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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Battle Belly Bulge!

How often do you feel bloated? How about gas? Or maybe you just want to work on getting a flatter stomach…These tips will help with all of those problems and more!

1. Don’t Talk With Food In Your Mouth. Just like your mother told you. You would be surprised by how much air you ingest if you are speaking while chewing and swallowing. It gets trapped as air pockets in your stomach. So no gobbling, slurping, and no talking while chewing. Smoking is a major culprit here too. Do you need a better reason to quit? Bloating and nicotine odor?
2. Limit Carbonation. The gas or CO2 in soft drinks and even carbonated water literally adds gas into your stomach and intestines. Go for flat liquids instead and you’ll be surprised how your stomach magically doesn’t bloat. AND, don’t forget about beer. It is not only the calories in beer that create a rounder belly; it’s the frothy fermentation of its ingredients that cause your stomach to distend within minutes of sipping that cold brew.
3. Try To Avoid Processed Food. I know it is hard with all the sweet and salty snacks out there, but try to stay away. Processed foods and “diet” foods contain a staggering amount of chemicals and artificial ingredients that adversely affect your stomach. Maltitol, sorbitol, polysorbate 80 are a few of these culprits.
4. Limit Gum Chewing. While it may help your breath or be a substitute for snacking, (oh yes, I have been on the gum-chewing diet before) it introduces excess air into your belly, and also contains artificial ingredients that can cause severe bloating and even gas pain.

5. Avoid Excess Salt. While sodium is a crucial mineral for blood pressure regulation, too much of it causes abnormal water retention. If you prepare your meals at home, (like you should) you don't have to be afraid to season your food with salt and pepper. The big culprit is excessive sodium consumption from prepared and processed foods. Since they rely on salt both as a primary flavoring and preservative, they commonly use excessive amounts of it.

6. Stand Up Straight. Yes, it does help in more ways than one to give you a flatter stomach. If you stand up straight with your shoulders back, your tummy miraculously flattens. So, don't hunch over and let your tummy hang out. Not only do you look tired when you slouch, you also visually add 10 pounds to your waist. Sit or stand up straight and suck in your belly button towards your back bone to tighten up your deep transverse abdominus.

7. Chew Your Food. Slow down and chew! Eating too quickly is a recipe for a bulging bloated belly. (say that 10 times fast) Even a healthy digestive system needs to have food properly broken down to metabolize efficiently. The process of digestive begins in the mouth. Enzymes in your saliva begin breaking down food into nutrients, so that they can be easily absorbed by your body. If you only chew a couple of times, you put your stomach into overdrive, which is a major cause of excess gas and bloating. So, come on, give yourself a break and enjoy your food. Savor it and chew it! Aim for 20 chews per bite. Extra bonus: you probably won't eat as much either.

Try a couple or all of these easy tips and see your tummy start to tone up!


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