Cut back alcohol and drink more water for a flat belly.
A flat tummy is the desire of most women who want to slim down, shape up and look good in a pair of jeans. Contrary to what most fad diets will have you believe, achieving a flat belly for life will require dedication to a consistent exercise program and healthy eating plan. However, if you are struggling with the last few pounds or a bloated belly, you can make a few tweaks to your current regimen to flatten out.
Reducing or eliminating alcohol from your diet will help you flatten your belly. The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels states that excess estrogen is released by alcohol, which increases fat storage and prevents muscle growth. Alcohol also lowers your inhibitions, meaning you are more likely to give into hunger cravings or simply eat whatever food is in front of you.
Water, Water Everywhere
Belly bloat is often the result of water retention and poor digestion. Drinking more water flushes out excess water in the body, which helps to deflate a puffed-up belly. Furthermore, water can aid in digestion by moving excess waste through the digestive tract for elimination, resulting in a flatter tummy. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water per day or more, depending on your physical activity levels and individual needs.
Up the Intensity
Add high-intensity interval training to your workout regimen to burn more fat all over the body. HIIT involves alternating hard efforts of work in which you cannot carry on a conversation with easier efforts of recovery. A sample run workout would be to run hard for 30 seconds followed by one minute of jogging repeated 10 times. Workouts should include a five to 10 minute warm-up and cool-down, and HIIT should be done two to three times per week maximum on non-consecutive days. HIIT has the added bonus of burning more fat even after your workout for up to 24 hours.
Cut Back on Carbs
Refined carbohydrates in the form of breads, cakes, cookies, pizza and candy are nutrient-deficient and hold on to water in the body, leading to belly bloat. Excess carbs are also stored as fat in the body when they are not required for immediate energy. Eliminate or greatly reduce simple carbs. Instead, focus on eating vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and fruits in moderation. Your primary carb foods should be vegetables, some low-sugar fruits such as berries, and whole-grains such as quinoa in moderation.