A flat belly is considered aesthetic. It makes your clothes fit and may even improve your posture. But what happens when you lose yours? Well, you get it back somehow. In this article, I will be showing you 5 natural and easy ways to get your natural flat belly:
A big belly is usually the result of the build of calories. Calories are a unit measuring the energy stored in food. So, food containing many calories is typically the culprit of fat gain in areas like the belly since the body stores its unused calories as fat layers in areas that are fatty.
Your belly will begin to return to its naturally flat state when you limit the intake of calories. Foods especially high in calories are processed foods with a lot of sugar or very buttery snacks. Avoid these. Instead, take to eating vegetables and fruits—also, don’t eat quite too much at night. I will talk about this in detail next.
Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water. Water has an effect on your appetite. When you drink just enough water, you will not feel the need to eat all the time. On the other hand, when you don’t drink enough water, the hunger centers in your brain may interpret that dehydration as hunger and cause you to want to eat more—much more than you should.
Fasting is a diet practice that involves staying away from food for a while. It can last anything from a few hours to, perhaps, a day or two. The purpose of fasting is to cut back on the number of calories we take in. This will, in turn, help us lose belly fat and get our tummies back.
There are many kinds of fasting methods. I’d advise that you try intermittent fasting if you want to give fasting a try for the first time. You will find the types of intermittent fasting in this article.
Please note that you should not fast if you have problems with your sugar level regulation—if you are hypoglycemic, it is best you just stay away from fasting. And, peradventure you are fasting and feel some lightheadedness, it may be time to stop and go get some food.
Lightheadedness, fatigue, and irritability are all signs that your body isn’t doing quite well with the cut in calorie intake.
3. Stay Away from Beer
You may already know this, but beer has an impact on how our bodies store and use up fat. Beer has long been associated with a build-up of belly fat. It is able to do this because, in itself, beer happens to contain quite a number of calories—as many calories as regular energy drinks.
It also has an impact on our appetite; we may feel hungrier when we drink beer, and all that appetite and that urge to go eat something containing a number of calories, is not quite good.
Beer may also affect the way our bodies burn down fat. It may keep the body from doing so since alcohol is more readily used for energy by our cells than fat is.
All these show that you get your natural flat belly back; you may want to cut back on your intake of beer.
There seems to be a relationship between posture and belly size or appearance. Bad posture is basically any posture that causes a tilting in your spine, therefore, putting pressure on specific muscle groups.
When your posture is not proper, there is the possibility that your pelvis can move slightly forward. This is called a pelvic tilt and is caused by an inability of the pelvic muscles to hold the pelvis in place.
A pelvic tilt causes the arch of your lower back to become deeper. This makes your butt protrude, your belly too. This may not exactly be a larger stomach. But it will definitely appear as one.
So, it is best you work on your posture. Try to sit erect. Even more, stand erect too, and don’t slouch. Slouching puts pressure on your core muscles—it can even cause you symptoms such as bloating.
If you have problems with maintaining a proper posture, follow these tips:
- Ensure you held your shoulders back, stand straight and tall
- Your head should always be leveled and in line with your body.
- Lose your knees, do not lock them together
- Hang your hands naturally at both sides of your body.
- When you sit in an office chair, align your back with the back of the chair.
Following these good posture tips will help you lose pounds, which in turn, can help you regain your natural flat belly.
For weight loss, whether it be fat around the belly or fat around the thighs—wherever the excess fat is—there has to be a calorie balance. Maybe even a calorie deficit. Since excess calories are already stored, you have to look for a way to burn out the fat stores without adding more than necessary to it.
One of the ways to burn out fat stores in the body is to do a series of exercises called cardio exercises. Cardio, as the name implies, puts a bit of pressure on your cardiac system. This is good pressure because it makes the body demand more energy. And guess what? The body goes straight to its fat reserves and begins to take out all that excess fat.
There are a number of cardio exercises to try out. Some include cycling, hiking, etc. Basically, anything that raises your heart rate makes you pant more and drives your body into ‘fat breakdown’ mode.
You have to be careful with cardio, though. They may have a negative effect if you give in to the appetite surge that comes after doing cardio.
6. Cut Your Food; Eat Smaller Portions
This may seem like uncomfortable advice, but no matter what you are eating, be it high-calorie foods or low-calorie foods, the number of calories that go in depends on the volume.
If you eat a lot at once, you are taking in a number of calories at once. If you eat little, then fewer calories find their way into your system.
Cut your portions. Maybe even by half, depending on how big your belly is right now. I mentioned it earlier. I should mention it again: do not give in to the urge to eat processed food. They are quite bad for you, and it is best if you stay away from them.
And when you eat, you should take your time. Do not rush eating any food. Rushing meals may slow down your brain’s ability to interpret satiety so that you keep eating and eating without knowing when you are satisfied or not.
Do not eat fatty foods before bedtime. That’ll only be storing up calories.
Fiber is a non-glycemic carbohydrate that is quite vital for our gut health. When there isn’t enough fiber in our diet, we may be prone to become fatter in certain areas.
A study found that people showed a decrease in belly fat when they ate food containing more fiber.
Try to include more fiber in your food.
Good sources of fiber include avocado, broccoli, etc.
8. Reduce Your Stress Levels
If you don’t consume a lot of calories but find that you still have a belly whose size makes you uncomfortable, then it might just be stress.
When we are stressed, our body releases a hormone called cortisol. This hormone is produced by small glands which sit on the kidneys and function to help our bodies deal with stressful situations.
Long-standing stress can cause a spike in our cortisol levels, leading to an increase in the accumulation of visceral fat. The fat stored in the stomach is visceral, and it is quite harmful since it is active.
Study shows cortisol can also make you want to eat more food, seeing an increase in the number of calories we take and eventually seeing that we grow a bigger stomach.
To get your natural flat belly back, you should try to rest a lot more. Deal with any mental issues which may be stressing you.
9. Protein Meals, Please
Eating meals that contain a lot of protein can help you lose fat, especially fat in your abdomen, so you get your natural flat belly back.
Protein can improve your appetite, reducing your craving for food.
A study proved that people who eat just enough protein had a little build-up of abdominal fat.
Eat sources of protein that do not contain so much fat. Include rich sources of protein in your meals. Like chicken, fish such as salmon, and lean meat. These will help you build muscle without adding so much fat.
10. Target Exercises
Target exercises are exercises that target a particular muscle group. The belly contains a group of muscles called abdominal muscles—the external oblique, internal oblique, etc. A number of exercises target these muscles and can help you get your natural belly back.
Check out a couple of these such exercises here.
You can get your natural belly back by dieting, some behavioral changes, and exercises. Dieting works to limit calorie intake. Exercise works to burn the excess calories, and lifestyle changes keep the belly from getting protruded again.
Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.