With increasingly demanding work schedules, hectic social lives and family responsibilities faced by many, finding time to work out, go to the gym and/or make smarter food choices isn't always at the forefront of people's minds. Thankfully, is about to become that little bit easier with the help of Nutritionist Sarah Flower and her get-fit-quick tricks, which will help you slim down in time for hitting the beach.
1. Look after your gut - Maintaining a healthy gut with good bowel flora is not only vital for your immune system, but can also help reduce a bloated tummy. Taking a good quality probiotic daily, as well as eating more prebiotic foods such as kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut, onions, leeks and garlic can really help you beat the bloat. Some people have also found that cutting back on wheat also aids with bloating.
2. Grab a coffee – Turn your addiction for coffee into a healthy addiction by swapping your regular latte for a Skinny Coffee Club coffee ( www.skinnycoffeeclub.com), a great beverage for anyone wanting to boost weight loss. It contains a blend of ground coffee, green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, spirulina, Garcinia Cambogia and Siberian ginseng, all of which work together to help speed up metabolism, reduce appetite and burn fat.
Siberian ginseng is the ultimate adaptogen herb which helps to boost the immune system, improve energy and can help balance the blood sugars, which is key for achieving a slimmer waistline. The evening blend contains fennel, a great herb for combating bloating and other digestive problems. For maximum results, simply drink one caffeinated coffee in the morning and one decaffeinated in the evening.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate - We can often confuse being thirsty for hunger pangs and are tempted to reach for whatever snack is in sight at the first sign of hunger. Having enough water in your daily diet fills you up and hydrates you, making your body metabolise faster and more able to burn fat, so you should try switching your quick snack for a glass of water. Water also helps your body detoxify, clearing any debris from your cells and flushing them out of the body. You should aim for six to eight glasses a day, and try to lay off alcohol as it's dehydrating and high in calories.
4. Conscious Eating - We are all guilty of eating food without really paying attention to what and how much we are consuming; whether it be reaching for that bar of chocolate when we're not remotely peckish, or demolishing a tub of ice-cream when we're feeling down. The truth is, that desire we get to eat without thinking it through grows alongside an expanding waistline. Adopting conscious eating habits and techniques can help you to avoid overeating, for example, when you feel the need to reach for a snack ask yourself how hungry you really are. You should also practice eating your food slowly, as this will allow your brain to judge when you are full and your body to digest food better. Some people find that keeping a diary of what they eat in a week and a rough calorie intake helps them adopt good eating habits.
5. Get more sleep - When you are sleep deprived you upset your natural hormone levels. A study by the University of Chicago found that dieters lost over 56% more fat than those who were sleep deprived, so a good night's sleep is essential. If you have trouble sleeping, try to relax before bed time by reading a book or having a hot bath with muscle relaxing products such as lavender on Epson salts. You should also ensure your bedroom is a screen-free room as lights, particularly those omitted by screens, can reduce your melatonin production, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
6. Tweak Your Tummy - Good posture, and good core strength in particular can help to make you look leaner and more toned. Hours of crunches and Pilates classes aren't the only key to a flat stomach though; you can engage your core muscles simply by drawing your belly button in towards your spine while breathing naturally. It's a tiny movement that can be done almost anywhere, and if you do it as often as possible you'll be on your way to a flatter tum in no time.