Whether it’s a pair of jeans and a cute sweater you want to slide into or a bare-all swimsuit for your next vacation, having a flat, bloat-free belly makes all the difference in how good you feel in what you wear.
The good news is that you don’t need to starve yourself to have a flat belly, or deprive yourself of delicious foods. You just need to be smart in your food choices, support your body’s digestive functions and assist your body to rid itself of the accumulated toxins that are stored in your fat cells...including right around your middle. If you carefully and effectively remove the toxic waste matter from your body, you will eliminate the fat that stored it!
If you put in place each of the following tips, you will be quickly on your way to banishing bloating and getting a flatter belly that not only makes you look great, but leaves you feeling light and full of energy – for the stuff in your life that really matters.
1. Aim for 80% veggies - Ideally you want to be eating meals that consist primarily of fresh vegetables, both raw and lightly cooked. The rest of your meal can be the extra stuff that you like whether it’s whole grains, nuts or seeds, baked root vegetables, fish, eggs, goat’s cheese or another reasonably high quality food choice. The problem is most people eat the other way round, with only 20% of their plate being vegetables, and often very heavily cooked vegetables completely devoid of life! Make the switch and you will start to see the benefits in how you feel quickly. There’s no need to go from zero to 80% veggies overnight (and in fact I do not advise it). Instead start by filling 50% of your plate with fresh vegetables and increase your veggie quota over time. If you have been eating very little fibrous or fresh food and you start eating large amounts of fresh produce, you can expect to see some bloating in your belly temporarily as the vegetables awaken old waste and get things moving in your intestines. Don’t let this deter you, simply increase your veggie intake slowly and it will pass quickly leaving you with a flatter and happier belly.
2. Watch the fruit - But fruit is healthy right? While fruit is a wonderful, highly nutritious food, it can create noxious gas, fermentation and feed yeast overgrowth, causing all kinds of nasty symptoms including bloating and holding onto weight. However it is not the fruits that are the problem, but the state of health of your body, particularly your intestines. Fruit is incredibly cleansing so when you put a lot of it, especially the high sugar kind, into a body overloaded with toxicity, you will experience all kinds of digestive upset, bloating, gas and other fun symptoms. Plus if you have an excess of yeast and bacteria in your body (you always have a certain amount of these guys that are beneficial to your body but they become harmful when there are too many), the natural sugars found in fruit will feed this overgrowth further, crowding out more of the good guys and creating even more toxicity in your body as the yeast and bacteria proliferate. If you bloat after eating fruit, if you are heavy around the middle, if you are a woman who has taken birth control or antibiotics for an extended time, or if you experience digestive symptoms frequently, try focusing on low sugar fruits such as green apples, berries, grapefruits, lemons and limes and watching your quantities. Snack on fresh raw vegetables with delicious dips like salsa and guacamole instead.
3. Food combining - One aspect of digestive health is often ignored and can make all the difference in achieving the flat belly you want – food combining. Different types of foods take different times to digest and require different enzymes to break them down, meaning your assimilation of the nutrients from these foods will be impaired and your digestion will be compromised, causing bloating, gas and constipation. For example, animal foods take around four to five hours to leave the stomach while starches (grains, bread, etc) take around three to four hours to leave the stomach. If you eat foods from these two groups together at the same time (think fish and potato, chicken and rice, turkey sandwiches) the time for that meal to leave the stomach has now been increased to seven to nine hours, and that’s provided you haven’t thrown in other food groups like fruit or nuts too! That’s a whole lot of extra time your body is spending on digestion when that energy could be spent on cleaning out your temple, removing toxicity and giving you energy. Keep your animal foods and starches away from each other (eat them with fresh vegetables instead) and always eat fruit alone or before your meal. You will be left with a healthier body (and mind – digestive health plays a huge role in your mind and emotional health too) and a calmer, flatter belly within days.
4. Clean out your pipes - Year after year of eating foods that the body can not break down and eliminate fully (such as cooked foods, refined and processed foods, sugar, animal products) means that your body is overloaded with old waste and toxicity stored in your cells, tissues and organs. When you start eating more fresh vegetables, food combining and cutting down or out the damaging stuff, your body finally has a chance to dredge up toxic waste and dump it into your bowel for removal. However most people have such compromised elimination organs, particularly the bowel, after years of consuming unfit foods and drinks, that help is needed to get this old, toxic stuff out. This is where cleansing the bowel via colonics or enemas comes in. It may not sound like the most elegant of activities but it is king when it comes to getting the waste out so that you are left feeling lighter, cleaner, more youthful and healthy. It is also extremely effective at getting you a flatter belly fast! As the waste is removed from your bowel, your middle will flatten out and be much calmer than ever before. While one good colonic session or enema at home can get great results, a series of ongoing colonics or regular enema use will give you the greatest long term results.
5. Get rid of gluten, cow’s dairy, refined salts and sugar - It may sound like a lot if these foods make up the majority of your diet right now, but they all contribute in a big way to the spare tire around your middle and digestive upset. All of these foods are extremely acidic (the body needs mostly alkaline not acidic foods for health), sticky in the intestines (causing constipation and bulk around the middle), water retention (so that you bloat and hold on to toxicity) and create excessive mucus. Does your cheeseburger sound as appetizing now? Start by cutting down on these foods while you build up your fresh and cooked vegetable consumption (see point 1) with the goal to eventually remove them from your diet entirely. You do not have to go without the comfort and flavours these foods provide – there are so many higher quality alternatives that won’t create the same distress for your poor body. Choose gluten free, ancient grains such as buckwheat, millet and quinoa (including for your pasta and bread choices). Swap out pasteurised cow’s dairy for raw (unpasteurised) goat’s or sheep dairy. Forget refined salt and instead pick up the pretty pink Himalayan crystal salt or Celtic sea salt. Ditch white sugar and go for stevia, agave, yacon syrup, raw honey or pure maple syrup. Make these switches and you will be pleasing your palette while your body becomes stronger, healthier and slimmer.
6. Create a unique plan for your body and needs - At the end of the day, getting a belly and body that you love that doesn’t have symptoms such as bloating is about creating a diet and lifestyle plan that works for your unique needs. You health history, social and emotional needs, work lifestyle, home responsibilities, location and everything in between needs to be considered so that you can get the best results for you in a way that feels realistic, manageable and empowering. Working closely with a qualified coach who specializes in digestive health and cleansing along with self empowerment can set you up to look and feel as incredible as you want to – so you can focus on your goals that really make you happy.
Put these tips into place and enjoy living in a lighter, cleaner body!