By the time I had left college, I had put on 50lbs in weight.
My tummy was easily my most noticeable “big bit” on my body and I was determined to send it packing!
The words “when is it due?” are some of the most beautiful words a woman can hear.
Except when you’re not pregnant!
Yup, that happened to me. Embarrassing for both parties but we laughed it off.
Hearing those words made me more determined than ever to shred my belly fat, so I got to work!
I knew a flatter stomach would generally come from exercising but I also knew a flatter tum could also be achieved with dietary and lifestyle changes.
This post will focus on the latter!
Let’s face it, no one really loves exercising – do they?
So, let’s take a look at some tried and tested ways to achieve a flatter stomach without exercising.
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#1. Increase Your Water Intake
If you’re dehydrated then you are likely to be retaining excess fluids which can result in a bloated waistline.
Water retention is essentially the body’s reaction when you’re not consuming enough water per day in a bid to prevent dehydration.
Try and drink around 2 litres of water per day and avoid caffeinated drinks which are liable to make you even more dehydrated given their diuretic effects.
#2. Get More Sleep
Around 70% of Americans report that they get too little sleep and it is estimated that 50 to 70 million have sleep related problems.
Not only is sleep vital for pretty much all bodily functions, it is particularly important for your waistline!
Research has shown that losing 30 minutes of sleep can make you gain weight, especially around your belly!
Without adequate sleep, we are much more likely to reach for the sweet trolley as the tired body craves quick sugar fixes to help us get through the day!
So whatever you do, get enough sleep!
For most people that’s around 8 hours per night but there are no hard or fast rules about time needed. Each person is different. Some people require less and some require more.
If you’re tired in the day and nodding off or napping, then that’s probably a good indicator that you need to hit the hay a bit earlier!
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#3. Reduce Your Salt Intake
Salt is enemy number one when it comes to achieving a flat tummy!
Whilst it is an essential mineral that we cannot live without, too much of it and you’ll blow up like a hot air balloon.
Too much salt results in excessive water retention which will show up around your midriff in the form of an unsightly bloated belly!
So opt for the reduced salt option when you shop and instead look to flavor your foods with herbs and spices in its place!
Yes, you’ll miss it at first but as time goes by you’ll miss it less and less.
#4. Eat more fiber
It is a proven fact that a diet high in fiber is conducive to a flat tum!
Foods containing soluble fiber like apples, beans, peas, oatmeal and rice bran are the ones to reach for as part of your battle against the flab!
Soluble fiber encourages gut bacteria diversity which in turn has been shown to reduce belly fat.
Not only does it support those friendly bacteria but you will also become more regular which can reduce bloating.
Fibrous foods also fill you up for longer so you’ll be much less inclined to head to the snack cupboard.
#5. Take A Probiotic Supplement
Scientific studies have shown that probiotics are excellent for maintaining a healthy weight!
It is thought that probiotics assist the absorption of nutrients when we digest our food which has an impact on how we retain fat around the belly.
Not only are probiotics good for weight loss but they are essential for our overall health as well!
If you don’t fancy taking supplements then why not try more natural probiotics like:-
- Natural yogurt
- Fermented cheeses
- Pickled cabbage
- Apple cider vinegar
#6. Check Your Thyroid
Around 4.6 percent of the American population have hypothyroidism (or less technically an under active thyroid).
The condition means that your thyroid fails to make enough hormones which in turn can lead to weight gain and excessive bloating.
Thankfully hypothyroidism is treatable condition and you’ll likely feel better and begin to lose the weight and the bloating soon after you start treatment.
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#7. Use More Herbs & Spices
Not only will these food additives turn your bland food into a taste explosion, but many have also been shown to help fight fat.
Spices like turmeric, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne pepper have all been shown to help you burn fat faster!
Herbs like oregano, peppermint and coriander have also been shown to help shed the pounds!
#8. Treat Constipation
Twenty percent of Americans suffer from constipation. A definite no, no for anyone aiming for a flat tum!
Constipation leads to bloating and swelling around your stomach area as your undigested food backs up your intestinal tract!
So treat constipation as a priority. It’s actually quite easy to remedy with the following:-
- Eat a diet rich in fiber with fruits like prunes, apples, raisins, peaches and whole grains like brown rice, barley, quinoa and spelt;
- Exercise more which in turn will help get things moving along your digestive tract;
- Go to the toilet when you have the urge to do so.
If you’re stressed out, anxious and on edge then your body is most likely producing excess cortisol, a hormone that is well known to increase fat, especially around your belly!
Cortisol stimulates the metabolism of carbohydrates which in turn will have you heading to the biscuit or snack tin!
So chill out!
Try yoga, exercise, meditating or whatever else de-stresses you.
#10. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is a well known fat fighter.
Green tea contains catechins which cause your cells to release fat and help the burning of fat by the liver.
Not only that but green tea is packed full of anti-oxidants which will help mop up those nasty free radicals and prevent cell damages, thereby warding off cancer.
So replace your English breakfast or other tea with green tea and help wave away your paunch.
#11. Stop Chewing With Your Mouth Open
Did your mum ever tell you to stop doing this? I know mine did.
For good reason as well. Mum’s known best remember!
Not only does the whole world not want to see the chewed up remains of your lunch, but chewing with your mouth closed can also help prevent bloating.
When you chew with your mouth ajar, you inadvertently take in air which then makes its way into your stomach and leads to bloating!
So shut your trap when you eat and watch your gut shrink!
So there you are, 11 tips and tricks to send that pot belly packing.
I have personally tried most of these in the past and although it’s hard to measure the success of any individual strategy, especially when you’re exercising as well, I am convinced that they do make a difference and this is backed up by the science!
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About the author
Catherine holds a bachelor of science degree and is a registered mental health nurse.
She is a self-confessed health and fitness freak, nutrition fanatic and mental health boffin.
Read more of my posts