As registered dietitians and personal trainers we get a lot of questions about tips for getting a flat belly when people are heading to the beach, the BBQ or an event. We completely get it –and relate to not wanting to look bloated when arriving at your destination–whether you’re stepping into a bathing suit, a dress, or any outfit, you want to look and feel your best! 🙂 So if anything related to your tummy causes you angst before your event, believe us, you’re not alone–and we can help!
Here’s what to do:
- Water, water and more water. Water will keep you hydrated, stave off dehydration headaches, moisturize dry and weathered- looking skin, prevent mistaking hunger for thirst, and it will help to flush sodium and other bloating culprits out of your body so you can arrive at your event feeling bloat- free. It also helps push waste out of your colon for an even flatter belly. Sip extra water the day before your event and leading up to your event. Skip sodium packed tomato juice and bloating soda and seltzer (the carbonation puts excess gas and bubbles in your stomach -and no one wants that! And before you leave for your event, we highly recommend sipping one of these “flushing” drinks between meals (or with them too) to keep your mind and body on the healthy track:
2. Go to town on veggies- fill half your plate with them for the days leading up to your event so you’ll have less room for the heavier stuff (carbs, protein and fat)- this will help you to shed some belly fat. Vegetables are packed with water, so they’ll help you to stay hydrated, plus they’re packed with fiber to get your digestive tract moving, pushing out wastes, salt and toxins from your colon along with unsightly belly bulges from a constipating diet (or all-too-familiar travel constipation). Plus, you’ll automatically feel healthier and immediately get your mind and body back on the healthy track knowing that you’re loading up on antioxidant-rich, super low-calorie fare instead of heavier fare.
(Note: If you’re not accustomed to eating many veggies or fiber, you may need to increase your intake gradually to allow your intestinal tract time to adjust. You may find cooked vegetables easier to digest than raw ones and may want to start by including them and allowing your body time to adjust).
When you’re home try these veggie recipes
3.“Zip Up” Your Abs: We rely on this and it truly makes a huge flat-belly difference! For the days leading up to your event, activate your abs by squeezing them in tight and pulling them back against your spine as you exhale. Think of zipping your abs together by using your muscles to contract your abs by pulling in from the center. Think about pulling everything in from a vertical line from your belly button and up to between your breastbone and pulling everything in and back towards your spine. Think zipping together. Hold for a count of 10 as you continue to exhale. Slowly release and repeat for 10 reps at least three times throughout your flight, but ideally as much as possible. Not only will this create good posture, it will also wake up the ab muscles and make it easier to keep your abs in, preventing them from looking bloated. Also, breathing out and pushing air out of the stomach while pulling the muscles in tight helps to flatten your stomach, so you’ll be a step ahead of the game. Bonus: Your abs will be warmed up for when you’re at your event and need to keep your abs tight! You can see the video for an example here in this post.
4. Do some form of cardio every day before the event. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Exercise and water both get your intestinal tract going to get things moving out of your colon and they will work in tandem with veggies and other sources of fiber to prevent constipation and the gut bulges that come with it!
The morning of your event:
5. Wake up and immediately drink 16 ounces (or more of water) and avoid surprising bloaters.
See step 1 for why this works! Also avoid surprising bloat promoters like chewing gum and sipping through a straw that can cause belly bloat by drawing excess air into your stomach. Carbonated beverages also leave your stomach full of gas.
6. Eat a breakfast that is high in fiber and protein. It will set you on the healthy-track for the entire day, and you’ll immediately feel great both mentally and physically. The fiber will help you to feel satisfied by filling up your stomach and assisting your digestive tract in making sure everything keeps moving along to prevent constipation and bloat while the protein will keep you satiated. Stay away from super heavy breakfasts that will weigh you down and make you feel heavy. Try a Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and a tablespoon of chia seeds or a hard-boiled egg with a small portion of oatmeal with a few slivered almonds and berries. This satisfying weight loss breakfast is pretty easy to make or order anywhere, just ask that they don’t use oil or butter in the pan. Ask them to spritz it with oil if they must.
7. Immediately before your event, Do This:
Sip on green tea. It contains the amino acid theanine which brings on a mental calmness, yet alertness which will make it easier for you to relax and enjoy your vacation. You’ll feel healthy and good about yourself. Plus, green tea will flood your body with antioxidants and mop up some of the free radicals circulating in your body, which can be especially helpful if you had a lot of stress before you left for your vacay or if you were breathing too much jet fuel on the runway. (Simply pack a tea bag in your luggage and get a cup of hot water at the hotel, voila!)
10. And follow these tips as much as possible–including trying this drink if you can–at least when you get back!