A flat stomach, unlike “six pack abs”, is not impossible to achieve. Having a flat tummy means having proper digestion. If you have a distended belly, intestinal gas or bloating, you’re in the right place.
Because it’s never good to have to unbutton your pants to feel better, I’m going to tell you how to get a flat stomach.
A flat tummy starts with proper mastication
Mastication is the act of chewing food sufficiently before swallowing it. This is the first step in the digestion process.
Your teeth allow you to break your food down into smaller pieces. Your saliva contains enzymes which then help your stomach to continue the work of digestion.
When you don’t take the time to chew, it’s hard on your stomach since it has to work twice as hard to turn the food into chyme in order to properly deliver nutrients to your body. As for the remaining waste, it’ll be slower and more difficult to evacuate.
Not chewing is one of the reasons for a bloated post-meal belly.
Slow down when you eat. Tip: Put your fork down between bites while chewing. It’s hard at first, but it’s a good habit to get into in order to slow down and allow your body to digest better!
Be aware of your diet
Being aware of your diet helps you eat better. Do it for you and your body, so you can live your best life each and every day.
I recommend visualizing your body as the home of your soul or spirit. The more you take care of it, the better you’ll feel. It’s probably a bit of a spiritual metaphor, but personally, it really helped me realized what was and what wasn’t good for me.
Hydration for better digestion
Drink water, yes, but not just at any time!
You may want to limit your fluid intake during meals. If you drink several glasses of water while eating, you’ll feel full more quickly. You’ll stop eating, and you’ll probably consume fewer calories, but the hunger returns a few minutes later, and you won’t be able to resist nibbling. The problem with this is the digestive system doesn’t get a chance to rest. It’s forced to process the incoming food when it’s already busy with previously eaten food.
Your stomach releases digestive juices when you begin eating. Drinking water at the same time dilutes these juices and reduces the optimal breakdown of food.
You can sip a bit of water during a meal, but two glasses can negatively affect your digestion. It’s better to drink about an hour before and after meals.
Use the NutriCoach app to track your water consumption.
Beware of our fruit friends
Fruits are digested by the small intestine in an average of thirty minutes, while other foods (such as meat, starches, fats, etc.) are generally digested by the stomach in three hours.
If you choose fruit for dessert while other foods are already in the process of being digested, it stagnates for several hours in the stomach before reaching the small intestine. And during this time, it ferments, secretes sugar and then alcohol, causing various disturbances like bloating, flatulence, etc.
Not everyone is as sensitive to it, but if you notice this phenomenon, you should try to eat your fruit at the beginning of your meal.
Limit FODMAPs for a flat tummy
FODMAPs include short-chain carbohydrates, disaccharides, monosaccharides and associated alcohols that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine. Restricting FODMAPs is beneficial, especially if you have an irritable bowel or other gastrointestinal disorders. The Western diet is rich in FODMAPs, so it’s advisable to limit them in order to not stress your stomach.
How to reduce FODMAPs
- Replace classic wheat-based products with products made from oat, buckwheat, corn and rice flours, etc.
- For starchy foods (or carbohydrates), choose tubers, roots, rice, quinoa, millet or buckwheat.
- Include fermented foods in your diet (kefir, yogurt, sourdough bread, tempeh, fermented cabbage, etc.)
- Make sure you get enough protein and fat at each meal.
- Don’t totally eliminate FODMAPs; reduce them for a while to see if there’s any improvement in your digestion and reintroduce them gradually (one by one). Take time to observe if symptoms appear, such as bloating or gas, and don’t hesitate to seek treatment.
Activated charcoal, your flat tummy ally
Activated charcoal is a natural remedy that helps avoid bloating. Its virtues help the body eliminate accumulated toxins, and it’s known to flatten the stomach by eliminating gas. It does not, however, eliminate fat, as these are two different things! It can be consumed in capsule form or in powder form (dissolved in water). If you’re in good health and have no contraindications, you can consume it in small quantities for a predetermined period of time. Check with your doctor.
Were you familiar with these tips? Feel free to share more in the comments!
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