7 (Pain-Free!) Flat Belly TipsArticle posted in: Lifestyle
When you are making progress toward your weight loss goal, you want to see results—especially in that most visible area, your belly. We already told you what NOT to do if you want a flat belly (Missed that story? Check it out here).
And you probably already know that sticking to your Nutrisystem healthy eating diet plan and getting moderate exercise are the most important steps you can take. But you can achieve a flatter belly with a few very simple steps—no sit-ups necessary. Remember these seven tips and you’ll look and feel better right away:
1. Eat More Fiber
One of the common causes of belly bloat is constipation, a problem that afflicts a wide variety of people from time to time. The solution is to include lots of fresh vegetables, fruits and SmartCarbs, such as whole grains, in your daily diet. These high-fiber foods reduce constipation and belly bloat. What’s more, fiber-rich foods help you feel full longer, so you aren’t hungry between meals (and you won’t cheat on your diet!).
2. Go Pro
Your digestive tract is home to thousands of bacteria that help break down the food you eat and trigger a lot of other essential bodily functions. When the mix of bacteria gets out of balance, it can lead to inflammation and bloat in your midsection. Probiotics, helpful microbes found in food, restore the healthy balance in your belly. Yogurt is a familiar source of probiotics, but they are also abundant in other fermented foods such as sauerkraut and green olives.
3. Snack on Seeds
Sunflower and other kinds of seeds are rich in conjugated linoleic acids, compounds that reduce fat, especially around the waist and hips, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The researchers recommend you eat about two to three tablespoons of seeds a day to get the fat reduction benefits. On the Nutrisystem program? You can still reap the flat-belly benefits of seeds—one teaspoon of most seeds counts as one Extra. Just be sure to opt for no salt added varieties.
4. Chew Well
When you gulp down your food, you tend to swallow a lot of air with it. Air in your stomach shows up as belly bloat. Taking your time and chewing each bite thoroughly significantly reduces the amount of air you ingest. Bonus: Chewing food and eating more slowly gives your appetite time to catch up and be satisfied, so you are less likely to overeat.
5. Sleep Regular Hours
When you sleep just 30 minutes less per night than is optimal for you—typically around eight hours—you tend to gain weight around your waistline, according to a study done by the Endocrine Society. The researchers found that the ideal sleep cycle follows your body’s natural rhythms, which means waking up when the sun comes up and going to sleep shortly after sunset.
6. Vacuum Your Floors
Keeping your home clean is a good habit, but it’s also an easy way to strengthen your abdominal muscles without exercising. If you try to tighten your abs as you push the sweeper back and forth, you build stronger muscles that help tone up your belly and get rid of unwanted belly fat.
7. Stand Up Straight
Just by straightening your back and keeping your chin up, you look more slender and your belly gets pulled in. Better yet, when your posture is good, your stomach muscles are automatically engaged, tightening your abs and making your belly even flatter.