Tips for A Flatter Belly

Photo by Jannes Jacobs on Unsplash

Photo by Jannes Jacobs on Unsplash

How do I flatten my tummy? Why can’t I get a flat stomach? How can I get a flat stomach quickly?

These are questions I get asked all the time, and while there is no lasting quick fix, there are ways, through diet, that you can decrease your waist circumference, and increase your health!

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#Twosday Tuesday is here! Your weekly dose of two tips to help you create a healthier lifestyle. This week we're talking about two ways to get a flatter belly!

Tip #1: Ease up on the salt shaker, high sodium levels may be expanding your waistline!

Every now and then a salty treat is what the body is craving, but when diets tend to fall off the rails, there's more convenience foods, fried foods and take-out that circle back into the mix. These foods are heavily laden with sodium (because it makes your brain light up and you want to consume more of that salty goodness). While every now and then indulgences like that won't tip the scales too much in the wrong direction, if left unchecked these little habits can wreak havoc on your systems. 

We know that with too much sodium, your body will produce water weight, but did you know that there is also the added bonus of a few extra inches around the belly? Yes indeed. Turns out excess amounts of sodium can deposit fat around the belly. Who knew?!

Science is shedding light on how a high-sodium diet may kill off the beneficial lactobacillus bacteria in our guts. This leads to an imbalance that has the the scales tipping in favor of the bad bacteria. This is not good for your waistline because these good guys (that you're inadvertently offing with your salty treats) have been found to inhibit the absorption of dietary fat. So by killing them, you're severely limiting your guts ability to fight against disease, inflammation and weight gain. (1) Think of it as Black Friday and Target is opening its doors. There’s chaos and people are running wild all over the place. That’s like your gut running amok with fat being deposited wherever it can since no good guys are policing the situation. Not a good scene.

Your gut is the super powerhouse microbiome which seems to be the wizard behind the curtain in all things health related. 

The recommended daily allowance suggests consuming 2,000 mg/day of sodium. Going over that limit on a daily basis can compromise your body's ability to maintain a happy home in your gut, which can effect your weight. 

The solution?

Cook most of your meals at home, eat less overly-processed foods and when eating out, try your best to stay away from overly salted fried foods.

Tip #2: Eat more… FIBER!

You knew I was going to say that! We've all heard this one a million times... so why does it bear repeating again and again? Because no one is listening! We all tend to roll our eyes with this one and say “Oh yea, more fiber, I know" and then we go on living like we're eating more fiber but instead we're eating candy bars claiming to be rich in fiber.

What we need is more real fiber from real foods in our diets, as an uptick in fiber can be linked to a decrease in waist circumference. (2) The recommended daily allowance is 25g for women and 38g for men. By getting the proper amounts, you can begin to notice the effects on your body. 

That's like an additional 2 cups of broccoli a day (my personal fave!), or 1 cup of avocado, or 2 apples, or 1 cup of raspberries, or 2 cups of strawberries, or 1 artichoke (a fiber superfood!), or 2 cups Brussels sprouts, or 1/2 cup lentils or kidney beans or split peas, or 1 ounce of chia seeds, or 1/2 cup oats. As you can see, there are plenty of options!

Fiber is also known as a prebiotic, so when you eat foods high in fiber, you're also feeding the good bacteria in your gut (the probiotics) - notice how it all goes back to your gut! 

When it comes to your belly, your best bet is to keep your gut flora as happy as can be since it seems to hold the secret to a healthy and happy body!

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There is your weekly dose of two tips intended to create a little more healthy in your life! If you like these, please let me know in the comments below, I love to hear from you!