We’ve all been there. Standing in front of our bathroom mirror, looking at the side profile of our bodies and shaking our heads.
“Why does my belly want to come out and play?!”
Let’s get this straight, to rid your belly fat, a good diet and regular exercise is a must.
But can you get a slimmer waist and a flatter belly quickly without losing the belly fat? Yes you can! Here are 3 overlooked tips to do just that.
Tip #1 – Reduce bloat
For those of us who experience bloatedness frequently, we know that it’s uncomfortable and not very flattering for our waistline. These are just some reasons why we may experience bloating, along with ways to counter them:
Eating too much or too fast:
Eat slower (meals should last at least 30 minutes) or have smaller meals throughout the day
Swallowing of air from talking and eating:
Reduce consumption of carbonated beverages, chew less gum and try not to drink from a straw
Poor diet (low-fiber) which leads to constipation:
Constipation can lead to bloating. Take steps to prevent it by including more fruits and vegetables in your diet, drinking lots of water and exercising regularly.
This is not an exhaustive list and there are many other reasons that may cause bloating. We experience bloating pretty frequently as we tend to finish our meals too quickly, so we’re always looking for ways to relieve the bloat.
What is the best way to instantly reduce bloat? Fart! This is no time to be feeling embarrassed about farting. Here is the number one pose that we turn to once we step into our homes on a bloated day (credits to Vitality Massage on YouTube):
How to do it:
- Go onto all fours then place your forearms on the ground.
- Rock back and forth gently while keeping your back arched to find a comfortable position. You may feel your tummy rumbling already, give it some time and you’ll surely release some gas
- Give your tummy a gentle massage to aid in the gas relief
There are a number of other poses from yoga that helps with bloat, just do a quick search on “yoga gas relief” and you will see a number of recommended poses. They are usually safe to try out on your own so give it a shot!
Tip #2 – Strengthen your inner abs
When we think of abs, we think of crunches — we imagine that if we do enough crunches our abs will eventually show. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Having visible abs is primarily an issue of body fat level. Crunches really only work the rectus abdominis muscles (outer abs, the six-pack) to make your abs more visible if you have low body fat. Training the rectus abdominis also tend to contribute to a thicker waistline.
To get a slimmer waist and flatter belly, you must work your inner abs (transverse abdominis), a deep muscle that is often overlooked. Your transverse abdominis (TVA) is also aptly known as the ‘corset muscle’, which as it name suggests, keeps your waist tight and trim. Furthermore, building a stronger TVA can improve core stability, posture and reduce back pain.
Here is the number one exercise to work your TVA and tighten that waistline. It’s called the stomach vacuum. Someone with a trained TVA can do some truly freaky things with their stomach vacuums. Don’t be discouraged if your stomach vacuum doesn’t look like theirs on day one!
How to do it:
- Take a deep breath and fill your belly with air
- As you exhale, suck in your belly — imagine drawing your belly button towards your spine. Try to exhale as much air as you can and focus on squeezing and contracting your stomach muscles
- Hold it in as tightly as you can until you need to take a breath, then relax and fill your belly with air again
It may not sound like you’re doing much, but if you do it right, you’ll really feel a burn in your deeper abdominal muscles. What’s convenient is that you can do this exercise anywhere, so fit in a few stomach vacuums into your day.
This exercise can be done seated or standing. You can also attempt more difficult variations as you progress by bending forward at a 45 degree angle or go down on all fours and feel your muscles working harder against gravity.
Tip #3 – Stretch tight muscles to improve posture
The third surprising tip for a flatter belly is to improve your posture. For those of us who sit in front of a computer many hours a day, chances are we have muscle imbalances that lead to a poor posture — to make matters worse, a poor posture that highlights our pudgy belly.
One of the effects of sitting down too much is something called an Anterior Pelvic Tilt (APT), where your pelvic floor is tilted to the front. In the illustration, you can see how an individual with APT has a significantly more protruding belly.
So if you want to wear those tighter fitting clothes with real confidence, you should really start paying attention to your posture. This is one of the most overlooked and underrated way to look more attractive and confident, without even changing body composition.
An area that’s really tight when you’re sitting down a lot is your hip flexor muscles. Here is a good stretch for your hip flexors that can help to improve your APT:
How to do it:
- Go into a lunge position with both knees at around a 90 degree angle.
- Squeeze your glutes (your butt) and also tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Lean forward slightly, and by now you should really feel a good stretch in the muscles of your upper thigh, all the way up to your hip flexors.
- For an even deeper stretch, lift up your arms and lean over slowly to the side that your front leg is on.
- Hold for 30 seconds each leg.
We highly recommend that you give these tips a try if you’re looking to get a flatter belly. If you have a question or know a better way to relieve gas problems? Let us know in the comments below!