The waistline is the top body part women say they are most self-conscious about. Here are simple ways to lose belly fat and get a flat stomach for good.
1. Eat more probiotics
Our gut bacteria controls far more than we give it credit for, which is why having your gut colonized with beneficial types of bacteria is so important. One way to do this is by taking a probiotic supplement. You can also make these 12 foods that boost good gut bacteria part of your everyday diet. Not only can will this help you get sick less, feel happier, and ease digestion but it can also help you de-bloat, flattening out your tummy in the process.
2. Cut off salt
Salt, in moderation, is a good thing—the mineral is necessary for a healthy heart and brain. But too much salt and you’ll retain water, bloating up like a water balloon. Cutting salt is one of the primary ways to drop extra water weight (one reason you may see a big weight loss when starting a new diet!). Move the salt shaker off your table so you’ll get out of the habit of routinely salting all your food. Then if you taste your food and still really want salt you can still stand up and get some.
3. Say no to beer
It’s called a “beer belly” for a reason. Boozy bubbles are a major cause of belly bloat, as anyone who’s ever looked in the mirror after a few too many drinks can attest. But it’s not just the carbonation that is the culprit. Alcohol can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your stomach, leading to gas, not to mention all the empty calories that are going straight to your waistline. Instead, skip the alcohol altogether or limit yourself to one serving per day.
4. Chew with your mouth close
Chewing while breathing through your mouth can make you swallow as much air as food, causing your belly to inflate. Learning proper table manners will not only help you keep a trimmer tummy but will also make your friends and family much happier.
5. Cut out the sugar
Sugary treats, while obviously delicious, aren’t very good for our bodies—and that includes our tummies. Not only do the added calories add inches to our waistlines, but sugar overload leads to insulin resistance, which tells the body to store extra fat around the waist. But that’s long-term stuff. Sugar also bloats your tummy in the short-term by feeding the bad bacteria in your gut, leading to extra gas. When it comes to flattening your belly, nixing sugar is one of the best things you can do.
6. Sleep earlier
Americans are getting less sleep than ever these days and it’s taking a toll on our health—most visibly on our waistlines. Losing just 30 minutes of sleep per night can make you gain weight, according to a study done by the Endocrine Society. Worse, that weight is more likely to go straight to your tummy. Instead, the researchers found, the best sleep cycle is one that follows your natural circadian rhythms, which means sleeping and waking around the same time as the sun.
7. Avoid processed foods
Processed foods are one of the biggest sources of salt in Americans’ diets—and the scary part is you probably don’t even realize it. Because of the way these addictive foods are formulated, salt is hidden in everything from soups to pasta sauces to even sweet things like boxed cakes. Swap out processed foods in favor of fresh fare and your tummy will thank you. Not only will you lose the salt-bloat but you’ll also lose the extra empty calories and lose weight.
8. Drink more water
Whereas many beverages can increase your waistline (see above), there is one that is guaranteed to trim your tummy: water. Drinking plain old H2O works because staying fully hydrated tells your body it’s okay to release any extra water it’s retaining, decreasing the accompanying bloat. Plus, drinking water has been proven to reduce cravings for sweets, lower your appetite, and help you feel satiated faster.
9. Fill up a fruit bowl with actual fruits
Fruits like berries, cherries, apples, and oranges are high in quercetin, a natural compound that reduces inflammation in the belly. And if you put a bowl of the good stuff right where you can see it in your kitchen, you’re more likely to reach for it when you want a snack. Or try making delicious fruit smoothies for breakfast.
10. Fill up on fiber
Fibrous foods are as close to a “miracle belly flattening pill” as we have. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, particularly those high in soluble fiber, have been proven to reduce fat around your midsection. In addition, these foods fill you up so you eat less, flattening your stomach over time.
11. Stop stressing out
Constantly thinking about how big your belly is or how you need to lose weight is counterproductive! And making yourself stressful does crazy things to your body. Side note: Stress increases the amount of cortisol in your body—cortisol, “the belly fat” hormone signals your body to store fat around your waist and you will ultimately have a harder time losing weight.
So stay calm, eat clean, and move more. If you need a sensible guide on eating clean, eating whole and living skinny, there is a little-known diet plan called the 2 Week Diet which will teach you these things. Getting your eating habits and lifestyle in check will increase your metabolism—allowing you to shed weight and shed it fast.
Women who have followed the 2 Week Diet reported losing up to 20 pounds and 2-4 inches from their waist in just a matter of 2 weeks—the methods in the 2 Week Diet are all backed by science. Check out this video on the 2 Week Diet now to learn more about how to follow the diet—and get to your ideal weight in 14 days.