A flat stomach is a dream, especially for weight watchers. But it has always been a drastic journey for everyone — a journey that is filled with both good and bad news.
What’s the good news? You can get a flatter stomach without doing those painful crunches and sit-ups. It’s achievable with the right diet and a couple of good habits. The bad news is you need to take belly fat seriously since it is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
While it’s not a matter of life and death, shedding a few pounds around the tummy is good for your health. But that doesn’t mean you should tire yourself with high-intensity exercises or starve yourself. This doesn’t mean you should always grip your stomach, too (otherwise, you increase your chances for hourglass syndrome).
What Causes Belly Fat?
Before you can lose the excess weight, it pays to know why you have it in the first place. The common causes of belly fat include the following:
- Poor diet. A diet high in sugary food or fat-rich food will not only cause weight gain; it can also slow down your metabolism and reduce your body’s fat-burning abilities.
- Lack of exercise. If you consume more calories than you burn off, you will put on weight. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, it’ll be more difficult to lose excess fat.
- Your genes play a part in your belly fat. According to studies, genes can influence metabolism, behavior and the risk of developing obesity-related illnesses.
- Alcohol and smoking. Consuming excess alcohol can cause many health problems, which include inflammation and liver disease. On the other hand, smoking is not a direct cause of belly fat, but it increases your risk for it.
With these in mind, it’s time to start losing weight in your belly. How can you flatten your stomach without diet or exercise?
How to Lose Belly Fat Without Diet or Exercise
Don’t Skip Meals
If you want to boost your metabolism, don’t skip your meals! Contrary to popular belief, missing a meal might cause a surge in hunger-related hormones, which can provoke you to eat more.
Instead, eat small meals every three to four hours, and that includes breakfast. Add healthy snacks (especially snacks that are filled with protein and fiber) in between to feel full while your body burns calories at a steady rate.
Eat Food Rich in Probiotics
Food products that contain probiotics reduces belly bloat due to bad bacteria. When you eat foods like yogurt or kefir, you nourish your body with good and active bacteria.
Lower Your Stress Levels
The stresses of life can contribute to your bloated stomach. Stress increases the brain’s production of cortisol, which is the body’s fight-or-flight hormone. It can cause your abdomen to store the extra fat instead of burning it.
When your stress levels are getting the best of you, pause and do something that calms you down. For example, deep breathing or yoga can cut anxiety and reduce stress. These activities activate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system so you can calm down and relax.
Get More Sleep
Most people prefer to spend their nights awake and on their phones. But going to bed early could help you lose the excess pounds.
Apart from preventing episodes of late-night snacking, going to sleep earlier is good for your body’s metabolism. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body’s production of cortisol increases, which increases your belly fat. Plus, when you’re tired, you turn to food because cortisol makes you hungrier.
Drink More Water
Keep sipping water. If you are always dehydrated, your body will want to hoard water, which could add some weight to your midsection. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water every day. If you’re tempted to drink sugary beverages, resist the urge. Sip water instead.
Maintain Proper Posture
One of the easiest ways to look like you have a flight stomach is to straighten up when you sit down or stand up. Maintaining good posture automatically tones and engages your stomach muscles. So, when you catch yourself slouching, make sure to sit upright ASAP.
Drink Some Coffee
Coffee lovers, rejoice! You have yet another good reason to sip coffee. A good cup of Joe can help with bloating since its caffeine content functions as a mild diuretic, which helps the body get rid of excess water. Coffee also works as a stimulant that gets your bowels moving. When you have a regular bowel movement, you’ll have a flatter belly.
A flatter stomach need not be an impossible dream. By switching a couple of bad habits to good ones, you can enjoy a flatter tummy sooner than you think.