Wanting a flat tummy goes far beyond wanting to look hot as hell when its bikini weather. Excess weight around your midsection can be terrible for your overall physical health, especially when its visceral fat. Excessive amounts of belly fat are associated to higher risks of heart disease and high blood pressure. It can be hard to shed off weight around our midsections, but its not impossible! We rounded up twenty pointers for you that will help you gain a flat tummy.
1. Drink water
Drinking water can potentially increase your metabolic rate, meaning it could increase the amount of calories you burn throughout the day (which will help you gain a flat tummy!) It also helps relieve bloating and constipation. You should be drinking about eight glasses of water a day, anyway, because there are a ton of health benefits that it provide.
2. Eat soluble fibre
Soluble fibres absorb a lot of water and slow down the passing of the food you eat through your digestive track. This means you’ll feel fuller for longer when you increase your daily fibre intake, and will likely eat less during the day because of it. Soluble fibre can also help you lose belly fat and prevent further belly gain, which will make it easier to attain your flat tummy goal!
3. Do some cardio
Engaging in cardiovascular exercise is excellent for our overall physical health (plus burns a whole lot of calories too!) There is such a variety of cardio-based activities, that there is bound to be something that you will love to do. To help you achieve a flat tummy (and also to improve your overall health) it is recommended you participate in 20 to 40 minutes of moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise each week.
4. Limit your intake of refined carbs
Refined carbs – also known as simple or processed carbs – include mostly sugars and processed grains, meaning they’ve been stripped of nearly all of their nutritional value. They’re usually the comfort foods that we crave, like pizza, fries and unnaturally sugary sweets. You don’t have to completely cut carbs though to get a flat tummy! If you replace refined carbs with unprocessed, whole food carbs, you can better your metabolic health and likely shrink your waistline.
5. Eat “good fats”
Similar to what we just talked about with carbs up above, there are good and bad fats you can eat which largely effect your overall health. It is typically recommended by physicians and dieticians to avoid trans fats, and limit the amount of saturated fats. Eating monounsaturated fat instead, like avocados and nuts, instead are better for you.
6. Add apple cider vinegar to your diet
Apple cider vinegar has been used as an at-home remedy for years. It is also believed to aid with weight loss. Since apple cider vinegar is primarily made up of acetic acid – a compound that is said to help prevent body fat accumulation – adding it to your diet could lead to a flatter tummy.
7. Eat more protein
Unlike carbs which are quick to digest, proteins take more time to process. Since it takes slower to digest, we use more calories to break down and metabolize proteins, which actually boosts our metabolisms. When you’re active too, eating proteins help build and retain your lean muscle mass, which is all great for when you want a flat tummy.
8. Walk more
We already talked about the benefits of cardio for your overall health! Walking is one of the easiest total-body cardiovascular exercises you can engage in on a daily basis. We already have to do it every day anyway, so why not make it a personal goal to walk more? Opt for a standing desk at work, or take the stairs!
9. Lift weights
You shouldn’t rely on dieting alone to attain your flat tummy goals, as you will lose your muscle mass in the process. Resistance training will maintain your muscles while boosting your metabolic rate. Try to lift some weights two-to-three times a week if you can!
10. Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night
Sleep is crucial if you want to optimize your overall health, including maintaining a healthy weight. There are studies that prove short sleep duration is linked to an increased waistline, especially with women.
11. Eat whole foods
We already talked about what carbs and fats you should be eating to improve your health. We cannot stress enough how important it is to eat whole, single-ingredient foods if you want a flat tummy. Whole foods are packed with nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals – so it’s actually kind of hard to eat too many of them!
12. Try HIIT
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts target belly fat, and only take up about twenty minutes of your time. Sprinting and jumping rope are just a couple examples of HIIT that you can try. These exercises increase your fat burning and metabolic rate even way after you’ve finished working out. Prepare to sweat though!
13. Avoid liquid calories
Sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks are typically jam-packed with fructose, which is known to lead to belly fat gain. If you absolutely must have something fizzy, opt for kombucha. It’s rich in probiotics, and can help with digestion.
14. Mindful eating
What we mean by ‘mindful eating’ is to take your time when you’re eating your meals or snacks, free of distractions. Turn off Netflix and set your phone aside when you eat next, so you can focus on when you’re fully satisfied from your meal. This will help prevent stress-induced eating or overeating.
15. Core exercises
When you strengthen your core, you’re training your abdominal muscles to keep your stomach in, which will then give you a flatter stomach. Try exercises that target all of your core muscles, like planks! Core exercises will also help you straighten your posture.
16. Take probiotics
Eating foods rich in probiotics (like kefir, yogurt or tempeh) or drinking kombucha, can help with abdominal bloating. You can also take probiotic supplements. Either way, adding probiotics to your diet will help reduce your waist size.
17. Cook with coconut oil
Coconut oil has medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized differently than most other fats because they break down more rapidly. Though it’s still high in fat, it is a healthier replacement to other cooking fats.
18. Reduce your stress levels
We all experience some stress in our day-to-day lives, so this may be easier said than done. Stress, unfortunately, increases the production of cortisol. This increases our appetite and promotes belly fat storage. Incorporating daily meditation could help reduce your stress levels.
19. Drink green tea
Drinking unsweetened green tea will help with your daily water intake, which we have already established is absolutely important for you. No, it won’t burn belly fat. It’s just another alternative to drinking water. Just please, avoid drinking detox teas – those do nothing good for you.
20. Avoid alcohol
You’ve probably heard the term ‘beer belly’ before. It’s true, drinking too much alcohol can contribute to weight gain because of its high sugar content.