We truly hope that you’re happy with your body! But we know there are things every one of us wishes we could improve. For us it’s all about the belly. Whether you’ve put on a few inches in your middle or you want to reduce abdominal fat for health reasons, there are lots of little things you can do aside from working out to get a sleek silhouette. Try these ideas.
This one hits really close to home. Seltzer runs through our veins, but carbonated beverages such as soda, diet soda and sparking water can make a belly really large. “The bubbles can instantly bloat you and make your tummy as big as a balloon,” says Stacy Goldberg, a nutritionist at savorfull.
Eliminate Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols have lots of tricky sounding names: erythritol, xylitol, maltitol. If you see any of these ingredients on bars and supplements, walk away. “The addition of sugar alcohols help lower sugar and carbs in foods but they also cause major belly bloat and GI distress,” says Goldberg. Gum can cause a double bloat as many brands contain these sugar alcohols and swallowing lots of air puffs up your gut.
Use Small Plates
We’re always looking for a reason to buy new kitchen goodies. And getting a flatter belly is a spectacular excuse! “Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions,” says David Baillie, a Connecticut-based personal trainer and owner of Front-Line Fitness. “It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it's full.” Meanwhile you’ve devoured everything on your dinner-sized plate in 10 minutes. Baillie says that by using smaller plates and bowls, you can learn to eat mindfully and may gradually get used to eating smaller, yet filling portions.
Stand Up Straight
While you’re waiting for the results of these healthy changes there’s something you can do ASAP to whittle your middle. Just stand up straight. Seriously. You probably don’t even realize how much you slouch when sitting, standing or walking. “Standing up straight helps to keep your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, engaged and gives your midsection a flatter appearance,” says Dr. Nina Watson, MD. She says good posture can also boost your mood and allows you to use your muscles more efficiently. Get your shoulders out of your ears, lift your chest, engage your abs and be upright!