2015 Oct 27
by Stephanie Holmes
Has your hard-earned summer bikini figure already disappeared under a layer of flab? Whatever you do, don’t go drown your sorrows in a bucket of ice cream. Whether you want to lose weight for more self-confidence, for well-being, for fitness gains or just overall good health, here are our tips for quickly and effectively flattening your tummy in just 14 days. OK, you might not be completely sculpted, but you’ll see enough results to keep going!
NIP YOUR BAD EATING HABITS IN THE BUD
As the saying goes, “abs are made in the kitchen.” Those pesky love handles that popped up are most likely a result of poor diet and not enough exercise. If you want to slim down, take a closer look at your eating habits. Throw out the bags of chips and candy, or better yet, don’t buy them at all. It goes without saying that high-fat foods containing tons of sugar or fried and processed food products are the first things you should banish from your diet. They provide little to no nutritional value and get quickly stored as abdominal fat.
EAT SMALLER MEALS MORE OFTEN
If you want to see results fast, it’s more conducive to eat several smaller meals throughout the day because they’re easier to digest than three big meals. This also ensures your metabolism stays stimulated all day long and burns more calories. Don’t let food be an afterthought, even if you have a busy schedule. If you have to, do some meal prep on the weekends to cover all your bases. And when you eat, sit down and chew your food thoroughly. You’ll fill up quicker, and your digestion will thank you for it.
PREP YOUR MEALS HEALTHFULLY
When cooking, you should always prize low-fat or no-fat preparation methods. No deep-frying or even pan-frying. Boiling, steaming or poaching are all excellent low-fat methods that will save you tons of calories. And when having meat, poultry or fish mains, serve them with a hefty side of healthy vegetables rather than pasta or fries.
DRINK WATER LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW
Try to drink 1 1/2 liters of water minimum per day. Doing this will purify your body and replenish its water stores. The magnesium and calcium content in water also helps to degrade toxins and aids digestion. Avoid sparkling water because the air bubbles will inflate your stomach. The same applies to soda, fruit juices, coffee with sugar and alcohol. If you’re not a big water person, at least sip on green tea. It’s the ideal ally against a bloated belly, and instead of adding sugar, try flavoring your tea with fresh ginger or a squeeze of lemon.
A SPOONFUL OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR MAKES THE TOXINS GO DOWN
Apple cider vinegar is a known home remedy with many positive effects and applications. It has a particularly stimulating effect on the gut, which helps to kick fat burning into high gear. To detoxify your body as soon as you wake up, stir a spoonful of apple cider vinegar into a glass of lukewarm water and drink on an empty stomach. If you want to lose more weight, repeat the procedure three times a day 30 minutes before each meal—but be careful, the apple cider vinegar is very acidic! If you follow this tip, you’ll notice results within the two weeks.
SPICE UP YOUR MORNINGS
Eating spicy foods reduces the sensation of hunger, which leads to consuming smaller portions. The earlier in the day you eat something spicy, the less hungry you’ll be. Go ahead and sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes onto your morning avocado toast or drizzle some Sriracha over your veggie omelet for some light heat to fuel your day.
RAMP UP YOUR CARDIO INTENSITY
One of the best ways to shed weight fast is to bump up your cardio intensity. HIIT training, crossfit workouts, jump-roping, sprint intervals, etc. are all effective options to try to get your heart pumping. No more human hamster wheel for you!
FILL UP ON FIBER
Refined grain products such as white pasta or rice contain little fiber and therefore contribute little to a well-functioning digestive system. Whole grains, wild rice, quinoa, bulgur and whole-wheat pasta, however, contain tons of the stuff and will provide you with a steady stream of energy all day long while keeping you full between meals.
CALCIUM KILLS BELLY FAT
Calcium is mostly found in dairy products and works actively to combat belly fat. Skim milk is a good choice because it’s low in calories as well as plain 0% fat yogurt, and both are rich in protein and calcium. When converting dietary proteins to bodily proteins, your body uses a lot of energy, drawing from the fat stores. Not to mention your digestion is stimulated by the lactic acid bacteria contained in certain dairy products.
EAT YOUR FISH LEAN
For a flat stomach, lean fish such as pollock or perch are ideal companions. Lean boneless, skinless poultry is also a good bet for weight loss. For now, skip fatty proteins, and try to eat fish at least twice a week.
DRINK YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Nothing is better than nourishing yourself with fruits and vegetables on your quest to a flat stomach. Try blending them into smoothies to combine multiple varieties into one and supply you with easy on-the-go snacks and meals.
DON’T NEGLECT YOUR ABS
It’s one thing to lose weight, but it’s another to see a solid six-pack. In combination with a nutritious diet, you need to incorporate ab exercises, ideally combined with cardio as an effective means to combat belly fat. And the good news is you don’t necessarily have to do 1,000 crunches to reach your goals. Try plank variations, wood chops, standing oblique dips, stability ball exercises, etc. Or sign up for yoga and pilates, which are both excellent forms of exercise for your core.
FOCUS ON VEGETABLES
Vegetables are flat-stomach miracle workers. Stick to the green varieties, such as broccoli, green beans, peas and spinach for their high-fiber content. But cook them slightly before consuming, as raw foods are more difficult to digest and can cause stomach bloating, which is the opposite of what you want. Same thing with legumes, such as beans and lentils—try to consume them in moderation because they contain cellulose, which causes intestinal gas.
SEASON WITH GINGER
Ginger is considered as a panacea for health and especially for the gut. It’s best consumed fresh, as its slightly sharp taste gives food a unique flavor. It also stimulates the digestion and would make the perfect compliment to your herbal tea—just grate a bit directly into the cup.
SOUP IT UP
A hot soup is the perfect appetizer to have before your main course because it fills you up and helps prevent overeating afterward.Follow these tips for 14 days, and you’ll be well on your way to joining the coveted flat-stomach club!