I’ve had a rough day and I’ve lost 3 pounds. I deserve a treat.
You bite into the hot gooey delicious cheesy pizza and automatically feel relaxed and soothed. You breathe a contented sigh of relief as you dig into another slice. I’ll start again tomorrow you think to yourself.
Replace the pizza for a bagel, a doughnut, a slice of cake, a chocolate bar or bottle of wine.
Will power has nothing to do with avoiding your cravings and to give into them is not a character flaw. Let me explain to you the anatomy of a food craving because once you understand just how powerful some of these foods can be you can then put together an action plan to get rid of your cravings once and for all.
Have you noticed that we only crave certain foods? I highly doubt you’ve ever had a craving for steamed broccoli and tilapia. Just like alcohol, nicotine and caffeine affect your brain, certain foods do too, just in a more subtle way. The chemical makeup of certain foods reacts in your body just like an addictive drug would.
While we may enjoy certain foods we only crave for 4 foods. 1) sugar and starchy foods that quickly turn into sugar 2) chocolate 3) cheese 4) red meat.
Let’s start with sugar and starchy foods. The sensation of sugar on your tongue triggers the release of opiates in your brain. Opiates are natural painkillers similar to the endorphins you get after intense cardiovascular exercise. Opiates signal the release of dopamine, a brain chemical responsible for the feeling of pleasure.
Your brain remembers the food and activity you were doing when dopamine was released and sets a daily alarm to go off and nag at you until you engage in eating that food again so that more dopamine can be released. Exactly like a drug addiction.
Sugar-fat mixes like cake, cookies and fried foods seem to have an even more powerful opiate effect. This is a dangerous combo since sugar lures in your bloodstream and the fatty grease packs on the pounds.
Chocolate is a quadruple threat. Not only does it contain opiates but it also contains stimulants called theobromine and phenylethylamine along with caffeine all of which are addictive. Isn’t chocolate good for you?
Yes and no. Unprocessed organic cocoa holds the health benefits so having an ounce of 70% or higher dark chocolate on occasion is ok. If you find that you crave chocolate then no, it’s not good for you.
Do you crave cheese?
Cheese is the one food that people have a hard time getting away from. There are opiates in cheese called casomorphins. These opiates turn into beads in the digestive tract and get absorbed by your blood stream. As the name caso - morphine implies they are casein-derived morphine like compounds.
You might recognize the morphine like side effects of cheese, which is constipation. Have you ever had to take painkillers and got all bunged up? The same thing happens when you consume cheese, unless you are severally lactose intolerant and then you can’t seem to leave the bathroom.
A lot of men seem to crave red meat. Opiates are in red meat too. If you think about the foods that are often paired with red meat, wine (sugar), potatoes and bread it’s a dinner filled with pain killing mood enhancing foods.
So what do you do?
We have a motto here at WOW! Weight Loss, “eat whole foods easily found at any grocery store.” While that sounds simple enough we know that deciphering between so called ‘health foods’ and actual real whole foods may not be that easy.
I teach my clients to make grocery lists and plan out meals according to their personalized plans so they lose fat each and every week. During weekly WOW! sessions I focus on different elements of food education so that my clients learn to pick the best foods that support their health.
But I know that even when you have THE knowledge, picking out the best quality foods can be frustrating, overwhelming and time consuming. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could walk into your local grocery store and know that the foods you are choosing are in line with your fat loss and health goals?
So to solve your frustration and lack of time problems I’ve compiled a list of my favorite whole food brands. If there is a product on this list that isn’t available in your grocery store then flex your purchase power muscles and request it from the store manager.
Take a look through my favorite brands. If you aren’t sure what food to buy call me at 778-836-3831 to schedule your complimentary nutrition analysis so I can help you shop faster and smarter.
Silver Hills - http://bit.ly/KZWizC
Udi’s Gluten Free - http://bit.ly/bWtxsY
Mary’s Crackers - http://bit.ly/7LHsTH
Ryvita Crackers - http://bit.ly/ajSkGA
PC Steel Cut Oats - http://bit.ly/Z68pOS
Bob's Red Mill - http://bit.ly/qlXigJ
Bran Buds - http://bit.ly/Y6hiHa
Nature’s Path - http://bit.ly/14eU7hI
Tinkyada Brown Rice pasta - http://bit.ly/3Z8rMD
Eden Foods (Buckwheat pasta) - http://bit.ly/5HiOlN
Barilla Plus (Whole grain) - http://bit.ly/Y6i9rD
Liberte Kefir - http://bit.ly/XKN1BP
2% Greek Yoghurt - http://bit.ly/WojzmO
Plain Yoghurt - http://bit.ly/WojyQ1
Goat Yoghurt - http://bit.ly/YhFjOw
DIPS, SPREADS & CONDIMENTS
Garden Fresh (Salsa, guacamole and more) - http://bit.ly/TGAcFf
Summerfresh (Hummus) - http://bit.ly/XKNB2i
Tamari Sauce (has a gluten free variety) - http://bit.ly/VRm12Y
Imagine Brand - http://bit.ly/XyzNqP
Amy’s Organic (more then just soups) - http://bit.ly/lMnvS
Eden Organic beans - http://bit.ly/13J1vq4
In good health,
Cheryl Wahl, RHN
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