Flatten your stomach in a week – possible?

‘It doesn’t matter what size you are, what colour you are, you can do whatever you put your mind to’ – Amber Riley

OK before we start, there are two caveats to this weeks’ post:

Number one and very, very important – for those of you shouting ‘Embrace your curves! Size doesn’t matter!’ please read on! You’re absolutely right!

Number 2 and also important – Flattening your stomach in a week is not very likely but there are definitely things you can do to help!

Love your stomach! (Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com)

So now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on with the post! Let’s say you have an important event to go to. You’ve got the outfit and you’re really pleased with how you look apart from one thing – your stomach. Whichever way you turn to look in the mirror, you’re not happy. You want to do something about it but you’ve only got a week, what can you do?

Option one and this honestly, 100%, is the best option – accept your belly, your curves, your shape, and love yourself for who you are. Your body shape doesn’t define you. It’s your smile, your personality, your ability to make others feel comfortable that counts. No-one is going to be looking at your body shape and criticising and, to be honest, if they are, they really aren’t worth you worrying about. Believe me, it’s true. Be confident in yourself and embrace everything about you. I can’t emphasise enough how important this is. You are amazing just the way you are, believe in yourself.

Be happy and embrace those curves! (Photo by Jennifer Enujiugha on Pexels.com)

BUT, with that said, many of us will still worry. So are there any quick fixes apart from horrendously tight, suck it all in, underwear that means we can’t eat a thing and will seriously struggle when we want to take it off?! Here are a few ideas you might want to try!

Posture – look in a full length mirror and check how you hold yourself. I naturally tend to arch my back slightly which automatically makes my tummy stick out. Practice sucking in your belly – think about pulling your belly button to your spine. Don’t forget to put your shoulders back and stand up proudly as well. Don’t slouch!

Water – whilst it might seem counterintuitive, drinking plenty of water encourages your body to flush out the excess water it’s storing. It also helps avoid constipation, another cause of a distended stomach. So drinking more water works for two reasons – flushing out excess water and enabling normal bowel function.

Fibre – whilst we’re on the subject, eat plenty of fibre so that you aren’t constipated!

Herbal teas – certain herbal teas are good for avoiding water retention which can result in a bloated tummy as well as swollen ankles, legs and hands. I like hibiscus tea but you could also try dandelion, fennel, nettle and green tea which all have the same diuretic effect.

Try a herbal tea (Photo by Mareefe on Pexels.com)

Food – avoiding certain foods or eating others can also make a difference to water retention and bloating. Try avoiding too much salt and refined carbs such as white bread, pasta and crackers. These carbs often have added sugar and are low in fibre which can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. High insulin levels can cause sodium retention by increasing the reabsorption of this mineral in your kidneys. This can then lead to more fluid in your body. Additionally, your liver and muscles store carbs as glycogen, a form of sugar that is bound to water. Because each gram of glycogen is stored with at least 3 grams of water, following a high carb diet may cause increased water retention. It’s also a good idea to avoid fizzy drinks which can cause bloating.

Magnesium can help with water retention generally and can be found in nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate and leafy green vegetables. Studies have shown that B6 is good at reducing bloating connected to PMS and whilst there isn’t enough evidence yet to show that it helps outside of PMS you might want to give it a try. B6 can be found in bananas, potatoes, chickpeas, walnuts and tuna. Foods containing potassium, such as bananas, avocados and tomatoes, will help support healthy fluid balance as well as improve bowel function. Parsley and garlic have been known as natural diuretics for centuries.

So the tiny tweak? Well this week it is to stand tall and believe in yourself. Remember who you are and what you are about. Why does your shape or size matter? If you want to lose or gain weight for health reasons then that’s absolutely fine but never forget who you are inside. A simple affirmation to yourself in the mirror when you get out of bed is a great way to start the day. Something like ‘I am proud of my body and it’s abilities. My body is a gift and I will treat it with love and respect’. Why not give it a try?

Finally, I love this quote ‘Confidence is beautiful. No matter your size, no matter your weight, be confident in who you are and you’ll be beautiful’.

Until next time xx


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