9 Tips to convert a fat tummy into a flat tummy
(and regain boundless energy in the process)
Are you sick of all the beating around the bush about diet and exercise? Do you just want a program that works, because you’re too busy with the rest of your life to be agonising over your health?
This week in our Momentum Platinum group we have been getting down into the nitty gritty of health and fitness. We call this part of the program ‘Energy Flow’. Each member is setting up their own ‘System for Success’ to get optimal energy and to maintain their bodies in peak condition. Nothing helps you save time, energy and money like having your mind and body in the high performance zone.
To help clarify some of our questions, I interviewed leading personal trainer Paul Steele who leads a team of 17 trainers at the fabulous Go Health clubs, super club in Nundah – my local health club.
Warning – this is a very ‘real’ conversation, with no big claims or quick fixes. The Milking It and Momentum Platinum programs focus on Systems for Success that you can maintain and build on for the rest of your life. We’re not interested in fads that fizzle out.
The great thing about our chat, was that Paul knows all of the science about optimal health, but he just focuses on ‘what works’. I’m inspired by his advice – especially the part about de-stressing and sleep!
The questions came from our group discussion.
Is it possible to lose the excess flabby skin that you are left with after having children through diet and exercise?
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to regain skin elasticity through diet and exercise. It is definitely possible to get a flat chiselled stomach post natal; however the actual skin elasticity is a different kettle of fish. There are skin care treatments and other methods of improving the skin in this area. By losing weight gradually, you can avoid much of the excess skin that results from rapid weight loss.
What fitness routine would you need to follow to lose ten kilos (from 65 to 55) and tone up your core?
I recommend getting 2-3 sessions of resistance training (i.e. weights or body weight resistance exercises) per week, with 1 – 2 High intensity interval training sessions. Any amount of cardio will be bonus on top of these, however 30 minutes of short bouts of high intensity efforts will stimulate your metabolism and really maximise your calorie consumption; both during the session, and for the hours proceeding. Additionally, look after yourself! Sleep and stress management are huge factors when it comes to fat loss! Studies have shown that increased amounts of stress, drives your cortisol levels up which in turn increases belly fat.
What exercises are most effective in gaining a flat tummy?
A flat tummy won’t come from doing a thousand sit ups… Put simply, a flat tummy will come from decreasing stress and increasing your calorie output to calorie input. More specifically, you will achieve fantastic results and drop huge amounts of stomach fat by increasing your insulin sensitivity. See article on insulin here, for a deeper understanding of the role of insulin.
How important is routine and consistency?
Consistency is paramount!
No. 1 tip – Do not make any changes to your diet that you cannot maintain for the rest of your life! I have seen it time and time again; people taking on diets that cause dramatic weight loss initially, however eventually your lifestyle will return to ‘normal’ and you will regain the weight, plus more. Starving yourself to lose weight is both dangerous and not effective as it makes your metabolic rate sluggish! Additionally, your energy, concentration and overall performance will drop.
Rather, take it step by step. Start by improving your choice for breakfast. Once you have established a comfortable routine with breakfast move on to lunch etc.
For a lot of people, especially busy mums, improving your breakfast nutrition begins with making sure you have breakfast!
Also start by swapping sugary cereals or white toast, with some high quality oats and berries. Alternatively, there is a lot of contemporary research advocating for a high protein and fat breakfast, e.g. omelette with chicken and a handful of almonds. The basis behind this breakfast is improved blood sugar regulation, i.e. improves insulin sensitivity.
What is the most effective way to watch what you eat?
Plan your meals! Take the tough choice away by preparing your meals and having them ready to go. “Fail to plan, you plan to fail”… If you haven’t planned or packed your meals, you will often finding yourself choosing between eating crap or starving yourself…. This is a lose/lose situation so take the time to prepare and you will achieve great success.
What do you think of crash diets?
As above…. They’re s*%t 🙂
How many times per day should you eat?
A lot of exercises professionals advocate for 6 meals/day… I find that 4-5 planned meals/day achieves great success and doesn’t cause too much stress and thus – cortisol production.
Are you allowed to have chocolate every day?
Haha, well everything in moderation!
But seriously, if you establish a sound routine of exercise and nutrition, there is no reason why you can’t introduce cheat snacks/meals more frequently. I tend to encourage my clients one cheat meal a week when they begin with me, and then we increase the frequency of these if their progress and results justify it. This is possible because as you increase muscle mass, decrease fat and increase your metabolic rate, you can process junk food more efficiently.
What about alcohol? What does wine do to your progress?
Similar to chocolate in that in moderation can be okay. However the alcohol content itself does have other impact aside from the pure calories involved. It is also affects your hormone levels and can therefore be quite devastating on your energy and performance etc. Not to mention the resolves you have with making healthy food choices once you’ve had a few wines..;)
Some simple but effective nutrition tips are:
- Stick to as many ‘whole foods’ as you can.
- The more meals you can have of high quality meat and fresh vegetables, the better off you will be.
- Don’t be caught up with ‘fat free’ items, as these are often foods that have had good fats taken out and replaced with simple carbohydrates… often with chemical aid.
- As often as you can, group protein sources with carbohydrate sources or protein with quality fat sources. Try to avoid fat sources with carbohydrate sources, as the body will use the carbohydrate for energy, and the elevated insulin will punch the fat sources into your cells.
If you’re interested in joining a program that helps you get organised and save time, energy and money in your life, business and home, and you want to have FUN in the process, then come and join us today! http://www.didyourememberthemilk.com.au/milkingit/milkingit_join.htm
More about Paul:
Paul has played rugby union semi-professionally and is a sometime champion boxing coach and was sportsman of the year for his senior year at school. Paul is qualified in Atlas functional training and rehabilitation, Crossfit level 1, Biosignature, Joseph coyne optimal fat loss, trigger point performance therapy and is a Grit strength instructor….I’m exhausted just thinking about all this!