Good News! You can Flatten Your Belly Fast

A little pooch is normal. Still, no woman likes to feel bloated – and you don’t have to! Make these easy tweaks and reveal your body’s sexiest tummy (in days not weeks).

A flatter belly: It’s the body change readers tell us they want most. To that we must first say that every woman is not meant to sport a six-pack or have an ultra-flat stomach; if you’re not a marathoner, a personal trainer or Kelly Ripa, chances are you’ve got at least a little padding there. It’s normal, natural, necessary – not having enough body fat can lead to irregular periods and infertility – and from what guys tell us, sexy too. That said, there are some sneaky everyday habits that can make your tummy bigger than it need to be. The best part? Correcting them doesn’t involve dieting! Here’s how to stop lamenting your abs and finally show them the love they deserve. (P.S. They have requested a new bikini)

First, Sip More Water
“If your body is dehydrated, your cells actually hold on to more water from what you eat and drink,” meaning you gain water weight and puffiness, says New York City dietitian Marissa Lippert, R.D., author of The Cheater’s Diet. Plus, water promotes healthy digestion. (Translation: You won’t be gassy or backed up.) To reduce bloat, Lippert recommends that women sip 6 to 12 glasses a day, depending on their activity level and how hot it is outside – extra points if you squeeze half a lemon. ”It’s a favorite trick of mine,” says Lippert, who tells clients to drink a mug of hot water with lemon juice first thing in the morning. “It really jump-starts your metabolism and digestive system and, frankly, helps you go to the bathroom. Think about how you can clean your sink with a lemon. You can do the same with your insides.”

Do Something Every Day to Relieve Stress
Stress has a way of magically making chocolate chip cookies leap up off the plate and into our mouths. But the nibbling isn’t the only problem: There’s evidence that stress in and of itself can lead to developing excess belly fat. Although experts aren’t sure how, the stress hormone cortisol may cause your body to store more fat cells around your waist. To help slash stress, try deep-breathing exercises or meditation – both of which have profound positive effects, research shows. (You can get free guided sessions at meditationoasis.com)

Eat a Little Fat Every Day
Many women make the mistake of nixing all fat from their diets in the hope of losing weight and shrinking their waistline. “We’ve done research that shows that when women go on a virtually nonfat diet, they lose enzymes that help them digest fat.” says David Heber, M.D., director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles. That causes trouble when you do fall off the wagon (and you know you will); go out for Mexican food one Saturday night and you’ll wind up bloated. The remedy? You’ve heard it before because it works: moderation. The healthiest diet is one that contains a little bit of everything, including fat, says Lippert. If you’ve been attempting to live fat-free, she suggests that you slowly add some health fats into your diet – say, a few slices of avocado on your sandwich, or a tablespoon of oil and vinegar dressing on your salad instead of nonfat ranch. That will ease digestion and help your belly naturally deflate. Plus you’ll be more satisfied and less prone to an enchilada attack in the first place.

Tweak the Way You Breathe (Yes, Breathe!)
“I see a lot of women inhaling and exhaling through their belly, meaning that instead of letting the rib cage expand and contract when they breathe, their abdomen is filling up like a balloon,” says Pilates expert Brooke Siler, owner of re:AB studio in New York City. “The ultimate effect can be a distended look.” To train yourself to breathe properly, Siler suggests lying on your stomach with a rolled-up towel place horizontally under your belly button, then breathing deeply. This prevents you from pushing your stomach out when you inhale. It will help you connect with how it feels to correctly expand your rib cage and bring air into every part of your lungs, she says.  She recommends practicing this for 5 to 10 minutes a day – before long, it’ll become second nature. Tummy-flattening bonus: This exercise also relieves stress, Siler says.

Get at Least Seven Hours of Sleep a Night
By now, almost every bleary-eyed girl in line at her local espresso-rama knows that not getting enough rest can have all sorts of negative health consequences, including weight gain. Lack of slepp, for those too foggy to recall, throws the production of hormones leptin and ghrelin out of whack, which makes you hungrier and more prone to overeating. “We see changes in these hormone levels after just two days of reduced sleep,” says Sanjay Patel, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Cut Back on Artificial Sweeteners
“I see a lot of women with sensitive digestive systems who just can’t process artificial sweeteners in things like sugar-free gum, candy and diet drinks,” says Lippert. “Our bodies don’t recognize aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) as food, so our digestive systems don’t know how to break them down.” If you notice that you get gassy or need to go to the bathroom more on days you consume these fake sugars, you may be sensitive to them. The best fix for that is to cut them out, Lippert says. “If you can’t quit cold turkey try weaning yourself off them for one to two weeks until they’ve completely vanished from your diet,” she recommends. You might also consider nixing carbonated drinks – the fizz alone can bloat your belly, says Lippert. (Those bubbles are, after all, gas.) Drinking from a straw can compound the problem, by causing you to swallow excess air with your Diet whatever. If you’re feeling puffy, have some belly shrinking water with lemon instead.

Stand Up Straight
Your mom was right: Posture counts, big-time. Slouching pushes your hips and belly forward, making your body look heavier and your stomach appear poochier they really are. What’s more, slouching can even undo some of the benefit you get from workouts, says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. Think about it: How much time do you spend hunched over at your desk or in your car? Now compare that to the amount you spend on doing core-strengthening exercises. “It’s like getting a great workout and then stopping at Dunkin Donuts on the way home for a dozen Boston cream. You’re sending two different signals to your body,” McCall says. Sitting up straight or maintain good posture – that means shoulders back and down, belly button in and up, chin very slightly tucked – you must constantly engage your core. “It’s a better way to cinch your waist than a lot of the messy sit-ups I see people doing,” he adds. Try sitting on the edge of your chair at work, at school or at home to discourage hunching, he suggests. Or download an application for your computer or smart phone like ProdMe, which will pink you every hour or so with a reminder to straighten up. Truly flatter abs in an instant!

Source: Shaun Dreisbach at Glamour Magazine

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply