2 secrets to a healthy tummy
Fed up feeling bloated and your tummy ‘being in your way?’
After three caesareans I know exactly how you feel – having to lift my tummy to feel more comfortable and less sweaty. YUCK! gross. I was used to feeling conscious of the way I looked even as a fitness instructor.
Even as a fitness instructor I still had a ‘pappy’ tummy, overhang. Or whatever descriptive word comes to your mind, but I guess you know what I mean?
I have been a Pilates teacher for over 20 years and exercise alone did not give me a flat tummy or anywhere near a flat tummy! I have adapted my diet and my exercise programme and have improved my internal digestive system and created a wall of muscle from Pilates 😉
Okay, wall of muscle is a bit far fetched 🙂
There are ways to get a stronger tummy – inside and out.
Infact if you have a 5-pronged attack, you WILL get the tummy you have always wanted. I am going to outline those 5 approaches here in this blog. Feel free to comment on the bottom if you have something to add or want to discuss further.
I appreciate that having the tummy you have always wanted sounds like a stupid ‘6 weeks bikini’ fit crazy statement, but I know from experience that you can get stronger abs and a better functioning digestive system with just a few changes. If you make these changes into a permanent habit, the gorgeous way. Then your tummy will feel the benefit.
Reduce your ‘meno’ tummy by:
- Paying attention to your hormones
- Eating starchy carbs after exercise
- Avoid probiotic drinks
- Increase probiotic foods
- Pilates twice a week – my favourite subject 🙂
1. Pay attention to your hormones
The menopause and the perimenopause can be a challenging time for many women, especially when it comes to weight gain. Meno-middle (weight gain in the abdomen) is one of the most common complaints of perimenopausal women and you have probably been told that an extra couple of pounds is simply what happens at 40 +
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That is rubbish!
You don’t have to have a middle age spread, I don’t. Plus you will be glad to know that it’s not down to your willpower or even counting calories.
It’s hormones that play THE most important part in gaining weight around your middle. Consider how much stress you have in your daily life. The stress hormone, cortisol can really upset your entire body.
- Be aware and be mindful reduce your stress levels and therefore your cortisol hormone.
- Reduce anxiety with the use relaxation techniques.
- Relaxing will allow your body to reduce the amount of production of the cortisol hormone and that will have a direct effect on the weight gain around your tummy.
At the same time:
- Increase your endorphins – the pleasure hormones which are produced in your brain and digestive system.
- The simple act of eating raises your levels of endorphins.
- Endorphins tell you that eating is an inherently pleasurable experience- so if you are starving yourself you won’t release any feel good hormones.
- They also stimulate fat to be burned as fuel. The greater the endorphin release in your digestive tract, the more blood and oxygen will be delivered there, which means greater metabolic efficiency.
So don’t go hungry, don’t skip breakfast or lunch, because not only will your metabolism slow down, but you won’t be increasing your happy hormone. You will get grumpy!
2. Eating starchy carbs after exercise
Protein makes your muscles bigger and stronger, in general, Personal Trainers will ask you to eat proteins straight after exercise. However, the gorgeous way is to eat proteins throughout the day and starchy carbs after exercise.
WHY? because protein needs to be driven into your muscles by glucose. Glucose is synthesised in your body by carbohydrates.
Whilst simple carbohydrates work on your body rapidly – for instance that is why you hand out jelly beans to marathon runners.
However medical researchers like Gary Taubes and Nina Teicholz are questioning the effect of these simple sugars on your hormones. Simple sugars give you a quick energy boost but what else are they doing to your hormones and your body’s delicate balance?
Avoid simple sugars and eating starchy carbs when your body needs it most – which is after exercise, is the Gorgeous way 🙂
3. Avoid Probiotic Drinks
DON’T DRINK YAKULT or any other little drink – they are full of sugar and feed the demon bacteria – the baddies, the sugar in these drinks feeds the bacteria in the gut that make you feel like you have ‘gut rot’ and the bloated feeling.
That doesn’t mean to say I don’t agree with pro-biotics in food or even powder.
Probiotics rock! Do you remember watching Angela Rippon working with Michael Mosley on ‘Trust me I am a Dr’? She found out that whilst her gorgeous and lovely body was fabulous on the outside she had fatty deposits inside her body?
Find out: What is Pilates?
Angela was advised that to reduce her fatty deposits around her inner organs she was encouraged to take Inulin. Inulin is a nutritional component that occurs naturally in many plants but can also be taken in powder form. Do you know what inulin is? It is basically a probiotic that helps with the healthy bacteria in the gut called bifidobacteria and lactobacilli – you might not be able to pronounce them (I can’t) but you have definitely heard of them from the Yakult adverts.
Do you know what inulin is in laymen’s terms? It is basically a probiotic that helps with the healthy bacteria in the gut called bifidobacteria and lactobacilli – you might not be able to pronounce them (I can’t) but you have definitely heard of them from the Yakult adverts. The trouble is these little drinks don’t contain enough you need to ask at your health food store for a stronger version.
3. Increase Probiotic foods
You can easily eat probiotic foods like:
- FAGE Yoghurt – no sugar or fruit
- Saukeraut (gotta be honest, not keen on this one!)
- Cottage cheese – oh yes easy one
- Pickled gherkins – pickled in water & salt (NOT VINEGAR)
To be honest I have just picked out the easy foods that you can find and put into your diet. There are more probiotic foods, but I wanted to start you off gently.Don’t let cheese intimidate you.
4. Pilates and Practice
The 2 big secrets to a flat tummy – the two Ps……
Sorry, no corners cut here that is the answer 2 Ps – Pilates and practice.
My favourite subject Pilates. I love it and I am going to make it fun and exciting and exhilarating. Oh okay maybe not all of the above, but I will have a go at trying to help you fall in love with Pilates.
Together on my quick 10 minutes a day for 10-day challenge you are going to do both Practising using your Pilates techniques
Practice like crazy and then you will see results. In the challenge, you will receive more nutritional information and lots and lots of Pilates plus a full Pilates class and a separate meditation video to help with those increased stress hormones. Enjoy
10 day tummy challenge including food tips, exercise and of course PILATES 🙂
You can redo the challenge when you want, just let me know.
Speak soon much love
PS. find me on youtube and you will automatically receive the most recent Pilates and Gorgeous Cardio workouts plus my VLOGS on nutrition and food – click here to find my channel and press the SUBSCRIBE button on youtube.