10 Tips for Beating Back the Belly Fat and Banishing the Bloat
Who doesn’t want to see a reduction in their midsection? When at the gym or the beach, we’d all like to be a little trimmer in the belly. But there’s one thing that is working against us, no matter how much we exercise, and that’s bloating. A feeling of a swollen or distended abdomen can make us feel uncomfortable and bloated. But is goes beyond just feeling fatter; bloating actually can be seen when it’s really bad.
But you do not have to suffer from bloating.
There are some simple things you can do to help fight the battle of the bloat. Changing a few foods you eat and a couple of habits can have a remarkable effect on your belly.
Here are 10 tips to try in order to beat back the belly fat.
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1. Take It Slow When You Eat
Let’s start at the very beginning before we look at any actual foods and practices. When you eat, you need to eat slowly. This is because when you eat very quickly, you get something else other than just food: you get air. When you swallow air, it can lead to bloating. So, to reduce the amount of air you swallow while you are eating, you need to slow down and chew your food thoroughly.
This also makes your food easier to digest and helps your body to process the food. So, it is a good idea to focus on your food, take your time, and chew your food thoroughly instead of gulping it down.
2. Make Sure You Stay Hydrated
One of the things that can definitely lead to bloating is dehydration. There are several ways that dehydration contributes to bloating. One of them is constipation and other blockage due to insufficient liquid for digestion.
In order to counter these effects, it is important to stay well-hydrated. The exact amount of water that you need to stay healthy is still somewhat debated amongst experts. The general rule of thumb is around 6-8 glasses per day. But you should keep in mind that there are more ways to get water into your system than just water.
Your morning coffee, tea, or any other drinks contribute to your water intake. Just make sure you are getting your water in every day to ensure that you will not be backed up and that your food will digest properly.
3. Avoid Carbonations
Speaking of getting all your water in per day, there are some drinks that you should avoid if you want to reduce bloating. While we all know that traditional sodas should be avoided because they are packed with sugar, diet drinks also pose a challenge to reducing bloat. All carbonated beverages, whether they be diet sodas or sparkling waters, contain the same thing: gas!
When you take in all that carbonation, it still gets released in the processes of digestion. And that’s exactly what bloating is! So, if you want to reduce those feelings of bloating, get rid of those drinks that release excess gas into your system.
4. Make Sure to Get Your Daily Fiber
It all comes back to properly digesting your food. If your food is backed up and remaining too long in your system, well, that’s the very definition of bloating! One of the causes of this backup can be a lack of fiber in your diet. Your body needs a minimum amount of fiber to properly process all your food. You can get fiber in a number of ways.
Certain foods are naturally high in fiber, like nuts, grains, and fruits. But you can also take a supplement that will boost your fiber intake. At a minimum, men need around 38 grams of fiber, while women need around 25 grams every day. Stay cleaned out, fill up on fiber!
5. Reduce Your Sodium Intake
If people get too little fiber, they get too much sodium. Sodium can be one of the leading causes of bloating because sodium causes your body to retain water. And the more water you retain, the more bloated you are. Therefore, if you have too much sodium in your diet, you are retaining too much water and feeling bloated.
You should avoid high-sodium foods like bread, cheese, and all the fried fast foods. Take some time to read the labels on your food and keep your sodium intake to around 2,300 milligrams per day.
6. Pick the Anti-Bloating Foods
Certain types of foods are better than others in helping you digest food and reducing bloating. We’ve already mentioned foods that are high in fiber and low in sodium, but there are other kinds of foods that you should consider as well. One of the categories of foods you should consider is probiotics. These are foods that stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms that aid in digestions.
Probiotic foods that you should look into are things like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, or kombucha. In addition to these foods, also consider foods that are rich in potassium like avocados, kiwis, or bananas. Eating the right foods can go a long way to reducing bloat.
7. Exercise Smartly
Of course, when you exercise to reduce your midsection, you will be doing a lot of situps and crunches. But these should not be the only way you work out your core. There are more muscles in your abdomen that need to be worked, and they need to be worked in multiple directions.
Consider adding stretches and leg lifts that force you to twist and work your core muscles in several different directions so that you aren’t just working them in one way. Find core muscle challenges that you can work 3 or 4 days per week.
8. Focus on Your Cardio as Well
Doing your sit-ups and crunches isn’t enough for exercises to reduce your belly fat. As a regular part of your fitness routine, make sure you have a generous dose of cardio. Cardio works your overall body and increases your blood flow and helps you reduce your overall body fat.
Focus on workouts that will get a good sweat going and increase your heart rate at least 3 to 4 times per week.
9. Get Some Fatty Acids into Your Diet
There was a time when people thought that fatty foods made you fat. That has now thoroughly been debunked. In fact, several studies have shown that fatty acids found in seeds, olives, and nuts actually target belly fat.
Of course, you should not overdo it, but getting a few of these into your diet regularly can help reduce your midsection.
10. Eat Natural Foods
As a general “catch-all” you need to avoid eating food that is artificial and stuffed with junk. Get rid of the sugars, and increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains. The fewer ingredients listed on the packaging, the better.
You might pay a little more for all natural foods, but you will burn more fat and keep your whole system running clean and healthy.
We all want to reduce that belly fat and get rid of the bloat. With these 10 tips you now have a great start to looking better, but more importantly to feeling better about yourself.