Perhaps you’re slender or close to your ideal body weight but you just can’t seem to get rid of that belly fat. Learn why stomach exercises will not help you lose belly fat and what natural methods you can use to have the firm tummy you’ve always wanted.
Causes of Belly Fat
In order to have a flat belly, it is important to understand and eliminate the cause(s) of belly fat. There are several causes of belly fat in an otherwise slender person.
Hidden Food Intolerances
Many people who have food intolerances are not aware of them. Those who suffer from diarrhea alternating with constipation, abdominal cramping, brain fog, irritability, anxiety and/or mental confusion, may have one or more hidden food intolerances. People with hidden food intolerances have poor digestion and absorption of nutrients, causing fat to accumulate around the midsection. If food intolerances are suspected in causing belly bloat, do an elimination diet. Remove wheat, gluten, corn, dairy, soy, nuts and shellfish from the diet for a week or two and then reintroduce foods one day at a time to see what causes a reaction. If there is an intolerance to one or more foods, symptoms will return and you’ll know which food or foods to eliminate permanently.
When most people think of parasites, they either think of their pet or some unfortunate in a third-world country. The truth is, it is estimated over half of the USpopulation is infested with some type of parasite. Symptoms of parasitic infection include food allergies and intolerances, belly bloat, chronic flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, anal itching, itching skin, irritability, brain fog, anxiety, insomnia, abdominal cramping and more. If these symptoms are present, it is best to do a parasite cleanse. There are many gentle, herbal cleanses on the market that can be used at home to clear parasites from the system. Visit a local health food store or a trusted naturopath to find out which cleanse is best. Be sure to read and follow all instructions on the box or bottle. If you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients, choose another cleanse. Anybody with a major medical problem should consult a healthcare provider before using any parasite cleanse.
Stress can cause insomnia and poor digestion, which can lead to belly bloat. Though eliminating stress completely from our lives is neither realistic nor practical, learning how to deal with stress is. Be sure to get plenty of sleep (7-9 hours) each night and take time to recharge during the day. Go for a walk on lunch breaks at work, get into a yoga or meditation class, find a quiet corner and read or take up a new hobby. Decreasing stress will increase overall health and well-being, which will improve digestion and get rid of belly fat.
Eating Late at Night
Though it’s tempting to snack late at night if you’re up anyway, it is best not to snack up to three hours before bedtime. As we sleep, digestion slows and fat is more easily stored by the body. This can create belly bloat. If you’re really hungry, choose a light, healthy snack such as a banana or raw nuts.
Natural Tricks for a Flat Belly
Studies show that tart cherries can be an effective natural way to achieve a flat belly. Tart cherries are high in fiber and antioxidants, which help to reduce belly fat, lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease.
The typical Western diet of processed and fast foods can cause serious digestive problems, including slow digestion. It is important to reduce or eliminate intake of processed and fast foods in order to achieve a flat belly. Supplementing the diet with a digestive aid can help speed digestion and reduce cramping, gas, constipation, diarrhea and belly bloat. Be sure to consult a healthcare provider if you have any serious medical condition before using digestive aids.
Most people do not get enough fiber in their diets, which can result in constipation. This causes waste matter to build up in the intestines and cause belly bloat. Increase intake of dark, leafy green vegetables and fiber-rich fruits such as grapes, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, apples and pears. If you still feel you need more fiber in the diet, pick up some psyllium whole husks and mix them in water. They work to flush toxins from the body that can cause belly bloat. It is important to note not to take psyllium fiber on an empty stomach as it can cause quite a bit of gas. As always, those with a serious medical condition should consult their healthcare provider before using a fiber supplement.
Crunches aren’t the way to go if you’re looking for a flat belly. Studies show those who engage in vigorous aerobic exercise have a much better chance in decreasing belly fat than those who do crunches alone.
There you have it. Natural tricks for a flat belly. Following these steps can give you the flat belly you’ve always wanted and this summer, you’ll finally be able to show off that new beach bod!