Who doesn’t want a flat belly, stat? Yet hours of crunches, cardio, and super strict dieting aren’t realistic—or a whole lot of fun—for many of us. Luckily, it is possible to flatten your belly and look slimmer almost immediately. “Your stomach is the one part of your body that reacts quickly to dietary changes—good and bad. If you want to look thinner fast, avoid gassy veggies, chewing gum, salt, carbonated beverages, and any foods with sugar alcohols,” says Erin Palin ski, RD and certified personal trainer. These foods will lead to water retention and bloating, she explains. If you normally eat three larger meals a day, Palin ski recommends cutting those portions in half and eating smaller meals every two to three hours.
Say cheese! Adding some extra calcium to your diet could be the key to getting that flat stomach you’ve been dreaming about. Over just 12 months, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that obese female study subjects who upped their calcium intake shed 11 pounds of body fat without other major dietary modifications. To keep your calcium choices healthy, try mixing it up between dairy sources, calcium-rich leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
“Use a VersaClimber or take a VersaClimber class. These machines are still not that common, but in my opinion they are far more effective for weight loss than other forms of cardio. They require you to use a large portion of your muscles and it’s functionally better for you than other forms of cardio like spinning. Everyone is talking about Rise Nation in LA at the moment as they are the first dedicated VersaClimbing studio. There’s no harder cardio workout I have tried. To lose fat you have to put in the work. — Dan Roberts, celebrity trainer and creator of Methodology X
It depends on many factors, including the actual amount of fat/weight you want to lose. Whatever the case, fast weight loss is usually not a good idea; the tendency to gain weight back that has been quickly lost is common, and usually more weight is gained back than was lost in the first place. A constant see-saw of weight levels may be more harmful than the weight itself. Our bodies are wonderful, even if we don't believe it sometimes, and they have a way of knowing when we are trying to 'fool' them. If we lose too much weight and lose it too quickly, the body reacts by interfering with the weight loss; it becomes harder and harder to lose, and that becomes frustrating. Think about your body as a machine that is at the pinnacle of evolution; it has an ancestry that goes all the way back to the origins of human life, however you imagine that to have come about. Things are built into your body and its systems to counteract stresses and changes that we can't imagine today. That's why we can't just 'have our way with our bodies' without regard for how they react to things. They have a built-in wisdom that is hard to challenge without thought and great care. But with patience, clear thinking and good guidance, we can bring our bodies closer to optimum health.