My tummy is rarely ever completely flat. The culprit is a combination of excess belly fat and bloat. Because I was bloated most of the time, I couldn't accurately assess the amount of belly fat I was dealing with. In order to get to the truth, I had to eliminate the bloating once and for all.
I created a regimen of sorts to directly fight the bloating. For me, it wasn't as simple as removing a specific food from my diet. I had to attack it from multiple sides. This is what worked for me.
Fight the Stagnancy
I hypothesized that a root cause of my bloating had to do with stagnancy. The approach I took was to utilize multiple tactics that promote healthy circulation in the midsection. I noticed that the bloating was the most obvious when I was drinking the least amount of water. Sometimes we think that consuming a bunch of water will contribute to bloat. It may, but only for a short period of time. In the long run, water is an ally in the war against bloated bellies. Water is a must because it stimulates the colon and promotes toxin removal. When you're dehydrated, digestion is put on hold. For this reason, adequate daily water intake is key if you want a flatter belly.
When I get really serious about bloating, I transform my water into a detox water simply by adding lemon and apple cider vinegar. This helps stimulates the gut even more than water alone. I'm now realizing that I'm prone to bloat and that I have to enjoy a lemon water tonic on a regular basis. I can't just take it reactively when the bloating gets bad. I have to make it a regular part of my routine.
The other way I attacked the swelling of my belly was to engage in a daily routine of walking. This was done to also counteract stagnancy and promote circulation. Walking for 20 minutes or more after a meal (or on an empty stomach) really stimulates the midsection. Whenever I felt sluggish and bloated, I knew it was time to for a walk. One hundred percent of the time, I feel better after walking because some of the discomfort related to bloating is lessened.
Water, lemon water, and activity usually helps a lot. But when I really want to promote a flatter tummy, I need to implement phase II of the bloat protocol.
This is where I address my eating habits.
If I want a flatter belly, the most effective strategy I can take is to manage what I eat and how I eat. There were only a few instances when I had an effortlessly flat tummy. One of those times was when I practiced conscious eating. Basically, that's where I chewed eat bite thoroughly (between 20-30 chews per bite). Doing this made me eat much less than ever before. I got full from the tiniest meals. Eventually, the size of my tummy adjusted my new food intake levels. And because I consumed fewer calories, I lost weight naturally. Conscious eating actives the digestive process early on. All that chewing preps the stomach to easily digest the food. By the time the food reaches the belly, much of the work is already done.
It's a good idea to nix the food that your belly doesn't like. For some people, it's dairy, meat, or high carb foods. Pay attention to what you eat and how your tummy reacts. I know that if I eat 3 large meals a day, I'll get bloated. There's no getting around that. My best bet is to counteract it with lemon water and frequent walks. It also makes sense to stay on top of your probiotic and enzyme consumption to keep your tummy healthy. For example, if I eat a lot of meat, I make sure to take this. Once you know your bloat triggers, you then have to make a choice if you're going to keep consuming those foods. If so, you should also develop a strategy to counteract the ill effects of those foods.
When I consistently follow these rules, my bloat is a non-factor. After managing the bloat, I could actually see how much belly fat I actually had. This is super helpful because then I could move on to my belly fat elimination protocol (which I'm currently working on). Once I have that down pact, I'll be sure to share.