8 safe and sane steps to a flatter belly

Are you battling belly bulge? Is that spare tire around your middle expanding?

While your doctor may lecture you about watching your weight, counting calories alone is not enough to get the flat stomach you’ve always wanted.

It’s also about what you eat and smart supplementing.

With that said, here are the eight steps to a flatter stomach you can start taking today…

#1 – Go Gluten-Free

Cutting down on gluten on may be just what you need to get the flatter stomach you’re looking for.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that for many people can trigger inflammation, irritation and difficulty metabolizing sugar. That inflammation and irritation, alone, could be the reason you can’t get rid of tummy bulge.

If you’re not sure this diet change is for you, read my colleague’s firsthand experience about losing weight by going gluten-free.

#2 – Get Good Bacteria

Research has shown that the gut microbiomes of lean and obese people are different.

Obese and overweight people tend to have less diverse flora (bacteria) in their guts. This is believed to have a direct effect on metabolic processes, like how the body uses, burns and stores energy. Makes sense, right?

To make sure you have a diverse flora, take a probiotic daily and check the label to be sure you get your money’s worth. You want enteric coated capsules so the live bacteria survive the journey through your stomach to your gut. You also want a variety of bacterial strains in the billions, which are measured by “CFUs,” colony forming units. Store your probiotics in a cool, dark area in your house.

Also consider the best foods for healthy gut flora.

#3 – Boost Your Digestion

When you’re digestion is poor from low stomach acid, you can end up with belly bloat. Take 1 -2 capsules of digestive enzymes prior to each meal to ensure you get enough nutrients from your food, improve your digestion and get a flatter stomach.

Most people benefit from a multi-enzyme product – one with proteases (which break down proteins), lipases (which break down fats), and carbohydrases (such as amylase, which break down carbohydrates). Be sure to look for these on the label of the product you choose.

#4 – Take Magnesium

Low magnesium levels cause the body to produce excess cortisol, which can lead to insomnia and subsequent weight gain.

In fact, a 2013 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that higher magnesium intake was associated with lower levels of fasting glucose and insulin — markers related to fat and weight gain.

Researchers in another study found taking magnesium reduced fluid retention for women during their menstrual cycle, suggesting that the supplement could be beneficial to beating belly bloat.

Take 300 mg of a good quality magnesium supplement each day, such as magnesium glycinate.

#5 – Walk

If you want a flatter stomach, get moving.

Rather than crunches and other ab exercises, focus on moderate cardiovascular activity such as walking, swimming, biking and hiking — or even dancing.

Just 30 minutes three times per week is enough to get started. Add in some weight training on alternate days to boost your results.

#6 – Control stress

When you’re under stress, your body produces both adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones latch onto carbs and fats in your system and turn them into instant energy, giving you that boost you need to escape a dangerous situation, known as “fight or flight” syndrome.

As a side effect of the cortisol release however, you want to eat more. At first, you crave carbs to replace the ones you just burned off.  Then the cortisol blocks the signals from the hormones that tell you when you’re full.  Put these two together and, unless you are in a real fight or flight situation, the result is weight gain and adrenal fatigue.

Try these two things to beat it: sleep well and take a DGL licorice supplement.

#7 – Bulk It Up

Dr. Mark Wiley believes fiber is a panacea. It’s needed to get your digestive tract moving again, and that alone can decrease you belly bloat. But that’s not all…

A team of European researchers have found that eating foods high in inulin fiber leads the bacteria in your intestines to release large amounts of a molecule called acetate. When the acetate enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain, it stops hunger to help you eat less.

Natural sources of inulin fiber are chicory root, the allium vegetables (onions, garlic), asparagus, the Jerusalem artichoke, and bananas.

#8 – Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated is the simplest way to boost weight loss without exercise according to fitness expert Debra Atkinson. Of course exercise helps, but hydration is just that important!

In addition to helping you feel fuller, your body can better break down fat when it’s hydrated. That’s because being hydrated removes the obstacle of “inhibited ability” to burn fat which occurs when you’re dehydrated. It also boosts your insulin sensitivity. When that works well, your body will store less fat.

The best thing to drink is water — at least eight glasses of water every day.

Related: The Sexy 7: Tips that keep a body young

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.