Not sure how to get a flat stomach? We've whittled down our top tips to help you get bikini body ready ahead of summer. Go on, give these diet tricks a try...
Getting a flat stomach is no mean feat most of us toy with the idea but can’t quite muster up the will-power to stick to our diets. After all, when there’s office biscuits, wine and roast dinners tempting us on a weekly basis, how can we resist?
We’ve whittled down our top tips to getting a flat stomach. There’s nothing scary, daunting or unachievable just eat steps to changing the way you eat.
Ensure you feel amazing and confident this bikini season with Marie Claire's flat stomach guide. From cutting down on sugar to ensuring you eat at the right times of the day, these are the simple steps to body confidence. What have you got to lose? (Oh, and there's not a sit-up in sight...)
Water is attracted to sodium, so when you eat salt-laden meals your body holds on to water which creates that bloated effect. Instead, limit the amount of salt you add when cooking at home and keep a close eye on salt-levels on packaged food. Ready-meals and shop bought sauces are two of the biggest culprits...
Make sure you don't eat anything two to three hours before you fall asleep. Your body slows right down whilst you're snoozing, which will prevent your food from digesting properly. Fill that late-night gap with a soothing herbal tea instead.
These belly-nasties include: alcohol, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and acidic fruit juices. Why? They're high-acid drinks, which irritate your GI tract, resulting in bloating. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
Some foods simply create more gas equals bloat - in your GI tract than others. The culprits? Legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, peppers and citrus fruits.
Firstly. What are they? They're sugar substitutes, which often go by the name of xylitol or maltilol, that are often found in low-calorie or low-carb products like cookies, cakes, sweets and energy bars. Basically, your GI tract can't absorb them, therefore, they are not your belly's best friend. Your best bet? Stay well clear of the low calorie versions...
It's the time our blood sugar is most likely to drop and the time we're most likely to reach for a chocolate bar. Instead, opt for a high-protein snack like cottage cheese, yoghurt, eggs or meat to fill the gap. It'll boost metabloism as well as balancing those blood sugar levels.
We're all guilty of inhaling our food so quickly we've hardly had time to breathe ? epsecially during rushed lunch breaks. It's essential to eat meals slowly and chew food thoroughly to reduce the work our bodies have to do, which, in turn, makes tums flat. Easy, peasy.
Some raw foods can be bulky, which takes up room in your gastrointestinal tract (GI) tract - the digestive organ that extracts nutrients from your food ? expanding it unnecessarily. The result? A swollen tummy. You can get the same nutrients from cooked foods as you do raw, so stick with the former to avoid bloating.
This isn't brain science - all those bubbles make your tummy bloat. Cut out all cans of Coke - including that post-lunchtime Diet Coke break - and its assorted friends, and you're tum will definitely feel flatter.
Ditch high-carbohydrate foods like bagels, bananas and pasta. Your body stores a type of carbohydrate called glycogen; every gram of glycogen is stored with about 3 grams of water. But, unless you're running a marathon tomorrow, you're body doesn't need this power pile-up. By decreasing carb intake, you can train your body to access the stored fuel - and burn it off. At the same time, you'll be getting rid of excess stored fluid.
It might be good for a quick minty breath-boost, but did you know that chewing gum causes belly bloating? We didn't either. But, when you chew gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your GI tract, and causes pressure, bloating and belly expansion.
Foods seasoned with black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, chilli powder, hot sauces, onions, garlic, mustard, barbecue sauce, horseradish, tomato sauce or vinegar can all stimulate the release of stomach acids, which can cause irritation. Phew! That's a long list - but if you're off to a special occasion, it's worth remembering for a wow-factor entrance.
Doughnuts? Ditch 'em. Fried breakfasts? Say goodbye. Chips? Forget it - even the obligatory splash of tomato ketchup can cause bloating. Fatty foods, especially the fried variety, are digested more slowly, causing you to feel heavy and bloated. So there you have it. What we all know - but don't want to face up to...