Experts reveal the surprising tricks that will help you get a flat tummy – and thereâ€™s not a sit-up in sight
- Drink lots of water but avoid anything carbonated as it is full of gas
- Chewing gum is a no-no as are root vegetables, lentils and pulses
- Eat oats for breakfast and make sure you drink green tea first thin
Do your trousers feel tight after lunch? Does your belly look twice its size at the end of the day? If the answer is yes, you are suffering with bloating.
While bloating can be caused by various conditions, such as gas, water retention and constipation, there are simple eating and lifestyle changes you can make that will flatten your tummy.
These include drinking six to eight glasses of water, chewing each mouthful of food until it almost turns to liquid, and avoiding all beans, root vegetables and pulses.
By making some simple eating and lifestyle changes, you too can have a perfectly flat tummy
NutriCentre’s head nutritionist Shona Wilkinson told FEMAIL: ‘To reduce bloating the main foods to avoid are sugar, wheat, caffeine and alcohol as these are the ones most likely to cause bloating and weight gain.
‘By cutting these out, drinking more water and eating more lean proteins youâ€™ll also help balance your blood sugar levels, which means youâ€™ll have a steady amount of energy to help stop those cravings for unhealthy, fattening foods like crisps, sweets and chocolate.’
And it is important to pace yourself when eating; rush and you may end up consuming more calories.
Shauna explained: ‘Chew each mouthful until the food is almost liquid; not only will this help to ensure that the food is properly digested, but it will also help you to eat slowly and enjoy your food, so can prevent you over eating.’
Here are Shona’s top tips on how to beat the bloat.
This powerful herb has an anti-spasmodic and calming effect. This helps with any gas to escape, leaving you less bloated. Try drinking a peppermint tea as a tasty alternative to your usual tea!
Peppermint tea (left) helps gas escape your body. Including oats (right) in your diet provides you with fibre
Drink your food and chew your soup
Chew every bite a minimum of 30 times. Chewing enough not only stimulates the secretion of digestive juices needed for proper digestion but it also ensures that your food is properly mixed with saliva and is swallowed with less gas.
Unbroken down food in the gut leads to many problems, one of which is gas. Donâ€™t forget to chew on liquids foods, such as soups and smoothies. If you donâ€™t chew on them, your body wonâ€™t produce adequate enzymes!
FOODS TO SPEED UP METABOLISM
Egg whites: Branched chain amino acid kick-starts your metabolism.
Milk and yogurt: Calcium encourages your body to burn fat
Kale: Zero calories and high levels of fibre.
Grapefruit: Â A glass of juice a day can help you burn body fat, increase metabolism and reduce appetit
Drink 30 minutes before each meal
Ensuring good hydration will allow your body to make sufficient Hydrochloric acid, one of the digestion acids.
The 30-minute gap will help you ensure that there is no water in your stomach to dilute it. Try to avoid drinking water with or immediately after a meal as this will dilute the hydrochloric acid and make digestion less efficient.
If you are intolerant to the milk sugar lactose, then you might suffer with excess gas and bloating. Adding a lactase enzyme supplement may be necessary for those who struggle with this milk sugar digestion.
Salt (left) is your worst enemy for water retention
The microorganisms in our gut play an important role. They especially help with the digestion of lactose. Try taking a daily culture supplement such as Optibac Probiotics One week flat, an advanced formulation of unique probiotics and prebiotics.
If you constantly suffer from excess gas, ask you GP or natural health practitioner to screen you for food intolerances and other gut related disorders.
Foods like beans (left) are notorious for causing bloating. Chewing gum (right) can lead to swallowing air
GET A FLAT STOMACH IN A DAY
Eat: One slice of wholegrain toast with nut butter or porridge with berries and almond butter or two hard boiled eggs and a cup of berries.Â
Drink: Start the day with water and add juice from a lemon. It will make you feel invigorated and it contains antiseptic and cleansing powers. If you start your day off with lemon in your water you are stepping off on the right foot with your digestion.
Eat: Small cup raw unsalted nuts and one clementine or celery sticks with peanut butterÂ
Eat:Â Kale or spinach leaves with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, avocado, hard boiled egg, sunflower seeds and lemon and vinegar dressing.Â
Drink: After your meal drink organic peppermint or lemongrass tea, which both are great for improve the digestion.
Eat: Natural yoghurt with ginger or sliced cucumber. or watermelon slices.
Eat: Grilled salmon with spinach sauteed in olive oil and garlic.
Making sure that you are drinking plenty of hydrating liquids such as water, coconut water and fruit or herbal teas.
Including oats in your diet provides you with fibre and an increase in faecal bulk. Make sure that you are consuming seven to nine portions of vegetables and fruit too! Try porridge for breakfast with flax seeds.
Cut out salt
This is your worst enemy for water retention. It is completely unnecessary to be added into foods. We need our water to be inside our cells for hydration, and consuming a high salt diet draws it out of our cells into tissues. A certain degree of salt is needed but no more than what is naturally found in foods.
Switch your usual beverage for dandelion tea. It makes a delicious brew, especially just before your menstrual cycle.
Leeks, garlic and onions
Often water retention is due to hormonal issues. Supporting your liver will ensure the correct metabolism and detoxification of hormones. Leeks, garlic and onions are packed with sulphur, which is required by the liver for the detoxification process.
It contributes to reducing excessive flatulence after eating. Taken after each meal, charcoal is able to absorb hundreds times its own weight in toxins.
Drink green tea in the morning as the caffeine in green tea can boost your metabolism for up to two hours and help to keep your stomach flat. Research has suggested that drinking two to four cups of green or oolong tea may push the body to burn 17 per cent more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short time.
TIPS FOR A FLATTER STOMACH
Eat 5 times a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and mid-morning and afternoon snacks.
Have herbal teas and plenty of water. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day, sipping slowly, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to heighten the cleansing effects. If you normally drink a lot of tea and coffee and are worried about going â€˜cold turkeyâ€™ then have just one to cups a day, but really dilute to lessen the caffeine.
Got a sweet tooth and worried about getting cravings when you cut it out? Eating regular healthy meals, with a steady intake of protein, should help reduce sugar cravings by keeping your blood sugar levels balanced. But if you need extra help try taking a supplement of the mineral chromium, it will help boost blood sugar level balancing. Take two 200mcg tablets a day, one 30 mins before a mid-morning snack and one 30 mins before a mid-afternoon snack
Eat your celery. Celery is an excellent diuretic, due to its high potassium content, so it can help with water retention. Add celery chunks to salad, look for a good recipe for celery soup, or use celery as one of the ingredients in a vegetable juice
Limit gassy foods. Foods like beans, pulses and root vegetables are notorious for causing bloating and wind.
Always chew food well and take your time when eating. Chew each mouthful until the food is almost liquid; not only will this help to ensure that the food is properly digested, but it will also help you to eat slowly and enjoy your food, so can prevent you over eating.
Avoid all fizzy drinks, even diet ones. Fizzy bubbles in carbonated diet drinks can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach and can cause bloating. Instead, drink water flavored with lemon, lime, or cucumber or try peppermint tea or a herbal tea like Pukka Detox, Â£2.09, with detoxing aniseed, fennel and licorice.
Don’t chew chewing gum. It can lead to swallowing air, which can cause bloating. It can also stimulate your digest enzymes to expect food which can then stimulate hunger.
Watch your salt intake. Never add extra salt to your food as it increases the amount of water that the body retains and can therefore make you look more bloated and heavier.
Avoid sweeteners. Many people suffer from bloating because they consume too much sugar alcohol in artificially sweetened foods and drinks, and so it is important to avoid these sweeteners.
Tips from NutriCentre nutritionist Shauna WilkinsonÂ