Through diligence and determination, you’ve acquired a svelte, flat belly. So how do you keep it that way? Here are some easy ways to keep your belly flat and prevent the monthly bloat.
Get Your Potassium
Foods rich in potassium act as a natural diuretic, decreasing puffiness and water retention. Choose from nonfat yogurt (with no artificial sweeteners), cantaloupe, papaya, mango and avocados, to name a few. Include these foods in your daily diet to decrease bloating.
Be Salt Savvy
Sodium is an important part of our diet but it’s important to watch the type of salt you use. Susan Irby, the author of The Bikini Chef, suggests that using kosher salt or sea salt reduces belly bloating. Irby adds, “And stay away from soy sauce: even low-sodium soy sauce is still high in sodium and will cause practically instant bloating.”
According to Jorge Cruise, author of The Belly Fat Cure, the hormone glucagon plays an important role in melting belly fat. Eating very little or no sugar reduces insulin and boosts glucagon levels. Studies show that glucagon gobbles fat around your waistline, keeping you fit and trim!
In her book, The Flexitarian Diet, dietician Dawn Jackson suggests that the longer you chew your food, the healthier you’ll be. Chewing your food longer results in improved digestion, which decreases and prevents bloating. Say goodbye to antacids and gas. Chew. Chew. Chew.
Drink Lots of Water
Drinking eight eight-ounce glasses of water daily is one of the keys to reducing belly bloat. Water helps to break down the food you eat, providing increased energy and overall well-being. Drinking water regulates your body’s fluid balance and aids in maintaining a flat stomach.
Have an Afternoon Snack
According to health and fitness experts, eating between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. can lower your blood sugar and boost metabolism. Keeping your blood sugar low reduces insulin levels. Insulin is one of the factors that determine how your body stores belly fat. Eating every three to four hours maintains blood sugar levels.
Eat the Right Kind of Fat
In her books, the O2 Diet and The Snack Factor Diet, Keri Glassman, RD, reports that eating smaller portions that include monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and whole-grains reduces abdominal fat. What are MUFAs? They’re plant-based fats found in nuts, olives, dark chocolate, seeds, certain oils and avocados. Eating MUFAs not only helps in maintaining your flat belly, but studies show they also help in protecting against chronic disease.
Some fitness experts also suggest a good belly laugh keeps belly fat at bay. Luckily, Laughter Yoga classes are sprouting up in cities around the globe!
Whichever method you choose, keep up the good work and flaunt your flat belly!