If you’ve ever suffered from unwanted abdominal bloating, you know how uncomfortable it is when you try and fit into your clothes and how embarrassing it can be when you need to sport a bathing suit. Everyone desires a flat and toned stomach but many people are often confused about how to reduce their abdominal fat and ditch the tire around their waist. Here are 4 effective tips for achieving a flat stomach.
1. Drop The Fat
If you’re experiencing abdominal bloating that is not a symptom of water retention, gas or GI distress, then it’s probably because you’re packing some pounds in and around your waist. This stored fat can come in two forms: visceral and subcutaneous. Much of the fat in the stomach area lies directly under the skin. This is called subcutaneous fat and is easily pinchable and can also create a dimpling effect otherwise known as cellulite. The fat that is extremely harmful to your health is the unseen fat around your organs, otherwise known as visceral abdominal fat. Visceral fat can be identified by a bloated, distended belly that is hard to the touch. Imagine a man beer belly that looks like he is literally pregnant. To reduce belly fat, you must improve your body composition through nutritional intervention, a strength training program and cardiovascular exercise.
2. Skip the Carbonated Beverages
Many zero-calorie carbonated beverages are marketed as a healthy alternative to traditional carbonated high-calorie beverages, but these drinks contain high amounts of carbon dioxide, which is a gas, and artificial sweeteners. When you drink one of these beverages, you end up swallowing large amounts of this gas. Some of the gas gets trapped in the digestive system, which can cause uncomfortable bloating and even cramping.
Additionally, the artificial sweeteners in these beverages could actually be changing the environment of our digestive system. Recent research has found that individuals who are looking to shed a few pounds by using artificial sweeteners to cut calories may not only be sabotaging their diets, but could be putting themselves at risk for obesity, diabetes, and metabolic disease because the artificial sweeteners change the ratio of good bacteria and bad bacteria in the gut.
3. Don’t Cut Water
In an effort to enhance definition by reducing extracellular water, many people will restrict fluid intake or electrolyte balance before they need to step into a bathing suit or on stage for a physique competition. This can be a dangerous practice and may actually result in a worse looking physique. Dehydration could plausibly degrade appearance because water is maintained at an equal ratio in the subcutaneous layer as well as intramuscularly and in the vascular system, therefore by decreasing total body hydration, you will also be decreasing muscle size by reducing intramuscular water content. Additionally, when acute dehydration occurs the anti-diuretic hormone aldosterone is released which will actually result in retaining more water in the long run, leaving your physique flat and soft looking.
4. Try a Probiotic
If your bloating is caused by gas, indigestion, or from GI distress, try taking a probiotic to re-introduce good gut bacteria into your digestive tract to bring your ratio of bad bacteria and good bacteria into a healthy range. This will dramatically improve nutrient absorption, gas, bloating and digestive issues. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25231862