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With summer on the horizon, we’re already planning how we can be healthier, look less bloated, and just generally be more of a goddess. The more we learn about beauty, the more we realize that looking after our bodies is the key to glowing skin. Naturally, we targeted our worst enemy and victim of our late night snacking, belly flab!

We started our quest for tummy toning by asking our fav fitness expert (Men’s Health contributor and personal trainer) Jeremy Gwyer, for his easiest exercises to bust belly fat as fast as possible. We specifically asked for them to be easy AF – ‘cos we’re not about that gym life – but his reply wasn’t just a set of stomach crunches and ab workouts: “The fact is that what you eat and drink every day plays the biggest role in your ability to burn belly fat!” And while this made us think, okay, maybe we’ll just live with it, he told us “Getting rid of your belly fat is important for more than just vanity’s sake. Excess abdominal fat – particularly visceral fat, the kind that surrounds your organs and gives your stomach the “beer gut” effect, is a predictor of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and some cancers.” Um, okay, this is more serious than we thought! Fortunately, fitness OG that he is, he gave us five simple tips to help tone up our tummies, and actually, they’re pretty easy to do:

1.The 90/10 rule:

“It’s very simple – 90% of your meals are good quality, nutrient dense meals, which means no processed foods, refined sugars, dairy or wheat products. Then the other 10% (usually one to two meals per week) you can eat whatever you want,” Jeremy told us. We admit, we might take it to 80%, but it’s a step in the right direction…

2. Eat your Protein:

“It’s satisfying, keeps your metabolism firing, your blood sugar levels stable, and of course it helps to get a toned tummy. If you don’t know how much protein you eat in a day, chances are it’s not enough. Look for protein rich-foods such as eggs, wild salmon, and lean chicken breast. Ladies should aim for 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day,” says Jeremy, which is basically the equivalent of one chicken breast and an egg or 200 grams of salmon. If you’re vegetarian, eggs, nuts, chia seeds, quinoa, and beans are great sources of protein.

3. Cut back on the booze:

Enjoying a G&T at the weekend is fine, but if you’re prone to waking up with a banging headache, you should consider cutting back. Jeremy tells it like it is, “Heavy drinking is one of the most common causes of obesity in the present period. If you’re serious about your weight and losing belly fat, you should give up your drinking habit. Once you reach your goal, there’s nothing stopping you from having some wine at dinner or special occasions.”

4. Quit the nighttime snacks:

We all know we shouldn’t eat late, but what with trying to squeeze in a spin class, working late or life admin, sometimes it’s just unavoidable. But the truth is, making sure we eat before 8pm could be the easiest way to lose weight… “At night, the body’s metabolism slows down so undigested calories get stored as fat. Binge-ing on junk at night can interfere with your sleep, which in turn can lead you to experience more stress, laziness and less motivation to workout,” he says.

Tip: Make it a habit to eat a good dinner and maintain at least a two-hour gap between your dinner and bed.

5. Ditch soft drinks:

You already know soft drinks are bad for you, we all know it, but regardless we keep drinking them… Jeremy is actually making us think twice; “Sugar beverages are among the most fattening products on earth. Most soft drinks contain the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar, which causes a huge insulin spike in the body followed by a drop in insulin levels soon after, leaving you craving more sugar. Fruit juice & Vitamin water are also loaded with high sugar content. Sugar-free drinks are just as bad; aspartame is used as a substitute for sugar, and it can actually be more harmful than sugar. It has been linked to almost a hundred different health problems, including seizures, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, diabetes, and emotional disorders. Diet sodas also increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, which causes belly fat, high blood sugar, and raised cholesterol.” Definitely enough to make us want to stay well clear of soft drinks!

Okay, so we admit, some things might be harder than others, but it really depends on you. If you can make at least three of these work for you and try to get as close to doing the other two as you can, Jeremy assures us you’ll start to see a difference in weeks. In the mean time if you want some exercises to help tone up, Jeremy recommends:

3 sets of 15 V sit-ups
3 sets of Ankle taps
3 30-second Planks

If all that seems like too much hard work, you could just try drinking this Chinese weight loss tea instead 😉