Ah, it’s that time of year…swimsuit season. While some of us are a bit obsessed with our abs year round, almost everyone thinks about their bellies come Springtime.
Through the years I have learned about a few things that make a difference in my belly.
1- Carbonation, just don’t! While those aluminum cans and plastic bottles won’t expand when those fizzy bubbles start wafting up, your gut will. Leave this stuff on the shelf.
2-Excess salt-It will make you retain fluid everywhere and that includes your belly. Whatever your belly looks like, it will look bigger if you retain fluid.
3-Sugar- Our body dilutes sugar in our blood to achieve an optimum level, so sugar causes fluid retention while our body struggles to metabolize this concentrated simple carbohydrate.
4-Excess carbohydrates- Carbohydrates break down into sugar so excess carbs will cause excess fluid just like eating sugar. For every gram of ingested carbohydrates our bodies retain three grams of water! Excess calories from carbohydrates, just like all excess calories, are also stored as fat. Do you really want a layer of fat over your abs?
5- All excess calories- They are stored as fat.
6-Alcohol- This toxic substance is a source of simple sugars and large amounts of calories. As the liver tries to neutralize the toxin, it will deposit the products of metabolism nearby in your abdomen and the excess calories are stored as fat.
7-Slow digestive system-If you do not have regular bowel movements, your belly will bloat. Stay regular with adequate fiber and water and activity.
8-Inadequate activity- Getting regular exercise, with your doctors approval, will increase your metabolism. You will burn some of those excess calories!
9-Hormones, specifically cortisol- Cortisol is secreted during stress. Make your world small. Remove as many negative influences from your life as you possibly can.
10-Sleep-Adequate sleep resets our cortisol levels and optimizes hormonal function. Get some zzz’s!