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 metabolism is changing. You can’t control your body changes, but you can control what you eat and when you exercise. 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 and you may lose a few pounds along the way.
I love goal 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 and lower your blood pressure. (2) I do like my coffee and tea, however, bananas are said to cause some belly bloat though, of course soda pop (diet or reg), chocolate and 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 also culprits for the tummy bloat such as potatoes, pasta and breads, fast foods of any sort, (however I will splurge but have now cut that down to twice a month because of heart valve clogging risks, anything with aspartame (man-made sugars) should be avoided for a flat stomach.
(3) The site https://www.activebeat.com/diet>nutrition/10-nasty-culprits-of-belly-bloat/4 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 not 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 stave away from the starchy carbs and sugars as much as humanly possible. Beans are another culprit, but I just cut back to twice a month, though 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 consideration.
Peaches were also on that list, but I won’t stop eating my favorite fruits just yet. So next is the dreaded eight letter word “e-x-e-r-c-I-s-e” (doh!) Yes, fortunately I do love my exercise. However, I don’t consider myself the hardcore workout type, but I like the treadmill once or twice a week. I do my stretches daily and have found them to be good and maybe even better than medications for body aches that creep up on you as you age. I definitely do my 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. First stand straight, then breath very deeply squeezing all the way to the inner frame, hold it then count 25 squeezes. After 25 squeezes, you may feel a little muscle pain because these are muscles you do not usually use (If you have a medical condition, consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen). If no pain immediately, you will feel it the next day. This means progress in beginning to firm the muscles in your stomach. I try to do 25 squeezes at least once a day. This exercise may also be helpful for anyone with bladder control muscle issues.** This really works. You may have to tie a string on your finger to remember to do these. I actually learned this method from a lady a while ago who stated she she does her tummy exercises while standing in long lines. Hey nobody will know but you.
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 does give you the feeling of self-empowerment and only you have control over your health.
Peace and Love