The secret to flat abs without endless stomach crunches and sit-ups
I get a lot of questions from people about the secret to flat abs without endless stomach crunches and sit-ups. Many find it relatively easy to lose weight in general, tone their upper body, arms and legs, but still be left with a giggly, protruding gut or, as some say, a “buddha belly.” If you’ve been committed to an exercise and core strength training routine but you still look down and see an unwanted paunch, you’re not alone. And, one potential solution might surprise you.
There’s more to killer abs than just exercise and abdominal crunches, turn out that there’s a direct relationship between the health of your digestive system and your overall look, too. Not only does what you eat affect whether or not you pack on pounds, but what you eat can also impact how your digestive system works, how it processes and eliminates waste effectively, as well as how it helps support the surrounding muscles and tissue.
Abs and an Upset Stomach
We’ve all experienced an upset stomach before that entails gas, cramps, bloating, general aches and pains, and even a distended abdomen. Imagine what it must look like on the inside, as your body fights off an irritant and in doing so, becomes inflamed. Inflammation is the body’s natural way of dealing with illness or injury, even something as minor as a dinner entree it doesn’t like. Food allergies, even minor ones that may not seem to bother you and food intolerance typically cause inflammation in the gut.
Here’s a potential missing link: the greater level of inflammation in your digestive system, the greater likelihood that your abdominal muscles will not respond to exercise. Why? Well, when you’ve got a stomach that’s inflamed, giving you pain, that inflammation can affect the abdominal muscles that are supposed to be stabilizing your core. In other words, those pain impulses that come from your digestive system can result in weakness and more pain in those regions of the abdominal wall. And, when those muscles become weak or disabled due to your (sick) digestive system, they aren’t much help to you and they won’t respond very well to your attempts to work them.
The term “digestive disorder” sounds serious, but it refers to just about any problem you might have with your digestive track, including minor nuisances like indigestion, heartburn, or simply an upset stomach. It’s no wonder we’ve got problems with our digestive systems with the availability of highly processed, poor quality foods just about every where we go, coupled by the fact many of us resort to fast foods while on-the-go.
A Diet That Agrees With Your Core
You know you have to make good choices when it comes to food, beverage, and getting proper exercise. It can be a challenge to eat well and exercise for purposes of losing or maintaining your ideal weight. But I bet you’ve never thought about how your digestive system can change the way your core responds to exercise. This takes the concept of “diet” to a whole new level. And, if you can factor this missing link in to your mentality when you’re grocery shopping, eating in a restaurant, or about to put something in your mouth, you might see the results you’ve finally been looking for. The goal is to get the internal workings of your core to be in harmony with the rest of your body so when you perform a core workout, and work those abs, you see the rewards in a tighter, flatter belly.
Here are a few tips:
- Enjoy your food by chewing it slowly and completely. Swallowing large particles of food puts stress on your digestive system. This will also help reduce the overall amount of foo d you eat.
- Avoid processed foods, especially foods high in preservatives, sodium, fillers, artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Read labels while in the supermarket. Watch out for words like “partially hydrogenated,” “artificially flavored,” or any words you don’t understand.
- Consider drinking organic dairy and juices, as pasteurization can kill the nutrients your body needs for proper digestion.
- Limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption.
- Try to target foods that bother you and avoid them. Food allergies, especially minor ones, can be hard to figure out. A food journal can facilitate this. Record any time you feel some discomfort following a meal.
- Drink lots of water! Dehydration leads to a host of problems. Being fully loaded with water will also allow you to get the most of your workout.
And, of course, don’t forget to keep up with your exercise and abdominal work routine. The road to a flat belly entails a combination of efforts. You’ll not only look better, but you’ll feel better, too!
But so that you can reveal those six pack abs, you’ll need to obtain a lean body, so the remedy is to have much less body fat, and that’s the only way that genuinely works. This means doing high intense fat burning cardio, performing some weight training, with your body or with home weights, to assist boost your metabolism and get a fantastic soon after burn. Plus you will have to diet correctly.
Weight Loss?I Had a child on June 28th. I am 5’2 and the day i had him i weighed 195 lbs ( i eganid ALOT OF WEIGHT, i started out 130 lbs!) i now weigh 150 lbs. I go to the gym 4x per week i do 30 mins of cardio per day. I only drink water and i eat healthy. Any ideas or supplements people have tried with results. I have 20 more pouds to lose! i forgot to put that i have a personal trainer. I dont just do cardio i have a reg. workout routine too. Hiowever Ive been stuck in a rut i havent lost any more weight in a month
If you really want to lose the weight than you need to start doing cardio at least 30 minutes per day and add weight lifting…take a multi vitamin and additional B-100 complex supplement
Working out is part of the solution. You could add in interval training to boost your metabolism and your endurance. I also gained a lot of weight with both my babies, and found that I had to add in some unconventional tools to get the weight to come off- I just wrote a blog post about this – if you are interested you can find it here http://www.mauimindandbody.com/weight-loss/still-trying-too-hard-to-lose-weight/
Hi Kathy. I never thought about that before (inflammation) but that makes perfect sense. We’re finding out more and more the serious detriments of inflammation in the body and the serious diseases it can cause as a result. I’d also like to mention that probiotics would also be a good idea to replace the natural flora in the digestive track that often gets obliterated by the food and stomach problems you mention. That is also being given more emphasis as a major contributor to excellent health as we learn that the belly holds the key to many immune issues.
Thanks Kathy! (and other respondents)
INFLAMATION ! Anyone interested in better health for life needs to start studying up on inflalmation. It affects not only digestive health as Kathy explained but heart and joint health as well. For the past 3o years we’ve been handed a diet of over processed foods whose main ingredients are usually corn based. Corn. Like they feed pigs and chickens. Its in everything purchased at a grocery store. Corn is a problem for many people and they don’t even know it. The minor food allergies Kathy talks about are so often ignored by people who suffer from them. The food diary is a great idea. Pay attention to your gut. Masking the problem with Rolaids and GasX is not your answer. You must find the source of your personal inflamatory irritant and STOP EATING IT.
Persons in their 20s and 30s may overlook this as not for them, but when you reach your 40s and 50s you will regret not taking note when one day you can’t even do a session at the gym anymore because your joints are so inflamed or although you’ve had a healthy diet and moderate weight your doctor tells you you have heart disease.
This information is is just the tip of the iceberg. Inflamtion needs to be the new focus in the health arena. I’m so glad Kathy brought it up. (that took guts…lol…sorry pun intended)
I am a Certified health Coach and find that raw juicing is a great way to get belly fat off and keep it off. I completed a 10 day juice feast (I don’t like to call it a fast) and when I was finished with the 10 days, I continued to do the raw juices as a breakfast. Smaller meals and living foods will aid in the digestion that will allow the belly fat to finally give up.