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You might have tried loads of different diets and worked really hard in the gym but still not seeing the results you want, or struggle to keep them. Firstly, skip the diet!

Unless you're a bodybuilder or athlete there's no need to diet, just eat well on a consistent basis and be active, your body will adjust and stay healthy.
There are lots of different opinion on what a "healthy lifestyle" is, but to me it is something you can sustain longterm and actually enjoy, so I've rounded up 5 top tips that are easy to implement and will help you get that flat stomach and keep it all year round...

​1. Cut back on Alcohol
Sorry this is no surprise, but unfortunately alcohol is no good for the abs...
  • It's easy to drink too many calories in alcoholic drinks. 7 kcal per gram and if blended with sugary pop, one cocktail fx can easily contain 300 calories or more. You may be tempted to make unhealthy food choices too so be conscious of that.
  • When alcohol is consumed your testosterone levels lower and oestrogen levels raise which slows down your metabolism and makes it harder for your body to burn fat, particular belly fat.
  • Unlike the other macro groups Protein, Carbs and Fat - Alcohol has no micronutrient so no nutritional value, just empty calories.
So enjoy a drink every now and again but be aware of the side-effects..

2. Smart Swaps
Small conscious changes can have a huge impact longterm without too much effort...
  • Save ap. 200 kcal by swapping a traditional wrap for lettuce leaves when making burritos etc.
  • If you got a sweet tooth, cut the carbs out of your main meal (and skip the wine too) to make room for dessert
  • Check the labels on your food, for example when choosing yoghurt always pick the one with less sugar and highest in protein, diary-free options are preferable if you suffer from bloatness, IBS or skin problems
  • If you do have a fizzy drink, get the sugar-free one
  • Swap traditional pasta and rice with cauliflower rice and/or spiralised corgette, butternut squash etc. You can buy these in all major supermarkets, they are often already prepared so you just have to cook them - super simple and full of vitamins and fibre!

...So are carbs bad for you then???!
  • Carbs are not bad for you, together with Protein they assist in muscle building when weight training. However, unless you need lots of energy for a demanding sport or job, there's no need for a huge amount of extra carbs on a daily basis - particularly not if you're looking to lose weight.
  • Vegetable and fruits contain carbs too but also lots of fibre and vitamins, so by loading your plate with lots of veggies rather than spaghetti, you get full for less calories and lots more vitamins too. Oats and Sweet potato are good choices when you need more starchy options.
  • Carbs are the most available macro nutrient in your bloodstream so excellent for energy however if we don't utilise it, it will be stored in our fat cells.
By cutting back on carbs and adding more healthy fat sources to your diet, your metabolism is forced to use fat as a fuel source and will therefore improve your ability to burn bodyfat too.

3. Pilates
Do regular Pilates exercises to strengthen your core and pelvic floor.
Pilates won't bulk your abs like weighted crunches fx but gives you a tighter midsection, taller, leaner appearance and protects your lower back too.
With particular focus on lower abdominals and pelvic floor, Pilates is ideal for the so-called 'muffin top' and 'love handles' if combined with a good nutrition and training regime.
The beauty of Pilates is it can be done anywhere you can fit a mat on the floor, so no excuse!
Aim to do a series of Pilates exercises 2-3 times per week either at home or at an instructor lead class. Instructor lead sessions are ideal until you are able to correct your form and breathing yourself.

4. Walk and talk...
""But i hate cardio..!" I hear that all the time, seriously it doesn't have to be boring!
  • Swap coffee dates for walking dates and chat away on the treadmill, crosstrainer or outside.
Not only will you save money but also loads of potential calories you could have consumed at the coffee shop.
  • Think smart and outside the box -is there a specific programme you like to watch in telly? Make it a must to watch it on Iplayer whilst you're moving.
Ideally listen to an inspirational audio to train your mind at the same time - all about effectivity!

5. Keep a Budget and be Accountable
  • Track everything you eat, (Myfitnesspal is my favourite app) it makes you aware of what you really eat in a day.
Write EVERYTHING down, remember its only yourself you cheat if you don't.
  • Treat food as cash and keep a budget. If you want that gorgeous designer handbag you'll have to work for it -same with food, there is no magic.
Treat yourself everyone and again, have that amazing chocolate cake or icecream you love but make sure you've earnt it, no better feeling!

To conclude, if your diet is based on healthy clean food with a good range of macro- and micronutrients, you listen to your body and do regular exercise 3-4 times a week, you can enjoy a glass of wine or piece of cake on a regular basis and keep a flat stomach all year round.
Life is for living and by making small conscious decisions and being consistent you can have ice-cream and abs at the same time.... Win win!

Not sure what you should be eating to achieve YOUR goals?
Feel free to contact me HERE for more info on Personal Nutrition and Training plans to suit your goals and lifestyle.

Have an ABSolutely fantastic week!

Karina xx