Is it time to beat back that bulging tummy? You may not need to overhaul your entire lifestyle to reach your goal. Sometimes a little change can make a big difference in how you look—and feel!
Try these 8 tiny changes to help you get a flat belly.
The flat belly tips below are very doable. Not grit-your-teeth doable, but hey-this-is-easier-than-you-think doable.
Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you need to incorporate all these changes at once. Start by picking one tip, and focus on incorporating that action into your lifestyle.
After two weeks, add another tip into your regular routine. Over time, you’ll see positive changes that will make you proud.
1. Beat bloat with flat belly foods
The right foods can help flatten that tummy. For example, bananas and potatoes contain the minerals sodium and potassium, which help control the amount of water in the body.
When they’re out of balance, it can lead to bloat, a major big belly trigger. So, have one banana in the morning, and a baked during for dinner.
2. Skip the alcohol
The holidays are a time of celebration. That merry-making often includes a glass of wine or a pretty cocktail. The habit of reaching for alcohol can extend into the post-holiday routine.
Alcohol contains seven calories for each gram, which partly explains why alcoholic drinks tend to be loaded with liquid calories.
If you want a flat stomach, you should aim to reduce or skip the alcoholic drinks.
3. Eat your fish
Most fish are lower in calories and unhealthy fats than regular menu options like beef, poultry, or pork. Swap out one (or more) meaty recipe each week for a fish dish.
4. Drink your hunger away
We can’t emphasize this flat belly tip enough! Water hydrates the body and takes the edge off of hunger so you’re less likely to consume too much during meals.
It also reduces bloating, which may contribute to a puffy belly. Drink one full glass of water before each meal.
Add two small, healthy snacks to your daily menu to prevent overeating and stop raving snack attacks.
This weight loss habit prevents blood sugar crashes that lead to unhealthy snacking—the kind where you dive into a snack bag, and the only thing left when you’re done is an empty bag, crumbs, and guilt.
6. Take back control of your eating habits
We say this all the time, but you can’t out-train a bad diet. In fact, your eating habits are the key to your flat belly. Follow these two steps and take back control of your body:
- Get rid of all the processed foods, microwave dinners, fast food, chips, soda, etc. All the extra sugar and sodium will surely prevent you from getting rid of the belly pooch. Don’t forget – sugar is hidden in many foods where you wouldn’t expect it.
- Think whole foods: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and heart-healthy fats! This fruity quinoa salad is perfect for summer and, when that sweet tooth starts calling, sink your teeth into these deliciously moist brownies made with kidney beans!
7. Swap out the bad food
As you take back control of your eating habits, you’ll realize that it’s likely there’s one go-to ingredient you use frequently, even though it’s not the healthiest choice.
So, boot that ingredient from your menu planning and replace it permanently with a healthier alternative. Try one (or more) of these 5 swaps:
- Whole grain pasta instead of regular pasta
- Quinoa or brown rice instead of white rice
- Low-fat or nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
- 100% maple syrup instead of store-bought syrup
- Clean eating salad dressing (like Orange Poppy Seed Dressing) instead of store-bought dressing
- Salsa instead of creamy dips
3. Sleep for an extra hour
Lifestyle factors, including sleep habits, play a role in creating a smooth silhouette. Get a jump on a flatter belly this year by hitting the sack one hour earlier.
The extra shut-eye supports the proper function of hunger hormones, so you’re less likely to overeat the next day.
If one hour earlier isn’t doable, then begin your refreshed sleep schedule by getting to bed 30 minutes earlier.