And Who Doesn’t Want a Slimmer Belly?

Chef sitting on large salt shakerI’m always learning something new about fitness and health, that’s one of the many reasons why I love this profession; it never gets old! And when I come across interesting tid-bits that are both informative and implementable in my life without rocking my little lifeboat too much, then I’m happy and want to share with the group.


So what I’m sharing today comes from one Ms. Jillian Michaels (don’t even try getting away from this woman, she’s everywhere and in all honesty I still don’t know how I feel about her personally. Her creepy and intense glares she dishes out sometimes—as if she’s trying to get into your brain to see if it’s a chemical imbalance that causes you to be over-weight or if it’s just your lazy attitude that’s doing the work—and berating style is enough to turn me off at times. But then again, her suggestions and tips are pretty on point so I’m willing to look past the creepy glares for the time being. (If she starts channeling the devil with Alex McCord—NYC Housewife— then I’m off the bandwagon!)

5 tips for better abs (per Jillian)

1 – Be conscious of your water weight. Reduce your sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day and increase your water consumption to 80 ounces a day. (This works! I recently bought a salt substitute and after a week or so I noticed a slight difference in the area that is my belly.)

2 – Eat foods that are high in potassium. This helps to reduce bloating and gives definition to your abs. Foods that are rich in potassium are watermelons, asparagus, and apple cider vinegar—I use that on all my salads—to name a few.

3 – To spot-reduce the fat in the belly region, you have to watch your caloric intake and burn more than you consume. (That one is kind of a no-brainer, I mean it’s all you ever hear—I’ve definitely said it a million times throughout this blog—but it’s good to reinforce because it’s so true and so important to follow if you want to see results.)

4 – Workout hard. No lollygagging. If you’re going to invest the time then make it worthwhile. Jillian suggests working out at 85 percent of your max heart rate and use multiple muscle groups. (It may be hard to get to the 85 percent max HR, but you can build up to it. There are times I’m in the middle of a workout and I want to stop, but then I think, only 30 minutes I have to push myself and then the whole rest of the day is mine to lollygag through! This thought helps me big time.)

5 – Avoid processed foods, alcohol, lack of sleep and stress. All these help to produce the hormone cortisol, which is a mean little sucker that loves to store fat right there in the belly!

There are your 5 little tips straight from Jillian, with a little commentary thrown in by yours truly. What I love about these tips is that they’re not complicated, they’re not telling you to deprive yourself and they’re easy to incorporate into your lifestyle without causing too much drama. Unless maybe if you’re a salt fiend which then there may be some discomfort involved but food that is healthy and cooked with herbs and spices don’t need salt. Salt is for foods that are bland, poorly cooked, lacking taste and most likely high in fat. It gives “flavor” to foods that are highly processed. You don’t need (or want) that in your diet.

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo