I'm just gonna shoot straight out of the gate: there's no easy or magic method for getting rid of belly bulge. Especially as we get older we have to work pretty hard to keep excess fat off the mid-section. And, that hard work is in the form of diet and exercise. But, there are a couple of little "magic" tricks that make toning the tummy a little bit easier. 1. Eat Breakfast: No, that doesn't mean a latte like I to used to think it did. Breakfast, literally means a break from fasting. It ignites your metabolism that has been on rest mode from sleeping. So, your inner machine will realize it's time to get going and start burning calories for muscle, brain and organ fuel right away if you eat. 2. Drink Water: Most of the time that you think you're hungry, you are actually dehydrated and our bodies send the same kind of signal. So, drink water until you think you might drown in it. 3. Lower your carbohydrate intake: No one is saying to go Atkins crazy but the fact of the matter is that proteins and fat take longer for our body to burn than carbohydrates. Hence, if your diet is largely protein and fat you will stay fuller longer. Not to mention all complex carbohydrates are broken down into sugar. When you eat a ton of carbs your body experiences a sugar spike that inevitably leads to a sugar crash. When the sugar level crashes, our body sends a signal to eat so that it can stabilize. So, if we're only eating things that precipitate a glucose crash we're going to be eating non-stop . . . and, getting fat.
4. Cut back on beer: I love it too, but it's not good for the belly (inside or out). For one, the calorie count is pretty high. And, there is not one single health benefit from any of those calories (as opposed to the antioxidant properties found in wine). When you drink beer, you are simply filling yourself with empty calories that will turn into fat because the body can't do anything with them.
5. Pilates: I mean real machine Pilates if you can afford it. It's low impact and it's all about your core muscles. My mom started doing it about a month ago and you can practically bounce a quarter off that woman. It's pretty expensive, though, so any kind of exercise helps if that's not gonna work out. All you have to keep in mind is that you want a calorie deficit if you want to lose weight. And, 3500 calories = a pound of fat. And, every pound of muscle you gain requires 500 calories to maintain. So, in a week, you can lose a pound of fat by doing nothing if you've built up muscle. Building muscle is key and Pilates will do it and do it fast.
6. Vitamins: Most women are deficient in iodine, the B vitamins and Vitamin D (especially in the Northern parts of the country where sunlight is nearly non-existent during the winter). All three of these vitamins aid metabolic function. The more support your metabolism has the more efficiently it works.
Making an honest commitment to whittling your waist is about as fun as being audited, I'll admit. But, it can be done within a few months with just a few simple lifestyle changes. It's a lot to change right off the bat, but if you just change one thing at a time, you'll be light as a feather and stiff as a board by Easter. And, you will start to feel as good as you look within a month, that you probably won't even miss the few little things that were thrown out with the bath water. About the author: Jennifer McPherson is a writer and web editor who specializes in health. Are you trying to flatten your stomach? Comment below.