Achieving and maintaining a flat stomach can seem almost impossible. Even if you workout regularly and watch what you eat, it can still be difficult to keep your waistline in check. Why, you ask? It’s because there are many factors that control your belly size—from the type of foods you eat, to the amount of stress you handle each day. But fear not! Keep reading to learn how to beat belly fat for good!
Small meals = Small belly: You know how you get a “food baby” after a huge meal? This happens because your stomach is built to expand and shrink as part of the digestive process. If you constantly eat over indulge at meal time, your stomach will remain expanded and appear larger. Eating small meals throughout the day is a double win: your stomach won’t poke out from being too full, and you’ll help reduce the urge to over eat at each meal. Try to keep your meals at around 400 – 500 calories with a small snack between meals to keep a flat belly all day long.
Try some healthy fats: Not all fats are created equal, and not all fats are bad. While saturated and trans fats can cause you to pack on extra pounds, monounsaturated fats have been found to help reduce the fat around your waist! You can add monounsaturated fats to your diet with foods like olive oil, nuts, fish and even dark chocolate. Not only will your belly appear flatter, you’ll also improve your cholesterol levels and heart function!
Cut back on the sweet stuff: Sugar is hidden is many processed foods, even our favorite “healthy foods” like nutrition bars and smoothies. Sugar is an energy source, but you only need so much energy each day. When your body doesn’t use up the energy from the sugar you eat, it gets stored as fat! To keep your sugar habit in check, read the label on every product you buy, from peanut butter to yogurt, even the fat free kinds. Sugar-free foods and artificial sweeteners are another belly fat offender. They cannot be digested so they cause bloating and indigestion, which show up as that pooch you’ve worked so hard to avoid. You won’t miss the sweet stuff once you see your new flat belly!
Hold the salt: Eating too much salt causes our bodies to retain more water, usually making our bellies (and other parts of the body) appear larger than they are! Reducing your sodium intake will allow your body to better flush out excess water, which could lead to fewer pounds on the scale, and a flatter looking belly!
Drink away the bloat: You can also fight belly bloat by eating foods that have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Foods like cucumber, lemon, ginger are excellent foods to avoid bloating throughout the body. You can add all of these to your water and drink it throughout the day. Try one of these skinny water recipes to beat the bulge fast!
Sweat away the flab: Once your nutrition is in check, you can further blast your belly through a combination of cardio workouts and strength training. Cardio exercise will help you burn calories all over, and resistance training will help strengthen your core muscles and lean out your mid section.
If you slowly incorporate each of these changes into your lifestyle, your belly blues will be a thing of the past!