Friday, March 13, 2015

Fit Friday | Three Ways to a flatter tummy

Today's post is inspired a by recent review of Beautifully Bamboo Tea.  In her review, the happy customer shared this:

5.0 out of 5 stars Great product!March 8, 2015
Nadine - 
Great product!!! If I'm not mistaken the tea has kept my stomach from being bloated. My co-workers noticed the difference. I got them interested in purchasing the tea, also my daughter has purchased it. 

Her experience has me thinking about summer preparations and how achieving a toned, flat stomach is an absolute must.  My biggest problem area is my midsection.  I wish I was one of those people with a naturally flat tummy, but that just isn't the case.  If I want to appear like I have any semblance of abs, I've got to take deliberate action. Now that summer is approaching, it's time to get serious again and employ the tree strategies that have worked for me in the past.

My midsection often appears bloated and expanded.  In my opinion, the biggest contributor is the way I eat.  My meals ware pretty much scarfed down as quickly as possible.  This allows me to fit in as much food as I can before the feelings of being full start to set in.  I'm also confessing that I don't chew my food as thoroughly as I should.  Again, this has everything to do with consuming as much food as I can within a short amount of time (what can I say, I love to eat).
Once I realized the error of my ways, I began practicing conscious eating.  Basically, it's when you remain present while you eat.  Instead of eating in front of a tv/phone/computer, or while driving, I eat with a single-minded focus and no distractions.  Then I fulfilled the recommended amount of chews per bite.  For optimal digestion, it's best to chew 20-30 times before swallowing.  This is especially hard  for me because I HATE swallowing liquified food (HATE!).  But, I bit the bullet and did it anyway.

But, you know what happened?  With mindful chewing, I reached the time threshold where the mind and stomach communicate and tell you that you're full.  The more consistent I was with conscious eating and thorough chewing, the less food was needed to fill me up.  Soon my stomach, which was once over-expanded, regained its elasticity and began to naturally shrink.  Before, I could down several slices of pizza before my mind even noticed.  Now, I was full from eating a home made sandwich.  Turns out that my stomach was much smaller than I thought.  It wasn't long before I was enjoying the flat stomach that I always longer for.  It also took away my issue with a sluggish stomach.  Overall, the benefits were very much worth it so I'm willing to try it again.
The other time I had a small midsection was when I first gave up gluten.  At the time, I was really gong ho about it so I also gave up starches as well.  So, in essence, I was following a low carb diet.  They say that "abs are made in the kitchen."  Well they're right.  It wasn't long before stubborn pounds melted off.  Eating all those wonderful salads game me the belly of my dreams.  No to mention how quickly my skin cleared up.  And, to be honest, it was easier than conscious eating because I didn't have to keep a running total of how many times I chewed my last bite.  Even if my belly did expand slightly after eating a large salad, it was easily digested so the bloated feeling was short lived.

The last trick up my sleeve is running.  Once upon a time, I was required to run a 3 mile race in under a certain amount of minutes.  I'm one of those people who never ran so I had to get in a lot of practice to build up my endurance.   After weeks of running 9-15 miles a week, I had the flattest tummy of my life.  If I recall correctly,  I even enjoyed some wonderful ab definition in the process. No change in eating habits, nothing else but burning off a ton of calories.  My gluted toned up as well.  Then I reached my goal and stopped running regularly. The rest is history.

These three strategies have worked well for me in the past so I'm going to use a blended approach to get back on track.  On the agenda for today is to pick up some organic leafy greens for salad making.  Although I don't plan on going full low carb, I will increase the number of times I eat a salad per week. When I'm not having a salad, I'm use conscious eating to manage portion size.  Lastly, I began to incorporate brief jogging sessions in my long walks to burn extra calories.

But that's only half the battle.  A flat belly is one thing, but a flat, toned stomach is what's hot in these streets.  In phase two of my plan we talk about how to tone up, while keeping the waist as defined as possible.

  1. Great tips, I definitely need to start counting when I eat. I can raise my hand and say constant running has kept my stomach flat burning up those calories!!

    Thanks for sharing this great post

  2. My issue is that am very slim with large tummy do I loose the fat around my tummy only cos am already slim n dnt want to loose fat all over

  3. Hi Pearl,
    To answer your question, I would have to say cardio and resistance exercise. It helps burn fat while building muscle. It really works.