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Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Know the Reason Why We Love Cycling

We Love CyclingJumping on a shiny new steed and pedalling off into the sunset is a glorious feeling – you just can’t beat it! But if you haven’t saddled up for a few years, you may be wondering where to start or why to bother. Don’t worry! We caught up with Gareth Turner from Cyclebeat (cyclebeat.co.uk) to chat about the benefits of life on two wheels and how you can get back in the race.

Wheely wheely fun

Whizzing around on a bike gives you a great sense of freedom and there are so many types of cycling, and types of bikes, you can try. ‘Cycling can be very varied and fun – try mountain bike trails, exhilarating downhills, BMX and road biking with amazing views,’ says Gareth. Plus it’s one of the few workouts in which you can have a good gas with your mates, too! Have you every tried catching up over a quick swim or disco rave class?! ‘Cycling can be very social by riding in a group and also with the family – everyone can get involved,’ adds Gareth.

Slim cycle

Jumping on your bike is a fantastic way to blitz calories and trim down. ‘Cycling is a great way to lose weight and a brilliant way to burn calories – you can burn around 500 calories an hour cycling and sometimes much more,’ says Gareth. ‘Cycling can also have the added benefit of increasing your metabolism – even after the ride is over.

And it’s a great option for working out on your commute. Think about it – you can get your workouts in on the way to and from work and cancel that gym membership altogether if you want! ‘And, because it is a non-weight bearing exercise, it’s a lot easier on the joints than something like running, so you can do it more often,’ says Gareth. Sounds good to us!

It’s also a great toner, working your lower body hard, which – thanks to this focus on the bigger muscles in your body (bum and legs!) also burns fat. ‘Cycling helps to tone your muscles and works your calves, thighs and bottom, while also giving your shoulders and arms a workout, too,’ says Gareth.

Healthy heart

Cycling is not only bags of fun, and a great way to stay in shape, it’s good for your heart, too. ‘Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness,’ explains Gareth. ‘And the British Heart Foundation says that cycling regularly can help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes by up to 50 per cent.’

Mind matters

And getting on your bike could have benefits for the mind, too. ‘It’s not just the body that sees the benefits, as cycling is believed to reduce stress, anxiety and provide a sense of wellbeing,’ says Gareth. A cycle home after a long day is a great way to shake off your worries.

Get Fit on A Budget?, Here Its Tips

Fitness rampage spending comes in numerous structures, from wearing extravagance unit on a keep running, to sprinkling out on costly exercise center enrollments and paying additional for pro preparing that guarantees results. It’s not about vanity – it’s about certainty, solace and core interest. In the event that you look great, you feel great and that helps you marshal the eagerness to assault a workout. Yet, do you have to glimmer heaps of money to stay in shape? No, obviously not – and there are a lot of things that you shouldn’t burn through cash on. With the developing number of free applications and workout locales, also appealing attire that won’t void your stashes, staying in shape doesn’t need to abandon you bankrupt. The key is to work out which items are justified regardless of your pounds. What’s more, that is the place we come in…

Here are fit on budget tips :

1. LOG ON, SLIM DOWN
Turns out there’s more to online videos than yelling goats and Prancercise (Google it). In fact, the internet is a wealth of fitness knowledge. Among some of our favourite freebie workouts are the Tone It Up girls (www.toneitup.com) and Yoga With Adriene (yogawithadriene.com). And you can even get free A-list workouts on the net – visit Icelandic trainer Svava Sigbertsdottir’s Viking Method YouTube channel to find out how Nicole Scherzinger works out. And you thought the web was for socialising!

2. IN-STORE CLASSES
Specialist classes don’t have to cost a penny. In fact, some are free of charge. Earlier this year, Sweaty Betty launched a ‘Get Fit 4 Free’ campaign that gave fitbies access to in-store classes, recipes and online videos. And all Sweaty Betty boutiques across the country offer free classes to members all year long. London-bound? Lululemon Covent Garden and King’s Road stores offer complimentary yoga and running club every week.

3. RACE YOUR DOG
Turn your furry friend into a fitness pal. Personal trainer, Alison Beadle (livewellbhappy.co.uk), tells clients to race their dog because it’s a great form of fat-burning interval work – walk fast, jog and then sprint! ‘It’s interval training with a difference,’ says Beadle. ‘One of my clients has beaten her dog once but only by cheating and throwing the ball in the opposite direction!’ It’s harder than you think.

4. LOOK FOR DISCOUNTS
Gym memberships can be expensive – but not if you’re smart! Most gyms offer a cheaper membership if you’re prepared to go to the club during off-peak hours – usually between 10am and 4pm, and not including weekends. Ask gyms if they do discounts for students or single mums, or register at payasugym.com to get up to 60 per cent off gym costs.

5. COMPETITIVE COMMUTING
Make your commute count by racing against the clock with Beadle’s commuting circuit. ‘Speed walk along the corridors, power walk up escalators and see if you can do it faster each time,’ explains Beadle. ‘If you need a little competition to motivate you, challenge a friend to walk it faster than you.’

6. LUNGE, LUNGE, LUNGE
Lunge like no-one’s looking. The simple move is one of the best exercises for your legs and bum – and you can do them anywhere. ‘Walking lunges can be done around your own home all day, every day,’ says Donohue. ‘There is nothing you can find in a gym that beats walking lunges for the entire lower half.’

7. HIT THE GREEN GYM
Got access to a park? Then you have all the kit you need to get fit – benches, a running circuit and maybe even an outdoor gym. ‘Keeping fit and healthy doesn’t need to be expensive,’ agrees Muir. ‘The great outdoors is free – go for a walk, bike ride or jog. Too cold? That’s no excuse, as you can even run up and down your stairs to get fit.’

No Time for Excersice?, Try These Trick

Be a green goddess

Do you always duck out of cutting the lawn? Heaving a mower around is a great exercise for your core, legs and arms – and is a major calorie burner.

Squeeze!

Stuck in traffic yet again? Don’t sit and stress: work your pelvic floor. You can even do it on the bus, but try not to scare the people around you!

Trim at your chair

If you work in an office, the chances are your posture will suffer as a result of hours sitting at a desk. Use your upper back, shoulders and abdominal muscles to maintain a good posture and try squeezing an air-disc between your thighs to work your adductors. Better still, sit on a Swiss ball.

Get in a fix

Burn those calories by getting stuck into some DIY around the house. Sanding walls, tiling floors and building cabinets all require serious strength, ladies.

Wash the car

Go on, it needs a good clean, anyway. If you’ve got a van, then you’llreally work up a sweat. Make sure to switch hands when you’re scrubbing to get a good, even workout.

Spring clean

Yep, that’s right. But we’re not talking a regular dust ’n’ wipe here; we’re talking moving the furniture, scrubbing the walls and all that jazz. It’ll get your heart going, and you’ll be rewarded with a sparkling house!

Get off your trolley

No, not like that! Opt for a shopping basket rather than a trolley if you’re not planning a huge shop, and really work your upper body. If you really must use a trolley, once you’ve bagged everything up, carry it back to the car by hand.

See the sights

How well do you know your local area? Set aside a day with friends to walk around the local sights, as if you were tourists. You may be surprised how many calories you burn in a day spent scurrying around on your feet.

Stairway to fitness

An oldie but a goldie: don’t even think about calling for that lift! Dragging yourself up the stairs might seem tough at first, but your fitness will step up in no time.

Have a break

Get into the habit of exercising whenever the TV show you’re watching hits an advert break. You can do crunches, run on the spot or even drop down into the plank position. Try to wait until your dinner goes down first, though.

 

Know Your Fitness Age

In this way, your real age is 31. Your mental age is 21 (your pulverize on Harry Styles sees to that). Yet, shouldn’t something be said about your wellness age? Do you get puffed out running for the transport? On the other hand would you be able to run a marathon effortlessly? To put it plainly, what is the interior condition of your body?

Exploration is demonstrating that how well our bodies work physically contrasted and how well they ought to capacity is a solid sign of to what extent we’ll live. Indeed, a test has been produced by scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology to help you find if your body is like that of a sporty 20-year-old or a past-its-prime 50-year-old. The outcomes depend on five estimations: your midriff periphery, resting heart rate, recurrence and power of activity, age and sexual orientation. These components join to influence your VO2 max (how well your body conveys oxygen to your cells).

Age-proof exercises 

Whether you’re 16 or 60, personal trainer Joslyn Thompson Rulerecommends you try these wondrous workouts.

1. Walking

Walking is so basic, and an extremely effective form of exercise. Not only is it weight-bearing, it also has a very positive mental effect, too. Taking time out to go for a walk, even for just 15 minutes a day, is beneficial for both body and mind.

2. Squatting

Squatting is important for everyone, as you use it to get by in everyday life. Sitting down on a chair is a simple squat. At the most complex end, you can squat with a weighted barbell in a gym. To start squatting, practise sitting down then standing up from a chair, keeping your weight central. Try not to use your arms to assist you when you stand up and do this for two sets of 10 repetitions.

3. The yoga cobra pose

This pose is particularly beneficial if you spend a lot of time sitting down, as this can cause the muscles at the front of your body to tighten up. The cobra pose stretches the muscles on the front of the torso and strengthens the arms and shoulders. To nail it, lie face down and push your upper body off the floor, straightening your arms as much as is comfortable. Tilt your chin up and lift your chest toward the ceiling. A gentler form of this movement is resting on the elbows rather than on straight arms.

4. Lunging

Lunging is a great way to ensure you stay strong through your hips and legs. While it requires balance, coordination and strength, even taking the stairs is a form of a lunge, just with less range of movement. So if a full lunge isn’t possible, take the stairs whenever you can: great for the muscles and the heart!

5. Swimming

Swimming is a non-weight-bearing exercise that opens up your lungs and exercises our muscles in a gentle way. For experienced swimmers, the intensity can be taken up a notch by adding some intervals to your sessions, but for those who are less confident or less fit, gentle lap swimming is of great benefit.

Avoid these Mistakes when You Exercise at Gym

Whether you’re new to the gym or have been going for a considerable length of time, there are a few mistakes that even experienced rec center goers set aside a few minutes and time once more. Not just would this be able to prompt weariness or absence of results, you could build your danger of harm.

On the off chance that you’ve achieved a level in your preparation or you’re not getting where you need to be sufficiently quick, there’s a decent risk you’re committing no less than one of these errors. It’s an ideal opportunity to take care of business, with the assistance of superstar coach and author of 5 Star Bootcamp, Danni Levy. With her recommendation, you can reboot your workouts to get the outcomes you need – immediately!

1. Don’t spend hours on one cardio machine

‘Cardio is central to fat loss, but if you spend more than 50 per cent of your workout time on it, think again,’ says Levy. To really improve your shape, weight train. Your body will drain its glycogen stores doing weights, so if you do 20 minutes of cardio afterwards your body will switch to burning fat.

2. Don’t hide at the back of a class

‘While group exercise is a great way to have fun and get fit, many of us join classes without being given any guidance on technique,’ says Levy. ‘When classes are large, instructors can’t be expected to notice every single movement of every single person, so if you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to get yourself noticed! Bad form will not only cancel out the effects of all your hard work, but lead to poor posture, lack of enjoyment and possible injury. Instructors are there to do just that: instruct. So don’t be embarrassed to ask!’

3. Don’t just use fixed machines

We’ve all been there; you join the gym, an instructor shows you round the fixed resistance machines and you receive your new exercise programme – all on machines! ‘Although fixed machines do serve a purpose, especially for beginners, you’ll get more from your time and effort if you do a dumbbell or body weight circuit,’ says Levy. ‘Many machines isolate one muscle, which means you burn fewer calories and work fewer muscles. Plus, if you’re not using a machine, you’ll work your core, which helps to build a more functional body.’ 

4. Don’t ignore your weaknesses

‘We all have exercises we enjoy more than others, and that’s normally because we’re better at them,’ explains Levy. ‘Take a step back and admit your weaknesses, then set about making them your strengths. If you have slim arms, but your thighs could do with some trimming down, sign up to a Spin class and include more squats and lunges in your programme. Perhaps you carry weight around your midriff? Chop into your waist with dynamic medicine ball movements and cable woodchops. Work on your weak areas and it won’t be long before you become the whole package.’

5. Don’t abandon your goals

‘Working out with a partner or group of friends can be great fun, but if you’re training alongside someone with totally different goals, this can be detrimental to your own progress,’ says Levy. ‘If your fitness levels are unevenly matched, or you enjoy different things, be honest with yourself and your training partner and go your separate ways after the warm-up. You can always enjoy a sauna or coffee together afterwards, or get together every week for a weigh-in and progress review,’ adds Levy. ‘You can still reap the benefits of joining the gym together, you just need to keep your goals in mind

Train Your Body

Your goal doesn’t have to be to make it to the Olympics in order to get the most from your workouts.

Whether you’re training for a race or simply looking to stay active, why shouldn’t you at least be able to train like your favourite athletes? Fitness expert and coach Nick Grantham – who has worked with many top athletes and Olympians – thinks we should all be able to train to our full potential regardless of our individual goals.

His new book The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete is designed to give you everything you need to make it happen. ‘Anyone who wants to improve their fitness levels and is willing to invest some time and effort can optimise their training and performance,’ he says. ‘And that’s pretty much anyone!’

Gone are the days when you needed the most expensive training tools and elite trainers by your side to train smart. From guide books to online personal trainers, there are increasingly easy and effective ways to get training – but with Nick’s experience working in high-performance fitness and sport science, you can really count on The Strength & Conditioning Bible to not only explain what to do and how to do it, but also why you’re doing it.
‘As a coach I know the power of understanding,’ Nick says. ‘If you understand why you’re performing an activity, you’re far more likely to stick to the training programme.’

As well as giving you the chance to take exercises up or down a notch, it also preps you to continue your training confidently on your own. ‘It offers sample sessions, and appropriate progressions and regressions,’ he adds. ‘It also provides the reader with an understanding that will allow them to develop their own effective programmes.’

The workout over these pages, devised by Nick, will allow you to train your body from head to toe in a fuss-free, effective way. In Nick’s own words, no matter what your level or experience, ‘anyone can train like an athlete’.

Squat

Areas trained: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves

Technique

Holding the barbell resting on your shoulder muscles,

stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Bend at your knees and hips to lower your body until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Reverse the position, extending your hips and knees to return to the start position.

Perform 8-10 reps of each move one after the other in a circuit, resting between sets if you need to. Once a circuit is complete, return to the start and repeat. Keep going until you’ve reached the time recommended for your level

Press-up

Areas trained: chest, triceps, core

Technique

Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten up through your core, ensuring your back is flat.

Bend your arms to lower your body until your chest is about 1cm from the floor.

Drive back up to the starting position where your arms are extended.

Romanian deadlift

Areas trained: hamstrings, lower back, glutes

Technique

Hold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs).

Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead.

Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips, lowering the bar towards the floor.

Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start position.

Alekna

Areas trained: core, stomach

Technique

Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle with arms fully extended towards the ceiling.

Simultaneously lower your arms behind your head and your legs out fully until they are both close to the ground, without touching it.

Return to the start position and repeat.

Get-up

Areas trained: shoulders, core, glutes, sides

Technique

Lie on your back and hold a kettlebell in your right hand, straight above your shoulder, arm vertical. Position your left arm out to the side and bend your right leg so that your right foot is alongside your left knee.

Pushing off your right foot, roll onto your left hip and up onto your left elbow.

Push up onto your left hand and holding yourself up on your left hand and right foot, lift yourself up off the ground, then thread your left leg back to a kneeling position.

You will be in a kneeling position with your left knee on the floor, right foot on the floor and the kettlebell locked out overhead in your right hand.

From the kneeling position, move into a standing position.

Reverse the movements to come back down to the starting position on the floor.

Perform on the opposite side for the next rep.

Hip thrust

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, core

Technique

Set up in the position shown – your shoulder blades in line with the bench and holding a barbell to your hips.

Place your feet close to your bottom, so that at the top of the hip thrust, your calves are at 90 degrees to the floor.

Drive through your heels and focus on using your glutes to push your hips straight up. Finish with your hips as high as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.

Lower; repeat.

2-point dumbbell bent-over row

Areas trained: upper back, biceps

Technique

Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, start with your feet hip-width apart in an offset stance with your right foot slightly staggered behind the left.

Take up the same position as you would for a bent-over row (your knees slightly bent and your torso bent forwards at your hips at a 45-degree angle).

Row the dumbbell up to your ribcage and then return to the starting position.

Repeat all reps in the set and then switch sides.

Kettlebell swing

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, back, core

Technique

Hold a kettlebell with both hands and bend your knees so you are in an athletic position.

Bring the kettlebell through your legs, so your forearms are in contact with your inner thighs.

Swing the weight upward and out to eye level, using the extension of your hips to move
the load.

Return to the start position and go straight into another rep.

Why You Should Run?

As much as we love exercise center sessions, the change of seasons gives the opportunity to test ourselves with an entire cluster of execution objectives. There’s not at all like a workout patch up to rev up wellness levels, and this spring we’re about venturing up the force of our normal workout with an outside running schedule.

Getting out making progress toward catch up on your running method offers a totally diverse ordeal to beating the treadmill at the rec center – and we promise you’ll soon be nibbled by the running bug. Perused our manual for discover what could be in it for you.

# Feel refreshed

A change of scenery and a varied workout – what’s not to get excited about? There are plenty of things to look forward to when you take your runs from the treadmill to the great outdoors, whether you’re running down winding country lanes or sprinting around the city streets.’ Due to the rhythmic nature of the activity, it’s easy to zone out, switch off from the outside world and let your mind wander. It could even turn out to be your most creative time of the day,’ says Energie Fitness Clubs and Ragdale Hall fitness consultant Dean Hodgkin. Now the mornings are becoming lighter, heading out for a run first thing offers the perfect start to your day.

# Better your body

There’s no denying that taking your workout to the pavements is more taxing on your body, but thankfully the payoffs are plentiful. Without the natural momentum of the treadmill your muscles have to work harder, and so you naturally will reap some awesome rewards, like a more toned lower body and a slimmer middle. ‘Running is a great way to achieve below-the-belt toning – creating thighs and buttocks you can bounce coins off,’ adds Dean.

# Boost levels of vitamin d

What’s running got to do with immunity? Well, quite a lot actually. Because the body can’t manufacture vitamin D (a nutrient that’s essential for fending off illness) on its own, we require exposure to sunshine to keep levels continuously topped up. If you feel like you’re constantly battling the sniffles you may be low in vitamin D, and thankfully, picking up the pace outside can help to restore levels and reduce your risk of getting sick. If you’re worried you may have a deficiency, consult your GP and ask to have your levels checked.

# Burn more calories

Running is an effective and efficient way of burning calories, and as you’re working your body harder when pounding the pavements you’ll experience a higher calorie burn. ‘Even just a comfortable pace of around 6mph will burn around 300 calories in just 30 minutes, so it’s incredibly effective in all kinds of weight-loss programmes,’ says Dean. Not bad!

# Challenge yourself

Whether you’re new to the running scene or already a running pro, setting yourself a challenge is a fantastic way to make sure you’re constantly making progress. ‘Most weight-loss and fitness programmes fall on stony ground because clearly defined goals were not put in place. Setting yourself a long-term target of running a half or even full marathon can be the ideal stimulus to keep you on track – and don’t forget how awesome you’ll feel when you cross the finish line,’ says Dean.

# Improve joint health 

The transition from the treadmill to the outdoors can be harsh on your joints, but if you take your running workout to softer surfaces like grass or a running track, you can help to safeguard your body while making your legs stronger and keeping your bones healthy.

‘Osteoporosis is a very real health risk for women and a key preventative measure is to increase bone density by doing more bone-loading exercises – running being one of the most beneficial,’ explains Dean. Just don’t forget to warm up your muscles and cool down following your sessions.

7 De-stress the natural way

Need to take a break from everyday life? When you’re feeling wound up and in desperate need of a breather, simply pick a picturesque trail, grab your heart rate monitor and let your mind shift focus
as you get into your stride. ‘There are great mood-lifting, stress-busting gains to be made from exercising outdoors, as your senses will be far more stimulated compared with a gym environment,’ says Dean.

8 Slash your risk of disease

Running not only helps to improve your physical appearance and make you feel more energised, it could also lower your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes type 2 by reducing levels of blood glucose after eating. Win, win!

Foods for Weigh Lose

food for weight lossQuinoa

Another diet-friendly whole grain, quinoa is rich in hunger-fighting protein. You’ll stay full longer on fewer calories and avoid overeating at other meals.

Pearl barley

This starchy side makes a slimming complement to a low-cal meal by adding some satisfying fiber and nearly 2 grams of Resistant Starch in just a half-cup serving.

Garbanzo beans

Also known as chickpeas, these slimming beans pack more than 2 grams of Resistant Starch per half-cup serving. They’re also a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

Low-fat milk

The same fatty acid is found in milk, and milk’s proteins can keep you feeling satisfied. The added calcium may also help; in one study, women burned more fat and calories when they had 1,000 to 1,400 milligrams of calcium per day.

Cheese

Fresh goat cheese and feta contain a fatty acid that helps you feel full and burn more fat. Look for cheeses labeled “grass-fed,” as those will have the highest content of this healthy fat.

White beans

One-half cup of these fiber-packed beans contains almost 4 grams of fat-blasting Resistant Starch, a healthy carb that boosts metabolism.

Pine nuts

Nut lovers don’t have to stick to almonds. These tiny bites pack the same heart-healthy fatty acids that quell hunger hormones and burn belly fat. One study found that swapping healthy unsaturated ones like those found in nuts for saturated fats helped overweight people lose weight without reducing calorie intake or upping their exercise.

Plus, at only 95 calories for more than 80 nuts, you can enjoy them guilt free.

Potatoes

True, potatoes are high in carbs, but they are three times as filling as a slice of white bread, and top all the foods on the same satiety index as oranges. Plus, potatoes are also rich in Resistant Starch, which helps your body burn fat.

Oranges

At only 59 calories, you may not expect much from an orange, but thanks to a hefty dose of fiber, it ranks highest among fruits on a list of 38 filling foods put together by Australian researchers. Feeling full can help you eat less throughout the day.

Dark chocolate

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! A nibble of dark chocolate here and there can slow down digestion so you feel full longer and eat less at your next meal.

Dark chocolate is full of MUFA (monounsaturated fats) ; studies show eating a diet high in these healthy fats can rev your metabolism to burn fat and calories. It may also help by curbing cravings for salt, sweet, or fatty diet-wreckers.

Eggs

Eggs get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss. But the breakfast staple is loaded with protein that will curb your appetite. One study found that overweight women who ate egg breakfasts lost twice as much weight as women who started their days with bagels.

And don’t worry about cholesterol: The study found that egg eaters don’t have higher bad cholesterol or lower good cholesterol than bagel eaters.

Bananas

Bananas are a slimming superfood at the heart of Health‘s CarbLovers Diet. A slightly green, medium-size banana will fill you up and boost your metabolism with its 12.5 grams of Resistant Starch. Even a ripe banana still ranks high on the list of foods containing RS, with almost 5 grams.

Green tea

This steamy sip hydrates like water, which can help fill you up and shed pounds. Plus, the antioxidants in green tea will up your fat burn and calorie burn. One study found that five cups a day could help you lose twice as much weight, most of it around your middle.

Almonds

Nuts are another superfood rich in healthy fats that help you slim down.

Almonds in particular can help you shed pounds: In one study, people who added a daily helping of the nuts to a low-cal diet lost more weight than people who followed the same diet but swapped almonds for a carb-heavy snack like crackers.

Kidney beans

One of several varieties of beans to make the list, red beans offer protein and fiber (more than 5 grams per serving!). Kidney beans are also rich in Resistant Starch; a 1/2-cup serving packs nearly 2 grams of this slimming carb.

Grapefruit

Even if you changed nothing else about your diet, eating half a grapefruit before each meal may help you lose up to a pound a week!

A compound in the tangy fruit can lower insulin, a fat-storage hormone, and that can lead to weight loss. It’s also a good source of protein, and because it’s at least 90% water, it can fill you up so you eat less.

Pears

Just one pear packs 15% of your daily recommended amount of fiber. One study found that women who ate three pears a day consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who didn’t. Ditch the peeler though; the skin is where all that filling fiber is hiding!

Broccoli

Cooked or raw, this cruciferous veggie is well-known for its cancer-preventing powers, but with a punch of filling fiber in less than 30 calories a serving, it’s bound to prevent weight problems too.

Blueberries

Best known for their anti-aging effects, blueberries, while tiny, are a powerful figure-friendly eat: A 1-cup serving sets you back only 80 calories, and helps you feel full with 4 grams of fiber.

Salmon

Lean sources of protein help you feel full without adding fat. However, 50% of women ages 18 to 50 don’t know if they get enough of this essential nutrient.

Up your intake with salmon; it’s a leaner choice than red meat and is chock-full of MUFAs to boot. A 2001 study found that dieters eating a MUFA-rich diet lost an average of 9 pounds, while their low-fat diet counterparts gained, on average, 6.

Avocados

There’s no reason to be afraid of eating fats—as long as they’re the right fats.

Oleic acid, a compound in avocados’ healthy  MUFAs, may trigger your body to actually quiet hunger. Stick to a quarter or a half of an avocado and watch that belly fat melt away. The creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and protein.

Oats

Oats are rich in fiber, so a serving can help you feel full throughout the day. Just a half cup packs 4.6 grams of Resistant Starch, a healthy carb that boosts metabolism and burns fat.

Burn More Calories during the Day

If you’re looking to burn more calories during the day, there are so many more options than fidgeting or working out at your desk. Watch this video for a few small tweaks that you can make that will give your calorie burn a step-up throughout the day and help the pounds melt off. Get creative by using your phone to remind you to move or make your bedroom cooler—your waistline will thank you.

Sweat first thing in the A.M.: Stoke your metabolism by doing jumping jacks or squats.

Pump up your air conditioning: The colder temp helps your body work harder to stay warm, burning calories.

Sit on the floor: Watch TV from the ground and you’ll force your muscles to work harder whenever you have to stand up.

Set phone reminders: Program your smartphone to go off every 30 minutes to remind you to get up and move.

Always add 5: Add at least 5 more minutes to the end of a stroll or jog to burn extra calories.

Lift weights: Adding squats and deadliest to you cardio routine will crank up the burn.

Get a Flat Stomach

Gather with friends for a glass of wine or a group jog and at some point someone will start in about her middle. “What happened to it?” she’ll ask. Lots of us have asked that question, and we blame childbearing, Ben & Jerry’s or taking too few group jogs (and having too many glasses of wine instead). In fact, a 2014 Today show survey revealed that our stomach are, hands down, the body part we worry about most.

 All of us want our waists back, but making that happen is tricky—and it’s more than just a vanity move. Visceral fat, the kind that gathers in the midsection around your organs, has been linked to serious health problems and diabetes. So trimming our tummies is a smart goal—and one that is totally within our reach!

Eating the right foods and getting into an exercise routine can help us shed those pounds without feeling tortured. That’s why Health developed the 30-Day Flat Belly Challenge in partnership with Tracy Anderson.

Signing up for this month-long program provides the tools you need to get the toned tummy you desire:

  • Exclusive fat-blasting core workouts from Tracy Anderson and Health‘s other fitness experts
  • An easy-to-follow flat belly meal plan loaded with healthy and satisfying recipes designed to help you drop pounds
  • The latest research on gut health from Health contributing medical editor Roshini Rajapaksa, MD
  • Science-backed nutrition tips from Health contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, RD
  • A weekly fitness test to measure your progress
  • Access to the 30-Day Flat Belly Challenge community, where you can share the tips and tricks that are working for you, and learn new healthy hacks from others who are taking the course