8 Easy Ways To A Flatter Belly (Without Diet or Exercise)
You are not aiming for washboard abs. You are not even gunning for a perfectly flat belly. All you want is to trim those extra inches just a little more before bikini season is in full swing. While exercise and a good diet will take you a long way, it is the small lifestyle changes that will keep you on track for the long haul. So whether that expanded waistline is due to winter neglect or plain bloat, these eight tips will see it slowly and surely being whittled down.
#1 Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep (link to Deeper Sleep story) helps level the hormones that induce hunger pangs and lead to overeating. A study by the University of Chicago in 2012 found that people who were sleep-deprived had subcutaneous fat cells that were more insulin resistant and more likely to cause weight gain. And late nights tend to weaken our willpower to resist bedtime snacks!
#2 Sit on a Swiss ball
This rubber ball will force you to sit up straighter and engage your abs to keep your balance. If you are already using a Swiss ball, lift one or both legs every 30 minutes. This will work your core stabiliser muscles even harder to prevent you from falling off.
#3 Watch your air intake
Do you talk while you eat? Drink from straws? Chew gum? All these little habits cause air to accumulate in your stomach, which leads to bloat. Go for mints instead of gum and take smaller bites of food to keep the extra air out.
#4 Slow down at the table
It takes about 20 minutes from the start of a meal for your brain to send out signals of satiety. Eating too quickly means your body will not have time to register that it has had enough until you have overeaten. Eating slowly will also help you feel satisfied instead of full. A simple way to slow down your pace is to put down your cutlery between bites.
#5 Make fennel your friend
Dried fennel seeds are an excellent digestive aid. It relaxes the gastrointestinal muscles to help trapped gas pass and alleviate bloat. Chew half a teaspoon of seeds after a meal or when you feel bloated. Or add a teaspoon of seeds to a cup of hot water and strain after five minutes for a cup of fennel tea.
#6 Time your water breaks
Drink two cups of water before each meal to reduce your calorie intake and trim that belly fat. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2008 found that overweight adults who drank half a liter of water before breakfast, consumed 13 percent fewer calories at that meal. Thirst is also often mistaken for hunger so drink a glass of water when you feel hungry to determine what your body really wants.
#7 Schedule bathroom time
Set aside a specific time each day to use the bathroom or you will be tempted to ignore the urge to go especially if you are in a rush. When you train your brain to ignore your body’s signal, you will find yourself battling regular bouts of bloat-inducing constipation.
Anxiety pushes the body to produce more steroids and stress hormones, which affect your digestive system and lead to severe constipation. Stress also boosts the production of cortisol, or the “fight or flight” hormone that sends fat directly to your belly to protect your vital organs. So set aside 20 minutes of quiet time each day to release tension and inadvertently fight the bloat.
Have any of these tips worked for you? Tell us in the comments section below!
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