25 Lazy Ways to Flatten Your Belly—Fast

25 Lazy Ways to Flatten Your Belly—Fast

shutterstock

Losing weight requires determination and consistency, but for those of you who just “don’t have enough time in the day,” or just simply find exercise boring, you’re in luck. There are plenty of things you can do every day that hardly require any effort. For instance, drink more water, go to sleep earlier and eat slower. Trying to spot-reduce is an unrealistic goal. It’s simply not possible. The idea that you can lose fat from a specific body part by working the muscle near it makes no sense because muscle and fat are gained and lost in different ways. But there are certain fixes that can lead to a flatter belly in seemingly no time.

Lazy Ways to Flatten Your Belly

shutterstock

Losing weight requires determination and consistency, but for those of you who just “don’t have enough time in the day,” or just simply find exercise boring, you’re in luck. There are plenty of things you can do every day that hardly require any effort. For instance, drink more water, go to sleep earlier and eat slower. Trying to spot-reduce is an unrealistic goal. It’s simply not possible. The idea that you can lose fat from a specific body part by working the muscle near it makes no sense because muscle and fat are gained and lost in different ways. But there are certain fixes that can lead to a flatter belly in seemingly no time.

No gassy vegetables

iStock

Cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower fall under the FODMAPs category (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols). They have carbs that the small intestine doesn’t absorb well and are rapidly fermented by bacteria in the GI. This creates gas buildup, which leads to bloating. Research suggests that reducing the amount of FODMAPs can help with symptoms of bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.

Avoid alcohol

iStock

Studies link alcohol consumption to bigger waists because when you drink booze, the liver burns alcohol instead of fat. Booze also has a lot of sugar. Losing weight depends on many factors, but calories in vs. calories out are a huge component. Keep it less than 10 percent of your daily calories, Joey Gochnour, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer at Nutrition and Fitness Professional, LLC, says. That is usually one drink for women and two for men.

Throw out the chewing gum

Shutterstock

Chewing gum causes you to swallow extra air which leads to abdominal bloating. Also, chewing gum makes your body think that food is coming in. It starts to produce the enzymes necessary to break it down. But when there is no food to process, bloating occurs because now you have too much stomach acid in your belly. Have some popcorn – it will help you lose weight – or a healthy snack next time you feel like chewing gum.

Forget about soda

Shutterstock

Anything carbonated will produce unwanted bloat. In a study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, people who drank two or more diet sodas a day had waist sizes that were six times bigger than those who didn’t drink diet soda (which is in some ways even worse than regular soda).

Fix your posture

iStock

Good posture is key in helping the belly build and retain muscle and structure and plays a huge role in how the body looks on a day-to-day basis,” Angela Martindale, a celebrity nutritionist, fitness trainer and Utah’s No. 1 wellness coach, says. Straightening the spine and rolling the shoulder blades back automatically pulls the belly in, she adds. “We can focus on good posture when we sit, stand, drive – and in any activity.”

Try stretching

iStock

Like proper posture, stretching absolutely helps strengthen the belly, Martindale says. “Lengthening and stretching helps flatten and tone those muscles.” She recommends side-to-side stretches that target the obliques and cactus backbends. “Folding forward and lifting halfway to a flat back with palms to shins while pulling navel to spine also strengthens belly muscles,” she adds.

Say NO to dairy products

Shutterstock

Dairy products are highly acidic and they need to be avoided,” Dr. Daryl Gioffre, Founder of Alkamind and celebrity nutritionist, says. Anytime something acidic is introduced into your body, it has a buffer system to help neutralize those acids. One of those primary buffers is fat, he adds.  “Your body would rather hold onto fat, encapsulating the acid or toxin, in order to protect the body from being harmed or damaged.” It is a self-protective mechanism designed to keep you healthy, in the short run. In the long run, it makes you heavier and more toxic, Dr. Gioffre says.

Eat watermelon

iStock

Watermelons are 92 percent water. Two cups of the juicy fruit have just about 100 calories but you’ll feel full. A study says that the mixture of salts, minerals and natural sugars in this juicy fruit can even hydrate your body better than water itself. Watermelon is high in calcium, magnesium, and arginine, which may promote weight loss, according to research. The fruit also has a lot of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant known to prevent cells from damage

Add apple cider vinegar to a meal

iStock

You may want to consider ACV if you can tolerate high-acid foods and don’t get indigestion. A study found that consuming two tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar two times a day with food helped people lose about four pounds after 12 weeks.

Eat smaller portions

iStock

“There are two parts to nutrition science: What and how much,” Gochnour says. “How much is a pretty big part of nutrition and is the problem in the U.S. where people have no idea how much they should have or just don't care.” The body needs to support itself and is running 24/7, so having some food throughout the day is a better strategy than having it all at once, he adds. This is the best way to keep blood sugar levels constant and lower the risk of chronic heart conditions.

Don’t consume overly processed foods

Any processed foods, particularly those that are high in saturated fat and sugar, should be avoided if you want to shed pounds around your middle,” Joey Gonzalez, CEO and trainer at Barry's Bootcamp, says. Processed foods have a lot of sodium which leads to fluid retention. For this reason, many trainers never eat this kind of food. They can also have a lot of Trans fats. Labels are allowed to round down Trans fats grams to 0 if they have less than 0.5g per serving, but most people eat more than what they determine a serving is.

Cut down on the caffeine

iStock

When the body experiences stress, either in the form of taking in caffeine from coffee, tea or energy drinks, cortisol is released. The body goes into the “fight or flight” response, and blood rushes away from the stomach. Digestion is slowed down; the body increases insulin levels. Over time, it becomes resistant to the constant increase in insulin, leading to weight gain and, possibly, type 2 diabetes.

Drink more water

istockphoto.com/kieferpix

“Better yet, replace soft drinks, energy drinks and high-sugar juices with water, especially at meals,” Julia Buckley, fitness trainer and author of The Fat Burn Revolution, says. “The more extra sugar and calories you put into your body, the harder it is to shed belly fat.”

Meditate

shutterstock

Practice meditation or do some other form of stress-relieving activity. “Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which increases appetite, making you much more likely to overeat and store belly fat,” Buckley says. “Reducing your stress levels can control production of this hormone.”

Sleep more

istockphoto.com/Ridofranz

Diet and exercise don’t work if you’re sleep deprived,” Buckley says. “Sleep reduces stress, burns calories, and makes you much less likely to overeat the next day, which makes burning off extra belly fat easier.”

See: 15 Ways Lack of Sleep Is Causing Weight Gain

Consume probiotics

shutterstock

“The right balance of different kinds of bacteria in your gut can help regulate your body weight, making weight loss, especially in the belly, more likely,” Buckley says. Taking probiotics daily also helps work against constipation.

Add vegetables to your meals

shutterstock

If you want to flatten your belly, you should add more vegetables to your meals. “Especially green vegetables that contain fiber and also oxidants which are great for your metabolism,” Carlos Elysee, Personal Trainer, fitness entrepreneur, and founder of the 30 Minute Blitz, says. “When choosing vegetables, the more color they have, the better.”

Eat slower

shutterstock

“Under stress you’re more likely to eat quickly, underestimate your portions, and store those extra calories as belly fat,” Buckley says. “Take in your meals one bite at a time, stop eating when you’re no longer hungry, and the fat you do store will be more evenly distributed throughout your body.”

Eat more soluble fiber and protein

istockphoto.com/Elena_Danileiko

Protein and soluble fiber help you feel fuller, which makes you less likely to overeat and more likely to lose weight,” Buckley says. “Too many added sugars (refined carbs) can cause the extra calories to be stored as fat around your stomach.”

Drink peppermint tea

shutterstock

Drinking peppermint tea has been shown to reduce the symptoms of bloating and abdominal gas. It is also a known remedy for treating stuffy nose, symptoms of the common cold and allergies.

Do more cardio based exercises

istockphoto.com/monkeybusinessimages

Cardio based exercises are just as important as strength training. Consider the 10-minute turnaround (part of the 30 Minute Blitz), Elysee says. It helps burn calories, makes you sweat, targets visceral fat, and is great for the cardio-vascular system, he adds.

Limit your sodium intake

istockphoto.com/clarkandcompany

Reduce the amount of salt you are consuming for a flatter stomach and better health. “High levels of salt can cause bloating,” Elysee says. The bloated feeling you get after eating too much salt is a result of fluid buildup; it increases your blood volume and causes your heart to work harder, according to SFGATE.

Drink lemon water

istockphoto.com/danilovi

Drinking a glass of warm lemon water in the morning is a great way to start your day and is also a great metabolism booster. But what some of you may not know is that it is actually a great drink to help reduce belly bloating. Lemons are a gentle laxative and natural diuretic; they help your body eliminate waste products while aiding in the body’s digestive system, ultimately resulting in a flatter stomach.

Drink green tea

shutterstock

Green tea has numerous health benefits – it can reduce the risk of some cancers, improve brain function, prevent the signs of aging, and help with weight loss. It’s “full of oxidants and better than drinking sugar based drinks,” Elysee says. It also helps clean the digestive system.

Don’t eat too much healthy fat

Shutterstock

“Too many calories of any kind will be stored as fat,” Gochnour says. Good or bad, the body burns as much as it needs for energy and the rest gets stuck in the belly, legs, and glutes (See: 6 exercises for a strong behind). About 20-35 percent of the calories you eat every day should be from healthy fat, he adds.