If you’ve yet to discover social media fitness sensation Kayla Itsines, make sure you hit the follow button, pronto. The 24-year-old Australian trainer has gained a cult Instagram following thanks her uber-toned bod and the awe-inspiring before-and-after shots she posts of women who’ve successfully followed her highly popular Bikini Body Guides.
Known for her killer abs, no-one is better placed to offer us advice on getting a flat stomach than Kayla, so read on for her top seven tips on achieving the tight middle of your fitspo dreams...
1. Eat a snack at 3pm
Keep your blood sugars stable throughout the day by snacking on lean protein and wholegrain carbohydrates to prevent your metabolism from slowing down during the long gap between lunch and dinner. Make sure you resist the urge to reach for sweet treats that are going to wreak havoc on your insulin and blood sugar levels, and opt for turkey slices, nuts, or a piece of cheese with wholegrain crackers.
2. Stay away from salt
Eating lots of high-salt foods is usually the cause of a bloated stomach. Sodium is often hidden in foods to help make them taste better, even if the meal itself doesn’t actually taste ‘salty’. Some examples include pre-packaged soups, dressings, crackers and sauces. Try to reduce your intake of salt (including soy sauce) and flavour your foods with herbs and spices instead.
3. Chew slowly
Eating too quickly causes you to swallow air, which in turn leads to poor digestion and bloating. Slow down and enjoy each mouthful – this means no multi-tasking and no distractions so you can really concentrate on chewing your food properly to avoid gulping it down. Try putting your fork down after each mouthful and only go in for the next one when you’ve completely swallowed the last.
4. Find your zen
Did you know anxiety produces extra cortisol, a hormone which encourages the body to store fat? If you’re following a healthy meal and exercise plan but aren’t seeing results, stress could be the reason why. Try to practice deep breathing exercises to help alleviate stress levels and take ten deep breaths every hour to help calm your mind.
5. Go green
Green tea has an antioxidant in it called EGCG, which may help to boost your metabolism and aid your body to utilise fat. For the best results, drink two-to-three cups of green tea a day. You can even make it iced by adding ice cubes and leaving it in the fridge for a few hours.
6. Watch the sugar
Most people would be surprised to know how much hidden sugar they’re consuming on a daily basis. Even if you try your hardest to stay away from chocolate, sugar is hidden in so-called ‘healthy’ foods, too, including yoghurts, health bars and dressings. Inadvertently consuming large amounts of sugar may make it harder to lose weight from your belly, as the insulin surge it causes leads to fat storage. The best thing is to read labels carefully and stick to natural, wholesome foods where possible.
7. Perform cardio daily
Before you groan at the thought of slugging it out on the treadmill every day, hear me out: performing any type of cardio daily can help keep your metabolism going to burn fat. It could be as simple as waking up earlier and going for a 30-minute walk, or incorporating HIIT exercises into your exercise routine. Whatever you do, make sure your heart rate’s pumping at least once a day to help burn fat and get lean.
For the full article, visit KaylaItsines.com