Whether your goal is to makeover that skinny jean muffin-top or prepare for beaches and bathing suits, the belly is the most stubborn spot for most people to lose. Deflate that spare tire with these simple, get-summer-ready tips!
1. Breakup with “diet” foods— they’re no good for you! When fats and calories are cut out of food, they aren’t replaced by substantial diet necessities…just the mere word “diet” on the packaging isn’t a qualifer. Your body does need some fats and calories for basic biological function. What it doesn’t need are all the added artificial sweeteners and flavorings that masquerade as harmless ingredients, filling the flavor void. Diet sodas— popular as they are— are one of the worst offenders! Replace these chemistry experiments with some totally natural, thirst quenching, taste-bud tingling Fat Flush Cran-Water.
2. Diminish your bloat by avoiding alcohol. Your liver recognizes the byproducts of alcohol as toxins so it stops processing and distributing nutrients in order to take care of the ‘threat’ posed by the toxins. That means the food you eat has to sit and wait it’s turn— and hello, muffin top!
3. Avoid heavy carbohydrates like pasta and bagels. You body automatically stores carbs you eat so when you decrease your intake, it starts to burn the carbs in storage. This can be the secret to unloading lots of extra baggage that won’t budge!
4. Replace fruits that are high in fructose (think pineapple, honeydew, pears) with fruits that are low in fructose like berries, oranges, and peaches. A cool, summery way to get your fruit fill is by throwing it in a blender with your favorite protein powder! (This is also a great breakfast replacement for that bagel you’re avoiding in #3…)
5. Keep the colony strong— your bacteria colony, that is. Your gut needs a good bacteria population to keep out any “bad bacteria” that might come a’knocking. This helps keep your digestive tract strong and running smoothly to eliminate waste properly and efficiently. The best way to do this is with a daily source of probiotics.
6. Eat fiber-rich foods. Fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and moving, so waste is eliminated thoroughly and regularly. This prevents build-up which could lead to weight gain and, in severe cases, serious health issues. Chia seeds are becoming a popular fiber source because 1 ounce yields more than one-third of the recommended daily amount of fiber! They are also bursting with other nutritional benefits!
7. Put down the salt-shaker. Salt causes your body to retain fluid so try cutting it out of your daily diet in as many places as you can. Remember, prepackaged dressings and sauces are PACKED with sneaky salts! This doesn’t mean you have to eat boring flavors to lose a little bloat— the exact opposite, actually! This is the prime time to explore new spices n seasonings like cumin, turmeric, cayenne. And even herbs like basil, parsley, or oregano! (Trust me, your taste-buds will love their new found friends.)
8. Slow down when you eat, literally. Eating on-the-go means you’re chowing as fast as you can, not paying attention to how much you’re eating and sometimes what it even IS that you’re eating. Eating quickly means your body’s metabolizing members (the organs in charge of processing what you eat) can’t keep up adequately with the sudden surge of intake. Picture the Post Office at Christmas time…Know what I mean? And when this happens in your body, food gets put in storage “to deal with later”.
9. Eat breakfast! Plain and simple. Studies show that eating breakfast wakes up your metabolism so it pumps more steadily all day, meaning you’re burning without breaking a sweat. Now, just so we’re clear, a frosted pastry IS breakfast but the sugars do enough damage to counteract the benefits. Don’t defeat your own purpose! Have a protein-rich breakfast such as eggs or a protein smoothie! (Summertime and smoothies go together like sun and sand!)
10. Work it out! You don’t have to be a marathon runner or a bulging weight lifter to get moving. Some kind of physical activity every day increases your heart rate and the steady, harder-than-normal breathing stimulates a natural contraction of the muscles in your middle (abdominal, and even intestinal). So besides the usual “burn fat, build muscle” explanation for exercise, how about the fact that it helps aid digestion!