9 Flat-Belly Tips

    A shirtless man with plaid short holding a water bottleWhy bother sucking it in? Especially when there are better, and more effective ways to shrink that tummy down.

    Here are just some of our surprising expert tips to help you shed inches and pounds, banish the bloat, and feel even more gorgeous. Hello, skinny jeans and summer shorts!

    Enjoy An Afternoon Snack

    “You must eat a snack that contains protein between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Go for a protein bar, a piece of low-fat cheese, or some almonds with an organic apple.

    No matter what, do not miss that snack. It’s important because it boosts metabolism and balances blood sugar. The lower you keep your blood sugar, the lower you keep your insulin, and insulin makes you store fat around your middle. Eating every three to four hours will keep your blood sugar even, but many people tend to go five or six hours between lunch and dinner without eating.”

    –Natasha Turner, naturopathic doctor, author of The Hormone Diet

    Ball Exchange

    “My No. 1 tip: Do the ball exchange three times a week. Lay flat on your back with your arms above your head and legs straight out. Start with a stability ball above your head in your hands. Bring the ball up above your chest as you bring your legs up to meet the ball and place it between your ankles. Bring the ball back down to the floor with your legs and straighten your arms back out over your head.

    Repeat the ball exchange 10 to 12 times, remembering to keep your lower back pressed into the floor as you do this move.”

    –LaReine Chabut, author of Exercise Balls for Dummies

    Take Time To Chew

    “Chewing is the No. 1 tip I give to prevent bloating. Chew food until it is like applesauce in your mouth. Digestion begins in the mouth, and without proper chewing, food is not well-digested. Better-digested food means less gas and bloating.”

    –Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet

    Focus More On Belly Balance

    “I recommend the DCBA approach: Diet first, Cardio second, Building muscle third, and Abs exercises last. Follow it and you can safely lose one to two pounds a week. Spend 60 minutes a day preparing healthier meals. Spend 20 minutes a day three to five times weekly doing cardio. Spend 15 minutes a day three times a week strength training. Finally, spend 5 minutes a day three times a week doing abs exercises.”

    –Myatt Murphy, author of The Body You Want in the Time You Have

    Switch To Sea Salt

    “The culprit making your tummy bloat? It could be the salt in your diet. Use natural sea salt or kosher salt, which is lower in sodium teaspoon for teaspoon than traditional table salts. And stay away from soy sauce: Even low-sodium soy sauce is still high in sodium and will cause practically instant bloating.

    Instead, flavor your food with a little fresh tomato salsa or a hint of cayenne pepper, which has an added benefit of boosting metabolism.”

    –Susan Irby, “The Bikini Chef” and author of Substitute Yourself Skinny

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