Wondering what exercises to do to get flat abs? How about this one: Exercise your will power and eat less carbs, more fiber and lean protein.
A few weeks ago, at my January LIVE event, fitness trainer, Chandra Sowell, shared some great tips with the group about getting in shape for 2015. One of her best tips of the night when asked about exercises for the abs was to simply state that “your abs come from the kitchen.” Doing crunch after crunch doesn’t matter if your muscles are hiding under a layer of extra weight. First, focus on losing the extra pounds then you can focus on the ab defining exercises. Makes total sense to me!
Chandra recommended a few tips that I want to pass on to you:
- Reduce your carb intake and when you eat carbs, make sure they are quality, high-nutrient carbs like quinoa, whole grains, beans, veggies and fruits.
- Don’t eat any carbs after 3PM if your life is designed around a regular daytime schedule and you are in bed by 10ish. (I generally work late into the night so dinner time carbs are needed to keep my brain functioning!) Carbs are used for energy. As your day winds down and you use less energy, the carbs you eat are stored and convert to fat instead of burned as energy.
- Follow the 80/20 rule, which means eating clean 80% of the time and indulging 20% of the time. Cheat meals or snacks are necessary for your mental health. Don’t beat yourself up over them!
- Add fiber rich greens, avocado and berries to your protein smoothie in the morning to stay full until your light morning snack.
- Eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones.
- Workout with a friend or trainer to help you stay accountable.
- Share your weight-loss and exercise goals with others so they can help you stay accountable.
- Every person has a unique body and should have a unique program of weight-loss and exercise strategies. What works for your friend may not work for you. Personal trainers are great at helping you establish a custom program.
- Take healthy snacks, like almonds, veggies and water, with you so when you get hungry you can munch on them instead of grabbing a candy bar!
- Finally, and best of all, do what you can commit to today. If all you can do today is commit to walking for 10 minutes each day then do it consistently. Or perhaps you can only commit to making a morning smoothie on the week days to jump start your nutrition plan. If you make too big of goals that are unrealistic, you will get frustrated and quit. Find something simple for you to incorporate right now and get started. You can add to it when you are ready.
- Chandra’s motto is beautiful: “Small Steps Lead to Great Change.”
The beauty of getting together with women is learning from each other. Everyone has a different experience and has tried different things. When we listen, we learn some very useful things! Some of the ladies that attended the LIVE event had great tricks to share that help them with their quest to be healthy and fit:
A group of women in the group are competed on teams to see who can gain the most miles walking. Their competitive nature is really coming out with the help of the app Endomondo. The app helps them keep track of their miles as individuals and as teams. Endomondo is integrated with a wide range of watches and sensors in order to enhance the user experience and provide you with more comprehensive workout data, such as heart rate stats. If you are an analytical person and enjoy keeping track of the numbers, this is an app for you!
Water Your Body Android app (a similar app is available in itunes) reminds you to drink your water throughout the day. To be honest, it’s annoying if you don’t drink promptly when it reminds you but it is effective! You can set it to not interrupt you with reminders if you need to.
One of my friends shared her boyfriend’s love for the Six Pack Insulated Meal Management Bag for taking along all the food you need for the day. I checked out their site and they offer some gorgeous styles for women! They look like handbags! These bags would even be great for days on the soccer field or at the beach with your kids. I know for our family, my daughter with T1D/Celiac requires a very specific diet and we are always packing our own food to go! A bag like this would get a lot of use in our home! Learn more here: SixPackBags.com.
I recently discovered the “foam roller” while getting physical therapy on my neck. I knew about the foam roller because my husband has one and has used it for years but my world opened up in a beautiful way when I discovered how wonderful it works for me! It can be used wherever your body needs some TLC. I use it to help open up my chest, on my back and my arm pit area. My muscles are so tight from working on the computer that my nerves are a painful mess. The roller is helping loosen the muscles. The Black Foam Roller is the most dense, with no give. I like it but you may prefer a softer roller like the Blue Marble one. I used it in PT and it is gentler.
I, of course, had to share about my favorite workout wear! Kushyfoot socks are my absolute favorite socks! The built-in padded sole provides extra soft cushioning and keeps your feet comfortable as you exercise. For exercise clothes, my favorite place to shop is Fabletics. They have such a great assortment of workout clothes! I love the variety of stylish and comfortable workout wear that I can buy there! Based on your personal preference, they will send you monthly outfit recommendations so you can build your workout wardrobe as fabulous as the rest of your wardrobe!
You are now armed with some tools to help you get healthier: nutrition tips, exercise tools and fabulous workout wear! Time to get started on making some small changes and working your way toward big changes! If you need some guidance, please contact Chandra at 951-712-86559. She is a great encourager and can personalize a program to fit your life and abilities. If you are not in the local area, she can direct you to resources that will help you! Give her a call!
Changes won’t come from reading about it, changes come from actions you take. Please take care of yourself and get started today!
TAMMY GIBSON, founder of A Mom in Red High Heels, is a Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blogger | Red Heel Lover | Personal Development Enthusiast. Her personal motto is to live life with style and confidence! Become a VIP to stay in touch with Tammy and stay up-to-date on the latest beauty and style advice on A Mom in Red High Heels!