Spring has sprung and bikini season is just around the corner. Worried that you will have a bikini bulge this summer? Use our plan to achieve the holiday holy grail, a sexy flat stomach. Follow our simple but effective healthy eating tips to become a beach worthy goddess.
Simple steps to help you win the battle of the bulge:
Step 1:Cleanse your system
Start the day with hot water and fresh lemon to kick start digestion in the morning and help detox your liver.
When you are trying to lose weight it is important to support your liver, this is because if the liver is overloaded, toxins will be stored in fat cells and your body will fight hard to keep hold of these fat cells.
Sip Pukka Cleanse tea throughout the day, which contains nettle, fennel and peppermint, which helps to shed fluid and reduce bloating in the digestive tract.
Eat plenty of cleansing vegetables, which help to detox the intestines, blood and liver and offer protective antioxidants. Cleansing vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts, which supply important phytochemicals that boost liver function.
A hot bath with Epsom salts a couple of times per week will help to draw out toxins and speed up weight loss.
Step 2: Beat the bloat and Ease digestion.
Wheat is often associated with bloating especially if you are intolerant to gluten found in wheat products. Foods that contain gluten can weaken your abdominal wall and make it slack, resulting in a protruding stomach. Lots of people are gluten intolerant, which can inflame the bowel and make it look bigger, especially just below the belly button. Wheat is found in many foods including beer, most cereals, bread & processed foods, such as pies and cakes and even some soups. Wheat is implicated in IBS, weight gain and diabetes. Cutting down leads to less bloating, reduced cravings and clearer skin.
Eat plenty of Probiotic foods.
Include natural and Greek yogurt in your daily diet as it not only contains belly filling protein but also helpful bacteria that feed our intestines and improve the way our digestive tract absorbs nutrients.
If you want to get the full effect of its tummy-reducing bacteria, always buy full-fat, plain, live yoghurt.
Avoid low-fat yoghurts as they often contain ingredients other than milk that will reduce any health benefits and may contribute to bloating.
Eat plenty of prebiotic vegetables, prebiotics aid digestion by feeding healthy bacteria. Prebiotic vegetables include onions and garlic which also contain sulphurous compounds that help improve blood flow and heart health.
Add Pineapple to yoghurt..
Pineapple has a high concentration of bromelain, a digestive enzyme that reduces bloating in the stomach.
Step 3: Base each meal around lean proteins.
Lean sources of protein include fish, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, lean turkey mince, lentils, tofu and eggs. Protein is a vital part of the diet because it is the basic building block for all the cells, muscles and bones as well as hair, skin and nails. It is essential that we eat protein rich foods everyday.
Protein is great for weight loss as it helps in the control of insulin because it slows the rate of digestion and it also encourages the production of glucagons, the fat burning hormone.
High protein consumption helps to curb hunger due to the fact that the hormone Pyy is released when you eat protein, a hormone that sends a signal to the brain to say you are full. Protein therefore helps keeps you fuller for longer.
Step 4: Eat Friendly Fats.
Essential fats are healthy fats found in nuts, avocados, oily fish and oils.
Healthy fats not only make weight loss easier but actually help prevent weight gain and encourage your body to burn fat around your middle, giving you a nice flat stomach. Not only will these fats encourage weight loss they can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes, certain cancers and diabetes. Drizzle olive oil on salads and add nuts and seeds to your breakfast.
Step 5: Get plenty of R&R.
It is important to get plenty of rest and relaxation when trying to fight the flab. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when we are stressed, this hormone disrupts blood sugar levels and encourages your body to store fat around the middle. It also slows down your digestion, so food can hang around in your gut, causing bloating. If you are stressed you are more likely to carry fat around your middle. Fish oils have been shown to encourage your body to burn fat around the middle and help reduce sugar cravings.
Try yoga to help with relaxation and to help tone your tum.
A good night’s sleep is vital for a healthy digestion and appetite control.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sleep deprived subjects ate on average 300 calories more per day than well-rested subjects. Sleep deprivation is associated with increased appetite, reduced willpower, and intensified cravings. This is because a lack of sleep leads to elevated levels of serum ghrelin, which is our appetite-stimulating hormone, and lower levels of leptin, a hormone that tells our brains when we’re full. As a result, we take in more calories and thus gain weight.
If you have trouble dropping off, try a glass of cherry juice an hour before sleep as it has been shown to increase levels of Melatonin, the hormone that helps us to sleep.