Achieving and maintaining a flat stomach can seem impossible, especially after childbirth and as we age. But don’t despair; here are some tips to help you tighten up your stomach, naturally!
Focus on eating the right foods
Think about food and nutrition in the context of your health instead of weight loss. The key is to focus on whether a particular food is healthy, and not to think about whether it will make you fat or skinny. If you are making healthy food choices, you are more likely to achieve a flat stomach, naturally.
Cutting back on portion sizes will never solve your issues if you eat a high calorie diet. Instead, the focus needs to be on eating more of the right foods. The wrong foods – refined sugar, packaged foods (trans fats), processed and high-fat cuts of meat, full-fat dairy, some candy (saturated fat), corn oil, grape-seed oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil (omega-6 fats ) – go straight to our belly fat.
Often, a plate piled high with salad, fresh fruit, cooked vegetables and brown rice may look like a lot of food, but actually contains less calories than fat, sugar and processed food options.
Wellbeing starts with good digestive health. It’s actually all about our gut – that’s the foundation of the natural health philosophy. Eating a Hopewood diet is the best way to improve your digestive system. We recommend a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables with complex carbohydrates and some protein.
Avoid excessive salt intake and drink plenty of water
Salt can bloat you and can also cause discomfort in the stomach. While sodium does not directly increase your body fat, it can increase water retention, which can show up on the scale and in the mirror. Although sodium provides our body with an important electrolyte, we recommend avoiding foods with copious amounts of salt.
Exercise with a focus on core strength
It’s important to get moving every day and to do exercise that is appropriate for your body. This, mixed with a healthy plant-based diet, can support the reduction of unwanted belly fat.
Strengthening exercises, such as sit-ups, planks, hip raises, reverse crunches, glute bridges, lying superman lifts and other tummy focussed exercises will all increase your abdominal strength and help you to achieve a flat stomach.
If you’re new to exercise, the secret is to start slowly and just get through the first six weeks. This is the period when your body adapts to exercise stress most easily. Over the first six weeks your metabolism improves, your muscles get stronger, your cardio system gets more efficient, and after six weeks you will find exercise easier and you can work harder. That’s when discipline is offset by motivation and you will find your body wants to do exercise! So don’t give up! Set six weeks as your first goal.
Reduce your stress
Unfortunately, even if you are doing regular exercise, chronic stress can stop you from losing weight. It can even cause you to add kilograms.
A great, natural and long-term approach to stress reduction is to factor “stress busters” into your lifestyle. Increase your resilience by taking time out, learn relaxation techniques, sleep well, eat healthy whole foods and include enjoyable forms of exercise in your daily routine. Lower your stressors when possible by re-evaluating your priorities.
Or, try meditation! Meditation can improve your whole outlook on life. You’re likely to feel a sense of joy, peace, enthusiasm and clarity after meditating. Meditation tells our bodies where we’re at. It shows us what our patterns are and gives us insight into our body. We spend most of our life putting our energy to the outside. We also have to draw some energy in, in order not to topple over. Meditation is a great stress management tool. It allows us to withdraw from the external world for short and truly restful intervals. Here’s how you can get started…