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How Do I Get a Flat Stomach?

We all want that toned and sexy tummy, especially when it’s getting close to putting on those new swimmers. Many things contribute to a not so flat tum, including a poor diet, lack of exercise and simply not knowing how to go from flab to fab. So if you’re not beach season ready, then let me be your guide to tone up, shred and flatten that ever troublesome tummy.

Flat Stomach

Get moving

For many of us weight gain is a cause of simply not exercising enough, we are juggling so much at once that we can “never find the time”, but it’s not really about finding the time it’s about making the time. Prioritise your life so you can get at least 30mins of exercise, 5 days a week working up to roughly 60mins, 5 days a week.  Start out slow and simple, and before you know it you will find that you will actually be looking forward to your daily exercise.

Flat Stomach

Best exercises for a flat tummy

OK so we have made time for exercise, but what are we actually meant to be doing? Cardio, weights and tummy target exercises are now your best friend. Follow this routine!

  • Cardio, cardio, cardio. Aim for 20-40mins of cardio 5 days a week. This can include walking, jogging, running, cycling, boxing, cardio classes and so much more, anything that gets your heart going will really improve your general health and will defiantly start shredding that fat right off your middle section.
  • Resistance/weight training- by combing resistance training and cardio will be the most effective way of trimming your waistline. Weight and resistance training really engages your core, which effectively starts to strengthen and tone your tummy muscles. Bonus, the more muscle you have the faster your body can shred off fat, this means you will be strong, toned and ready for summer. Aim for 5 days a week for 30-45mins of resistance training, split your body up into the five days to allow your muscles to rest and repair, example legs and butt, biceps and triceps, chest and shoulders, back and core.
  • Target that tummy- Exercises that target your core are going to start to strengthen your muscles, help you to loose fat and get you that 6pack you only dreamed of. Try these tummy blasting exercises :
    • Crunches
    • Oblique twists
    • Planks
    • Sit ups
    • Bicycle crunches
    • Stability ball exercises

Flat Stomach

Stress Less

Stress is something everybody gets once in a while and it can really put a halt to reaching our goals, it releases a hormone called cortisol into our blood stream, which is helpful when it comes to getting things done by a deadline or when we are running from a dinosaur, but how many dinosaurs are out there anyway? But too much cortisol can lead to extra storage of fat, especially around our waistlines. It can also lead to anxiety and depression which can cause us to crave more unhealthy comfort foods and to binge eat. Try lowering your stress levels with deep breathing, mindfulness, mediation and yoga.

Flat Stomach

Eat right

You know that unhealthy eating causes weight gain, yet still so many of us are engaging in poor eating habits. To really get that lean waist you’re going to have to ditch the junk food and focus on eating right. Swap out white breads and pastas for wholegrain options, eat healthy fats like avocado and salmon, eat at least 2 serves of fresh fruit and 5 serves of fresh vegies a day, add legumes and beans to your main meals, limit your dairy intake or swap it for low fat versions, eat white meat without the skin and consume lean red meat 1-2 times a week only. To really get your tummy flat try having 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day and add a source of protein to every meal this can be fish, chicken breast, eggs protein shakes and nuts. By focusing on putting whole foods into your body instead of fatty convenient and junk foods you will not only see faster results you will also reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

Flat Stomach

Supplement

A good way to speed up fat loss from your mid-section is try a supplement or two. Here are my top supplements for getting a flat tummy:

  • A thermogenic- Thermogenic are fat burning supplements that will lower your appetite, increase your energy and speed up the process of burning fat. They come in a pill or powder form and are usually taking in the mornings.
  • Protein- protein is the building blocks of muscle, and remember that more muscle means faster fat loss. So if are yet to see your abs then get a good protein shake and drink it after your workouts, this will drench your muscles with the protein they need to grow and repair.

Flat Stomach

Simple lifestyle changes and good supplements can really bring your flat tummy dreams to life. Remember, get moving, eat right and stress less, and before you know it you will be kicking it at the beach with a banging bod!

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Get Rid of Those Flabby Arms

Chicken wings, lunch lady arms, jiggly bits, you know what I’m talking about, those flabby, flappy arms. Obesity, weight loss, age and genetics can all cause those unrelenting flabby arms but good news is you can get rid of them, it will take work but if you’re sick of the flab them this is your best bet to feeling fab!

get rid flabby arms

From flab to fab

As I mentioned we need to work for those sexy arms, we need to include arm toning exercises, cardio and diet but trust me you will gain back your self-confidence and feel great for it.

Step 1: Toning

To get those arms into shape then you need to start with some toning and strengthening exercises. For flabby arms we will mainly target the Tricep muscle of the arms. The Tricep is at the back side of the arms and is where the wings start to form. Choose 3-4 exercises and aim to perform 3-4 sets of 8 reps of each exercise.

  • Pushups- Pushups will target your Tricep muscle in your arm, plus they will target your pecs, abs, quads and lower back, creating an excellent all-rounder exercise. To perform a push up start by lying on your stomach, hands shoulder width apart at chest height; you can rise up on your toes or for beginners start on bent knees and work up to your toes. Push up with your arms keeping your body in a straight line and then slowly come back down without touching the floor, this is one rep!
  • Tricep dips- these are another tricep targeting exercise. To perform sit on the edge of a bench or chair with your legs stretched out in front of you, grip the edge on the bench with your hands and slide your body off, now using your arms, lower your body toward the floor without touching it then using your arms again, bring yourself back up. This is one rep. to make it easier you can bring your legs closer and bend them or to make it harder prop your feet on another bench.
  • Bicep curls- these are a basic arm strengthening exercise which will help you to look great in a singlet. To perform these you will need two dumbbells, stand with feet hip width apart and have a dumbbell in each hand resting at your sides. Next keep your elbows at your hips and raise the dumbbells up to your chest, hold a second and lower, this is one rep. as this gets easier up your weights. You can also perform single bicep curls or alternating curls.
  • Tricep kickbacks- yet another tricep targeting exercise. Lean with arm and one leg longways on a bench and hold a dumbbell in your free hand. Keep a straight back and hold your elbow to you hip and your arm at a right angle. Now extend your arm backward keeping your elbow at the hip and return the arm. This is one rep, repeat 8 times then do the other side.
  • Tricep extensions- standing with feet hip width apart hold a dumbbell in both hands and raise it above your head. Now keeping your elbows up, bend both arms backward behind your head and bring them back up. This is one rep.

get rid flabby arms

Step 2: Cardio

To really see results we need to combine both weight training and cardio. Choice your weapon of choice whether it be treadmill, jogging, biking, swimming whatever just something that’s going to get your heart going. You need to do cardio for at least 30mins, 3 times a week. This will ensure those arms really shred off.

get rid flabby arms

Step 3: Diet

There is absolutely no point in trying training and working hard if you’re just going to sabotage yourself with poor food choices. I’m not saying you have to cut out all your favourite foods but you do need to look at your diet. Try limiting the amount of processed foods you consume and eat plenty of fresh foods. Swap white bread for wholegrain, eat fruit and vegies and add protein to every meal. Here is a sample meal plan:

  • Breakfast- 2 eggs, whole meal toast, avocado
  • Snack 1- fruit salad/piece of fruit, protein shake
  • Lunch- garden salad, chicken breast/tuna/turkey
  • Snack 2- rice cakes with peanut butter
  • Dinner- brown rice/sweet potato/pasta, chicken breast/turkey/lean meat, steamed vegies

get rid flabby arms

Goodbye saggy arms

So really to get rid of those flabby arms you only need to make a few simple healthy lifestyle changes and your well on your way. Plan your meals, decide on an exercise routine and stick it. It’s time to say goodbye to those bingo wings and hello to those tight, toned and fabulous arms!

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Is It Normal To Have Cramps When Pregnant?

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of a women’s life. Your little bundle of joy is on its way and you couldn’t be happier until, CRAMP. What was that? Is something wrong? Cramping during pregnancy can be a frightening experience even for those of us who have more than one pregnancy. It’s good to remember that the uterus is a muscle and it will respond to any stimulus by cramping. This is completely normal, a full bladder, exercise, growth and more can all lead to these scary cramps, but what cramps are normal and when should you be worried?

normal cramps pregnant

Early pregnancy

In early pregnancy our bodies start going through an amazing change and everything starts growing, stretching and yes, cramping. The majority of women will experience some mild cramping during early pregnancy and although many women may fear it’s due to miscarriage this is not usually the case. Bloating, gas and stretching of the uterus can all lead to mild cramps and are a completely normal part of early pregnancy. Although if you are experiencing bad cramping accompanied with bleeding then see your DR as soon as possible to rule out miscarriage.

normal cramps pregnant

Second trimester

The second trimester is usually smooth sailing, many fears are relieved and you start to feel a bit better in yourself. During this time most women don’t really experience cramping although there is always an expectation to the rule. Round ligament stretching can lead to mildly painful cramps, this is where the uterus is expanding further to accompany your growing baby, constipation may still happening during this time and can cause further discomfort and cramping. Women who are carrying multiples will tend to experience more cramps then women who are only carrying one baby; this is because the uterus must grow much more rapidly to accompany the extra babies.

normal cramps pregnant

Third trimester

Now that you have entered the third trimester you may start to notice those famous Braxton Hicks start to kick in. these are what we call “practice” contractions and although they may feel like the real thing they are just your bodies way of preparing for birth. Braxton hicks can come and go and can become quite painful; a good way to tell them apart from real contractions is to start timing them. start the clock from the onset of the contraction and note down how long it lasted, keep timing till the onset of the next contraction, if they are coming at regular intervals then give the hospital a ring, it may be preterm labour, actual labour or still only Braxton hicks, the nurses can give you a good idea of what you may be experiencing.

normal cramps pregnant

When not to worry

As you can see there is a number of completely normal reasons that can cause cramping during pregnancy including:

  • After sex- semen contains prostaglandins which can stimulate the uterus and lead to contractions and cramps. Orgasms can also send pretty powerful cramping sensations throughout the uterus.
  • Changing positions- if a change of position makes your cramps better or even worse than this is also usually just a sign of ligament stretching and is not a concern.
  • Bowel movement or gas- if you are experiencing cramping and either a bowel movement or the passing of gas relieves the pain then you can also be sure that this is a normal issue and is more related to the pressure on your intestines from your growing uterus.

normal cramps pregnant

When it’s not normal

Although cramping can be completely normal during pregnancy there are times that warrant concern and should be addressed with your DR as soon as possible.

  • If you are bleeding- although bleeding may also be nothing to worry about it can be a sign of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or placenta Previa
  • 6 or more contractions in an hour- if you are not full term then this can be a sign of preterm labour. Call you hospital as they can access your symptoms and if needed stop early labour.

Relief??

Cramping is not the most pleasant part of pregnancy but there is a few things you can try to stop the pain.

  • First off try changing positions; sometimes this is all you need to stop them.
  • Put your feet up, drink some water and rest. Growing a baby is hard work on your body and rest can help to ease up any cramping.
  • A warm shower may also help to ease any tension that may be causing the cramping. Never use a heat pack on your belly as this can raise your body temperature which is dangerous during pregnancy.
  • Call your DR or hospital. The Dr’s and nurses are trained to understand the pregnant women’s symptoms and they are always happy to help. They know that cramping can be scary for mammas to be, so don’t feel as if your being silly by calling them, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

normal cramps pregnant

The bottom line

Most cramping is a completely normal experience during pregnancy and although it can be uncomfortable and scary there is usually nothing to worry about. Take care of yourself and rest often, it’s not easy being pregnant but when that tiny bubba is in your arms it will all be worth it.

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Birth Control Pills That Eliminate Periods, Are They Safe?

As women we feel like that time of the month comes around a little too quickly, in fact women today can experience up to three times more menstrual cycles than the generations before us. So we have good reason for thinking that. However, there are options… Such as the magic little pill we call Birth Control.

Now although it may seem like you’re going completely against nature by skipping your period, it is completely fine to ditch those little sugar pills, and your period with it.

birth control eliminate periods

But is it really safe for our bodies?

In most circumstances, yes. This is because during each menstrual cycle, your endometrial lining thickens in anticipation of an embryo planting. When this doesn’t occur, the lining is no longer needed and thus you bleed. Birth control works by suppressing ovulation and thinning the uterine lining. Therefor there’s nothing to shed if you don’t become pregnant. Keeping in mind that the general rule with skipping your period is to do it for no longer than three months at a time so the uterine lining can be shed.

Will skipping my period potentially ruin future fertility?

No. Missing your period will not ruin future fertility, in fact the Birth Control pill was once marketed as a seasonal pill, meaning it was taken for 84 days straight and then one week of sugar pills. Which results in only having a period every three months. This has been deemed safe by health professionals and organisations around the world. So, skipping your sugar pills for a few months is completely fine for your body, fertility and that cute white bikini!

birth control eliminate periods

Who shouldn’t use the pill to skip a period?

* Women who have heart conditions, severe obesity, Pulmonary Embolism, Deep Vein Thrombosis

* Women over the age of 35 who are regular smokers.

* Women who have any blood clotting disorders.

* Women who have any serious health concerns and haven’t consulted their GP beforehand.

birth control eliminate periods

‘The Pill’ has been used for generations now, it’s safe, effective and very convenient for women on the go and thankfully it isn’t necessary to have a period every month if you are not trying to get pregnant. So ladies, if you’ve got that holiday booked or those nice pair white jeans you’re looking to bust into, don’t stress. That little birth control pill has us covered.

(Always consult your doctor before using any medication)

birth control eliminate periods

 

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Why Do Some People Lose Weight Faster?

Watching others loss weight faster than you is a frustrating experience. You may wonder what you are doing wrong. Turns out it probably isn’t your fault. There are many factors that play a role in fat loss including your sex, body type and metabolic rate. So if you have been counting calories and hitting it hard at the gym but not seeing results you can go right ahead and blame it on one of the following factors.

people lose weight faster

Men vs Women

Simply being a woman can slow down the weight loss process. Women have higher estrogen then men and estrogen will cling on to fat for dear life. While men produce more testosterone than women meaning men can grow muscle faster then women and have a higher muscle to fat ratio to women, it’s just how they are built. This means that men can burn fat a lot easier. It comes down to the fact that if you are taller and have more body weight you will burn more calories just to function.

There are things a woman can do to help her lose weight quicker though like working on her muscle to fat ratio, this includes weight training which will burn up those calories faster than cardio alone. And if you think it could be a hormone problem a woman can take estrogen blocker supplements to lower her estrogen levels. Taking these supplements is a safe and effective way to aid women in losing weight.

people lose weight faster

Body types

There are three main body types’ ectomorphs, mesomorph and endomorphs. What body type you are will play quite a role in weight loss.

  • Ectomorphs– these are those skinny people out there that seem to be able to eat and eat and never gain weight. An ectomorph has a very speedy metabolism which is why they don’t gain weight. An ectomorph will also have more trouble putting on muscle no matter how hard they train.
  • Mesomorphs– ahh the wonderful body of the mesomorph. We all know these people, they seem to be able to build muscle just by walking into a gym and they can do this while maintaining a low fat percentage.
  • Endomorphs– these people are quite a bit larger. They always have trouble with losing weight, no matter what they try. The metabolism of an endomorph is very slow; endomorphs also tire easily and have a huge appetite.
  • Mixtures– it’s quite likely that you are a mixture of 2 or more of the body types as well. Not everyone will fit the classics type.

people lose weight faster

If you’re really struggling to loss that weight your probably an endomorph. Here are some tips to help you hit your goals:

  • Portion your meals- 1 fist is one portion
  • Cardio, cardio, cardio
  • Train in the 15+ rep range
  • Don’t flash diet (cutting out foods cold turkey)
  • Drink plenty of water to keep you full
  • Eat plenty of whole grains and fresh veg to keep you full

Remember, don’t define yourself as your body type, if a mesomorph doesn’t train they won’t look like Arnie! Embrace your shape and work to your goals.

Where’s the fat?

Another possibility to why some people lose weight quicker than others is due to where their body naturally stores fat. Women tend to store fat around their hips and thighs, this is not considered bad for our health (unless it’s excessive) it’s when our fat is stored at our mid lines and around our organs that we run into trouble. Exercise can completely eradicate this fat but it takes time. if yoru have fat stored around your organs you will likely loss fat in these places first. If you are burning fat from your organs you are unlikely to see any results on the outside or even on the scales, but give it time. Getting rid of fat around your organs is a good thing and once this is gone your body will start to shred the fat that is noticeable like around your legs, arms and tummy.

people lose weight faster

All in all

We are all so different so you really can’t compare yourself to others at all. So if you’re not losing weight as fast as your best mate, remember there are somethings that you can’t control and somethings that you just need to work harder at.

The biggest part of losing weight is believing in yourself and becoming the best version of you!

people lose weight faster