I love to eat. Nowadays they call that being a “foodie” I guess. Yes I like trying new foods and dishes, but they have to be appealing to my eye or I will not eat it. But as I get older, I’m finding my body is doing things that I have minimum control over, but what you can control is what you eat. I know that I will not nor do I want to get my weight back down to 100 pounds soak and wet; however, I do have a goal to try to get my tummy as flat as possible. I did buy one of those tummy control garments, but I love challenges (sometimes) and when I am able to see my stomach shrink I get excited and feel like I have accomplished a great feat. I think tummy flattening is a better than saying, “I need to lose weight.” You can better set your goals and you know if you are getting results or not.
So what I have decided to do is first of all: (1) No eating after 8 pm. This can be hard at first and your body tells you (by grumbling) that you want and need to eat. So in order to stave this off, I will eat for example; raw carrots or you can eat a small amount of your favorite crackers to help get the hunger off. Wheat Thins has some tasty crackers.* Fruit is also a good option, such as an apple, pear, grapes. However, I read somewhere that bananas can cause bloating. You may want to research that. I know weight lifters eat bananas to build their muscles and they also help in preventing muscle cramps. (2) I had to stop consuming some of my favorite foods and drinks because they cause bloating these include: coffee, some teas (caffeine), I do like my bananas though, of course soda pop (diet or reg), some chocolate foods like donuts and most yeast filled and sugary treats have to go( I will splurge on these at least once a month), If you have a craving for chocolate, going dark is said to be healthier, also most foods with high carbs are culprits such as potatoes, pasta and breads, fast foods of any sort, (however I will splurge once a week on pizza), anything with aspartame (man-made sugars) should be avoided for a flat stomach. (3) The site “Active Beat” actually has a list of foods that cause bloating. Some on this list include peppers, apples, milk, even celery (who knew?) Their list is called ” 33 Trigger Foods for Bloating: Control Your Tummy Bulge.” It will surprise you what’s on the list. A lot are actually healthy veggies. Most of the foods are some of my favorites, so that will leave you down to carrots and crackers if you follow that list literally. It also includes spicy foods. (darn!). There are other tummy bloater lists sites out there too.
So my best plan of action is to eat mostly vegetables and stay far away from the starchy carbs and sugars as much as humanly possible. Beans are another culprit, but I just cut back to once or twice a weak; they do have proteins that are good for your body. I don’t eat a lot of meats, but I have not totally committed to becoming a vegetarian yet. Of course all things in moderation.
I won’t stop eating my favorite fruits though. So next is the dreaded eight letter word “e-x-e-r-c-I-s-e” (doh!) Yes, fortunately I love a little bit of it. However, I’m not necessarily the workout gym type, but I have a jump rope that I like to use and will do up to 100 jumps a day. (when I’m ambitious), stretches are good to do, I do tummy targeted exercises. I will list these tummy exercises in my next blog update. I like long walks and then I like to sit and meditate.
One other exercise that I do that is very easy and considered a tummy memory exercise is called the pelvic breathing exercise. First stand straight, then breath very deeply squeezing all the way down to the pelvic muscles, then count 25 pushes(actually these are squeezes). After 25 squeezes, you may feel a little muscle pain because these are muscles you do not usually use(unless you have a medical condition, then see a physician). If no pain immediately, you will feel it the next day. This means progress in beginning to firm the muscles in your stomach. I do 25 pushes at least once a day. **Consult your physician before starting any new exercise or new diet regimen if under a physicians care. This exercise may also be helpful for anyone with bladder control muscle issues.**
So that is basically how I do my tummy flattening regimen. Of course you can come up with your own. It’s always good to set goals for yourself; it gives you the feeling of self-empowerment and accomplishment.
Peace and Love