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Published on July 12th, 2016 | by Yashodhara Ghosh

Flaunt That: Fab Abs

Can’t admire your toes because your belly keeps getting in the way? Follow these 10 rules and watch your ‘ab’ go from ‘flab’ to ‘fab’ in weeks!

10 ab-friendly tips

  1. Diet isn’t enough: As we grow older (and we mean hitting the 30s here) our metabolism slows down to a significant extent. So diet control is inevitable for all those who want to steer clear of the paunch as they approach middle age. However, if you depend solely on a diet, you will lose muscle instead of fat, which in turn will slow down your metabolic rate and eventually make it harder for you to shed kilos.
  2. Work(cut)out: Make exercise a daily ritual, like brushing your teeth. Aim for 30 minutes of any aerobic exercise about five times a week. And if the word ‘exercise’ makes your skin crawl, you could call it dancing, swimming, cycling, walking or running!
  3. Build muscle, burn fat: While there are several asanas that help tone your body, we suggest that in your quest to lose tummy fat, you go for exercises that involve a lot of rapid movement. These involve lunges, push-ups and skipping Also, remember that behind those many layers of fat, those abdominal muscles do exist, and you’ve gotta work them: do planks and crunches every day.
  4. Beware of bread: No matter how delectable that complimentary bread basket looks, don’t reach for it. Bread and all things carbs cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels – in turn this means that your body will need to secrete more insulin to process the sugar in your bloodstream. The more insulin your body secretes, the more fat your body will store and show.
  5. Pro-protein: If you are on a mission to burn off that belly flab and have started watching your calorie intake, raise your daily protein quota a few notches. Protein helps maintain muscle mass, which in turn controls your metabolism and keeps it moving along smoothly. Also, protein digestion works in reverse – slower rise of sugar, less insulin produced ergo lesser fat stored.
  6. Kick the caffeine-kick: Sadly, carbs are not the only treats you have to sacrifice at the altar of a toned tummy: You also have to swear off binge-drinking, frequent sugary treats, full-cream milk and its un-skimmed cousins, and most importantly, too much coffee. Caffeine spikes up your cortisol levels and slows down your metabolism, causing your belly to swell up. Also, give your salt shaker some hard-earned rest: sodium causes water retention, making you look fatter than you really are.
  7. Sleep it off: Depriving yourself of sleep slows down your metabolism. Sleep at the same time every day and rise to some suryasanas. Having said that, don’t sleep after eating: our metabolic rate slows down when we sleep, so there is a high chance of the food being stored as fat instead of being metabolised and assimilated. Wait at least two hours after a meal before your hit the sack.
  8. Hydrate: The more water you drink, the less water your body will retain, and the more toned your tummy will look. Make that bottle of water a permanent extension of your arm.9.
  9. Foods that burn belly fat: They actually do exist! Lukewarm water with a wedge the juice of one lemon squeezed in cleanses your system, and also helps cut down your body’s fat percentage. Fish liver oil also burns fat. If you’re fish eater, don’t skin off the oily bit: it may help you lose that last bulge. Other fat-fighting foods include egg whites, almonds, low fat milk, celery and apples.10.
  10. Eat small, eat often: At the risk of repeating ourselves, we must reiterate: handfuls of fresh food at intervals of two hours spread out across the day will give you a more fabulous body that those three large sleep-inducing meals. If your body gets accustomed to being fed at regular intervals, it keeps metabolising the food, preventing storage. On the other hand, if it feels the threat of starvation, it starts storing out of fear, which in turn gives rise to tell-tale flab.

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