Getting fit abdominal muscles does not require major changes in diet or exercise. Instead, you can start with small steps and build from there. The mini tweaks suggested in this article can assist in minimizing bloat to slim down your midsection – all in a healthy manner, without having to worry about severe diet restrictions or strict workout regimens. Hence, here are ten breezy ways on flattening your tummy for this summer and all year long.
Hydrate. It seems counterintuitive, but being dehydrated in fact results in your body deciding to hoard water in your midsection. To counter this, increase your fluid intake – healthy fluids, mind you, like water and juice, even tea.
Consume Foods High in Water Content. That means increase your intake of fruits and vegetables – especially when you crave a snack run. Fruits and vegetables provide your body with essential vitamins and nutrients to keep you healthy.
Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast. If you miss meals, that tends to skew your metabolism. Besides, having breakfast keeps your energy levels up, which can help you move around during the day. Plus, movement burns calories.
Eat Mindfully. Slow down when eating. Chew each of your bites a minimum of ten times – preferably 20 times — before swallowing. And sip water regularly between bites. These steps allow you to digest better. Also, did you know that it takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes for your brain to send out signals of fullness? Thus, leisurely eating makes it possible for your brain to send out the signal of feeling full. Put another way, leisurely eating will mean you’ll consume less food while still feeling satiated.
Ramp Up on Probiotics. WebMD has defined probiotics as “live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system.” Your gut has a microbiome, and probiotics are those “good” and “helpful” bacteria that maintain your guts’ health. Having a healthy gut minimizes gastrointestinal issues and therefore makes it easier for you to have a flatter abdominal region. Make sure to daily have a serving of probiotic-rich food during every meal. Recommended probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kimchee, miso soup, and sauerkraut.
Snack on Unsalted Almonds. You’ll get a lower waist circumference when you choose to snack on unsalted nuts, especially almonds. For one, nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are far healthier than the types of fat found in processed foods. Why almonds? They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and protein. Remember to choose the unsalted products because salt will only cause water-retention, especially around your belly.
Avoid “Bad” Processed Foods and Junk Foods. “Bad” processed foods contain additives, artificial flavors, and other chemical ingredients. Junk foods – like packaged candies and fast food meals — are examples of “bad” processed foods. Both “bad” processed foods and junk foods are nutrient-poor and so aren’t healthy nor nourishing. “Bad” processed foods and junk foods are usually high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, fructose corn syrup, unhealthy fats like trans fats, preservatives, colorants, artificial substances — all of these have been linked to high risks of obesity, cancer, and heart disease. Minimizing your consumption of “bad” processed foods and junk foods will help tremendously in giving you a better belly, both health-wise and appearance-wise.
Be Aware of Your Posture. If you straighten up your body by sitting straight and standing tall, that does wonders in tucking in your belly. Then, too, improving your posture enhances the tone of your core muscles. To learn more about how your posture and core muscles are interrelated, read this article on “Core Strength Benefits.”
For at Least 30 Minutes Daily, Exercise – Even if It’s Just a Brisk Walk. Being too sedentary can lead to obesity and other health issues. You can read up on that in the article entitled “How Much Exercise Do You Need After A 9-to-5 Work Day at the Desk.” When you exercise, even with just a brisk walk, you burn up calories, which ultimately melts fat away. To eliminate one pound of fat, you must burn at least 3500 calories. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you can get a flatter stomach when you aim for an hour to 90 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. Of course, to build up to that level, you can start with the 30-minute daily exercise.
Take a Moment to Relax, Even Meditate. The Mayo Clinic has stated that relaxation has been beneficial to human health. Relaxation, after all, (1) slows heart rate; (2) lowers blood pressure; (3) curtails muscle tension; (4) reduces levels of stress, anger, and frustration; (5) improves digestion; (6) increases blood flow to major muscles; and (7) boosts concentration, mood, and personal esteem. One of the best methods for relaxing is to meditate, because it involves internal, cerebral, and (for some) spiritual centering of one’s self. Moreover, meditation involves breathing – which is good for the abdomen. In all, relaxation and meditation relieves stress, and this minimizes the size of your gut. How so? Chronic stress leads to internal inflammation and cortisol hormone release that increases the area around your belly. To alleviate stress, in turn, attenuates inflammation and cortisol levels, so you won’t have that increased girth any longer.