Gained a few pounds over the holidays? These belly-busting tips will help you lose the belly fat (and belly bloat!) and squeeze into that tight dress by Friday night or look better in your bathing suit just in time for your vacation.
1. Eat slowly
Chew foods carefully. Very carefully. The more work your mouth does, the less your digestive system has to do. Undigested food in your system and slow elimination (read constipation) are common reasons for belly-bloat.
2. Avoid wheat and all wheat-containing foods
Instead, eat rice and quinoa as your main starches.
3. Skip the sodium The slightest bit of sodium can lead to a full-body swell. Read food labels carefully and avoid any foods containing more than 200mg of sodium, and steer clear of the salt shaker. Instead, beef up your intake of potassium, a natural diuretic.
4. Skip the starch at dinner
Instead, combine protein with veggies. Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, couscous – starchy foods cause water retention and are best eaten in the hours before a sweaty work out.
5. Steam your greens
Raw vegetables can cause bloating in some people. Lightly steam kale, spinach, Swiss chard, or other greens and drizzle with lemon and some olive oil.
6. Steer clear of gas-forming foods
Beans, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and soy are common culprits.
7. Avoid dairy products
Many people don’t realize they’re lactose intolerant and suffer with bloating, gas, and even diarrhea daily. Shun ALL dairy products for a week – milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese. When you re-introduce it, you’ll know right away whether or not it’s a cause of your bloat.
8. Take a B complex vitamin
The supplement gives you a fantastic energy boost and triggers your body’s fat-burning mechanisms.
9. Drink green tea
Its EGCG/caffeine combination is a proven fat-burner, and it works fast.
It doesn’t matter how you do it – of course, exercise is preferred, but if you hate to move, sit in a sauna, steam room, or at the beach on a hot day.
Image: Robert McDon.