Barbeque season is in full swing, but don’t let that rack of ribs deter your bikini body progress. Are you wondering how to get a flat stomach while sticking to your diet plan? Here are some of our favorite tricks to staying slim this summer.
Steer clear from salt
Limiting your salt intake – even while it’s delicious and essential to your diet – may be the secret to seeing your abs and, not to mention, a healthier heart. Eating too much sodium causes your body to retain fluid, causing the belly bloat you dread during bikini season.
Did you overindulge on potato chips while waiting for the burgers to cook? Flush out the extra salt in your system by drinking plenty of water. We recommend drinking half of your body weight (in ounces) of water. For example, a 150 pound woman would want to drink 75 ounces of water every day. Staying hydrated not only flushes out your system, but it also prevents future bloating. Why is water the best way to stay hydrated? Sports drinks and juice contain high amounts of salt and sugar – the kind you’re trying to flush out of your system. You should also try your best to avoid alcohol. Those skinny margaritas you and your girlfriends like to sip on are preventing you from achieving your goals.
Skip second helpings
Portion control is a huge factor when it comes to getting a flat stomach. It’s easy to forget your fitness goals when scooping a hearty helping of potato salad onto your plate. While it’s always okay to treat yourself, always do so in moderation. Studies found that dieters who didn’t say no to certain foods (e.g. chocolate, ice cream, etc.) but ate them in moderation were more successful on their weight loss journey than those who cut out their favorite foods cold turkey.
Say “goodbye” to crunches
The secret to strong and sleek abs is to target your entire core, not just bits and pieces. The classic crunch you learned in middle school only targets the area you think of when someone has a six pack. Your core is made up of your abs (upper, middle, lower), obliques, and back. Strong core muscles act as a corset, making you look leaner and stand taller. Do you want to incorporate new core exercises into your routine but have no idea where to start? Try a Group Core class. This 30-minute ab workout will leave you satisfyingly sore the next couple of days.
Stick to a schedule
Something about summer just screams lazy days, like lounging around the pool or going on a family vacation. Any routine you were in during the school year completely vanishes. However, you can get back into the swing of things by getting a planner. Whether you get yours from the dollar store or the Paper Store, your mission is simple: Write everything down – when you have to pick your kids up from summer camp, what you’re having for dinner, and when you’re going to the gym. Now you’ll never miss a thing. Do you have trouble making time for the gym in between family BBQs? Try a group fitness class. It’s at a set time every week, and it’s so much fun, you’ll forget you’re working out.
Stop eating before bedtime
Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. If you’re looking to have a flat stomach by Labor Day, it’s time to stop sneaking cookout leftovers late at night. Eating right before you go to bed is bad for your digestion and prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep. If you must have another slice of your grandma’s famous apple pie, eat it first thing in the morning. You’ll have the whole day to burn it off. Are you afraid you won’t remember that you had already indulged for the day? Use a fitness tracking app like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit to keep track of your calorie intake.