Shed Stomach Fat Fast: The Best Exercises To Help You Achieve Toned Abs

slimmer, fitter, strongerAs we slowly begin to crawl out of Winter many of you will be anticipating the summer. Nothing screams summer more than blissful long days spent at the beach under the warmth of the sun.

Whilst all of us will have lost our colour a little and perhaps gained some weight over the winter months nobody wants to take the plunge and expose all at the beach in this shape.

It’s time to change your attitude, get exercising and cut away the fat to reveal your toned exterior.

Here are some of the best exercises to help you achieve toned abs and get you the perfect beach body:

The Abdominal Hold

  1. Find yourself a sturdy and well-weighted chair and sit straight, perched towards the edge of the seat.
  2. Following this, take your hands either side of your legs and grip the edge of the seat with your fingers pointing in the direction of your knees.
  3. The next step is to raise your toes two to four inches off the floor tightening your abs in the process. Then, extending and straightening your arms, lift your bum off of the chair.
  4. Aim to hold this position for around 5 – 10 seconds before lowering yourself back onto your seat and repeating.
  5. Keep this up for a minute each time you perform the exercise and you’re sure to be well on your way to solid abs.

The Pelvic Tilt

Next is an exercise that works wonders on your lower abdominals.

  1. To perform the pelvic tilt you must start out lying on the floor. You may use an exercise mat to provide some extra cushioning on hard flooring.
  2. Next, raise your knees bringing your feet closer towards your bum, tightening your core muscles in the process.
  3. Keeping your feet flat on the ground raise your pelvis in the direction of the ceiling. Hold this for around five seconds before lowering yourself back to the ground again.
  4. Give yourself a short break before repeating the exercise a further 7-11 times (8-12 reps in total).

The Plank

Tone those absThe plank is perhaps one of the most well known abdominal exercises and is sure to bring you that toned core that you have always longed for.

  1. Firstly, lay down flat on the floor facing the ground. Then, much alike a press-up, raise yourself up straightening your arms. Now only your palms and toes should be touching the floor.
  2. Keeping your back straight, hold the position for as long as you possibly can.

The Vertical Leg Crunch

  1. Lying on your back extend your legs towards the ceiling (knees slightly bent). Keeping your legs in a fixed position, aim to lift your torso towards your knees making sure your shoulder blades leave the floor.
  2. You may place your hands behind your head for support and to help you keep your chin up. However, ensure you do not pull on your neck.
  3. Once you have completed the contraction lower your upper body back to the floor and respect another 11-15 times (12-16 rep in total).

Crunch those absIf you feel you may need a little help achieving that toned physique fit for the beach this Summer then don’t hesitate. Employ the help of a personal trainer as we emerge from the winter and make our way into spring 2014.

If you are looking for a personal trainer they don’t come much better or more qualified for the role than London’s Gerald Smith. With a degree in Exercise, Nutrition and Health and plenty of experience under his belt Gerald is sure to help you get in shape. Visit to see what he can do for you.


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Being Fit and Healthy News Round up – Monday 2nd June – Sunday 9th June

fit and healthy news

Exercise News Stories

1) A review of the best headphones to use while exercising  –

2) Yoga is better than exercise a study from the University of Illinois found –

3) Use your smart phone to keep track of your fitness. A study of some new apps that do just that –

Diet and Health News Stories

1) Study finds that Diet Soda is as bad for your teeth as Meth and Cocaine –

2) A new analysis of fossilized teeth finds that our ancestors diet changed 3.5 million years ago. Fascinating, read more here –


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Being Fit and Healthy News Round up – Monday 20th May – Sunday 26th May

fit and healthy news

Exercise News Stories

1) New study finds exercise a benefit for major depression  –

2) HIIT training produces a bigger payoff in less time – Check out the article published on this site about that exact thing –

3) Report published finds that playing video games help childrens health and fitness –

4) Exercise tips for seniors –

Diet and Health News Stories

1) An army wife stuns her husband on his return from Afghanistan with 96 pound weight loss – Read more here –

2) Trial begins for French Drug Maker of a weight loss pill suspected in causing hundreds of deaths –

3) Would you rather lose $1000 or gain 20 pounds? –

4) The dangers of new mums and their quest to get back their shape after giving birth –

5) Which diet came out on top?, as revealed by top nutrition experts – find out here –

6) Cancer and diet, Why is nutrition often overlooked –

7) McDonalds pairs up with pasta maker to develop a Mediterranean style menu –

8) Iodine deficinecy in children may lower their IQ –

9) Looking at bright computer screens in poor light may harm our health –

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Being Fit and Healthy News Round up – Monday 13th May – Sunday 19th May

fit and healthy news

Exercise News Stories

1) The personal trainers problem with weight loss.  –

2) New Fitness apps, take a sneaky peak of what is coming up  – There is also a video of Apple talking about what the have planned – 


3) A new fitness class for muns and babies takes root in New Zealand, Chaeck it out here –

4) Apple are in on the act of Fitness apps, so up next is Google. Have a look here what they have coming up here –


6) Here are some cool tips on how to boost your fitness regimen –

​7) How execise affects you body and how to pick the right workout –


Diet and Health News Stories

1) A new smartphone app helps people lose weight by showing them pictures of what they have eaten. This apparently stops people snacking – Fact or fallacy – Read more here –

2) A new study on how fitness in middle age could reduce heart failure. Want to learn more then find out here –

3) Another study this time how keeping fit can help protect you from Cancer, even 20 years later –

4) Report on how having a good diet can help those with Caeliac Disease, read more here –

5) How Walnuts and Walnut oil can help benefit your health, beyond just lowering Cholesterol –

6) Angelina Jolie revealed this week that she had a double masectomy, learn why here –

7) New advance in human cloning, read more about it here –

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Being Fit and Healthy News Round up – Monday 6th May – Sunday 12th May

fit and healthy news

Exercise News Stories

1) Five hot exercise trends for the coming summer –

2) Get this apparently most adults ignore fitness recommendations (no bull Sherlock, just look around !!) –

3) New fitness tracker from FitBit –

4) New form of Yoga has benefits of cardio workout, but misses out on the relaxation benefits of normal yoga. Is is really still Yoga then? Decide for yourself here –

5) Coca-Cola pledges a huge amount of cash to help childhood obesity in Georgia, USA – Is this a good or bad thing? Do Coke have an ulterior motive? – Read the facts here before making your mind up –—-Coca-Cola-pledges-funds-for-Georgia-health-programs?instance=lead_story_left_column

6) Exercises in 7 minutes, some you can even do at your desk –


Diet and Health News Stories

1) Was Chris Christie's, Governor of New Jersey weight loss surgery a good thing? – Find out here –

2) An analysis of Medifast packaged weight loss programme –

3) Quite funny look at 25 ways you may be adicted to Diet Coke –

4) Is the diet pill market becoming mainstream –

5) 5 mistakes Vegitarians make in their diet and how to avoid them –

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Being Fit and Healthy News Round up – Monday 29th April – Sunday 5th May

fit and healthy news

Exercise News Stories

1) The problem of breast pain for women who do exercise, very interesting article and some advice on how to avoid this –

2) Why you should exercise after work –

3) After eating a shop bought sandwich, how much exercise do you need to do? This article may make you want to make your own! –

4) The importance of exercising your mind as well as your body is highlighted in this article –


Diet and Health News Stories

1) The Mediterranean diet may help preserve memory and aid thinking –

2) If you are thinking of going on a detox, you should read this article first, which calls them a scam –

3) Is there really a miracle diet that ca prevent Cancer? To find out read this –

4) Are you trying to cut down on your salt intake then check this out –

5) Apparently success in weight loss is due to good mental health. Want to know more? then click here –

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Healthy Snack Ideas – The Top 40

Healthy Snack Ideas – Why Should you be interested?

When you are trying to lose weight and restrict your calorie intake one of the number one reason people fail is because of hunger. When you get hungry what you put in your mouth at this stage will have a direct effect on the success or failure of your diet.

Many people crave sugar and fat and immediately reach for the candy bar, the packet of chips or the soda. Here is a list to help you stop doing this. Many of these can be made before hand and taken with you to work or when travelling – in other words these are healthy snack on the go!. Having something healthy to hand will not only save you money, but help you avoid that trip to the vending machine.

This list below all have either 50 or 100 calories in them and can therefore be eaten as part of a low calorie diet. Plus they are all easy to make healthy snacks.

Here is to your success. I know having these prepared and with me, helps me keep to my weight-loss goals and stops me snacking on things I shouldn't !!

50 Calorie Healthy Snack Ideas40 healthy snack ideas

  1. 150g / 3oz Strawberries
  2. 1 Banana (small)
  3. 4-8 Carrot Sticks with Salsa dip
  4. 2 Satsumas
  5. 1 small bowl or 1 cup of cuppa soup (watch the salt intake though)
  6. Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with splash of balsamic vinegar
  7. 25g / 1oz dried fruit and seeds
  8. 100g / 4oz chopped Mango
  9. 1 pot of low-fat yoghurt
  10. 1 Ryvitta or Crisp bread spread with 2tsp low-fat humus
  11. 50g / 2oz olives (weighed with stones in)
  12. 8 cherry tomatoes
  13. 1 Apple
  14. 1 small brown roll, lettuce and cucumber with 0.5tsp of low-fat dressing
  15.  2 Celery Sticks with 1tbsp low-fat cottage cheese
  16. 50g / 2oz frozen grapes or blueberries

100 Calorie Healthy Snack Ideas

  1. 4 – 6 dried apricots
  2. 1 crisp bread or ryvitta spread with tsp. low-fat cheese spread.
  3. 50g / 2oz of chopped up broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, pepper (whatever vegetable you like) and 15g / 0.5oz of Humus for dipping
  4. 150g / 3oz mixed green salad with 15g dried cranberries and seeds. Can top with 1 tsp. of low-fat dressing.
  5. 1 Meringue nest with 1tbsp low-fat Greek yoghurt or low-fat natural yoghurt with 50g / 2oz strawberries, raspberries or kiwi fruit.
  6. 1 crisp bread or ryvitta spread with tsp with thinly sliced ham
  7. 1 Ryvitta or crisp bread spread with 2tsp Peanut Butter
  8. 1 Bowl of cornflakes or Special K with low-fat milk
  9. 25g / 1oz granola topped with 1tbsp low-fat Greek yoghurt or low-fat natural yoghurt and 0.5tsp of honey (if needed).
  10. 1 low-fat hot chocolate drink.
  11. 15g / 0.5oz of natural Hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, Walnuts, Pecans or Pistachio
  12. 2 Ryvitta or crisp bread and 1 mini low-fat Edam cheese
  13. 1 slice of brown toast topped with grilled tomatoes. Add a dash of Tabasco if you want to give it a zing.
  14. 1 x 25g bag of Pretzels
  15. 1 cooking apple, stewed and topped with 1 tsp. low-fat fromage frais and 0.5tsp honey

Ready-Made Healthy Snack Ideas

  1. 1 Atkins snack bar (125 calories)
  2. 1 South Beach diet bar – fiber granola and dark chocolate snack bar (120 calories)
  3. Skinny Cow Chocolate bar (130 calories)
  4. Smart Balance light butter popcorn (120 calories)
  5. Nabisco Oreo cookie snack pack (100 calories)
  6. Weight Watchers snack bar (120 calories)

No calorie Healthy Snack Ideas

  1. Glass of water (0 calories) – Having a glass of water if you feel hungry can help to put those hunger pangs into touch.
  2. 1 cup of green tea
  3. 1 cup of hot water with lemon – a great way to kick start the circulation and metabolism in the morning.
  4. 1 pot of sugar free Jell-O
  5. 4 – 5 Cucumber sticks.

I hope you find some inspiration here in these healthy snack ideas to keep your weight loss going and not spoiling all your hard effort just because you were a bit peckish.

If you have a favorite snack leave a comment below and share it with the rest of us.


Photo Credits

Strawberries & Blueberries Photo Credit: libraryman via Compfight cc Meringue and Fruit Photo Credit: Mari Liis via Compfight cc ryvita with ham and sliced apple Photo Credit: svacher via Compfight cc Ryvitta and Smoked Salmon Photo Credit: avlxyz via Compfight cc dried apricots Photo Credit: sanjibm via Compfight cc Satsma Photo Credit: suttonhoo via Compfight cc celery and dip Photo Credit: elana's pantry via Compfight cc Cherry Tomatoes Photo Credit: robert.molinarius via Compfight cc Mango Photo Credit: Mahesh Telkar via Compfight cc Fruit Combo Photo Credit: madlyinlovewithlife via Compfight cc Yoghurt and Fruit Photo Credit: Vegan Feast Catering via Compfight cc Granola and Fruit Photo Credit: jamailac via Compfight cc Ice Cream & Strawberry Photo Credit: via Compfight cc Grapes Photo Credit: -RejiK via Compfight cc Hot Chocolate Photo Credit: Sebastian Mary via Compfight cc Nuts Photo Credit: Art Flow via Compfight cc Popcorn Photo Credit: via Compfight cc Hot Water and Lemon Photo Credit: `Mazz via Compfight cc Stewed Apple Photo Credit: jazzijava via Compfight cc Louise Coe

Health News Round Up – Monday 22nd April – Sunday 28th April

Being fit and healthy rocks newsHealth News Round Up – Monday 22nd April – Sunday 28th April 

1) Americas Top 10 Weight Loss Resorts. Some gorgeous looking places highlighted here. Quite pricey, but go your worth it !!

2) A guy and his wife who are having weight-loss success with eating 6 small meals a day. To see what they are doing have a look here.

3) This is a heart-warming story all about how a mom has used dieting and exercise to help her beat cancer, very inspring for the rest of us –

4) The Paleo Diet has taken the world by storm, but this article start to shed some doubt on how it may not be the best diet to follow for sustained fit and healthy lifestyle –

5) This article from the marvelouse WebMD site states to explain the obvious. How diet and exercise together can lead to bettler, longer term weigh-loss results –


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Lose Weight and Gain Muscle – How Do I Do That?

lose weight and gain muscle

When following any weight loss program, what you want to do is swap the extra fat you have for lean muscle. The aim here is not to get "ripped", but to tone. The truth is muscle helps to burn fat, so by combing a healthy eating program with an exercise plan you will see results that much faster. The problem is how do you lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, well keep reading and all will be revealed.

How hard should I be working at the Gym?

To help build lean muscle and lose the fat your exercise routine should include a cardio element and some resistance training (working with weights). Weights give your muscles more strength and thus improves their efficiency. The cardio will help your heart work harder and help burn off fat. You need to be exercising in the right range to do this optimally. The range is worked out by 220 – your age. This is your maximum heart rate any exercise should take you to and still be safe. A heart rate of between 60-70% of this figure is your fat burning zone.
As you become more proficient at your exercise routine try to reduce the rest periods between workouts. You can also increase the amount of weight you are using or the number of reputations. If you can try talking with a professional at your gym before doing this, so the risk of any injury is reduced.
When lifting weights you need to find a weight that you can lift for 8-10 reps, as this is the optimum for burning fat and building muscle. When you can comfortably do this, increase the weight amount. 

I can't get to / afford a Gym how else can I lose weight and gain muscle

If you cannot get to the gym or do not have one available or the budget to join there are many exercises you can do at home. Things like push-ups, the plank, the bicycle, squats and others. These exercises allow you to build muscle without using weights. If you combine these with some weights like heavy tins or bags of sugar you will gain more benefit. Kettle Bells are great to have at home and they are relatively inexpensive to buy. This is a great booklet to get you started by Forest Vance, who knows a thing or two about working out. You can grab it here 21 Fat Burning Kettlebell Cardio Workouts

I don't want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger

Many women worry that when they start training with weights that they will end up looking like a man. This will not be the case. Women do not have enough of the hormone testosterone, which is required to build big muscles. Also building a ripped, bodybuilder style body takes months of hard work and dedication. What we are looking at doing is just building up our lean muscles, so that when we lose the fat we have a nice toned looking body. Also by strengthening our lean muscle we will help turn it into a fat-burning powerhouse helping us achieve our goals quicker. If you are still concerned then consider the amount of weight you are using. To achieve what we want to, we do not need to use heavy weights. We are looking to use 5 – 10 pound weights (3 – 5kg) for free weights or up to 50 pound (25-30kg) on a machine. This value of weights will tone our muscle, but not bulk it up.

My workout isn't working anymore. What can I do?

After a couple of months of following you new healthy lifestyle you will reach what is called the plateau. You are doing the same thing that got you results, but little or nothing is happening. Worse you may even gain back a couple of pounds or find your training harder. What you need to do at this point is go for the change. Your body has become used to what you are doing and is not working as hard. The best way to change your exercise program is to have a couple of personal training sessions. These will push you harder and introduce you to some different exercises. If this is not available or simply out of your budget do some research, try and find a couple of new exercises you can add into your routine. Or you could try out a couple of exercise classes. Anything really that gets your body working hard again and helps push you passed that plateau and up to the next level.

Hey ! All this hard work and I seem to have put weight on!

One thing to be aware of is that when trying to lose fat by building muscle you may actually see some weight gain. It is estimated that on average you will gain 1 pound of muscle per month if you workout 2 to 3 times a week. However there is no need to worry as it has been found that for every 3 pound of muscle you build your resting metabolic rate will increase by 7%. This means that your body will burn more calories each day just going through it's daily routine. 

So, if I am doing all this training can I eat what I want?

Other than going to the gym to build lean muscle and lose weight at the same time you should be eating foods that are low in fat, but high in protein. Things like Chicken (no skin on) and Tuna are great for this. You also need an element of carbohydrates such as pasta or rice to give you the energy needed to get through your workout routine. Another important aspect is to drink enough water. When you are doing workouts in the Gym you will, and should be sweating, this fluid needs to be replaced. Drinking water is great for this; you don't need those energy drinks if you are having a balanced diet. Leave them for the sports stars and marathon runners. Cutting your consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol will also help.



I hope you can see that to lose weight and gain muscle takes hard work on your part, there is no easy button. The payoff though is great – you feel good, look good and be a lot healthier. The best time to get started is as soon as possible. You know what you want to achieve, so get out there and grab it !!
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Facebook Weekly Summary – April 1st – April 7th 2013

Being Fit and Healthy Rocks - CantaloupesIn case you missed anything this is a weekly summary of all the posts that went out this week on the Facebook page Being Fit and Healthy Rocks .

Monday April 1st – The health and strength of your bones is very important, especially as you get older. For older woman it is even more essential. As the menopause sets in and production of oestrogen reduces, calcium is not so easily absorbed and bones can become weak.Increasing your calcium intake can help. Calcium is available in Milk, Cheese, dark green leafy vegetables. If you increase your Calcium intake you should also increase your levels of Magnesium as these work together to keep bones strong. Magnesium is in nuts, seeds and whole grains.

If you think you are short of your daily need you may need to take supplements the check these out, however always check with your medical / health professional before starting a course of supplements.

Tuesday April 2nd – Cantaloupes are not only juicy and delicious; they are high in potassium, vitamin C and beta carotene. Melon that is fresh can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and is nutritious and tasty. 

Wednesday 3rd April – There's a clever little line in the Jimmy Buffet song "Fruitcakes" when his 'lady' is lamenting: "I treat my body like a temple, You treat yours like a tent"

Thursday 4th April – The good news is drinking green tea does more than just help you lose weight. As an antioxidant, green tea provides a number of benefits to your cardiovascular health. This means green tea can help reduce the risk of heart problems. Green tea can also help improve your metabolism and control your cholesterol level, and some claim that it can help your mental focus, as well. To check them out have a look here –

Friday 5th April – Vegetable Minestrone Soup Recipe, very healthy and nutritious – Check it out here

Saturday 6th April – Many inexperienced (sometimes even experienced!) gym regulars believe that muscles grow while lifting weights. However lifting weights forms only a small fraction of the muscle building process. Muscle development takes place at night during deep sleep when the body synthesises new cells with nutrients from our diet. Therefore nutrition forms a very important part of a bodybuilding program, especially protein.

For more information go here –

I hope you enjoyed this summary, leave some feedback below and let us know if you did and what you'd like to see in future postings.









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