SHAPING UP: Five myths and three steps to a tight tummy

Bikini flat abs.
Bikini flat abs.
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It’s bikini season and you want flat abs to flaunt.

While I commend your desire to slim down before baring it all, I’m here to warn you of the five myths that most people believe. Don’t waste your time on these:

Plaintain chips.

Plaintain chips.

Myth 1: Take diet pills to speed results.

I know it’s so tempting! The ads make compelling claims about the power of popping a pill, but don’t fall for it. There is no ‘magic pill’. Diet pills are more likely to burn through your pocketbook than to slim you down.

Tip: Don’t pop a pill – instead burn calories with intense exercise.

Myth 2: Do extra crunches to flatten your abs.

Excessive crunches are not the answer for tight abs. In order to achieve a toned look you will have to focus on burning off the layer of fat that is covering up your tummy.

Tip: Don’t obsess about crunches – instead focus on fat burning.

Myth 3: Turn to packaged diet products to boost results.

Don’t fall for the foods that are packaged as ‘diet’ or ‘weight loss’ aids. Quite often these products are packed with refined sugar and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need, and certainly won’t help you attain that tight tummy.

Tip: Don’t eat packaged diet foods – instead stick with nutritious whole foods.

Myth 4: Avoid all carbohydrates in order to achieve tight abs.

Carbohydrates have been given a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbs while slimming down. The key is to stick with whole grains, oatmeal and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

Tip: Don’t give up all carbohydrates – instead stick with wholesome carbs.

Myth 5: Starve the chub away.

Trying to lose weight by starving yourself is not only ineffective it can also be dangerous. It may seem that severe calorie restriction would deliver the quickest weight loss, but your body is complex and by doing so you’ll disrupt your metabolism and slow your results.

Tip: Don’t starve yourself – instead eat small wholesome meals throughout the day.

Now that you know what not to do in order to achieve tight abs, it’s time to go over your flat tummy game plan. Here’s what you need to know in three simple steps:

Step One: No more junk. 

The best way to do this is by purging your kitchen. Throw out the sugary, processed and fat-filled foods. Once the junk has been cleared out, don’t buy any more of it. Remember that your beach-ready abs depend on what you eat – don’t eat junk!

Step Two: Eat whole foods. 

Replace the junk food in your life with plenty of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats and low fat dairy. Clean eating really is that simple.

Step Three: Come train with me. 

This is the most obvious step. You’re ready to get into great shape and I’m in a unique position to make that happen for you at your home online with my IN10SITY programmes

I’ve dedicated my career to helping people, just like you, conquer their fear of exercise and clear up their confusion with healthy eating.

I know that a healthy life is within your reach – I’ve seen hundreds of my clients before you do it, and I’ll see hundreds after you do it. Today it’s your turn.

If you’re serious about transforming your body then let me help you and give you the kick start you need – sign up and start training with me online with my workout and nutrition programmes at www.My-IN10SITY.com for women and www.IN10SITY4Men.com

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Breakfast Crunchy Plantain Chips

Avoid eating trigger foods by enjoying wholesome homemade versions of your favourites.

When you have the urge for salty, crunchy snack foods, make some of these whole food plantain chips.

Cut processed and packaged snack foods completely out of your diet and you’ll find that whole foods snacks like this more than satisfy your snack cravings.

Servings: 6 

Here’s what you need:

2 large unripe plantains

coconut oil

juice from 1/2 a lemon

freshly ground sea salt

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease two large baking sheets with coconut oil.

Peel the plantains and slice thinly on a diagonal. In a medium bowl toss the plantains with some coconut oil, the juice from 1/2 a lemon and a generous sprinkle of salt.

Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Nutritional analysis: One serving equals: 110 calories, 2g fat, 133mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 2g fibre, and 1g protein

LIFESTYLE TIP

Cut down on the carbs

Holidays are notorious for carb-rich meals, and it’s a well-known fact that too many carbohydrates will quickly add up to unwanted pounds. Combat this fat-trap by choosing to eat one carb-less meal each day.

Breakfast: This may be the most effective meal to use the carb-less trick, since it often involves cereals, breads, pastries and pancakes. Skip the toast and fill up on egg whites and lean breakfast meats.

Lunch: A great carb-less lunch is a salad with lean meat. It’s so filling and satisfying that you won’t even miss the bread.

Dinner: Since you’re on vacation, you don’t want to feel deprived, so dinner is the hardest meal to go carb-less. But if you’ve indulged at breakfast and lunch then make it a point to cut the carbs at dinner. Stick with veggies and lean meats.

IN10SITY Workout Challenge

Seven-day plank challenge

There are lots of variations of the ‘plank’ exercise out there, and for good reason – it’s a super effective kick-ass exercise.

It hits a wide range of muscles (especially your core and abs) and puts them under stress making them work hard in a safe position.

The plank we are going to do is face down on the floor resting on your elbows and toes/front of the foot, maintain and neutral spine (not too rounded and not too arched – think about squeezing your belly button up toward the ceiling and engaging your abs – try to have you lower back muscles turned off and as relaxed as possible).

Keep your shoulders over your elbows and hips in line with your shoulders. Now just hold it – simple.

Day 1: Hold the Plank for as long as you can – making sure your body is in the correct position, use a mirror to spot yourself;.

Day 2-7: Try and beat your time each day.

Rules: bent arm planks with shoulders above 90 degree elbows. Feet together throughout. Knees never allowed to touch floor even on transitions. Must finish within six minutes or less.

Tip: Focus on breathing and relaxing. If your back arches – stop. If you feel pain in your back – stop. Rest and correct your position and try again.

Always warm up before and stretch after any workout, all exercises are easily found online.

Good luck.

Your Trainer: David Souter is an award-winning fitness trainer based in the North East and creator of IN10SITY. David is one of the co-stars of Charlottes 3 Min Belly Blitz – The multi platinum selling No.1 DVD of 2015 and record breaking fastest selling fitness DVD ever. David was also the exercise choreographer behind the No.1 selling fitness DVD of 2014, Vicky Pattison’s 7 Day Slim, and has appeared on BBC1 warming up 45,000 Great North Runners.

For personal training, online workouts and nutrition plans, email david@my-fitnesstrainer.com or visit www.My-IN10SITY.com or www.In10SITY4Men.com

Facebook: David Souter – Twitter: MyFitness01 – Instagram: myfitnesstrainer