For over 14 years, I have been training women around the world. The one thing all women have in common? They all want to know the secret of how to get rid of their belly pouch. It is true that 80% of lean muscle and abdominals are made in the kitchen. You may say you are eating clean, but there is always a bit of tweaking that I find can be done. Start alerting how and when you eat. It is important to have 5-6 small meals per day. Try to eat “according to the sun” – meaning eat 80% of our food by 3p.m. and the remainder 20% after. Try to limit carbohydrates and eating any prior to 3p.m. Cut inflammatory foods from your diet. These include dairy, gluten, multi-ingredient starches (bread, muffins), peanuts, and legumes. These foods slow your metabolism and cause your body to hold on to fat. Eat a fat-burning dinner such as fish and veggies. Omega-3s, found in fish, mobilize fatty acids. Avoid sodium and starches at night, both of which hold water. If you have a need to fill that sweet tooth, try treating yourself with a half cup of strawberries or applesauce, which raises then lowers blood sugar to help you get a good night’s sleep. What about my wine, you ask? Women should limit daily alcohol consumption to one drink daily. Now, if you are anything like my clients, you are giggling over the thought of only one glass of wine tonight. Just remember this, in between each glass of wine have one eight ounce glass of water. The water will fill you up, and you will be less likely to over consume wine next “wine Wednesday.” Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! If you don’t drink enough, your body will hoard water and you will bloat. Water is the best diuretic: the more you drink, the more water you release. Water also helps your body mobilize and release fat. Let’s configure how much water you should be drinking daily. Typically you should have five ounces of water for each pound of body weight. For example if body weight is 160lbs you should be drinking 80 ounces of water per day. Spread out your water intake over the day. Prior to meals drink a full eight ounces of water. This will help fill you up and keep you from over-indulging, decreasing your caloric intake. Last but not least, when looking to lean out be sure to get your ZZZ’s! In REM sleep (when you dream), your body releases Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which burns fat, promotes muscle growth, and repairs the immune system. Conversely, when you’re sleep deprived, your body suppresses HGH secretion. Research shows that aiming for 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night will help decrease stress levels which help the body lower fat percentage build up. To ensure a good night’s sleep try shutting off all electronics at least one hour prior to bedtime. Relax in a lavender bath with a cup of my favorite de-stressing yogi tea to release all the worries of the day away. Keep it simple, eat green and lean and you will be well on your way to that year-long “summertime” body!