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6 tips to flatten your stomach
Posted 3 years ago by Clare
Well, we have made it through winter. The daffs are out, the clocks have gone forward. We are heading slowly but surely towards the summer months. And with that comes the joys of summer clothes. All of a sudden the wish of a flat stomach becomes urgent. Whereas during winter the bloated feeling can be hidden under baggy jumpers, in summer ways to flatten our stomach becomes key. Here are 6 top tips for a flat tummy.
1. Go lemon and water
One of the easiest tips to integrate into your day is drinking a pint of water with lemon in it in the morning. Even better drink it warm. This kicks starts your digestion, helps detoxify your system and boosts your metabolism. It also sets you up for the day on a healthy mind set to nurture that flat stomach.
2. Reduce sugar
Not again – groan – I hear you say. Sadly this is the one food that so many people love but is simply not good for us and can make you really bloated. Sugar also converts to fat around your middle so should be avoided if you are wanting to lose weight. However, if you do not need to lose weight but simply want that lovely flat midriff sugar is still a no go! The bacteria in our guts love feeding from sugar. But it’s like giving candy floss to a 3 year old. The bacteria gorge on the sugar we feed them then go completely crazy fermenting it. The result is a bulgy, out the front, bloated feeling. Try coming off sugar even for two days and see how you feel. The hard bit is that I am not just talking about your Cadbury cream eggs but also simple carbohydrates such as white bread and white pasta. These carbs get broken down into sugars very quickly and may bloat us. Try eating very dark chocolate instead if you are craving some sweetness. Read more here on sugar and bloating.
3. Identify your triggers
Most people have a food or several foods which trigger gas production in your intestines. For many this could be dairy, for others wheat or gluten. It may also be eggs or even something like aubergine! Try and be body aware and really become conscious of what you eat and how this makes you feel. Keep a food/mood/symptom diary. These can kick up some interesting results. The science behind this is that all foods are made of complex molecular structures which need to be broken down by enzymes. So for example in milk the lactose needs to be broken down by the enzyme lactase. If your body is low in this enzyme that particular food will cause trouble in your gut. Cut out any suspected food type for couple of weeks and see if the result is a flatter stomach. However, it is always important to see your doctor or nutritionist before making any drastic changes to your diet.
4. Try yoga
The media is full of pictures of people sweating it out on the treadmill in an attempt to lose weight or beat the bloat. Exercise is indeed very good for your digestion. It is known to help get the bowel moving which in itself reduces bloating as constipation causes a build up of air and also re-circulating toxins. However, a lesser known exercise for getting a flat stomach is yoga! Yoga involves a lot of deep abdominal breathing, which when done in certain positions can actually encourage the blood to circulate in the intestines. Some yoga specialists describe this as ‘building fire’ in your body which helps support digestion and raise your metabolic rate. Find a local yoga class, or even get a dvd or use Youtube.
5. Take probiotics
Imbalanced gut bacteria is one of the main causes of bloating. When the ‘bad’ bacteria outnumber the healthy strains of bacteria (gut dysbiosis) we tend to find that food is not properly digested and ferments in our intestine causing any flat stomach we may have to disappear. Dysbiosis can be caused by a number of different things such as antibiotics, medications, high sugar intake, the pill and stress. OptiBac Probiotics 'One week flat' is a probiotic which targets bloating and will help to flatten your tum.
6. De-stress and sleep
This one is that everyone loves to be told. The science behind this fact is that stress and lack of sleep raises your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that encourages glucose to be deposited as fat around the middle and stresses the digestive system. A tense stressed digestive system leads to bloating. So want a flat tummy? Be aware of your breathing and get to bed on time.
Feel a little overwhelmed but want to give it a go? Perhaps try preparing for a few days by keeping a food diary, shopping for your probiotics and healthy foods and last but definitely not least detoxing your kitchen cupboards. Happy health.
Do let us know how it goes.
Don't forget that general healthy eating is important to flatten your stomach - here are some ideas
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