If you’re looking to torch belly fat and lose some inches around your waist, it may seem like a near-impossible feat. The belly is an area where many people want to lose weight, but it’s a tough area to lose from; after all, you can’t spot-target fat loss with endless crunches or five-minute planks.

The good news is, you can lose belly fat, and if you work hard and work smart, you could see results in a matter of weeks.

“Reduction in waist circumference can be seen in as little as two weeks,” personal trainer and registered dietitian Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, told POPSUGAR. “Although the rate at which inches are lost depends on the person, with increased activity and calorie reduction, it is possible to see noticeable differences in your waistline.”

As far as the numbers go, Jim said you have to eat at a 500-calorie deficit each day to lose a pound a week (one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories). Just be sure you’re eating at least 1,200 calories a day to keep your body and brain functioning properly. If you are losing weight with a calorie deficit and exercise, you may also be increasing muscle mass while you lose fat, so the scale would not be the best way to measure your progress. Instead, Jim recommends measuring your waist circumference to track fat-loss progress.

“A larger waist circumference is an indicator for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure,” Jim said. “It is possible to lose inches from your waistline within two weeks of beginning a diet and exercise program, with the caveat that those with more abdominal fat will see larger decreases more quickly.”

In terms of exercise, he recommends a combination of aerobic exercise, particularly high-intensity aerobic exercise, and strength training. One of the best forms of exercise to target belly fat is Tabata, a style of HIIT exercise that involves 20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest.

With the combination of exercise and nutrition, you will start to see results. Just be sure you are measuring your waist and not just paying attention to the scale.

“Those on a weight-loss plan who focus on both nutrition and fitness have been shown to reduce belly fat quicker than those who only focus on fitness or only focus on nutrition,” David Chesworth, certified personal trainer and wellness coach, told POPSUGAR. Bring on the crop tops!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kathryna Hancock

Photo: PROGRESSMAN/

How to Get a Flat Stomach in 10 Minutes

Moms everywhere know the struggle of post-baby bulge, or that extra bit of flab that leaves their bellies wiggly and jiggly. It seems like all of the crunches in the world can’t flatten their stomachs again.

Still, few know the scientific term behind this common complaint. Also called diastasis recti, it occurs during pregnancy as the growing baby pushes the mother’s abdominal muscles apart in the space around her belly button. The lucky moms will watch this spot stretch back on its own, but in others, the gap often stays open after birth. As a result, organs and tissue bulge out of your middle, causing the “mummy tummy.” (Here are 10 things you should never say to a pregnant woman.)

Simply realigning those abdominal muscles will cause the stomach to flatten again, experts say. But to get results fast, there’s one simple, 10-minute exercise for a slimmer waistline—and you won’t even need to leave your home to do it. (You can also try these ways to lose belly fat, according to a Victoria’s Secret model trainer.)

First, sit cross-legged on the floor with your hands on your belly and take a deep breath, letting your stomach fully expand. Then, as you exhale, suck in your belly muscles as far back as you can toward the ground.

With your stomach flattened against your spine, start taking deep breaths and push your stomach back further and further with each exhale. Do so for 10 minutes. (If your squats don’t follow these steps, you’re doing them wrong.)

Done! Until tomorrow, at least. And so far, the exercise has shown incredible results. A small pilot study conducted by developers Leah Keller, a personal trainer, and Dr. Geeta Sharma, an OB-GYN at Weill Cornell Medical Center-New York Presbyterian Hospital, tracked the progress of 63 women with “jelly belly.” After 12 weeks of doing the exercise for 10 minutes per day, all of the women had fixed their diastasis recti. Some even lost a few inches to their waistlines, too.

“We had patients that were even one year out from giving birth, and they still had such great benefit from the exercises,” Sharma says. “We love to see that there is something we can do to help women.”

Although this exercise hasn’t been tested on men or women who haven’t been pregnant, something tells us that it’s definitely worth a shot.

No gym membership? No problem. Here are 15 benefits of walking for just 15 minutes.

Source: NPR

Originally published as The One Exercise That Will Flatten Your Stomach in 10 Minutes on ReadersDigest.com.

While 40 may feel like the new 30, there’s one truth about reaching the fourth decade of your life that’s a bit of a buzzkill: It becomes far more challenging to maintain a flat belly.

As we age, we lose muscle mass, which causes our metabolism to slow, according to the Mayo Clinic. And as a result, it becomes harder to ward off belly fat. Not only can an expanding waistline make it tough to fit into your favorite jeans, but it can also be bad news for your health. Visceral fat, the fat that hangs out deep inside the abdomen, has been connected to an increased risk of breathing problems, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

The silver lining: There are plenty of things you can do to lose weight around your middle. Here, trainers share how they help their clients over 40 look instantly trimmer, while working towards a tight tummy they can maintain for life:

Sip peppermint tea.

Jeremy Tan/Getty Images

Claudia Matles, a yoga and Pilates instructor in Sag Harbor, New York, recommends drinking a cup of hot peppermint tea 20 minutes after a big meal. She says doing so helps you look and feel slimmer within hours, and it also has long-term weight loss benefits.

“It can really reduce bloating,” she says. Research shows peppermint calms the muscles in the stomach and improves the flow of bile, which is what your body uses to digest fats. Ultimately, this helps food pass through your stomach more quickly, speeding digestion and warding off bloat. (For even more ways to trim your tummy instantly, don’t miss these 11 simple ways to lose the bloat.)

Sipping peppermint tea may also help ward off cravings for indulgent treats. One study presented at the 2008 Eastern Psychological Association Conference found that people who sniffed peppermint throughout the day ate 2,800 fewer calories over the course of the week, and lost weight as a result.

See your body on green tea:

Start jogging.

Peathegee Inc/Getty Images

Not only does running and jogging help burn fat and improve heart health, but it also promotes good posture which can instantly make your stomach look flatter, says Grace Albin, a fitness and Pilates instructor based in Miami, Florida. “It’s hard to run if you’re slouching your back, hunching your neck, or scrunching your shoulders. Running retrains the body and mind to hold the torso, necks, shoulders, and hips in their proposer positions, which transitions to better posture in everyday life.”

(If it’s been awhile since your last jog, ease your way back into it by walking. With Prevention’s Walk Your Way to Better Health you can customize your own walking plan and lose up to 5x more belly fat!)

Do a “screen audit.”

kupicoo/Getty Images

Certified fitness trainer Marcello Pedalino does a “screen audit” with each of his clients to find out just how much time they’re spending in front of their computers, tablets, smartphones, and TVs. “I’ve noticed the 40-plus population, in particular, is wasting a lot of time watching Netflix and thumbing through their social media feeds,” he says. “I find that those clients who start investing those hours in themselves—not necessarily just exercising more, but cooking healthy meals, spending time with friends, and even relaxing more—get a flatter belly after just a few months.”

MORE: If You’re Over 40—Or On Devices All The Time—You’re Shrinking. Here’s What To Do About It.

Add compound exercises to your workouts.

gilaxia/Getty Images

To see a noticeable change in your physique, you’ll need to work all of your muscles—not just those that make up your core. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours doing a million exercises. Compound exercises, or movements that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, help burn calories and build strength in a fraction of the time. Katie Peters, owner and personal trainer at Underground Training in Southold, New York, suggests working these two exercises into your existing routine:

  • Wall sit with overhead lift: Stand with your back against a wall and hold a 4- to 10-pound weighted ball or dumbbell. Then, squat so your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Keeping your back and shoulders pressed against the wall, raise the ball until it’s overhead, then slowly lower it to chest height, keeping your arms straight. The focus is to press your back against the wall the entire time, which forces you to pull your stomach in as the ball lowers, working your abs as well as your arms, says Peters. “One of my clients credits this move as the one that helped her get back into a bikini at age 42, after having three kids,” says Peters.

MORE: The Best Weight Loss Tips From 8 Women Over 40 Who Lost 40+ Pounds

  • The starfish: Lay on your back on an exercise mat and hold an exercise ball between your hands, overhead. Simultaneously lift the ball and your legs into a “V” position, placing the ball between your ankles. Then, lower your legs as you squeeze the ball while also lowering your upper body and arms back to the mat. After the ball taps the ground, bring your legs back up as your lift your upper body. Grab the ball from your legs and bring it back to the starting position. That’s one repetition; repeat 10-15 times. “This super-effective move hits the upper and lower abdominal muscles as well as the obliques, and it helps my clients see results—fast,” says Peters. “In order to get that flat belly, it’s really important to focus on pulling your core in towards your spine while doing any core training. The starfish allows you to understand what ‘pulling the core to the floor’ feels like. The moment your lower back starts to lift off the mat you know that your core is not engaged,” Peters adds.

MORE: 10 Best Strength-Training Moves For Women Over 50

Avoid processed foods.

Pavlo_K/Getty Images

Laura Amis, a certified TRX, yoga, and Pilates instructor, says she tells her clients over 40 to eat a whole-foods based diet—and avoid anything processed. “Our bodies weren’t designed to digest the chemicals and preservatives in processed foods, which means those foods are more likely to fuel hunger and cause fat and bloating,” says Amis. Research supports Amis’ inkling. A new study from Cedars-Sinai found that several commonly used food chemicals damage hormones that communicate between the gut and the brain, which messes with our natural satiety signals.

MORE: 5 Everyday Food Chemicals That Could Be Making You Gain Weight

Dial back the intensity.

Uwe Krejci/Getty Images

If your goal is a flat tummy, there’s a good chance your instinct is to adopt an eat less, exercise more attitude. Yet Matles says sticking to a healthy diet and working out at a lower intensity than you may think is necessary is often more effective than extreme calorie restriction and pushing harder at the gym. “Cortisol, a potent stress hormone that’s tied to belly fat, actually increases when you eat less and exercise more,” she says. Considering the stress hormone is already produced at higher levels after age 40, this is the exact opposite of what you want. “I’ve seen clients see the best tummy-tightening results when they back off,” says Matles. (Stay active—without overdoing it—with the help of these 14 walking workouts to burn fat and boost energy and this 10-minute gentle yoga routine.)

How to Get a Flat Stomach After 40

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As we age, our metabolism slows down and belly fat becomes more difficult to lose. After 40, it’s much easier to lose muscle mass and water weight than actual fat. For this reason, those of us over 40 have to work a little harder than someone in her 20’s to get a toned stomach. It can be done, though—just ask Cameron Diaz! Here are some proven tips to get a flat stomach after 40.

Tip 1: Modify your dinner menu.

Switch up your dinnertime dining options to include more protein and fewer carbohydrates. Our blackened sockeye salmon with a small green salad is a great example.

Tip 2: Each a diet rich in fiber.

Fiber can help you fight fat, feel more full, and lose weight. Fiber is a component of some carbohydrates that cannot be digested. It pushes through our system and cleans it out along the way. Try a bowl of apple cinnamon oatmeal for breakfast and Skinny Quinoa with Black Beans for dinner.

Tip 3: Reduce your caloric intake.

As your metabolism slows, you don’t need quite as many calories to make it through the day. Reduce your caloric intake by about 20% to avoid unwanted weight gain. Incorporate low-cal foods like spinach to give your meals more volume without added calories.

Tip 4: Intensify your workouts.

Perform HIIT, or high intensity interval training, three to four times per week. Or, try four to five fat scorching Tabata moves. These high-intensity workouts burn the highest number of calories in the lowest amount of time, and they rev up your body to burn more fat even while you’re resting.

Tip 5: Focus on shredding fat.

Incorporate fat burning ab workouts, like HardCORE yoga, ab-oblique intervals and core medicine ball moves into your exercise routine.

Tip 6: Snack on flat belly foods.

Remember, fitness is as much about what you eat as what you do in the gym. When hunger strikes, have plenty of flat belly foods like almonds, apples and Greek yogurt on hand to avoid snacking snafus. Make sure your pantry is free of these 25 foods notorious for packing on the pounds.

Ready to commit to losing belly fat for good? Take our 3-step flat bally challenge to help hold yourself accountable.

Get clean eating recipes, innovative new workouts, and healthy lifestyle tips delivered right to your inbox with our newsletter! And for even more SkinnyMs., check out our Facebook and Pinterest to stay informed!

We need your feedback! Go to the comments section to let us know what you think of this article, and tell us what you’d like to see more of!

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Middle-aged weight loss doesn’t have to be hard.

Naturally, boost your metabolism to burn incredible amounts of fat with this awesome guide!

Do you wish you had a washboard tummy?

A sleek, flat, sexy and toned tummy is what every woman wants and today is your lucky day.

Keep reading to learn how you can get the tummy of your dreams even as you get older!

Say hello to your 40’s – the time of your life where merely smelling your dessert makes you feel like your gaining weight.

Yup, we feel you!

As women age, it becomes so much harder to lose weight and target certain areas of your body that feel out of shape.

You start to notice that stretches and other body movements become a bit more difficult to achieve.

Our metabolism slows down a great deal and body parts that were once shaped beautifully by muscle start sagging and packing extra weight.

“What’s going on?” you think.

Dresses and skirts feel a bit tighter and the size 6 jeans that once fit perfectly no longer does. You carry on with the same diet, yet it feels like you’re just bloating.

Well, let me tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case.

It is very much possible to approach your 40’s cellulite-free and with a flat tummy.

Yup, you heard me right.

We came up with a list of ten items you definitely should look at if you want to look fab at 40!

1. A Pound A Year

Yup! Unfortunately, the myth is true.

People between their 40’s and 50’s can gain up to a pound a year despite having the same diet.

However, professionals have attributed the cause to a lower rate of activity.

Simply put, we are not as active as we used to be.

To fight the trend, establish an exercise routine that will fit your schedule and you can easily follow.

Brisk walking at night, 2-3 yoga sessions a week or any other form of activity which will help you keep the pound away would do.

2. Drink More, Eat Less

Studies have shown that drinking a full glass of water before eating, preferably warm, helps, a lot in weight loss.

Why? If your tummy is full from the water, you are more likely to eat less.

It would also be good to take small sips in between your meals and before grabbing a snack.

Many times, we think our body is asking for food when what we really need is a glass of water.

Drinking lots of water is very beneficial for your body and is the best way to keep the pounds at bay.

3. Fruit Is Our Friend

If you’ve decided to cut fruit from your diet because of the sugar it contains, you’re making a huge mistake.

Yes, fruits have sugar but it’s the natural kind – what our body and mind burns as energy.

Fruit is also a good source of natural fiber which helps in digestion and water which makes us feel full.

The nutrients we get from the different fruits we eat are essential and thus promotes health and wellness.

4. Speed Up Your Metabolism

It is natural for our metabolism to slow down as we age.

That is why it is so much more important to engage yourself in physical activity.

Don’t lose your muscle.

Build it up because the more muscle you have, the greater the number of calories you will burn.

Muscle also gives the body a beautiful shape.

5. Include Fermented Food In Your Diet

Yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut are some examples.

Digestive problems start to become an issue at this point in your life and you will want to help your body fight that.

Along with water and fruits, fermented food also aids in digestion and is powerful for cleaning out build-ups of waste and toxins in your body.

Have probiotics as well to keep good bacteria working in your tummy.

Want a flat belly? Then keep your tummy healthy.

6. Superfoods

Let me name a few.

Eggs, for starters, has only 72 calories but 6 grams of protein.

Researchers have found that having them for breakfast actually helps you slim down.

Brussel sprouts have more glucosinolates in them than other vegetables.

These are compounds that detoxify the body.

Oats are another superfood.

Your body digests it slowly so it keeps you full all morning.

It is beneficial for you to get to know the superfoods that will help your body stay healthy and keep it in the shape you want.

7. Carbs To Make You Slim

When we think carbs, we immediately imagine the worst.

That’s because a lot of the diets advertised these days actually make you cut them out completely.

It is exciting to know that some carbs can actually keep us slim and help lower our cholesterol.

Of course, portion control when it comes to carbohydrate intake is still key but food like brown or red rice and whole-grain bread and pasta can actually help the body in digestion thus keeping it slim.

Don’t say no to carbs altogether.

The key is to choose the carbohydrates you eat and make sure it benefits your body.

8. No Skipping Meals

When we were younger, skipping a meal was the fastest way to lose the weight we needed to.

That worked then; but as you get older, you will notice that isn’t the case anymore.

The body no longer responds the same way.

It actually stores up calories to burn just in case it needs them, thus packing on more pounds to your body.

The best way to keep your weight down is to eat healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables often times a day.

Yup, you’re better off having small regular meals.

9. Low-Salt Diet

We already know that salt makes the body retain water and so we definitely want a low-salt diet.

Another thing salt does is make us eat more food.

According to studies, salt messes with the messages within our body to tell us to stop eating and so we end up eating more.

Interesting, huh! No more salt!

10. Full-Body Workouts

According to a fitness expert, when you reach a certain age, full-body workouts are more effective in keeping your whole system healthy.

We make the mistake of simply focusing on our core and that just won’t work.

Instead, engage your whole body to have better results with your workout.

A Secret ‘Carb Trick’ That Burns Up To 1 Pound Per Day

If you’re like most women trying to lose weight… you diet, you count calories, you tear up the treadmill, and… nothing.

That’s how 40-year-old Sarah Donovan, an overweight mother with prediabetes was feeling…

She did “everything right” and never lost an inch.

Until she stumbled on this strange “carb-pairing” trick and burned away an unheard of 22lbs pounds in just 13 days.

And because of this one simple shift in her eating, she shed pounds and inches from her body without starving herself and without a lick of exercise!

With the same “carb-pairing” trick Sarah dropped a total of 37lbs in the FIRST month and she shocked her doctor by completely reversing ALL pre-diabetes symptoms!

If you’re a woman over the age of 25 who wants to reclaim her life inside the body she DESERVES, you should check it out for yourself.

A Victoria’s Secret model trainer reveals her 5 tips for a flatter stomach

Mountain climbers

Do three one-minute intervals.

“Position your body in plank. Pull your right knee into your chest. As the knee draws to the chest, pull your abs in even tighter to be sure your body doesn’t stray from the plank position. Then, quickly switch and pull the left knee in. At the same time, you push your right leg back, pull your left knee into the chest. Continue switching knees so that you are creating a running-like motion. A common misconception is that mountain climbers have to be done fast. Rather, whatever your speed, be aware of your body positioning and core stabilizers.” Lagree recommends three one-minute intervals with short rests in between. Side note: Mountain climbers are great for preventing knee pain.

Do this exercise slowly. Dirima/

“Lie down on the ground, making sure that your lower back is fully pressed down. Lock your hands together behind your head. Then, bring knees into the chest, and lift up your shoulder blades. Straighten your left leg to a 45-degree angle while turning your upper body to the right, bringing your elbow to the knee. Make sure that your core is engaged and rib cage comes with the elbow. Switch and repeat on the other side. Focus on doing this exercise slowly and controlled so that you’re engaging all core muscles. Lagree recommends trying for 20 repetitions (both sides counts as one rep).

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She also works her clients out “for aesthetics, not athletics” so many of her fitness moves are tweaked to really chisel the abs, thighs, and butt rather than make you stronger and faster. Everyone has different goals and that’s totally fine—and walking the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is one type of goal.

Related: 8 Things That Registered Dietitians Eat When They’re Traveling

The first time Heather and I met for a session was at 5:30 A.M. at a gym near my apartment. She put me through the paces with squats, plyos, and the appropriately named deathcrawl, a walking plank thing. By the end I was dripping sweat.

Starting that day, Heather sent me a workout over text or by email every night. I would do the workout the following morning and then report back to her. For example, one day I had to do three sets of something called a Bulgarian lunge, three sets of curtsy lunges, then three sets of pistol squats (chat with me on Instagram if you want to talk about how ridiculously hard pistol squats are) followed by some ego-trampling plyometrics. (Heather likes jump lunges, squat jumps, tuck jumps, and star jumps.)

Another day I might have to climb on the Step Mill or walk at a fast clip with the treadmill incline raised up to 14 or 15. I would do this for an hour. Yes, AN HOUR. Having just run a marathon, I was used to long workouts, but not at that incline. Heather would email me things like “you’re going to kill it at the gym tomorrow” or “people are going to pay to watch you work out.” Both messages helped!

But the workouts were only half the battle. The other half was the food plan.

Before we started, Heather had me send her a three-day diary of every little thing I put in my mouth. As a food editor I thought I was a reasonably healthy eater so I felt pretty good about what I was sending her, but Heather was not impressed with my diet, especially all the carby snacks I was enjoying such as sesame seed crackers and hemp heart bites. I also had regular cravings for my favorite sweet treats: cookies, chocolate, and ice cream.

A few days before my training started Heather sent me what would be my new food bible. (Spoiler, it was short.) Every morning I would eat a cup of egg whites, 1/3 cup oats, and 1/2 of a banana. Then, a few hours later, 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt and a cup of berries (I usually went for blueberries). Lunch was a protein source (a chicken breast cooked without oil or these delightful little turkey and zucchini burgers I grew to love) plus as many veggies—like kale, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms—as you wanted.

Lunch also included one apple, pear or peach. And let me tell you, I savored that apple a day. Dinner was basically the same as lunch minus the apple, but then, before bed, I could eat a 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon of nut butter (the only ingredient could be nuts), and 1 tbsp of cocoa powder plus a sweetening agent like Splenda or Stevia. This one really grew on me and I started to look forward to my little faux-chocolate-mousse more than any other meal of the day.

I was never hungry, which was a good thing because I don’t deal well with feeling deprived. Or perhaps I was expecting to feel so hungry that I was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t live with constant hunger pangs for two weeks straight. Following a strict plan was hard (obviously) but also kind of nice, because it required absolutely no thought about what I was going to eat. I also liked that the de facto result of this was that I didn’t HAVE to think about calories, because the plan took care of that for me. The only planning challenge, really, was figuring out what to do when I couldn’t eat my own food.

Getting a toned tummy is about exercising smart and eating the right foods.

Most girls I speak to on a daily basis all want to know how to flatten their tummy and tone up their abs. I’ve spent years working on my abs, figuring out the best formula to achieve a great midsection. What I’ve discovered is that it all comes down to three things: eating the right foods, exercising smarter, and proper digestion to remove any bloating. So, if you finally want to get the flat stomach, here are my key tips on how to tone up and de-bloat.

Tone up the tummy

When it comes to toning your waistline, you need to make sure you have a good exercise routine and that you fuel your body with the right foods. You can be a saint at the gym, but if you are not matching it with the right nutrients, then you may never get the flat midsection you desire.

Exercise smarter
Doing 100 crunches day after day is not going to result in a flat stomach. Toned abs come from doing a range of different exercises that target the core in different ways to help the body melt fat. I take on a more holistic approach to achieving a great midsection, implementing exercises other than just ab crunches to get my results. I combine strength sessions (that target the core and whole body) along with HIIT (to melt fat off) to reach these goals.

Related: Best Abs Ever With This Workout

Strength training
Incorporating strength training into your exercise routine is definitely a key ingredient for achieving a toned tummy. Lifting weights helps the body build muscle; the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be and the more fat you burn. That’s why I add weights into all of my workout programs. Please don’t worry girls— you aren’t going to bulk doing this either.

HIIT
Having a flat tummy also comes down to reducing your body fat percentage. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has been shown to be one of the most effective methods for shredding fat. A HIIT circuit is very simple. You take a handful of exercises and then perform each at high intensity, while keeping the rest between exercises to a minimum. The best thing about HIIT is that you can include exercises that target any body part you want. I like to create HIIT circuits that involve core, cardiovascular and resistance training in the one workout. By getting your heart rate up, you speed up your metabolism and help the body burn fat more effectively.

Eat the right foods
If you aren’t fueling your body with proper nutrients, you aren’t going to reap the rewards for all your hard work at the gym. A poor diet can often lead to feeling tired and lethargic. If you are undereating, this can also damage your metabolism. To get fit and feeling great, you need to eat a well-balanced whole food diet that will give your body proper nutrients. Starvation and deprivation diets will not work. To help tone up the belly, it’s good to stay away from foods like refined carbs. These foods spike your insulin levels, which then prevents fat burning in the body. Refined carbs are in foods like white bread, pasta, crackers, sugar and white rice. Replace refined carbs with healthy complex carbs from things like vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa.

Related: Get Creative With Your Carbs

How to get rid of bloating

So many girls I speak to suffer from bouts of bloating. Some only get it every now and again, while others suffer from it on a daily basis. Nothing makes you feel more uncomfortable than having a swollen tummy. Bloating can come from many different things, but is mainly caused from improper digestion and poor food choices. Other causes can be eating too quickly, drinking carbonated drinks or overeating. I had years of experiencing bloating from undiagnosed food intolerances. Often after I ate, I felt terrible and was in major pain. Over the years, I learned a thing or two on how to deal with bloating when it occurs.

Drink apple cider vinegar to help with digestion
Apple cider vinegar is a great way to help the body prevent bloating, as it kick starts the digestion process in the stomach. Just have one tablespoon in a glass of room temperature water before each meal.

Herbal teas
There are a lot of herbal teas you can drink that help improve digestion and get rid of bloating. Some of my favorite teas are peppermint, licorice and chamomile tea. Adding in fresh ginger root can also help reduce inflammation.

Related: Fuel Your Body With These Snacks

Take probiotics
A major cause of bloating can come from an imbalance of good or bad bacteria in your gut. This generally happens when you have been on antibiotics. When the bacteria in your gut are out of balance, it can lead to all kinds of digestive problems. Taking a good quality probiotic daily, can help restore the balance and get rid of the bloat.

Check your protein powders
So many protein powders on the market can cause tummy upset. I’ve tried my fair share and there wasn’t many that I could actually tolerate. A lot of protein powders have all sorts of fillers and additives that don’t agree with people and cause bloating. Many protein powders are also commonly made from whey and soy protein, which many people are intolerant too. I prefer to get protein from whole foods as much as I can. If I do need a protein boost, then my rule is to stick to a clean, organic protein powder that doesn’t have any weird additives and fillers. I personally go vegan as I can’t tolerate lactose.

Hope you found some of these tips useful so you can start working your way towards a flatter toned tummy.

Ready, reset, go! Our Flat-Belly Challenge pairs belly-blasting workouts with fat-burning recipes to help you slim your middle and strengthen your core. Day seven includes a detoxing yoga sequence plus a flat-belly dinner.

Detox Yoga

If your body could use some fine-tuning, hop on your yoga mat, and do these eight poses designed to detox the body. You have your circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems to thank for getting rid of toxins and waste, and these poses stimulate those systems. Pick out the poses your body needs or practice them all, and you’ll be on your way to feeling like a new you.

Fat-Burning Dinner: Zucchini Noodles With a Flat-Belly Salad

Since wheat can cause bloating for many, make these low-carb, Paleo-friendly noodles made from zucchini. Lightly cooked until tender and flavored with garlic and red pepper flakes, this grain-free pasta alternative is perfectly filling, but won’t leave you feeling stuffed.

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Enjoy your bowl of noodles with a fresh and summery flat-belly salad. Made with fiber-rich bibb lettuce, this salad gets an extra boost from hydrating cucumbers that help flush out the digestive system. The enzymes in the pineapple ease digestion, and besides adding a unique sweetness to the dish, blueberries are proven to diminish belly fat. Avocado and almonds not only add bloat-reducing fiber, but since they’re both considered MUFAs (monounsaturated fats), they also help keep belly fat at bay. Topped with a homemade lemon chia seed dressing, this salad is amazingly delicious.

Image Sources: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar, POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr and POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson

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