For most of us, getting our bodies to look their best means making changes to what we eat and how we work out. The trick: cutting out what’s bad and adding in what’s good. Consistency and sticking with your diet and exercise plan is key since it takes time to see a difference—nothing happens overnight.
Did You Know?
Healthy hormone levels, low stress levels and a good amount of sleep every night all help contribute to a flat stomach.
1. Go Low Carb And See A Change In Two Days: In just two days you may notice that your stomach looks flatter, your butt appears firmer and your thighs seem tighter.
Why They’re Bad For You: “The brain needs glucose, which comes from carbs. White, refined carbs make us feel and look bad,” says registered dietitian and author of Peruvian Power Foods Manuel Villacorta.
The Right Way To Do It: Quitting carbs altogether is the wrong approach as you’re more likely to binge on them. “You need to fuel your body with healthy carbs from fruits, sweet potatoes and grains like quinoa and amaranth,” says Villacorta. Eliminate starchy, refined carbs, but not those that are beneficial.
2. Limit Your Salt Intake And See A Change In A Few Days: Kerry Bajaj, health coach at Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York, says just a few days of reducing added salt can make a difference. “As you cut out salty foods you retain less water, so you feel less bloated and puffy.” Reducing your salt intake makes it easier to lose weight.
Why It’s Bad For You: Salt is necessary for the body to function properly, which is why it can’t be entirely cut out, but you can decrease your consumption of it. Salt causes you to retain water as well as bloating and puffiness (in the stomach) and dehydrates the body.
The Right Way To Do It: Cutting down on salt is easy and the body won’t crave more of it once you do. Your best bet: Make your own food, drink water and avoid prepackaged or frozen foods (they are loaded with salt). “Food should contain less than 10 percent salt,” says celebrity trainer Kit Rich.
3. Cut Out Sugar And See A Change In One Week: Villacorta says that everyone varies in terms of results when forgoing sugar, but you will notice a difference immediately. “In one week you’ll sleep better, feel better and have increased energy. You’ll also probably start to see a change in your stomach, too.”
Why It’s Bad For You: Sugar is the root of fat. The body doesn’t need it to function, so there’s no recommended amount that you should consume daily. If more than 10 percent of your calorie intake comes from added sugar, you’re taking in too much.
The Right Way To Do It: Quitting sugar cold turkey can lead to headaches, irritability, moodiness and lethargy. “It’s best to get off sugar with a cleanse that balances your blood sugar,” says Bajaj. Rich suggests slowly reducing your sugar intake, yet still consuming fruit and some dark chocolate.
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