We all want a flatter tummy – no surprises there but did you know that 60% of us cite our stomachs as our least favourite body part? Possibly no surprises there either but the good news is we can change things around! Here at The Otto Clinic we’ve put together some hot tips to banish the bulges so that when you slip into your new bikini this summer, you’ll be oozing confidence!
Tip #1: Swear off Salt
If you do nothing else, cut salt out of your diet because it’s a major cause of fluid retention. So you need to cut down, not just on table salt, but your intake of pickled foods, convenience foods, snacks such as crisps, peanuts, cured meats such as bacon and ham and instead focus on lots of fresh fruit and vegetables which are rich in potassium, a mineral that works with sodium in the body to balance fluids properly (e.g. tomatoes, citrus fruits, melon, cucumber, watercress, carrots, salad leaves and celery).
Tip #2: Super-charge your Liver
Simply starting your day with a cup of hot water and a slice of lemon will kick-start your liver. Aim to drink approximately 2 litres of filtered water and herbal teas daily. (Peppermint is really refreshing!)
Tip #3: Don’t Stress
One of the hazards of modern life is elevated stress levels – often we are trying to fit so much into the day that we don’t even notice! But stress isn’t just a major hazard for your mental health, it can also lead to excess weight gathering around your waist area. That’s because prolonged stress raises levels of the hormone cortisol which dumps extra fat cells in the stomach area. The simple 3-point plan to beat stress is: 1. Diet (ditch junk food, caffeine and sugar), 2. Exercise is great way to blow off stress and negativity in the body and 3. Sleep – aim to get 8 hours minimum every night.
Tip #4: Curb the Carbs
Again a simple 3-point plan to avoid bloating and fluid retention is 1. No carbs after 6pm (carbs are starched carbs including potatoes, bread, cereals, pasta, rice) instead replace with fish and vegetables, 2. Avoid alcohol and instead focus on Tip #2 to super-charge your liver above and 3. Don’t skip meals but if you really need a rescue snack, have an apple and 6-8 almonds or half an avocado (skin booster) with a sprinkle of black pepper. Delicious!
Tip #5: Develop your Natural Corset!
Work your pelvic floor muscles – they are your body’s natural corset (along with your abdominals) so if you exercise these regularly, you will achieve a tighter lower stomach area (often weakened by pregnancy). Your pelvic floor muscles are the ones you would use if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. This is an anytime, anywhere exercise so squeeze and clench them (as if you’re stopping the flow) 15-20 times 5 times a day.