How to make your abs shine through

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Building killer abs does little when you can’t strip stubborn belly fat. Strength and conditioning coach and Australian powerlifting athlete Amanda Brown of The Queen of Lean, shares her top tips to let the gains shine through.

‘Abs are made in the kitchen’

A diet based on real foods is key to getting lean. Include protein, vegetables and good fats in smaller meals spread throughout the day.

Zen it out

Prolonged elevation of the stress hormone cortisol will cause you to hold on to belly fat. Make sure you are getting a good dose of zen in your life and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Know your body

Tune in to the foods that don’t work for you, especially those that leave you feeling bloated. Food intolerances act as a digestive stress, elevating cortisol production. The common culprits include foods containing gluten, such as bread, grains and pasta.

Get your z’s

Prioritise sleep. Lack of sleep elevates stress hormone cortisol – a known fat burn inhibitor – and decreases body fat-burning efficiency. It also promotes the release of hunger hormone ghrelin, which can translate to cravings and/or overeating. Aim for about eight hours’ sleep in a cool, dark room.

The magical HIIT

Add two sessions a week of HIIT. Choose an activity such as running, pushing a sled or rowing, and work at about 80 to 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate.