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6 steps to a sensational stomach

zimlikiTara102912_optBY TARA ZIMLIKI, CPT, CSCS
COMMENTARY

Are you tired of dreading summer because of the fear of sucking in your stomach when you put your bathing suit on? Do you feel self conscious about your mid section not being as toned as you would like? Do you love winter because it is the time when you can hide your body with layers of clothes? If you answered yes I am here to help you get the stomach you have dreamed of. I have helped thousands of my personal training and boot camp clients attain their dream of sculpted abs and now I am here to help you!

Crunches, sit ups, steam engines and the multitude of other abdominal exercises are great for building the stomach muscles. These exercises will strengthen the rectus abdominis. However these exercises do nothing for helping you to lose belly fat so that these muscles are visible. In order to see these trained and sculpted muscles you must lose the fat on your midsection first. Infomercials about pills and useless equipment are just gimmicks. Unfortunately the public has been steered and misinformed for years and some people do not know where to turn for the truth. I am here as your trainer to help you. All you need to do is clean your diet and do the right set of exercises. Follow these six steps and you will attain your goal of a sensational, sexy and sculpted stomach!

1) An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Aim for 4-6 vegetables and 2-4 fruits per day to boost your immunity and your fiber intake. Eat an apple a day because apples have pectin which lowers cholesterol and also is a natural appetite suppressor.

2) Amplify your cardio workouts to cut up your core!

Make sure you are getting 3-4 sixty minute workouts with high intensity, fat burning fun. Run for 10 minutes; go for a 1 minute sprint, 10 burpees, and 20 pushups. Start with 1 set and build your endurance so you can repeat this workout 5 times. This workout will challenge you and leave you craving more because of the results it will bring!

3) Increase your Protein to Rev up your metabolism!

Start your day with protein by eating 4 hardboiled egg whites with your breakfast. This will boost your metabolism to start your day! High-protein foods take more work to digest, metabolize, and use, which means you burn more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave your stomach, so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. The cumulative effect has obvious benefits for anyone who is watching her weight. In a study published in Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week study without employing any other dietary measures. And if, like most successful dieters, you're burning calories as well as counting them, protein is doubly essential for making sure you lose fat, not muscle.

4) Plyometrics Push your body!

Plyometrics (Jumping Exercises) are anaerobic exercises. When doing plyos you work out at 90-100 percent intensity and you really stimulate your metabolism. Because of this you can have an elevated calorie burn for hours after the workout is completed. These explosive exercises also shock your core! Add plyometrics such as the jump squats into your workout program to expedite your weight loss goals and sculpt your abs!

5) Pump some iron to tighten your core.

The more muscle your body has, the more calories your body burns, even at rest. This is because weight training increases your metabolic rate. Plus, resistance training is important to limit the amount of muscle mass lost while you are reducing your calorie intake. If you only do cardiovascular exercises (running, dancing, etc.) without weight training then you may lose the muscle mass, including the muscle in your abs so integrate weight training into your fitness routine.

6) H20 is the way to go!

Studies show that drinking water aids in weight loss. Drink a glass of water before every meal and you will find yourself less hungry and eating smaller portion sizes. Did you know that being thirsty is often mistaken for being hungry. So hydrate yourself to a thinner, healthier you! While each person's hydration needs are different, the Institute of Medicine advises that men and women try to consume about 3.7 and 2.7 liters of water a day, respectively, including water found in food (fruit and vegetables) and other beverages.

Go ahead and get moving so you can make your dreams of a sexy, sculpted and strong stomach into your reality! You deserve it!

Tara Zimliki is a Certified Personal Trainer and founder of Tara’s Bootcamp, the Premiere Bootcamp of New Jersey. She has completed 19 marathons, hundreds of 5ks and has trained with top athletes at the University of South Carolina where she was awarded a full cross country scholarship. Tara has a degree from Rutgers University and specializes in fat loss and nutrition. In 2005, Tara ran the NYC Marathon while 8 months pregnant with her 2nd daughter, Ella. In 2008, Tara placed in the top 500 women for the NYC Marathon. And in 2011, Tara ran the NYC Marathon 6 months pregnant with her 3rd baby, Brent. Tara has been featured on many television segments including Fox, WPIX, NJ 12 and written dozens of articles on health. Tara’s practices what she preaches in all aspects of fitness and health and for this reason she is a trusted trainer that produces results. For more information on Tara visit www.tarasbootcamp.com.

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