Here are 22 Quick Fixes for a Flat Belly:
1. Drink More Water: It may seem contradictory, but increasing your water intake can help treat mild fluid retention. Rehydrating your body will signal your body to release retained fluids.
2. Sit in a sauna: Sitting in a sauna for 20 minutes is a trick many fitness models use before photo shoots and fitness competitions. The weight that is lost in a sauna is merely water weight lost through sweating: so as soon as you replenish your lost fluids by drinking water, you will regain that weight.
3. Limit your sodium intake. Do not add table salt to your food, and minimize intake of processed/packaged foods that are high in sodium because sodium leads to water retention. Health Canada estimates that Canadians are consuming more than double their daily sodium needs and they recommend you keep your daily sodium intake between 1500 and 2300mg. Consider using salt-free seasonings instead of table salt.
4. Try Dandelions. This herb is a naturally occurring diuretic that may increase urine production, thereby helping the body get rid of excess fluid. You can either swallow it in pill form or drink it as a tea. Consult with your physician before trying any herbal supplementation.
5. Get a Spray Tan. A spray tan will make you appear smoother and toned because it will disguise cellulite and imperfections. It will also enhance the appearance of your abs by highlighting your muscle lines.
6. Consider Intermittent Fasting. I am an intermittent faster, which means I don't eat my first meal until the late afternoon/early evening. This keeps my abs popping and my bloating to a minimum all day long! For more information, check out my Fat Loss Fast System.
7. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing to facilitate digestion. Eating quickly will cause you to swallow air, which leads to bloating. Undigested food that passes into your large intestine will be broken down by bacteria, which release gas in the process. Intestinal gas is what causes temporary abdominal distention.
8. Exercise Regularly to promote belly fat loss, to keep food moving through your digestive tract (which prevents constipation-related bloating), and to make you sweat (sweating releases fluids). Check out my Fat Loss Fast System for my high intensity home workouts.
9. Eliminate/reduce gas provoking foods in your diet, such as carbonated beverages, chewing gum (you inevitably swallow air, which causes belly expansion), and artificial sweeteners (sugar alcohols are the most notorious offenders for causing gas, cramps, bloating and diarrhea). Go easy on dairy, beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli. Be sure to include these nutritious foods in your diet again once your special “flat belly” event is over.
10. Rule out gluten and/or lactose intolerance. Consult with your physician.
11. Eat avocado. Avocados are rich in potassium. Potassium helps to flush out excess sodium from your system, thereby reducing water retention. Bananas are another high-potassium option.
12. Eat asparagus. Asparagus contains asparagine, which possesses diuretic properties. It may make your urine smell bizarre; but asparagus is a great way to “dry you out” by flushing excess liquid out of your body.
14. Prevent constipation. It’s no secret that constipation causes bloating. Ensure you exercise, eat a high fibre diet (lots of veggies) and drink plenty of fluids to prevent constipation. I'm a fan of chlorella. Chlorella is a chlorophyll rich green superfood that can help improve digestion, especially if constipation is a problem... plus it also freshens your breath!
15. Do not use a straw. Drinking through a straw will cause you to inhale excess air, which will make your belly appear distended.
16. Go easy on the carbohydrates before your special “flat belly” event. Limit your carbohydrates to vegetables such as asparagus and cucumber. It’s no secret that carbohydrates (even the healthy ones such as quinoa, yams, brown rice and oats) will cause you to retain water. Did you know that your muscles store excess carbohydrates as glycogen, and for every gram of glycogen stored, 3 grams of water gets stored with it? If, however, you decrease your carbohydrate intake, your body will resort to burning this stored glycogen for energy, which conveniently drains the associated excess stored water. This is why so many fitness models cut their carbohydrates the week before fitness competitions and photo shoots.
17. Be prepared for your period. Women often bloat before and/or during menstruation. If possible, plan your "flat-belly" events around your period. Your ob/gyn may be able to recommend a herbal remedy.
18. Try probiotics. Probiotics contain “good bacteria” that can promote regularity and minimize bloating.
19. Steam your vegetables. If you eat them raw, they occupy more room in your intestines, which causes distention.
20. Avoid spicy foods prior to you “flat-belly” special event. Spicy foods can cause irritation in your stomach, which can lead to bloating. Spicy foods to temporarily avoid include black pepper, chili powder, onions, mustard, horseradish, hot sauce, garlic and vinegar.
21. Try peppermint tea. Peppermint tea can help reduce any gas that is trapped in your stomach.
22. See a doctor. If the abovementioned dietary changes or home remedies don’t solve your bloating dilemma, then be sure to be evaluated by your medical doctor to rule out any possible medical conditions that could be causing your chronic bloating (ie. irritable bowel syndrome, bowel obstruction, etc).
Remember: I am referring to bloating, not belly fat! Only a proper diet in conjunction with an exercise regime will rid you of your excess belly fat.
We all have to start somewhere. Click here for my Fat Loss Fast System diet.