Monthly Archives: November 2014

37 Clever Ways To Organize Your Entire Life With IKEA

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

1. Use SKUBB boxes to organize baby clothes for a nursery.

Use SKUBB boxes to organize baby clothes for a nursery.

All those tiny clothing items can get mixed up real fast.

2. Use a RIBBA picture frame as a slide-out shoe tray underneath a dresser.

Use a RIBBA picture frame as a slide-out shoe tray underneath a dresser.

3. Use the RÅSKOG for cleaning supplies that you can wheel from room to room.

Use the RÅSKOG for cleaning supplies that you can wheel from room to room.

Anything that makes cleaning easier and faster is a huge plus in my book.

4. The $19.99 SOCKERÄRT vase is an elegant way to store your kitchen utensils.

The $19.99 SOCKERÄRT vase is an elegant way to store your kitchen utensils.

5. Hang tank tops on a LILLHOLMEN towel holder instead of taking up valuable dresser real estate.

6. The BEKVÄM spice rack is a colorful way to hold books you want to display in a kids’ room.

The BEKVÄM spice rack is a colorful way to hold books you want to display in a kids' room.

7. They also hold two rows of nail polish perfectly, if you’ve got an overflowing collection.

They also hold two rows of nail polish perfectly, if you've got an overflowing collection.

8. Use RIKTIG curtain hooks to keep your jewelry neat.

Use RIKTIG curtain hooks to keep your jewelry neat.

You have better things to do with your life than untangle necklaces.

9. Just add casters to the EKBY drawer shelf for some slide-out underbed storage.

Just add casters to the EKBY drawer shelf for some slide-out underbed storage.

10. Need storage in a narrow space like a hallway?

Need storage in a narrow space like a hallway?

TRONES are the answer.

11. TRONES also work well in small spaces like bathrooms to hide toilet paper rolls and cleaning supplies.

TRONES also work well in small spaces like bathrooms to hide toilet paper rolls and cleaning supplies.

12. Stack LACK bookcases behind a couch to visually divide your space while also providing tons of storage.

Stack LACK bookcases behind a couch to visually divide your space while also providing tons of storage.

13. Use the FLORT remote holder in the car for all your kids’ stuff.

Use the FLORT remote holder in the car for all your kids' stuff.

14. IKEA’s wine holder becomes a receptacle for shoes.

IKEA's wine holder becomes a receptacle for shoes.

15. The RIBBA ledge works well under a chalkboard.

The RIBBA ledge works well under a chalkboard.

16. Use BYGEL rails to turn a table into a Lego Duplo table.

Use BYGEL rails to turn a table into a Lego Duplo table.

17. Turn FLYT magazine holders into cute organizers with chalkboard labels.

Turn FLYT magazine holders into cute organizers with chalkboard labels.

If you’ve got random scraps of fabric around, you can use Mod Podge to transform them into something much more expensive looking.

18. Compartmentalize your underwear and socks drawer with KOMPLEMENT.

Compartmentalize your underwear and socks drawer with KOMPLEMENT .

19. Create slide-out under-sofa toy storage using TROFAST containers on H rails.

Create slide-out under-sofa toy storage using TROFAST containers on H rails.

They fit perfectly beneath an EKTORP sofa. Get the directions here.

20. Put jewelry storage behind a STAVE mirror.

Put jewelry storage behind a STAVE mirror.

The mirror is on hinges — how genius is that?

21. IKEA’s kitchen wall storage systems are also useful in a nursery.

IKEA's kitchen wall storage systems are also useful in a nursery.

Especially if you’ve got a makeshift changing table in a small space.

22. GRUNDTAL rails are a sleek way to display magazines.

GRUNDTAL rails are a sleek way to display magazines.

23. The RIBBA picture ledge attached to a headboard provides another place for your reading material.

The RIBBA picture ledge attached to a headboard provides another place for your reading material.

24. Fake a built-in windowseat with tons of storage using the STOLMEN.

Fake a built-in windowseat with tons of storage using the STOLMEN .

25. Here’s a double bike rack made from a STOLMENpost ($30), 2 brackets, and 4 hooks, all from IKEA.

Here's a double bike rack made from a STOLMEN post ($30), 2 brackets, and 4 hooks, all from IKEA.

26. AVSKILD cork placemats are an inexpensive way to create a large bulletin board.

AVSKILD cork placemats are an inexpensive way to create a large bulletin board.

27. Rope and FINTORP cutler caddies are a creative way to add some wall storage to a bathroom.

Rope and FINTORP cutler caddies are a creative way to add some wall storage to a bathroom.

28. Hang MAGASIN cutlery caddies on a kids’ table to hold crayons, markers, and any other art supplies.

Hang MAGASIN cutlery caddies on a kids' table to hold crayons, markers, and any other art supplies.

29. Those magnetic spice canister thingies can be used in the bathroom to hold tiny things like bobby pins and hair ties.

Those magnetic spice canister thingies can be used in the bathroom to hold tiny things like bobby pins and hair ties.

30. Corral those stuffed animals with KOMPLEMENT’smulti-use hanger.

Corral those stuffed animals with KOMPLEMENT's multi-use hanger.

31. The Kvissle magazine rack will reign in your clutter as a mail center.

32. Expedit shelving in a walk-in closet is a cheap alternative to custom closets.

Expedit shelving in a walk-in closet is a cheap alternative to custom closets.

33. The KNUFF perfectly fits rolls of aluminum foil and saran wrap.

The KNUFF perfectly fits rolls of aluminum foil and saran wrap.

34. SKURAR planters are an exceedingly adorable way to hold your makeup brushes.

SKURAR planters are an exceedingly adorable way to hold your makeup brushes.

35. Arrange LACK shelves in a V-shape for an interesting way to display shoes.

Arrange LACK shelves in a V-shape for an interesting way to display shoes.

36. Another ingenious way to store shoes:

Another ingenious way to store shoes:

Use SPONTAN magazine racks.

37. And if you’re looking for a challenge…

And if you're looking for a challenge...

Hack your IKEA kitchen cabinets to include a toekick drawer. Get the instructions

The Top 15 Excel functions you NEED to know if you’re an Excel user

Excel functions can greatly enhance your ability to perform tasks in day to day activities in Excel.  While the are hundreds of functions out there, I feel there are 15 functions that all Excel users should know.  Whether you are an office worker, or a small business owner using Excel to keep track of your finances or just the casual user, these 15 functions can be very important time savers and enhance your ability to create better performing spreadsheets!

title-vlookup

The Vlookup function is one of the most important functions out there yet many people do not know anything about it.  This function will look for a piece of information in a large table of data and pull in any field from that table into your new table.  The best way to see this is through an example.

Let us say we have 2 tables.  The first one is just a list of 3 names.  The second is a list of 25 names along with 3 test scores they took.  What we want to do is pull the second test score from the large table and put it into the small list of names.

So first, we have the list of three students below.

vlookup2

We want to use the VLOOKUP function to pull in the test score from Subject 2 from the larger table below:

vlookup1

So instead of manually looking for the name yourself in this large table, you can use the vlookup function to do it.

Go to the cell next to Morty Seinfeld’s name in the small table and Insert a function or click the Fx button.

fx

Once you press that, you will need to find the vlookup function.  Either type it in the search at the top and press Go or find it in the list at the bottom.

vlookup_5

Once you click it, you will see the Vlookup wizard pop up.  This is where we can start to enter in our variables.

vlookup_wizard

Lookup_value – This is the cell we are trying to find in the large table.  In this example, we are looking up Morty Seinfeld.  We could physically type in Morty Seinfeld however, we want to be able to copy and paste this to the rest of the table, so we need to make it a reference.

Table array – This is the range of the large table  Tip 1 – The leftmost column needs to contain the field you are looking for.  Tip 2 – Hilight the entire column.  If you just hilight a range, like A1:D50, then when you copy the formula, this range is going to change too.

Col_index_num – This is the column we want to pull.  In our large table, name is column 1.  Subject is column 2.  Subject 2 is column 3 and Subject 3 is column 4.

Range_lookup – This is either true or false.  If you choose False, then Excel is going to look for an exact match.  In this case, looks for “Morty Seinfeld”.  If it doesn’t find it, it returns an #N/A.  If you enter True, then it will look for the match but if it doesn’t find it, it will return what Excel considers the closest.  I rarely ever use True.

So the wizard is the easiest way to enter in the function.  However, you can also just type it in if you want.

vlookup3

This will produce the same results.

Then once we press enter and finish the formula, Excel will pull in the results.  you can then copy and paste it down and get the test scores for all 3 people in this example.

vlookup4

title-sum

The Sum function is probably the most widely used function out there so this may be one you already know.   This function will just Sum up a group of numbers.  Very simple.

Let’s use our example above.  Let’s say we want to total up the 3 test scores below.

vlookup4

We would put our cursor in the cell we want the total to appear.  In this example, put the cursor right below the list of numbers.  Then Insert the Function.  One nice thing about the sum function is that there is a shortcut button on the Home tab.  It looks like:

autosum

Once you press it, Excel will look for numbers near there and put a dotted box around the numbers that it thinks that you want summed up.

autosum2

If the dotted box is around the correct numbers, then just press enter and you will get your total.  But if it is not, then just hilight the cells that you DO want summed.  Then press enter around the new numbers and get your result.

Sometimes Excel will pick the wrong range of numbers or even include the title in the list to add up.  So be sure to double check all the ranges before pressing enter!

Then once you press enter, you will get this result:

sum3

title-max min

MAX and MIN functions will simply return the largest and smallest result from a range of numbers.  Let’s use our Test score example from above one more time.

max_min_1

We have this list of test scores and we need to find the highest and lowest score for each Subject.

So first go to the cell next to highest score in insert a function.  Go to the function MAX.  This function will return the highest value.

max_min_2

All you need to do is drag your cursor over the cells that you want to find the max value for.  In this example, its cells B4 to B24.  That is Subject 1.  What Excel will do is look through that range and pull in the highest value.  In this example, it is 95.  You can also hilight multiple ranges.

max_3

Now go to cell B26 and insert a function.  Insert the function MIN.  This will work the exact opposite of MAX.  You still will hilight the full range of cells that you want to check, but this function will pull in the lowest value.

MIN function

So now you have added in a MAX and MIN value for this Subject.  Now if you want to find that for Subject 2 and 3, just copy and paste the formula over and you will get the new results.

title-IF

The IF function is used to determine whether a statement is True or False and then performs an action based on the result.  The IF statement is broken out as

IF(Criteria,True value,False value)

You can see this best by following an example

If

In this example we have a table of salesmen and their Forecasted sales.  We have a column stating “Is Forecast over 150k?”

So we want to make an if statement to ask “Are sales over 150k?”.  If so, then do an action.  If not, then do something else.

So go to cell G4 and insert the IF function.

If_wizard

Start to fill in the Wizard fields.

Logical_test – D4 > 150000 – here we put a reference to the Forecast amount and check if it is over 150000.  In cell D4, the value is exactly 150000, but since it is not over 150000, then the result is false.  As you can see above.

Value if true – Here you enter in what you want for the result if it is true.  You can put any word or combination of words.  You can put an amount.  Or you can even put another formula.

Value if false –  Same as above, just for the false result.

Once you copy this formula down, then it will test all the fields in column D Forecast and give you the results.

if_statement_2

title-sumif

The SUMIF function will look for a certain criteria and if it finds it, then it will Sum up related cells.

For example:

sumif_function

Here we have a table of salesmen with forecasts and month of their forecast close.  On the right we listed the months and we want to sum up the Forecasts for each month.  So go to the first cell and insert the SUMIF function

sumif2

Range – This is group of cells that we want to look in.  In this example, we want to find the months in this column

Criteria – This is the cell we are looking for.  This example we use cell I4, which is the month in the right hand table.  In this example, it’s January.

Sum range – This is the column we need to look in to pull in the dollar amount.  In this example its the Forecast column, which is column D.

sumif_3

Then after you copy it down, you will get the results like above.  Then this will change as the values in the original table change.

title-countif

The COUNTIF function works the same way as the SUMIF, however it just counts the fields that match a certain criteria, instead of summing them.  See the following example.

We will use our same table as last time.  We just added a column to the table on the right saying “Count by Month”

countif_function

We will go to cell K4 and insert the COUNTIF function.

countif_function_wizard

Range – this is the range of data that we want to count.  We will check for a certain criteria here.

Criteria – This is what we are looking for in the Range.  You can enter something like “June” in there.  However we want to make it a reference so we can copy it down, so we will enter I4, which is “January”

We don;’t need anything else since we are only counting the cells and not adding up anything.

So once we do this, it will find 4 instances of January.  You can double check by counting them yourself.  Then just copy this formula down and you will get the following table.

countif_function_3

title-AND

The AND function is a logical function that checks multiple criteria and will return a TRUE value if ALL of the criteria are TRUE.  Otherwise it returns a false.

This type of statement usually gets linked inside an IF statement.  Where the IF statement will perform certain actions depending on if the AND statement is True or False.

Let’s look at this following table.

And_function

We have this table which lists hours slept, Man/Woman and last years income.

Let’s say we want to find out in each person is a Man AND if their income is over 100k.  Since we are requiring two fields to be True, then we need to use AND.

And_function_2

So let’s fill in this wizard.  you can fill out many criteria fields.  The first one is to ask if this is a man or woman.

So we want c3=”man”.  We are checking the man/woman column and returning a True if they are a man.  In this instance, C3 says woman.  So you can see in the wizard that it says FALSE.

Next, we want to see if income is over 100k.  So we enter D3>100000.  Column D is the annual income field so we check if it is over 100k.  In this instance, it is not, so it returns a False.

Then overall, we need all criteria to be True in order for the AND statement to be true.  Since it is not, it is FALSE.

Once we do this, copy it to all the rows.

and_function_3

Above are the final results.  I hilighted the True results.  you can see that column C has Man and column D has income over 100k.

title-OR

The OR function works similar to the AND statement.  It checks multiple criteria however it only requires ONE statement to be true to make the whole statement TRUE.

So let’s look at the same example.

OR_functions

We are using the same data, but now we are looking for EITHER 1. They sleep over 8 hours OR Their income is under 50k

Since we only are look for one of them to be true, we can use the OR function.

Or_function_2

Criteria 1 is B3>8 – here we are checking if the hours of sleep is over 8.  In this case it is 8, so the result is False.  It isn’t OVER 8.

Criteria 2  D3 < 50000 – Since income is 10000, it’s result is TRUE.  And since only one statement needs to be TRUE, then the full statement is TRUE.

See the final results now and check for yourself.

Or_function_3

title-left right concatenate

The Left, right and concatenate functions are great Text functions for manipulating data in cells.  You can take any numbers or words in a cell and pull in the left or right characters from them and put them in a new cell.

Conversely, you can combine cells into a new cell.

Let’s start by looking at the Left function.  Say we have the following:

Left_function

We have people’s phone numbers in a list.  Now say we want to have a column with just the area code.  We can use the left function on the phone number and pull in the 3 leftmost characters.

Insert the function in cell C3.

Left_function_wizard

Text – This is the cell we are looking at and pulling the info from.  In this case it is the first phone number, cell B3

Num_chars – how many characters from the text do we want to pull from the LEFT side.

Then copy the cell down for it to get the area code on all the phone numbers:

Left_function_3

The RIGHT function works the same as the left, but just pulls from the right side.  Say we want to pull in the last 4 digits on the phone number.  We can use the Right function.

Right_wizard

The Text is the cell we are pulling the information from.  And the number of characters is the characters from the right side.  Once you copy it down, you will see the following:

right_function_3

CONCATENATE – This function will combine multiple cells or words into one cell.  Let’s say we now want to combine the area code with the last 4 digits into one cell and put the word “phone” in front of it.  This can be done with this function.

Concatenate_wizrd

You just put either the word or cell reference in each text.  For example, the start of the phrase is the word “phone” .  Since we want the same word, we can just type in that exact word.

Then for the next two, we want to just put a reference in there so we can copy it down.  So just put C3 into Text2 and D3 into Text3.

Then this will give you the following after copying and pasting it down.

concatenate_3

title-round

The round function is used to take an amount that has many decimals and round it to the number of decimals that you want.  It is better than formatting the cell because if you formal the cell 10.3678 to decimals, it will show 10.37 however the actual number in the formula will still be 10.3678.  However if you use the Round function, it will turn the number into 10.37.

For example, we have the following spreadsheet:

Round function

We need to divide labor into Total expenses in column D.  If we just use the formula B2/C2, we will get a long number after the decimal.

fixed_function_2

Now we can format the cell to 2 decimals and it will display it correctly.  However if you are doing further calculations using that amount, it could throw off those numbers.

So instead, we want to use the Round function instead.  It looks like this:

round_funtion_3

Here we used the Round function to put the original formula in the Number field and the the Num_digits is the number of digits after the decimal place you want to show.

round_function_2

So we changed the number in D2 to .21.

title-proper

The proper function is a text function to capitalize each word.  This will also make the rest of the letters small.

For example, if we have the following:

Proper_function

We want to make each of these phases into a proper looking style, which would be to have the first letter of each word capitalized and all the rest of the word small.

So we insert the Proper function:

proper_function_2

Then when we copy it down, we will get:

proper_function_3

title-now

The now function is very easy.  It is a simple function that will just tell you exactly what time and day it is.  The you can format it as a date to show the date and time or just the date.

You can simple type Now() into a cell or insert the Now function:

now_function

It will give the following result:

now_2

Then you can format it as just a date if you like to get this:

now_3

So that is our list of the top 15 functions that every Excel user should know.  They can save you a lot of time in performing tasks and make you more efficient.  There are many many more functions besides these that can also be helpful ,so I wouldn’t stop here.  However knowing these 15 can be enough for the basic Excel user to start with and to be effective in Excel!

20 Signs You’re Succeeding In Life Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

COMMUNICATION MOTIVATION BY

We all feel like failures from time to time. While this is a normal feeling, you have to find a way to see yourself and your life from a different perspective. Sometimes we ignore the “little things.” Just because you are not a millionaire, don’t live in a mansion, and you don’t drive a fancy car, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.

Here are 20 signs that you are succeeding in life:

1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they used to be.

Drama is not maturity. As we age, we should develop maturity. So maybe your relationships were drama-filled in your past, but if you have moved beyond that, then you are successful.

2. You are not afraid to ask for help and support any more.

Asking for help does not equal weakness. In fact, it is a strength. No person has ever succeeded in isolation. It takes teamwork to accomplish goals. Asking or help is a sign that you have grown as a person.

3. You have raised your standards.

You don’t tolerate bad behavior any more – from other people, or even yourself. You hold people accountable for their actions. You don’t spend time with the “energy vampires” in your life anymore.

4. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good.

No, this is not narcissistic even though it might seem like it. Self-love is success. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t serve your purpose, or drags you down.

5. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror.

Ideally, you should appreciate who you see in the mirror at every moment. But even if that doesn’t happen, if you do it more than you used to, then that is success. Love yourself. You are awesome.

6. You have learned that setbacks and failure are part of self-growth.

Not everyone can have success 100% of the time. That’s just not realistic. Life is about victories and losses. So look at your setbacks as stepping stones to something better. In reality, there really is no such thing as as setback. It’s all just part of a wondrous journey.

You may be interested in reading this too: 20 Common Habits Successful People Consciously Reject

7. You have a support system that includes people who would do anything for you.

If you have figured out the people who “have your back” and recognized the ones who only pretend that they do, then you have succeeded. This is a painful realization, but once you learn to see the signs of betrayal, you can stay away from those people.

8. You don’t complain much.

Because you know there really is nothing to complain about. Unless you really have gone through some horrific life experience and had unimaginable losses, most of what we all experience on a day-to-day basis is just mundane. And successful people know that. And they live in a space of gratitude.

9. You can celebrate others’ successes.

Just because other people succeed, that doesn’t make you a failure. Applaud the people who rise to the top. The more positive energy you give to other people’s victories, the more you will create your own.

10. You have passions that you pursue.

You are not stagnant. You know you have something wonderful to contribute to the world. You have unique talents and gifts. Not only do you know that, you pursue it.

11. You have things to look forward to.

If you don’t have exciting things going on in your life that you are eagerly anticipating, then you are slowly dying inside. Successful people create goals that they are passionate about pursuing. They let this excitement drive their life.

12. You have goals that have come true.

Even though “failures” are a part of life, you have stuck to your goals and dreams long enough to make them come to fruition. You have  some tastes of victory. It fuels you.

13. You have empathy for others.

A person without empathy is dead inside. Empathy equals spreading love and positive energy into the world. Successful people know this. They love others as if they are family.

14. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others.

Love is risky, and sometimes scary for people. It’s the one thing we all strive for, but it’s also intimately tied to the one thing we fear the most – rejection. If you open your heart enough to love and be loved, then you are successful.

15. You refuse to be be a victim.

You know that life doesn’t always happen to you. Many times, you are a co-creator of your life experiences. Successful people know this and refuse to be kept down by life experiences. The rise up and conquer anyway.

16. You don’t care what other people think.

You know you can’t please everyone. You know that the standards with which society judges people is many times unrealistic. So you just keep true to yourself and love the person you are.

17. You always look on the bright side.

Life can be full of disappointments – if you choose to see them that way. Otherwise, they are learning opportunities. No negative experience is ever wasted as long as you learn from it.

18. You accept what you can’t change.

Let’s face it – there many things you can’t change in life. All you can change is how you view what happens. If you can change your negative perspective on situations to a positive one, then you are successful.

19. You change what you can.

And let’s face it again – there are many things you can change in life. Successful people don’t sit around accepting the negatives that are changeable. They get out there and do something about it!!

20. You are happy.

To me, this is the ultimate definition of success. It doesn’t matter what the balance is in your bank account, how big your house is,  or how many fancy vacations you take. If you are happy, then you are succeeding in life.

The Best Exercise for Your Tummy Type

Here are 5 different types of tummies and how to target each for the ultimate belly fat loss:

1. The Spare Tire:                                                                                                                                                      abs-woman                            

People with this type:

  • These people are likely to lead sedentary lives and have desk jobs or are “couch potatoes.”
  • They may also typically have an emotional attachment to sugary foods or alcohol.

TYPICAL BAD HABITS

  • Exercising very little.
  • Sitting lots.
  • Eating lots of sugar and refined carbohydrates in products like biscuits, cakes and white bread, or rely on starchy carbs like white pasta noodles and white rice.
  • Drinking alcohol regularly.

MIDRIFF MAKEOVER PLAN

  • Cut down on alcohol. ‘Alcohol turns into pure sugar once consumed and goes straight to your waist. It also stops you from burning all other fat until the booze has been processed.
  • Avoid low-fat and so-called ‘diet’ snacks. These pre-packaged products are often packed full of chemicals, refined sugar, salt and preservatives to give them flavor.
  • Eat cleaner. Rely on a healthy diet full of unprocessed fresh foods such as fish, eggs, organic meat and vegetables.
  • Move more. If you work a desk job, park far away in the parking lot or start taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Use your lunch breaks to go for a walk as you eat.
  • Exercise. Simply going for a long walk, doing lunges, squats or dips at home or a yoga class will be beneficial. You don’t need a gym.

TOP TIP FOR THIS TUMMY
If you regularly reward yourself for a hard day with a piece of cake or deal with bad news with a biscuit, it’s important to remember that being beautiful is as much about how you feel as how you look. The starting point for any tummy transformation is feeling happy.

2. The Stress Belly:                                                                                                                                                     abs-woman                           

HOW TO IDENTIFY THIS TYPE

  • Typically over-achievers with perfectionist personalities.
  • Usually also susceptible to digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which can cause bloating and make their tummies look far worse.
  • Weight is specific to the front of the midriff and the umbilical area. When stressed, we produce cortisol, a hormone which encourages the body to cling on to fat around the stomach.
  • This type of tummy will also be fairly hard to the touch, rather than wobbly.

TYPICAL BAD HABITS

  • Skip meals
  • Abuse your adrenal system with too much caffeine
  • Grabs junk food for convenience.

MIDRIFF MAKEOVER PLAN

  • Go to bed earlier and sleep more. Lack of sleep disrupts the production of leptin, the hormone which helps regulate appetite and metabolism.
  • Relax. Try deep breathing exercises, meditation, and long baths before bed to encourage a good night’s sleep.
  • Limit coffee consumption to no more than two cups a day.
  • Try calming exercises such as yoga, long walks, swimming, or resistance work.

TOP TIP FOR THIS TUMMY

  • Stress-busting stretches and yoga poses at night time can help to lower cortisol levels.
  • Try chamomile tea at night as well.

3. The Pooch:                                                                                                                                                                      abs-woman           

HOW TO IDENTIFY THIS TYPE

  • Likely to be busy moms or have demanding careers.
  • They may even be a gym junkie, but stuck in a workout-and-diet rut, perhaps always eating the same foods and doing the same routine at the gym, which keeps you slim but leaves you with a lower belly..

TYPICAL BAD HABITS

  • Doing excessive crunches and using gimmicky gym items such as ab-rollers can place a strain on the hip flexors and the lower back, causing the tummy muscles to protrude so your belly sticks out.

MIDRIFF MAKEOVER PLAN

  • Good nutrition and plenty of fiber are essential to improve digestive conditions such as inflammation, bloating and constipation, which can make a pooch tummy worse. Green leafy vegetables, oatbran and wholemeal grains are good, natural sources of fiber.
  • Sit-ups done incorrectly increase your lower back curve and accentuate the ‘pouch’ effect. Swap sit-ups for planks. Do these by lying face down on a mat, resting on your forearms. Push off from the floor, rising onto your toes and elbows, so your body is parallel to the floor from your head to your heels. Start off doing ten seconds and build up to a whole minute.
  • It’s a common misconception that using weights bulks women up. In fact, the opposite is true. Using weights will burn serious amounts of fat in a short space of time, so try introducing circuits — repetitions of exercises like squats or lunges which work individual muscle sets.

TOP TIP FOR THIS TUMMY

  • Reduce inflammation by drinking lots of water and eating easy-to-digest foods such as green vegetables and lighter proteins such as fish and chicken.

4. The Mommy Tummy:                                                                                                                                           abs-woman                   

HOW TO IDENTIFY THIS TYPE

  • Women with these tummies have usually given birth in the past few years, and, being a typical mom, have little time for themselves.

TYPICAL BAD HABITS

  • Rushing back to exercise too quickly or overdoing it.
  • Being stressed about getting rid of your baby weight will only make you cling onto it more. Give yourself a break!’

MIDRIFF MAKEOVER PLAN

  • Fish oil supplements turn on fat-burning hormones and turn off fat-storing hormones. Begin by taking three 1,000mg capsules a day with meals and build up to five, with permission from your doctor.
  • Try to eat good and healthy fats — found in sources such as nuts, oils and olives — every day. Not only do they help you burn fat and absorb vitamins from food effectively, they also help combat tiredness — a big help for tired moms.
  • Gentle pelvic floor exercises (known as Kegels) act as a natural corset for the body to flatten your tummy from the inside out. Squeeze and clench your pelvic floor muscles 15-20 times, in five sessions a day.
  • Steer clear of sit-ups. After giving birth, the linea alba muscles — which run down the mid-line of the abdomen — separate and you need to allow them to recover. Crunches are the worst thing you can do, as they will force these muscles farther apart. Instead, breathe deep into your tummy while on all fours, then slowly exhale while doing a pelvic floor exercise.

TOP TIP FOR THIS TUMMY

  • Daytime naps (try putting up blackout blinds) and stretching before bed are important ways to restore sleep hormones and boost fat-burning.                                                    

5. The Bloated Belly:                                                                                                                                                  abs-woman

HOW TO IDENTIFY THIS TYPE

  • Bloated tummies are often flat in the morning, but swell throughout the day with gas or indigestion.
  • It is almost always caused by food intolerances and allergies, or sluggish bowels as a result of a poor diet.

TYPICAL BAD HABITS

  • You eat the same foods and may have done so for a lifetime without realising you’re intolerant to them.

MIDRIFF MAKEOVER PLAN

  • The most common intolerances wheat and gluten (bread, pasta, pastries, pizza, cakes and cereals).  Gluten can inflame the bowel and make the stomach look bigger.
  • The key here is to experiment to work out what bothers your belly as you know your body better than anyone else. Try eliminating key culprits such as gluten for a fortnight to see if your bloating reduces, or worsens when you reintroduce foods.
  • Focus on a healthy diet with lots of fresh veg, meat, chicken and fish.’
  • Sluggish bowels are often a result of eating the wrong foods in the wrong way. Make breakfast your biggest meal, as this is when digestion is at its peak, and avoid eating late at night which leads to bloating. Chew food properly and drink plenty of water to keep the digestive system moving.
  • Bloating can be a sign of imbalanced gut flora. So to get your tummy really flat you need to repopulate it with friendly bacteria. Prebiotic and probiotic supplements are the simplest way. Natural sources include miso soup, sour cream and some fruit and veg including kale, garlic and onions.

TOP TIP FOR THIS TUMMY

  • Believe it or not, breathing can be the best thing you can do for this kind of tummy. Try this each morning: lay on your back, completely relaxed, and breathe deep into your tummy ten times.
  • After eating, a walk will help the digestive process, too. Always keep moving!

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