Life / Health

5 rules for a summer-flat stomach

Don’t be the party pooper that refuses to take their top off all summer. Experts tell us how to get a flat stomach and fast.

1. Don’t sip your cocktail using a straw

Bet that poolside cocktail was really refreshing and delicious. And that long straw meant you didn’t even have to lift your head from the sun lounge in order to take a sip. “Big mistake!” says gastroenterologist Dr. Roshini Raj. “Drinking out of a straw causes you to swallow more air, which can lead to gas and bloating.”

2. De-clog your digestive track

Eating too many nuts and bananas can cause constipation, says Raj.

“Nuts are good for you in many ways (they’re a rich source of plant protein and omega-3 fatty acids) but the gelatinous form that they take when digested means they tend to stick together and get stuck … Bananas, especially when unripe, are full of starch, which has been shown to slow down digestion. If you suffer from constipation, stick to eating one a week,” she adds.

3. Work your deep abdominals

“Do 30 minutes worth of cardio exercises, five days a week. This can be anything from jogging and spinning, to treadmill exercises,” recommends Michele Olson, exercise physiologist at Auburn University in Montgomery. “You also want to be doing push-ups and planks because your abs fire strongly during these moves in order to stabilize your back. Do two reps of 10 push-ups followed by 10 side planks to each side.”

4. Stay away foods that cause flatulence

Some foods produce more gas than others, making you feel full and bloated.

“Complex carbohydrates, found in some vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower can cause gas. These foods contain sugars that are passed undigested into the colon where they are broken down by bacteria producing gas as a by-product. ... And if you’re in the habit of stirring some Sweet’N Low into your morning coffee, beware. Artificial sweeteners can cause gas to get trapped in your belly,” Michele Olson, exercise physiologist at Auburn University in Montgomery, said.

5. Never, ever skip meals

If you think that skipping meals, taking laxatives or stopping eating altogether is going to do the trick, then think again.

“All this will do is cause you to lose water and electrolytes, leading to dehydration. This then prompts your body to retain water, meaning you’ll just pack back on whatever water weight you lost,” says Raj.

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