The stomach is one of the most common areas where fat tends to accumulate. Many lifestyle factors lead to getting a bit of a rounder belly. If you’re looking to flatten your stomach, there are a few things you can do. These tips will help burn off that excess fat and reduce swelling and bloating in your stomach.
Here are five of the best ways to flatten your stomach. Best of all, you can do it in about 10 minutes or less per day.
5 Ways to Flatten Your Stomach
One of the most obvious ways to flatten your stomach is to do abdominals exercises. The goal is to burn off excess body fat around the belly and tone the abdominal muscles. In time, this leads to an overall flatter and leaner stomach area. When picking a workout routine to target your stomach, you’ll want to do exercises that focus on your core muscles and perform high repetition exercises. These are exercises like sit-ups, V-ups, planks, bicycle crunches, leg lifts, and mountain climbers.
Combining these exercises with HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) could give you even better results. For HIIT, pick a set of four activities. For twenty seconds, do as many of the exercises as you possibly can. After those twenty seconds are up, rest for ten seconds, and then for the next twenty seconds, try to break the number you just hit. Spend about two and a half minutes on each exercise, totaling about a ten-minute workout.
You’ll be sore, and probably barely able to move after your first work out. But that just shows that it’s working. Between the cardio from the intensity and the specific exercises working the abdominal muscles, you’ll notice a difference in a matter of weeks. You can even increase the duration of the activities from twenty seconds up to thirty if it starts getting too easy for you.
2 – Drink More Water
Our body runs on water and needs water to perform its day to day functions. Water is an active component in cellular respiration, a reaction that plays into the metabolic process. If you don’t have enough water in your system, your body isn’t getting the fuel it needs to properly keep your metabolism going strong, which can lead to a buildup of fat.
Another benefit of drinking more water is that if you drink more water before meals, you’ll feel fuller. If you feel more full earlier into your meal, you’ll eat less and put on less additional weight since you’re not overeating. This helps you better control your appetite as well, and eventually train yourself to eat less food at each meal.
Lastly, sometimes a bulging stomach isn’t caused by fat at all. Bloating and swelling due to gas or constipation can also lead to a larger rounded belly.
Water has a cleansing effect on the body. It helps with the detoxification process, as well as helping to flush out the system. Adding more water to your diet can help flush your system, clearing up constipation or bloating that is causing your belly to protrude or swell.
3 – Eat Fiber
Fiber is excellent for water absorption from food in the body, as it slows the process of passing food through the digestive tract. Since the effects of eating fiber start at early as delaying the emptying of your stomach contents into the duodenum of the small intestine, this will leave your stomach fuller for longer, and make the stomach swell, which in turn will curb your appetite.
On top of this, fiber has the added benefit of reducing the number of calories your body is able to absorb. This consumption makes for fewer calories. You’ll have to burn off later to keep a stable weight. Soluble fiber also helps prevent the buildup of fat around the organs, leading to a slimmer waist and stomach.
This makes adding some fiber to your diet a great way to flatten your stomach. Fiber can be found in a variety of foods, mostly oats, flaxseeds, legumes, and brussels sprouts.
4 – Consume Probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria that help to promote overall gut health. Your stomach uses a combination of acids and live bacteria to fully break down food before passing it on to the rest of the digestive tract. If you start putting on too much weight, sometimes this balance is shifted and thrown out of whack. This shift can significantly affect weight gain and distribution.
Consuming probiotics can help shift things back towards a healthy balance and gut health, increasing the number of good bacteria in your stomach and helping promote weight loss and proper weight distribution.
Some specific strains of probiotics have been linked to reduced belly fat, including these three:
1. Lactobacillus fermentum
2. Lactobacillus amylovorus
3. Lactobacillus gasseri
You can add more probiotics into your diet through either probiotic supplements or eating foods like yogurt, kimchi, and pickles. If you want to help flatten your stomach, consume probiotics. It’s that simple.
5 – Reduce Your Stress Levels
Prolonged stress can have a variety of harmful effects on the body. While the stress response is supposed to give us the energy and heightened awareness to get us through a dangerous situation, modern life has conditioned our minds and bodies to interpret a wide range of circumstances as stressful, ranging from actual problems to minor inconveniences. This chronic stress keeps our bodies in a state of fight or flight, which is excellent for short bursts but can wear on our bodies as time goes on.
When under the effects of stress, our body’s priorities are increasing blood flow to the muscles, heart, lungs, and brain, diverting blood away from the digestive organs. Stress also triggers an adrenal response, causing a burst of energy and sugar retention to help fuel the body.
Under normal conditions where you need to actually fight or flight, this gives your body the energy it needs in a pinch. Since most stress is more emotional and based on life circumstances, though, rather than something like outrunning a bear, the prolonged stress leads to slower digestion, lower metabolism, and the conversion of unused sugars retained thanks to the stress response being converted into fat.
Using stress relief techniques like meditation, yoga, running, writing, journaling, and making art can actually help flatten your stomach. The more relaxed you are throughout the day and the less time you spend stressed, the longer your parasympathetic nervous system is allowed to remain in control, meaning your digestive tract is getting the full blood supply it needs, and your metabolism is running on full capacity.
Your cortisol levels are also kept lower, which also helps keep your weight down. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can lead to increased appetite and fat retention.
Bonus Tips to Flatten Your Stomach
If you’re looking to flatten your stomach, there are a lot of things you can do to help. While we’ve mostly focused on these five techniques, there are still more ways you can help reduce your weight through diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle changes. Other things you can do to help lose weight are:
- Eat More Protein
- Get Enough Sleep
- Make Use of Intermittent Fasting
- Take Fish Oil
- Limit Your Sugar Intake
- Use Coconut Oil
- Cut Back on Alcohol
- Be More Active Throughout The Day
- Limit Your Carb Intake
At the end of the day, flattening your stomach isn’t necessarily hard to do in practice. It’s not some herculean task that only those willing to pump iron and lift heavy weights can do. What it does require, though, is an openness to change, having the discipline to stick to new habits and lifestyle changes, and a lot of patience.
Weight loss isn’t a ‘blink, and you’ll miss’ it experience, but more of a prolonged journey with gradual results. As long as you keep on the right path, your results will come, and those results can be different for each person. Some people might start seeing a difference in a matter of days, while others might take weeks of dedication to a strict diet and routine before they start seeing any significant results.
The takeaway here is don’t get discouraged, keep at it, and don’t let an immediate lack of results get you down. These methods are proven to work, but they take time. After incorporating these methods into your day to day life, not only will you eventually start to see that stomach flatten, but you’ll also begin to feel healthier and more energized overall.
While these techniques are framed around fat burning, in actuality, they’re also good to keep with just for staying healthy in general. So if you’re looking to do more than just burn fat and trim down that belly, introducing these five techniques into your day to day life will help you slim down and stay healthy.