5 secrets to a flat stomach and a healthy gut

December 30, 2011 20:58 | Health and Beauty
Running man beach

Are you spending hours sweating at the gym and doing mind-numbing abs crunches but you are still not getting a flat stomach? The answer is in the gut.

If your goal is showing a ripped or flat stomach you need more than exercise: with a well thought-out healthy eating regime you can make better food choices that will reduce bloating and contribute to a tauter abdomen.
 
1.Nutrition
 
Bloating is mostly caused by fermentation in the gut and the most offending foods are sugar and refined carbohydrates like pasta and bread. Eating on the go or while distracted watching TV or browsing the internet may lead to not chewing food properly. This will cause extra fermentation in the gut. Fizzy drinks should also be avoided as much as possible. Try to increase the amount of fresh vegetables in each meal and aim for a fibre-rich breakfast with porridge oats, nuts and seeds, flaxseed. Remember that most of us are slightly intolerant to wheat and dairy: these foods create inflammation in the gut and cutting them out completely for two weeks should make an immediate improvement to your digestion. Increasing the intake of essential fatty acids from fish, olive oil, avocado and nuts can also.
 
2. Pilates
 
This discipline can really help to sculpt and strengthen the “core” muscles in the abdominal area. Improving your posture will not only give you a flatter stomach but will also prevent back pain. A great exercise to do at home is “The Hundred”: you start by lying on your back and pulling your knees into your chest. Then, stretch out your arms and reach forward while straightening and lifting your legs up. Remember to keep your tummy in and  breathe with control (ideally have a Pilates instructor to teach you the technique). Then keeping your arms straight in front of you, flap the arms up and down pumping 100 times, breathing in for 5  and breathing out for 5. Finish by hugging your knees into your chest.
 
3.Massage
 
First of all, stress can increase the levels of stress hormone cortisol in the body which makes you store more fat. Any type of relaxing massage will ease the stress symptoms and facilitate the rebalancing of hormones. More specifically, an abdominal massage can also help as any waste that is stored in the body is useless bulk that need to be eliminated. This bulk may swell up and defeat all the hard work you put in. Abdominal massage can improve peristalsis (transit time of waste in the intestine by stimulating internal muscles) and the frequency of elimination.
 
4. Personal training
 
Celebrity trainer Anthony Mayatt recommends taking fish oils as part of a high protein based diet and regular exercise program. Fish oils contain Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which help to maintain a healthy heart, good skin and lower blood pressure but also helps to break down fat stores in the body. It is good to have a diet where you are eating fish around twice a week but if not these can be bought as supplements too.
 
5.Colonic irrigation
This is a safe holistic treatment to cleanse the large intestine where food waste is stored for elimination. The treatment consists in using filtered water to wash the colon to rid of any waste matter. Supermodels, actors and other celebrities have been having colonics before big events like award ceremonies and photoshoots. Our bodies have been designed to be “self-cleansing” so you shouldn't rely on colonics alone to achieve a flat stomach.
 
Loving your body and lowering your stress levels are the keys to a healthy life; getting a six pack is not an end in itself but the buy-product of a disciplined approach.
 
Paola Bassanese

 

Tags: Paola Bassanese, Health, Flat Stomach


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