First, there are a few myths that need to be corrected when planning your strategy in the battle of the bulge. We all know there are some foods that are more conducive to weight loss and to weight gain, but according to Alan Aragon, a Westlake Village, California nutritionist, your total calorie balance is what really matters (http://ow.ly/pEUXG). Burning more calories than you ingest keeps unused calories from turning into that unwanted belly fat no matter what types of foods the calories are coming from and is the key to how to get a flat stomach. Many people still believe that dieting means eating less food and that will lead to weight loss, but in actuality these type of diets cause the body to go into starvation mode. A body in starvation mode stores fat instead of burning it and the storage place of choice seems to be the belly area.
Another weight loss myth is to stay totally away from carbs and fats. But the right kinds of carbs and fats can actually help with weight loss. Stick to complex carbs such as in whole grains, vegetables and fruits as they provide fiber that can help you feel fuller with eating less than processed refined carbs. Since carbs need water for metabolizing which can leave you feeling bloated it is best to go with foods that have a lot of fiber and have more starch. This would be foods such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats and legumes. These types of carbs also take longer to digest, so whereas you don't have to stop eating them altogether, you should limit them to some extent.
Numerous studies show that eating monounsaturated fats can actually help you with weight loss. One such study in the British Journal of Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University researchers reported that people consuming a diet with lots of these type fats lost small amounts of weight and took fewer days to lose weight than those on diets with lots of carbs. (http://ow.ly/pEV77) Good sources of monounsaturated fats include avocados, nuts, olives and oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil. Monounsaturated fats can also help you feel fuller, thus eating less and add a lot of flavor so that your meals are still enjoyable and you don't feel as deprived as you do on bland diet type foods. Just don't go overboard with adding fats to your meals as all fats are high in calories.
Natural Solutions for How To Get a Flat Stomach
Now that we have cleared up some of the diet myths and misconceptions, here are some tips that will help you with how to get a flat stomach.
Read Labels –
Even those of us who strive to eat healthy need to be aware that processed foods quite often contain sugars. Of course the biggest culprit to watch for is high fructose corn syrup, but sugar can appear in various forms so check those labels before choosing anything you are buying at the grocery store. Sugar increases insulin production thus slowing your metabolism and making it harder to burn off calories. Many so called diet foods contain sorbitol and mannitol for sweetening. These are sugar alcohols that produce intestinal gas which cause bloating.
Deal With Stress –
Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by stress and anxiety. It also signals the body to store up fat, usually as belly fat. Using deep breathing, yoga and meditation to deal with stress and anxiety can help keep down the production of cortisol.
You didn't really think you were going to get away from exercise in striving to lose weight did you? Surprising many people still believe that if they just eat less or just eat certain foods or don't eat certain other foods they can lose weight without having to exercise. This may be true in some cases, but most of us find this type of weight loss short-lived and that it doesn't address the stubborn belly fat issue. Remember earlier in this article we said the key is to balance calorie intake with burning off calories. Exercise is a key ingredient to burning off fat. This includes muscle building exercises because the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism works and the more calories you are able to burn. Workouts that focus on firming up your abs can help you in your quest for how to get a flat stomach. You can find a good 10 minute workout that concentrates on your abs and flattening out your belly at http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/abs/express/get-a-flat-belly/?
Support Body's Digestion -
Your digestive system needs healthy friendly bacteria to digest your food. If you do not have enough of these bacteria working for you, your digestion is slowed and bloating occurs as well as having undigested food causing belly bulges. Yogurt and kefir are good sources of probiotics vital to this digestion process. When buying yogurt or kefir, make sure you get the ones with live active cultures. You can also add a full spectrum probiotic supplement to your diet. Our favorite probiotic supplement has twelve key good bacteria that are microblended with bluegreen algae and works great in conjunction with acidophilus and bifidus.
Digestive enzymes are crucial in helping break down all types of foods including fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, for improved digestion and optimal nutrition. Our diets alone don't give us the amount of digestive enzymes our bodies need for effective digestion, so adding a high quality enzyme supplement to your diet can help. Our favorite enzyme supplement is microblended with sixteen different natural, plant-based food enzymes, and a small amount of bluegreen algae to give the enzymes specific vitamins and minerals that help the body break down and assimilate a complete range of nutrients from your food.
Drink More -
This means primarily water, but can also include teas. Thirty minutes before eating, drink water and you'll find you eat less and can increase your weight loss by 44% with just this simple tip. In addition to what you do drink, pay attention to what drinks will add weight. Soda drinks can add 240 extra calories and as much as 65 grams of sugar and fancy coffee drinks can leave you with 239 more calories to deal with which can add up to 18 pounds a year if you have one every day. If you are a coffee drinker, go for plain coffee with maybe a little milk and very little sugar if you have to and you can cut that 239 calories down to around 63. If you just have to have that fancy coffee drink then start cutting down by getting a smaller size, having low-fat or fat-free milk and no syrup or whip cream. Many fruit juices can also have added sugar so get your fruit calories from the fruit itself and you'll feel fuller and get the extra fiber without any additional sugars.
I hope these tips give you some new ideas on how to get a flat stomach naturally. Getting rid of belly fat not only increases our self-esteem every time we look in the mirror, it also more importantly makes us healthier by giving us the motivation to eat better and exercise. There's no down side to that.
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