Something I know from first-hand experience is that many of us struggle with how to reduce belly fat. The good news is, it is actually easier than you think to have a tummy that you love. You don’t need to do a million sit-ups a day- just make a few changes to your diet and add in a few herbal supplements. The things is, it usually isn’t even flab in the fat deposit sense of that word that is making your belly stick out, but a range of other factors that when addressed, can trim your tummy instantly.
1. Ban the Bloat
A lot of times we feel “big” in the middle not because of fat (thankfully!) but what’s going on in our stomach. Keeping our digestive system happy, especially by avoiding bloating, can go a long way in helping us look and feel slimmer.
Ways of minimising bloating:
- Use herbs such as basil, dill, ginger, fennel, and mint – all of these herbs have gas-relieving properties. My go-to spot for all herbs is www.iherb.com (use the code SHC188 to get a $5-10 discount). There are also some great herbal teas with these herbs that can be great to drink for reducing belly bloat.
- Introduce fiber-rich food gradually – fiber is great, but if you are not used to a fiber-rich diet and suddenly eat a lot of fiber-rich food, your GI tract will act up which can result in gas and bloating. It is important to eat enough fibre every day to help with overall digestion.
- Cook beans properly – soak beans for at least 4 hours, and use a thumb-sized piece of kombu in the water as you cook the beans to help release the natural gases and to improve overall digestibility.
- Notice how your body reacts to vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. For some people these can lead to bloating. I recommend keeping a food diary which can help you to keep track of how your body reacts physically to certain foods that you eat.
- Look for potential food intolerance (e.g. lactose or gluten) – if your body cannot digest and assimilate these properly, they can cause gas. Again, a food diary is the best way to identify any intolerances.
- Yoga poses such as twisting can help relieve gas – these poses stimulate the movement of the smooth muscles of the intestinal walls and help “move things along.”
2. Reduce Fluid Retention
You can easily gain 1-2 kilos, and a dress size around the waist, if you are experiencing water retention. For most women, hormonal fluctuation is the main cause of fluid retention. You might notice that just before your period you feel bigger than normal, and your hormones are the cause.
It is a bit difficult to overcome hormonal caused water retention but there are a few things you can do to minimize water retention from occurring. Reduce water retention by making sure that you:
- Stay hydrated
- Reduce salt intake
- Reduce sugar intake
- Reduce toxic load and detox regularly
- Use herbs with diuretic properties such as dandelion greens, uva ursi, corn silk, alfalfa, stinging nettle, celery seeds and parsley (www.iherb.com sell all of these).
- Use a sauna to help relieve stored water
3. Facilitate Elimination
Facilitating elimination can help get rid of “dead weight” that is bogging you down. It also helps to reduce your toxic load, which can cause you to hold onto excess weight.
Here are a few things you can do to help with facilitating elimination:
- Drink fresh juice of carrot and apple to aid colon detox.
- Drink a cup of warm water with 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, first thing in the morning – it is very alkalinizing and cleansing.
- Exercise regularly – movement helps peristalsis.
- Ensure adequate intake of dietary fiber – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, flaxseed, wheat bran, psyllium husk.
Through foscussing on these steps, you should start to notice a big difference in how your belly looks and feels so you can have a flat tummy once and for all!
- I’d love to know which tip you will implement right away! Let me know in the comments below!