Since giving birth to my second child 6 months ago, I have only dreamed of a flat belly. If only I could have appreciated my body during my twenties like I do now!
With bikini season being here (my least favourite thing about summer) I thought I would give you some simple tips on how to achieve that flat-belly that you desire without the 1,000 sit ups a day!
1. Ban Bloat
A lot of times we feel “big” in the middle, not because of fat (thankfully!), but because of what’s going on in our stomach. Keeping our digestive system happy, and especially, avoiding bloat, can go a long way in helping us look and feel slimmer.
Here are a few tips to ban bloat:
- Use herbs such as basil, dill, ginger, fennel, and mint – all of these herbs have gas-relieving properties.
- Introduce fibre-rich food gradually – fibre is great, but if you are not used to a fibre-rich diet and suddenly eat a lot of fibre-rich food, you could experience some digestive issues!
- Cook beans properly – soak beans for at least four hours, and use spices or kombu to improve digestibility.
- Notice how your body reacts to vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage.
- Look for potential food intolerance (e.g., lactose or gluten) – if your body cannot digest and assimilate these properly, they can cause gas.
- Yoga poses, such as twisting, can help relieve gas – these poses stimulate the movement of the smooth muscles of the intestinal walls and help “move things along”.
2. Reduce Fluid Retention
You can easily gain 3–5 pounds, and a dress size around the waist, if you are experiencing water retention. For most women, hormonal fluctuation is the main cause of fluid retention. Although you may not be able to get rid of all the fluids that Mother Nature imposes on you, there are a few things you can do to minimize the “impact”:
- Stay hydrated
- Reduce salt intake
- Reduce sugar intake
- Reduce toxic load and detox regularly
- Use herbs with diuretic properties, such as dandelion greens, uva ursi, corn silk, alfalfa, stinging nettle, celery seeds, and parsley.
- Use the sauna to help relieve stored water – now you have that excuse you need to go to the spa!
3. Facilitate Elimination
Facilitating elimination can help get rid of “dead weight” that is bogging you down. It also helps to reduce your toxic load, which can cause you to hold onto excess weight.
Here are a few things you can do to help “move things along”
- Drink freshly squeezed carrot and apple juice to aid colon detox.
- Drink a cup of warm water with two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, first thing in the morning – it is very alkalinizing and cleansing.
- Exercise regularly – movement helps the muscles of your digestive organs to move food & waste along appropriately. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise daily, I enjoy a walk in the sun or playing with the kids at the park – it’s amazing how many calories you can burn chasing a 5 year old!
- Ensure adequate intake of dietary fibre – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, flaxseed, wheat bran, and psyllium husk.
So next time you are feeling bloated or finding it hard to do up the buttons on your shorts, try some of these tips and you’ll be feeling flatter in no time!
Melanie Grime RHN
Melanie Grime is a holistic nutritionist serving the Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington, and Caledon areas. Adams Apple Nutrition treats everyone as an individual with their own specific needs and helps clients suffering from health issues by looking for the root cause of symptoms and working with them to reach their health and nutrition goals.