If you feel soft in the middle, you can either thank your mother for inheriting her blessed genetic predisposition for belly flab or your sweet kiddos who were created there. Whatever the reason, if you'd much rather have a sleeker midsection, as a mom of two, I can totally relate.
Although it's impossible to spot-reduce fat from specific areas, we've enlisted the help of Christmas Abbott, CrossFit competitor and author of The Badass Body Diet ($28), to help us ditch our pinch-more-than-an-inch tummies. As a formerly "skinny fat" woman who transformed her body through CrossFit and a dialed-in diet, Christmas understands how real women feel and also what they need to do to get the body they crave. "Food is your foundation, and fitness is the accessory," says Christmas. She believes that every meal and snack needs to embrace the macronutrient trifecta of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats to help reduce overall body fat, which will aid in reducing stubborn belly fat.
Christmas explains that all food can be categorized into a protein, a carbohydrate, or a fat. "You can't go wrong by dividing your plate into thirds and filling each section with a primo protein, primo carbohydrate, and primo fat." There are only two foods Christmas says to avoid - processed foods and alcohol - since these contribute to unwanted fat. If you want to know specifics about how many of each to eat, The Badass Body Diet outlines a diet plan based on your personal body type and goals.
What about exercise? Short, high-intensity training sessions are proven to help reduce belly fat faster than steady-state cardio. Below are some great examples of this type of workout.
- 45-minute walk-run-sprint interval workout for beginners
- 10-minute HIIT video from celeb trainer Astrid McGuire
- 60-minute walk-jog workout
- 7-minute workout that targets belly fat
- 20-minute full-body HIIT video workout
- 30-minute pyramid interval workout for the treadmill
- Tush-toning interval workout with hill repeats
And once the belly fat begins to dissolve, you'll want to reveal a carved, toned core with this 10-minute ab workout. Working out three times a week is great if you're starting out, then you can add additional days as your body becomes stronger. As a CrossFit competitor, Olympic lifter, and head trainer at CrossFit HQ, Christmas also makes a point that your workouts should be fun so you stick with them longer.