We get it...you have some kind of event or a date and you just want to feel comfy in those pants you love? There's just a teensy bit of extra bloat you want to try to get down for just one freakin' day? We hear you. We got you.
Would you believe that shrinking your belly has more to do with your lifestyle versus working out? They say that 80% of your impact to reduce your overall body fat has to do with dieting and your lifestyle, and only 20% involves activity and exercise. We have heard about how abs are made in the kitchen; however, they are also made in other ways, as well.
Here are 4 ways to shrink your belly-no exercise involved. Don't get me wrong-exercise is great for the belly.
But these matter first and foremost:
1. Sleep more.
It's not just the amount of time you spend sleeping that keeps you lean, it's also the quality! Fat cells in your body produce a hormone called leptin-a hormone that controls hunger and feelings of satiety. This hormone is only produced during certain stages of sleep and if you skimp on those stages because you're not resting enough, and you'll disturb your hormonal levels, confusing your body and its signals Consequently, you'll end up storing calories rather than burning them. So invest in a new mattress or get some new blinds and dream away!
2. Eliminate all refined sugars from your diet. Yep, even grains.
Yep. You read correctly. These are such a big deal for storing fat around your middle that even just one single day of cutting these out can help you lose inches around your waistline. Sugar causes fat storage due to excess glucose being flooded into your system. Anytime you have filled your body with more calories or energy than it actually needs, your liver’s sugar storage capacity is exceeded. When the liver is maximally full, the excess sugar is converted by the liver into fat and returned to the bloodstream, where is taken throughout your body and stored as fat. And then there is the issue with excess insulin which screams at your fat cells to stay where they are! Lovely, right?
Don't get me wrong-I love carbs! Carbs are my friend. However, if you have some serious poundage to lose around your waistline, to the point that your doctor is concerned, you might want to at least reduce your sugar intake.
This includes all forms of sugar:
- brown rice
- whole wheat bread
- whatever can be converted into a sugar later, etc, etc..
You all know how we like to hit on the whole "gluten bloating" topic quite frequently. Well, it is for a reason-gluten actually makes you bloat-if you are sensitive to it. In order to achieve a flatter tummy, you will obviously need to stay away from things that cause you to bloat the most.
Find out more about Good vs Not-So-Good Carbs here.
3. Improve your posture.
If only we knew how we looked! Most people do not pay attention to their body mechanics which leads to poor posture, making your stomach bulge out sometimes.
Having good posture is actually an ab and back activity. Try right not to consciously have good posture. See how your front and back core muscles get involved? Sitting and standing properly will make you look fabulous and also will gently work those abs. It's our most natural core strengthener.
Poor posture can:
- make you appear shorter
- make you look heavier
- cause joint stress
- cause your stomach to jut out
- cause misalignment
Improve your posture by going to a chiropractor and getting an alignment done. He or she will offer some pretty good tips as to how to keep your body in check.
Remember-when you slump over, you will have a belly (usually). You can also improve your posture by stretching daily to release tight or tense muscles. Also, being aware of how you carry yourself or sit is a big bonus to improving your overall posture!
4. Don't forget to snack.
Snacking keeps your metabolism raging between your meals. Think of your body as a fireplace. Got it? Ok. A fireplace constantly needs wood to keep burning, right? Well, your body and metabolism are no different. you need to feed it something good, often. By good, we mean lean and protein! (See list below)
By not eating enough, we all know that it causes our bodies to hold onto that extra fat storage for energy later aka "survival mode." This is why we don't suggest skipping a meal to lose weight: unless of course, you're doing Intermittent Fasting.
Some simple snack ideas are:
- tuna & veggies
- hummus & veggies
- hard boiled eggs
- beef jerky
- deli roll ups (meat and cheese)
- protein shake
Does that all seem reasonable to you? You can do a couple of things throughout the day, but really, you need to stay consistent. Regular good eating habits will make a world of difference for your middle...and more importantly, your mental well being as well.