Want to beat the bloat and unveil a flat, toned tummy? Try out these tips to lose stomach fat
Have you tried on your summer swimsuit yet? Even if it hasn’t mysteriously shrunk in the wardrobe, the chances are you’ll feel more confident on the beach or by the pool with a slightly flatter tummy. The good news is, you don’t have to embark on an extreme diet to shrink your belly. Simply making a few tweaks to your menu can have a dramatic effect on how you look in your suit.
A sticky-outy tummy may have as much to do with excess water or gas as it has to do with fat. So, the key to looking and feeling better fast is to win the war against bloating. How? All you need to do is follow this smart, two-step strategy for tummy victory.
Attack with probiotics You’ve heard of probiotics – they’re the friendly bacteria vital for proper digestion. Not only does a healthy gut bolster your immune system, it can also prevent constipation and the fermentation of food that leads to gas. Both constipation and gas can cause bloating, so countering them with probiotics is the first step to a flatter stomach.
The best way to get a dose of probiotics is to eat natural yoghurt. Just take care – some yoghurts contain sugar, which, as well feeding good bacteria, could also feed the less-beneficial gut flora that potentially makes bloating worse. Your best bet is to go for natural, probiotic yoghurts that are sugar-free, or to take probiotic capsules, often labelled acidophilus.
Defend with prebiotics Nope, that’s not a typo – if you haven’t heard of prebiotics, it’s time to get acquainted. Think of them as food for your good bacteria – without prebiotics, your army of probiotics can’t survive and flourish. Prebiotics also help probiotics in another way: they may suppress the growth of harmful bacteria. For a dose of prebiotics, tuck into wholegrains and high-fibre fruit and vegetables, including onions, leeks, artichokes and bananas.
Prebiotics are also found in dark chocolate and red wine (score!), as well as raw honey. One of the most concentrated sources is kiwi fruit, although you do need to eat the skin, so it may be more palatable to take with a kiwi-based prebiotic supplement such as Kiwi Klenz (£31.99, yourhealthbasket.co.uk).
A flat tum in 5 days Use these tips for a flatter, healthier tummy, fast
1. Eat three meals a day, evenly spaced. Be especially careful not to overeat at night, as the food can sit in your stomach and ferment, causing gas and bloating.
2. Watch your portion size as large meals can also lead to fermentation, gas and bloating. Serve your meals on a side plate to regulate portions.
3. Eat fruit for breakfast only, not as a dessert with meals later in the day to avoid fermentation.
4. Sit down, eat slowly and really chew your food to improve digestion.
5. Avoid fizzy drinks, including sparkling water. Drink still water with meals and avoid caffeine, which could interrupt digestion.