1. Do the no-crunch crunch
- In a standing position, put your fingers on your hip bones, then imagine you’re wearing a belt or tight pants.
- Pull your belly button back towards your spine. No need to hold your breath, just pull in that lower part of your tum. Hold for 10 seconds, relax and repeat.
- Do 5 to 10 at a time, 3 to 4 times a day.
This works the deep abdominal muscle that’ll give you a flatter tum, even if you haven’t kicked the KitKat habit.
2. The at-home workout
- Polishing, dusting and mopping are great for working stomach muscles, particularly if you keep your tummy pulled in as you work. Now that summer is in full swing, use the opportunity to clean those hard-to-reach corners.
- Making big circular movements while you’re tidying up the kitchen tones and stretches all your abs.
3. Perfect your posture
- Look slimmer in an instant by adjusting the way you stand. Stand tall from the waist with your pelvis in a neutral position (not tucked under so you slouch, or arched so your bum sticks out).
- Pull in your tum. Relax your shoulders and keep your chin parallel to the floor.
4. L is for latte
Caffeine is a popular treatment for water retention, a common cause of a puffy and bloated tum. If you’re not keen on coffee, try drinking green tea instead, which is higher in antioxidants. Caffeine also helps boost your metabolic rate and suppress your appetite, helping you to stay on track with your good intentions.
5. Get a fruit fix
Pineapple and papaya both contain digestive enzymes that help you digest your food — try mixing with probiotic yoghurt for a quick fix for troublesome tums. And, because both fruits are very sweet, they’ll satisfy any cravings you might have for sugary food.
6. Lose your love handles
Hula-hooping works your abdominals and hips and, best of all, you can do it in the privacy of your own home.
- The basic technique is this: bend your knees a little and hang the hoop around your waist.
- Using your stomach and pelvic muscles, twist the hoop in a circular motion. After 20 circles, switch direction.
- Just 5 to 10 minutes a few times a day will burn belly fat and give your waist some definition.
7. Dance the night away
Salsa, belly dancing and any type of dance that involves gyration of the pelvis is great. All that hip thrusting encourages your lower abs to work hard, helping to tone and flatten a stubborn pot belly. Dancing has über kilojoule-burning benefits, too — it burns around 40 kJ a minute!
8. Pilates ball, not the couch
You’ll get to work deep abdominal and back muscles just by sitting on a big exercise ball. Your body uses abdominal muscles to compensate for changes in balance, so just by sitting on a ball to watch TV you’re actually doing an ab class!
9. Get your zzzz
Not getting enough sleep can slow your metabolic rate, making it easier for kilojoules to be stored as fat. In addition, levels of stress hormones fluctuate when you’re sleep-deprived, and researchers have found a link between these hormones and increased levels of body fat in the stomach area.
10. And if all else fails…
…then it’s time to pull on the support panties! Slip on your body-shaping undies and an hourglass figure is yours for the taking. Great when you want to slip into that LBD for your friend’s party!