Flat Belly

Ok, Day 5 in the series — are you feeling better yet? I hope so!

Even for people with an overall healthy digestive system, keeping a flat belly can be a challenge.

For those of us who suffer from bloating, upset stomachs and other digestive ailments, sometimes, it can feel like it’s downright impossible. But, believe me, it’s not!

If you have a stomach that isn’t as flat as you like, you first need to understand if it’s bloating or abdominal fat. We’ve already discussed some ways to battle bloat, so try those techniques first. But, if you know that you’re carrying some extra abdominal weight that you want to lose, there’s a few things that you can do.

Reducing puffiness around your waistline isn’t just about cutting calories. It also has to do with lowering stress and improving digestion — I know from personal experience as someone who had the chronic bikini bottom hangover.

So here are two tips that you can start incorporating right now to get a flatter stomach.

#1 — Update Your Meals

Update your meals with the right kind of fat. That means eating foods and using oils that are rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil, avocado, and almonds. It’s also important to avoid trans-fat and limit saturated fat found in foods like butter, bacon, and beef. Studies show that eating foods high in saturated fat not only raises blood cholesterol, but can also increase the release of the hormone cortisol that signals the body to store fat around the belly area.

#2 — Drink Plenty Of Water

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Poor digestion and digestive issues can cause bloating and puffy bellies. Water is essential, your body needs it to carry nutrients from food to your cells. Not only will water improve digestion, but it’s most likely also going to improve your skin in the process, both with acne and glow. After I started pouring myself just three extra glasses of water a day, I could see a noticeable difference.

Eat juicy foods that are high in water content like broccoli and citrus. Not only will you help to hydrate along with your water regime, but you will also be enjoying foods that are lower in calories. Here are some great low-cal salsas to try. Just top a piece of grilled chicken or fish with your favorite for a low calorie meal.

Perfect Poolside Soup

I named this Poolside Soup because it’s light and packed with velvety, cool flavors that can refresh you on a hot day. It’s the perfect fast lunch, one that I can make even while chatting with my girlfriends. It’s low in sodium, and won’t give you the belly bulge we all want to avoid during swimsuit season.

Serves 8

4 cups green grapes
2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled
2 kiwifruits, peeled and quartered
2 medium shallots or 1/2 medium red onion, quartered
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water

Place the grapes, avocados, kiwis, shallots or red onions, vinegar, mint, almonds, and salt in a food processor. Add the water and pulse the mixture until smooth. Serve at room temperature or chill covered in an airtight container for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Thanks again for joining me on your quest for better digestive health!