It’s Friday and you know what that means, the weekend is here so it’s time to let our hair down, get loose and party! That means spending a few hours or two trying on outfits, doing our makeup and hair and finding accessories to complete the look. Only just one problem, to find out those skinny jeans won’t do up or that tight tank top makes you look like you have a belly bulge as if something’s cooking in the oven. Today’s main focus is to lose the annoying belly pooch in 24 hours. Have a serious event coming up and want to look great in that LBD? Or just sick of feeling sluggish like you’re carrying around a five foot baby whale all the time, no need to worry simply stick to these tips throughout the day and watch the bloat disappear!
1. Start your day fresh with some hot water and lemon
Think of this as a magic elixir as lemon cleanses your body and banishes toxins, whilst jump starting your metabolism. Not only does it support your immune system as it’s high in vitamin C, but it also aids digestion, repairs skin cells, reduces appetite, freshens breath, balances your pH, detoxifies the liver and promotes overall health. Bonus it has a calming effect (definitely need more of this).
2. Yoga it out
Stretches help to alleviate pain and tighten, tone and lengthen the body which in turn give the core a flatter, more svelte and sleek appearance. (See older posts for some stretches to try). Why not try incorporating Pilates if you’re game! Its just the same only more intense poses, definitely worth it and besides what have you got to lose!
3. Sip on a flat belly smoothie
Liquids are easier to digest than solid foods, and smoothies are quick and nutritious to make so why not take advantage of this and make your own special concoction of proven belly flattening foods. Some smoothie options may include or mix and match yourself:
4. Make your mid morning snack smarter
Teach yourself to snack better with foods that have a high water content, such as melons, cucumber and celery. Not only are these beauty’s low in calories, full of water which is key for hydration but also celery contains potassium, in which potassium reduces fluid retention that creates the extension in the stomach. Aim for potassium rich foods too including bananas, leafy greens (think salads) dried apricots ( these absolutely help when on you’re period FYI), Greek yoghurt, mushrooms, avocados and salmon. It’s all about the snacking so don’t just eat whenever you feel like it, teach yourself discipline but allow yourself to eat 6-8 small meals/snacks a day and your less likely to feel that awful swollen sickness and more likely to feel satisfied.
5.Cut the C.R.A.P
Artificial Sweeteners/ sugars
Not only are these types of foods bad for your overall health ( yes we already know that ) but they are also the main culprits of stomach distension. Seeing as the digestive system can’t properly process and break down these ‘fake foods’ it’s simply your body’s way of rejecting the toxins and as a result, shows on your body. Whilst chocolate, ice cream, chips and waffles are all at the top of our to – eat list, If you want flat abs the secret is a no brainer although sticking to the 80/20 rule is recommended, to help you De bloat it’s best to throw these foods out to stop you from temptation or keep them hidden out of sight. Think out of sight out of mind. Remember your body is your temple and you must respect, love and feed it through wholesome, clean and nourishing food. Refined sugars can be found in absolutely anything these days you’d be surprised so make sure to always check the label for things like fructose, glucose, food additives, lactose and sorbitol.
6. Avoid the alcohol, smoking, fatty foods and limit dairy and chewing gum
Again these are all main contributors to bloating, some more than others but it goes without saying that these are all toxins that do more harm to the body than good. Try to skip happy hour or limit to one night per week as the body can’t metabolise alcohol fast enough in which the rate people consume it in. This creates spikes in blood sugar levels that wreaks havoc on your body. Smoking is similar to chewing gum as air particles get trapped in the small intestine, as sorbitol from gum can’t be broken down properly, thus creating a stomach full of air which will eventually lead to gas.
Dairy (or lactose which is another name for sugar) can worsen or exacerbate symptoms and distend the stomach rapidly too. However not all dairy products do this, it’s differs to each individual but the main culprits are anything milk or cheese related ( including chocolate and ice cream) so it’s best to steer clear of these and try Greek yoghurt, anything made from goats milk or alternatives such almond milk, rice milk or soy milk. The tolerance in which one can consume dairy (the amount) again differs from person to person so find your balance or limit( just maybe not today if you’re trying to de bloat). Don’t forget the obvious ones, fatty foods that include anything greasy, fried, most fast food services or take out, desserts or anything that generally comes in a packet. It’s ok to enjoy these treats in moderation and live by the 80 percent clean, 20 percent treat rule which is the equivalent to one cheat day per week (or 3 meals). If you are trying to maintain a slim figure including a flatter belly, avoid these altogether.
It’s super important you aim for at least 30 minutes or more a day to improve general health. It doesn’t have to be anything vigorous, simply take a long walk as this will help with keeping that belly down but will also improve your mood by producing endorphins (feel good neurotransmitters) and keep up serotonin levels known as the happy hormone. Excersize relieves stress and can help shed off those extra kilos (who doesn’t want that). Want to burn a bit of ab flab while you’re at it? Include some full body toning excersizes, including the plank, squats, kettle bell swings, dumbbell flys, mountain climbers, burpees and lunges. Also try HIIIT which is proven to torch belly fat in half the time of a usual workout. It simply involves doing short bursts or intervals of cardio at your maximum output, followed by brief periods of rest. This is one of the best ways to lose belly fat whilst working out and toning up. Try searching on YouTube for some home workouts to start or simply go for a run and try a couple sprints to mix it up and see better results.
When our cortisol levels go up (known as the stress hormone) it prevents our bodies from burning kilo joules into energy and instead goes into fight or flight mode, causing our bodies to hold onto and store fat from the food we ingest. The best way to combat this is by focusing on your breathing, try mindfulness and being aware of what you eat, how you feel and the environment you’re in. Excersize and yoga can also help reduce stress but it might not work for everyone so find something that works for you such as taking a hot bubble bath or reading a good book. Balancing your emotions is one of the key components in bringing down your stress levels so find something that makes you happy and do it!
9. Omega 3s are your new BFF
Healthy fats usually scare people off as they are a type of fat, however they are known as the good fats with a wide variety of benefits, including lowering belly fat. The main sources include oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds. Oily fish for example is packed with polyunsaturated fat that provides essential fatty acids for brain development and reduces inflammation. It’s a good source of vitamin D, protein, vitamin B and selenium. Try to opt for salmon or tuna. Avocados are the belly buster kings and a must have throughout your day as they’re packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, it has more potassium than a banana, it’s loaded with mono-unsaturated fats or heart healthy fats, lowers bad cholesterol and is packed with fibre and antioxidants. Try making your own homemade guacamole for an afternoon snack. Nuts and seeds are another great way to lower belly fat as they can be a great snack, keeping you fuller for longer. Try almonds and walnuts or make your own trail mix.
10. Get some Z’s
Sleep is super important in keeping the body regulated and the mind at peace. Aim for 7-8 hours a night and you will have stronger willpower to make smarter decisions, be able to get things done more efficiently and ultimately allow your body time to relax and unwind. Having enough sleep helps to lower cortisol and boost serotonin, thus stops you from reaching for C.R.A.P, feeling tired and irritable and makes it easier for you to think clearly and get through the day. Allow your body time to unwind, and restore as glycogen levels are being replenished during sleep which is necessary for developing and maintaining muscle. Muscle is key to keeping our metabolisms working all hours of the day, which helps to burn off those extra calories around the clock, even long after you finish your workout. Make sure you turn off all distractions and devices at night and sleep in a dark, cool temperated room and get some Z’s!