Many men and women alike aspire to have a toned, flat tummy. Countless washboard-ab enthusiasts endure grueling training for endless hours to achieve this goal. Others religiously follow extreme diets to whittle their waist. Still, others spend tons of money for a “magic pill” that promises to make their belly vanish.
Maybe you’ve wondered whether it is possible to actually tame belly fat. Surprisingly, there are several simple ways to trim your midsection with minimal effort – and it doesn’t take a “magic pill.”
Perhaps your stomach tends to protrude even when you’ve been eating less. It may surprise you to know that the bulge you loathe is not belly fat. You may be bloated, which is the result of a slow digestive system. This sluggishness may mean there are not enough fluids in the body.
When you are well hydrated, fiber pulls liquid into your lower intestine, and you’re less likely to be constipated or have uncomfortable bloating.
The suggested daily adult fluid intake is 11.5 cups for women and 15 1/2 cups for men. Many have trouble keeping up with daily fluid recommendations, but your daily intake can come from sources other than water. Food and other beverages contain water, and they are included in the recommended fluid amounts.
Of course, water is the ideal fluid for several reasons.
Plain water is free from calories and sugar, both of which can add inches to your midsection. Water also detoxifies the system and boosts your metabolism. Adults should drink half their body weight of water in ounces each day.
But don’t count on a glass of wine for hydration. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect. It drains fluid from your body and does not count toward your daily fluid intake.
In addition to what you drink, how you eat affects what your stomach looks and feels like.
You might eat fast because you have a ton of things going on at one time. Or you enjoy mindlessly chowing down on snacks as you watch a movie, but this could also be why you have gas and bloating. When you eat fast, you swallow air along with the carbs. Slow the pace when you eat to savor your meal and flatten your abs.
There is another pretty easy way to shave off inches from your waist. Say no thanks to salt (or at least use it sparingly).
Sodium makes the body retain water. If you’ve eaten a lot of salt, you might see swelling in your hands and feet. Water retention also swells the stomach.
Additionally, get into the habit of reading the sodium count on food labels. Eating a few of your favorite salty foods can put you the 2300mg of sodium recommended for your daily diet.
Instead, adopt a low-sodium diet. Try cooking with salt-free seasonings like garlic, herbs, and onion powder. Choose food with low or no salt when you eat away from home. You will look and feel better.
Most fitness gurus swear by protein because it is a miracle worker that keeps you full. When you eat foods high in protein, you stay full longer are less likely to eat. Some food and drinks with healthy levels of protein include:
- Cottage Cheese
Don’t be afraid to try out new healthy foods with high protein content. You may come across a new favorite and replace the sugary and greasy treats for good. Your stomach will thank you.
Two kinds of fiber can help reduce distention in the midsection and give you that flat tummy of your dreams:
Fiber 1 and 2
Fiber is one of the top belly bloat busters. It gets and keeps your digestive system moving along by relieving constipation.
The two types of fiber are gel-like soluble and bulky insoluble. They work as a team to pull water into the colon, which speeds up elimination. Some food, like oatmeal, is an excellent source of fiber because it contains both types of fiber.
Blast That Belly Fat
If you are serious about getting and keeping a flat stomach, you have to change your lifestyle. This may mean advanced meal planning and determination to stay on track.
To make things easier on yourself, stock up food that supports your commitment. Load your refrigerator with good choices such as fresh vegetables and Greek yogurt. Stay clear of refined carbs like white bread and pasta.
Lastly, don’t rule out exercise. Get your body moving every day. You will not only lose weight, but your overall health will look as good as your new six-pack!