Five healthy tips for a flat stomach this summer
Don't let the thought of a beach holiday get you down. If you want to find ways to brave a bikini this summer then don't go pinning your hopes on a fad diet. These never tend to end well – think rebound weight gain, unpleasant breath and bad skin! Instead take a spoonful of common sense and follow these healthy eating guidelines designed to reduce bloating and kiss sweet and starchy cravings goodbye.
1. Don't skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast in an attempt to cut back on calories you'll end up heading straight for the biscuit tin by 10am. Always begin the day with a high-protein breakfast as protein takes a while to be digested so the theory is you'll be feeling fuller for longer and have less cravings.
Bikini breakfast options:
- Natural yoghurt and fresh fruit.
- Poached egg on steamed spinach.
- Smoked salmon and avocado on rye crackers.
- Sugar free muesli with sultanas and grated apple.
2. Monitor your soft drinks
It's unbelievably easy to gulp down heaps of sugar if you are sipping on fruit juice, cordial, smoothies, cola, lemonade and other sugary soft drinks across the day.
Beach ready tipples:
- Still mineral water – add a slice of lemon, lemon or orange for a splash of natural flavour.
- Herbal teas – fennel, nettle, liquorice and peppermint all help to settle digestion.
- Fruit teas – turn these into a refreshing summer drink by cooling and adding ice.
3. Keep an eye on portion sizes
It's not unusual to end up eating more food than you actually need a meal times. A good way to check if you are over-eating is to cup your hands together for an indication of your natural stomach capacity. So match the quantity of food you dish-up to this size guide.
Manageable meal sizes:
- Choose a serving bowl or dish that reflects your natural stomach capacity size.
- After meal wait for 20 minutes before helping yourself to a second portion. During the wait you'll natural feelings of fullness should win!
4. Avoid starch carbohydrates
Cutting back or even avoiding bread, pasta, white rice and pastries at least two weeks before your holiday can make a real difference to your waistline. But don't go carb-free instead eat a small serving of complex low GI carbs a day as these contain important B-vitamins and fibre needed for health metabolism and blood sugar balance.
Top up on low GI carbs
- Add a couple of spoonfuls of tinned lentils or pulses to a salad.
- Add a portion of brown rice to your evening meal.
- Include a handful of oats in your breakfast smoothie.
- Snack on oat cakes instead of biscuits and cakes.
5. Be mindful about alcohol
It's more than likely that you'll be able to find time to relax with a nice glass of wine during your holidays. So before you go away don't go knocking back unnecessary units as a way to keep calm while trying to juggle work and packing. Calories from alcohol have a tendency to head straight for the midriff so the more cut backs you can make before you go away the better.