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Endless gym sessions and green juices won’t always result in a defined, flat stomach. Whether it’s stress, bloating, dehydration or posture,...




Endless gym sessions and green juices won’t always result in a defined, flat stomach. Whether it’s stress, bloating, dehydration or posture, there are a few things that may be holding you back from achieving the toned tummy of your dreams. So if you are counting down to that beach holiday, or simply want to look better in your jeans, try these easy steps to achieving your desired results.

#1. Eat smart

Sadly, no amount of crunches or sit—ups will give you the toned tummy of a Victoria’s Secret model if you’re living on a diet of cupcakes and cocktails. In order to  unveil the abs you’ve been working hard on, it’s essential to eat the right type of food to help shed any stubborn belly fat that’s covering them up. Try potassium rich food, such as avocados, leafy green veg (like spinach) and bananas, to reduce any water retention and help you feel less bloated.

#2. Drink up! (water, that is)

When we’re dehydrated, our bodies fight to retain water, which leaves us feeling bloated and sluggish. Many of us also confuse feeling thirsty with being hungry, leading to lots of snacking throughout the day. To curb any cravings, aim to drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated will also prevent you from retaining water by flushing out excess salt in your body. If you find it difficult to drink tap water, try adding cucumber, mint, or lemon to make it more interesting.

#3. Fake it

If you need to be beach-ready within a short space of time, fake tan may be your best friend. Applied properly, it can make your stomach appear more defined and your waist slimmer. If you’re worried about looking too dark, try a build-up self-tanning moisturizer. Make sure to exfoliate first to smoothe your skin and remove any dead skin cells, then massage the product in using circular motions to boost circulation and give you a natural-looking glow.

#4. HIIT it up

High intensity interval Training, or HIIT, alternates periods of pushing your body to its limit with periods of rest. So instead of pounding the treadmill for an hour, try 20 minutes of 20-second sprints alternating with 40-second rest periods.


#5. Work your whole core

Exercises like the infamous ‘plank’ are more effective than crunches as they target your obliques, lower back and arms, as well as your abdominals. For the best results, make sure your shoulders are in line with you elbows, pull your tummy in and squeeze your glutes.


#6. Take a sip

Having herbal tea after your eat aids digestion and reduces that feeling of ‘fullness’. I always have fennel, peppermint or dandelion tea after meals. peppermint is a natural anti-spasmodic, which reduces bloating and discomfort.


#7. A tall order

Lots of us are guilty of slouching, but by standing nice and tall, you’ll create the appearance of a flatter tummy. Next time you’re waiting in a queue, do a quick body scan to check your posture. Stand up tall, roll your shoulders back, and imagine there’s a string pulling you up from the top of your head. Next, tuck your belly button in to engage your core. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but the more you practise, the more comfortable it’ll become.


#8. Chill out and unwind

When we make an effort to be healthier, we tend to only focus on our diet and physical health, and often neglect our mental health. However, cortisol, the hormone released when we’re stressed, may be the reason why you’re not seeing results. Cortisol plays havoc with our waistline encourages the storage of fat around the middle. So make time each day to unwind. If you have the space, create a chill-out zone dedicated solely to relaxation - it could even be a corner of your bedroom. Fill it with cushions, candles, dim lights and books, whatever you find soothing, and leave all technology outside the room.