Monday 13 August 2012

How to get a flat Tummy

How to get a flat Tummy

Many people think that the only way to get a flat tummy is to do thousands of sit-ups every day.
While these do play a part, most flabby abs are caused by an unhealthy gut, bad posture and a toxic diet. Janey Holliday, founder of Fit For A Princess, reveals the secrets of a flat stomach.
Avoid fizzy drinks, chewing gum and straws
Most intestinal gas is swallowed air. Swap sparkling mineral water for still – a wedge of lemon in this will contribute to a flatter stomach still as it’s a natural detoxer.Chewing gum not only encourages you to swallow air, but it also tricks the digestion system into thinking you are eating. This means you start to produce digestive juices that cause wind and bloating if no food is eaten. Drinking through straws also means you’ll be taking in air.
Avoid wheat and white foods
Wheat and ‘white’ foods like cake and pasta are often not whole grain. Because most of these kinds of food have little or no fibre, they can block up your system causing bloating and constipation. Replace wheat with sweet potatoes, oats, wild rice and oat cakes and eat lots of vegetables, salads, fish and whole-grain food.
Cut back on dairy
Once we leave infanthood, we no longer have the enzymes to absorb the nutrients in milk. Digesting it then becomes hard, creating mucous and acid in the gut. This upsets the balance of bacteria in the gut, causing difficulty with digestion and reducing absorption of nutrients. Sugar in milk may also cause problems in those suffering from candida albicans (thrush in the gut) because thrush thrives in a sugary, acidic environment and milk is acidic. By reducing dairy products, swelling should decrease in two weeks.
Drink herbal teas & hot water
Warm water by itself soothes digestion by relaxing your muscles. Herbal teas that will help are camomile and peppermint.
Don’t get stressed
When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol – a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. This helps you produce blood sugar and pour it into the bloodstream, providing energy for the ‘fight or flight’ response. Any excess sugar that isn’t used is stored as fat. Our adrenal system is a survival mechanism for helping us escape dangerous animals, but our bodies can’t distinguish such danger from work, financial or emotional pressure. Continued stress means the hormone is being released but not used, resulting in fat storage.
Have an Epsom salts bath
Epsom salts baths are one of the cheapest, simplest ways to reduce tummy swelling. Epsom salts – or magnesium sulphate – are traditionally used for treating aching muscles, sports injuries and for relaxing. They are commonly used by naturopaths and osteopaths, too, to ease stress and flush out toxins, as well to restore the body’s pH balance. You can buy the salts in most good pharmacies and dissolve some in a hot deep bath.
Take lactobacillus acidophilus
Otherwise known as the friendly bacteria, lactobacillus plays a vital role in our bodies. Researchers think that these probiotics are an essential link to proper health and well being, and help the body get more nutrition out of the foods we eat. Without enough of these, our intestinal ecology can be thrown off-balance causing pain, swelling and lethargy. It can also help reduce leaky gut syndrome, which affects millions of women. With this condition, large spaces develop between the cells of the gut wall, allowing bacteria, toxins and food into the bloodstream. One of the main symptoms of leaky gut syndrome is abdominal swelling and pain, wind and bloating, so excess flab on your tummy might not be reduced with sit-ups if you suffer from this. Buy good-quality organic lactobacillus capsules from a supplier such as Pure Bio ( Avoid High Street-branded drinks containing it. They might claim to improve gut function, but often the way they are made and their high sugar content make them ineffective.
It’s really important to do cardio exercise if you want a flat stomach. This includes running, cycling, aerobics and swimming. Kickboxing works wonders on helping you get a good waist.
Avoid fruit after a meal
When eating fruit straight after a meal, the fruit starts to ferment, which causes gas and bloating. Your tummy will swell and the bloating can make you tired, making you reach for more sugary snacks. Avoid fruit in the afternoon.
Activate your abs
Place your hands on your tummy and cough. As you expel air, your tummy muscles tighten in towards the body. Hold that position as you go about your day. Keep your shoulders relaxed and breathe properly. You should be able to walk, talk, sit, shop and exercise like this. Over a few weeks, your tummy muscles will be stronger and tighter.
Do the right ab exercises properly
The best exercises for toning are crunch-based exercises done by activating all ab muscles, using the cough method and lifting the shoulders of the floor. Lengthen the spine as you come up, the slower the better, and have a pause and little squeeze of the ab muscles at the top. Imagine your tummy muscles are a sponge filled with water and, as you come to the top, you need to try to squeeze out the water. Return to the start position slowly and repeat.