You too can have a flat tummy
I bet that one of your new year’s resolutions was to get yourself a flat tummy. Unless you smoke. In which case, you probably decided to stop smoking and get yourself a six-pack. Either way, I know the scenario below applies to many, many of us.
It’s a weekend night. You’ve been looking forward to tonight’s event all week. Actually all month. You grab your jeans, slip them on, and … the zip won’t get past this bulge that masquerades as your stomach.
At this point, you would do absolutely anything to have a flat stomach. Just for tonight. Ok, starting with tonight, and keeping it forever.
You’re strolling along on a pleasant afternoon, people watching behind your sunglasses, enjoying a few moments of solitude. Perhaps you’re early for an appointment nearby, or are waiting for your child to finish a play date.
Suddenly, you catch a glimpse of yourself on a particularly reflective storefront window. Your eyes are inevitably drawn to your taut abs, but alas, you discover it is sleek only in your mind, while the harsh reality that confronts you is more akin to a six-month pregnant woman.
Is it too late to get a flat tummy?
I look at the young and lean Facebook generation, and fondly remember the days when we could eat anything and still look sleek, with a toned, flat midriff. Somewhere along the line, our bodies decided to actually show what we’re doing to it – and not in a good way.
The good news is that it’s absolutely not too late to having that nice, toned mid-section, that flat tummy of yesteryear. I have come across so many instances of individuals who have claimed their bodies back, some who today look even better than they did 10 years ago, with a tight, flat tummy. Of course, some work at it harder than others, but let us first pick at the low lying fruit, or how to achieve a flat stomach with some simple tweaks.
Bloating is major contributor to not having a flat tummy
This phenomenon is annoying as it is common. You literally can’t recognize yourself in that big-bellied person that stares back at you in the mirror. Actually, it is relatively simple to eliminate bloating if you follow these steps to get you closer to a flat tummy.
Lose the fizzy drinks: bubbles contribute a great deal to feeling and looking bloated. Even carbonated water has that effect. The reason is the carbon dioxide in the bubbles creates gas.
Shut your trap: cut down on activities that cause you to swallow excess air. These include smoking, chewing gum, talking while you’re eating, or even drinking through a straw. Excess air is another reason for a bulging belly.
Go for the real thing: artificial sweeteners can be difficult to digest for some people, especially sorbitol, used in many sugar-free sweets, candy and brands of chewing gum. Treat yourself to a tiny bit of real sugar once in a while.
Eat your bananas: potassium-rich foods such as bananas, spinach, tomatoes and mangoes help regulate fluid balance in the body, helping reduce bloating and help get that flat abs look.
Watch your portions: eating a lot of fat in one sitting can slow down your digestion, causing food to be stuck in your stomach for longer periods. Similarly, skip heavy starches before bed, as they contribute to retaining water. You’ll wake up with anything but not with a flat tummy.
There are foods that help with achieving a flat tummy
Yes, it’s true. Such foods do exist. They are called cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale are all members of this family of vegetables.
Increase your intake of these vegetables for a flat tummy, and apart from the fact that they will you up – they’re high in fibre – they combat the hormones in our body that encourage the body to store fat. Not only to store it, but to store it right around your lovely used-to-be flat tummy.
Being high in fibre also means that your digestive system will benefit a great deal from them, reducing the time that ingested food hangs around your stomach waiting to be processed.
A word of caution: some people tend to produce a lot of gas in response to eating some of the vegetables. Combining the vegetables with cumin, ginger, fennel and anise seeds. Experiment with what works best for you, so that you maximize the benefits of these vegetables.
A soothing cup of peppermint tea will also alleviate any gassy discomfort as a result of eating cruciferous vegetables in our quest for the ultimate flat stomach.
Dance your fat away for flatter stomach
Any kind of movement helps in overall well being, including banishing those pesky fat cells around our otherwise gorgeous midriff. I personally do not enjoy hours and hours of cardio – can’t think of anything more boring.
But there are ways that you can move without it being boring, assuming the goal of having a flat tum is not enough motivation. Dancing!
Whether you are coordinated or not, is great fun, gets the heart pumping, sends these fantastic feelings of well being all through you and is just darn good. In fact, entire industries are being redefined by dance.
Look at the Disney dancing franchise of Camp Rock and High School Musical. But specifically for us non-teenagers that aspire to looking lean, and worthy of flat tummy-ness, check out Zumba. Or, as the tag line goes, join the party. Actually that would be join the party!!!
You can go to a Zumba class, get a Zumba workout DVD, play Zumba on Playstation, Wii or XBox. I’ve opted for the DVD, and before you know it, you too will be infected, three-stepping away around the house when no one is looking. Not a bad way to work your way to nice, defined waist.
Are there any big tweaks for achieving a flat tummy ?
We’ve reached the end of the small tweaks. However, if you are truly serious about getting a flat tummy, I recommend you have a look at this presentation from Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist. He’s pretty awesome, and the presentation is compelling. And free.
I promise you the presentation will be worth your time, and you will be surprised in places, and relieved in others when you find out that, well, it’s not really all your fault, and that you too can have a flat tummy. Even if you’re not that young, or genetically gifted and especially if you don’t have masses of money and time to dedicate to just getting fit.
In conclusion, it is possible to regain your once flat tummy, even if the last time you saw it was in kindergarden. Start with the small tweaks presented here today, including the dancing – you can tell that’s my favourite bit!
Getting back into good, even great shape, doesn’t take forever – it just needs to be consistent for an intense, short period, and then let your newly developed habits take over the rest of the short journey to an amazingly flat tummy.
In the words of Thomas Edison: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Perhaps you too don’t realize how close you are having that elusive flat tummy, and you can get it with a bit of deliberate focus and a little guidance from an expert.