by Rajiv M. Mallipudi, MD
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Sorry to break the news to you. But you cannot get a flat stomach in 3 days. It is impossible.
Even if you got surgery, took numerous bowel cleanses, and dehydrated yourself, you are not going to get a flat belly in 3 days.
It is more realistic that you can lose a pound or two a week through a combination of diet and exercise.
If you have 30 pounds to lose, at a healthy rate, you can expect to lose that in approximately 15-30 weeks.
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Now if you already have a flat stomach, and want to get ready for some pictures in a wedding dress or bikini for your vacation, there are some steps you can take to make your tummy look even tighter and leaner.
The key is to reduce bloating in the short-term by adjusting your diet. Here are 5 tips to prevent bloating.
Get Your Diet Right!
Eating too much in one meal will immediately cause your belly to bloat.
Think about it. The more you put it in your body at once, the less time your body has to digest. So this food will be stored in your stomach longer.
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Furthermore, eating too fast can cause you to swallow air which also gets stored in your stomach causing your belly to get distended. Avoid waiting too long to eat because this will lead to binge eating.
Eat More Often with Smaller Meals
Divide your total amount of calories into smaller meals.
For example, if you are to eat 2000 calories for your diet, instead of eating three big meals, eat 5 smaller meals each 400 calories.
This will give your body ample time to digest the meal without causing bloating. Furthermore, you will not be hungry and you are less likely to binge eat.
Eat Slowly to Avoid Bloating
Eating too fast causes your stomach to bloat since you can swallow air.
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If you eat too fast, your body does not get enough time to release hormones that tell you that you are full.
If you eat slowly, the brain gets enough time to release this hormone to tell you that you are full. This leads you to be less likely to overeat and have bloating.
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Do Not Talk While Eating
If you are with friends and family, keep the chit chat to a minimum so you are less likely to swallow air and have bloating.
Limiting talking allows you to enjoy the flavor of the food so you will feel more satiated.
Limit Intake of Bloating Foods
Since pre-school we heard our classmates make jokes about beans causing gas and bloating.
Eating beans is fine for dieting as they are rich in protein and fiber, but keep it in moderation. Try to avoid foods that can make you feel bloated and cause gas.
Some of these bloating foods are high in fiber or our beloved vegetables.
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But do not avoid these foods all together. They are beneficial for dieting. Instead try to eat in moderation fodmap foods in your short-term goal of reducing bloating for a big event or even a photoshoot.
What does fodmap stand for?
fodmap stands for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols, and is used to describe a group of fermentable short-chain carbohydrates.
fodmaps are foods most likely to be fermented by natural bacteria in our gut. Limiting fodmaps from a diet often improves gi symptoms and reduces bloating and gas. fodmap are oligosaccharides (fructans, galactans), disaccharides (lactose), monosaccharides (fructose), and polyols (sugar alcohols).
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These include foods with fructose (candy and fruits), lactose in dairy foods (milk, cheese, yogurt), and galactans (legumes, beans, lentils, broccoli, soy-based products), fructans in gluten grains (wheat and rye grains), and polyols in sugar alcohols added as sweeteners to sugar-free gum, mints, and even cough drops.
Try to eat fodmaps in moderation because they can cause bloating. But ultimately lots of foods with fiber and vegetables are critical to a healthy diet in the long-term to help you lose weight.
Keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to different foods. So if you find that you get bloated with brown rice, limit that and substitute with whole grain pasta or Quinoa.
While high fiber foods, dairy products and vegetables can cause bloating, the benefits for weight loss outweigh the bloating side effect. So just eat these foods in moderation as you work towards weight loss. Other foods to avoid are candies, gum, carbonated drinks and beer.
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Pick Healthy Choices
In order to prevent bloating in the short term, you need to limit intake of fodmap foods. Instead eat foods that typically do not cause gas.
Typically these include lean meats (chicken, fish, lean turkey cuts), eggs, and low fiber fruits (grapes, berries) and low fiber vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes), and gluten free bread. All these are foods you should be eating in your long-term weight loss goals.
Reducing bloating in 3 days can be done. However, your ultimate goal is to find a way to ensure long-term success in your weight loss.
This means you need to practice a healthy diet and utilize a successful exercise program. As I explained before, you should be eating fodmap foods for weight loss.
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However, if you need a quick way to reduce bloating in the short-term, then limit intake of fodmap foods. But make sure you do resume eating fodmap foods as these have numerous weight loss benefits.
Always find foods that work best for your stomach so you can still get the best benefits for weight loss and your health. If you constantly get bloating from numerous foods, discuss this with your doctor so you can make adjustments to your diet.
In general, try to maintain a calorie deficit so you can lose weight.
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Find the number of calories you should eat to maintain your current weight, and remove 500 calories from that. Then divide that number by 4-6 so you can eat that many calories with each of your 4-6 meals.
Stay hydrated to help avoid binge eating. When you get to the gym, try to do total body workouts three times a week as this will utilize numerous muscle groups and increase your metabolic rate so you burn more calories.
After your weight lifting, do 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity about five days a week. It does not matter what you do, as long as you do it.
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If you need advice on how to get started, or want a specific plan for your long-term weight loss, speak with your doctor and consult with a nutritionist and personal trainer.
How To Get A Flat Stomach In 3 Days
- Get the right foods in your diet.
- Eat more often and have smaller meals.
- Eat slowly to avoid bloating.
- Don’t talk while eating or you risk bloating.
- Limit the amount of bloating foods that you eat.
- Pick healthy choices.
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md, mhs is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. He has over a decade of personal training experience and helped hundreds of clients of all levels achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. This inspired him to work as a clinical researcher at the nationally recognized, Johns Hopkins Hospital Weight Management Center. During medical school he and his classmates created the health and wellness organization, med fit, which provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. In his spare time, Dr. Mallipudi enjoys playing ice hockey, dancing, and training for his next bodybuilding and powerlifting competitions. Dr. Mallipudi serves as a contributing writer for the Diet and Fitness sections.
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