7 Tips for Flat, Toned Abs

absWe all think about our abs a bit more when the weather’s warm and the sun is shining. Let’s turn those thoughts into action and make a few small changes that will have a big impact on our abs, and our health in general.

  • Exercise. You knew I would put this one at the top, right? Aside from making you look great, exercise is key for keeping your body strong and healthy. Be sure to get your heart rate up and work your entire body. Doing hundreds of ab exercises and nothing else is just going build muscles under layers of fat (not so pretty… or healthy!).
  • Limit salt and sugar. If you eat in restaurants or consume anything from a box, bag, or can, you’re getting way more salt and sugar than you realize. Even if you never eat a single cupcake or candy bar, you’re still likely consuming lots of sugar. The solution: make most of your meals and snacks unprocessed foods (fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains).
  • Drink lots of water. This is especially important when you’re outside in the heat. Your body needs water just to function, and also helps regulate your hunger. Next time you feel hungry, drink a big glass of water and then take a moment to decide if you’re still hungry. Our bodies often confuse thirst and hunger.
  • Don’t drink your calories. As tempting as a milkshake or Frappuccino might be, don’t make drinking them a habit. Even if you get a small size, you’re adding about 200-600 calories to your day. Wouldn’t you rather eat actual food instead?
  • Eat lots of veggies. Experiment until you find a few that you like. Just because you don’t love broccoli, doesn’t mean you won’t like artichokes or eggplant. Veggies contain tons of nutrients that give us energy and fill us up.
  • Sleep. Lack of sleep messes with our hormones and tells our bodies to hold onto fat. Not only do we feel tired and cranky when we don’t get enough sleep, but we also have a much harder time losing or maintaining our weight.
  • Relax. Stress also messes with our hormones and makes weight gain much more likely. Spend a few minutes just breathing each day. Work your way up to an hour just for you. Go for a walk. Read a book. Just breathe.

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