A toned, flat tummy is top of our dream body wish list, but it can be hard to achieve
On average, women gain around 5lbs and 3cm around the waist between the ages of 44 and 50 due to falling oestrogen levels. Fat is redistributed from the hips and thighs to the tummy, resulting in that pesky middle age spread!
BUT, there are plenty of small lifestyle changes you can make to streamline your shape at any age. Not only will you have a flat tummy fast, these diet and exercise tweaks will leave you feeling healthy and more energised, too!
For example, fashion designer and mum-of-four Victoria Beckham is known to use Epsom salts at home as a quick de-bloating trick! The 43-year-old is said to pop some in the bath to help restore her flat tummy fast and for a relaxing detox. Read more about Epsom salts below – along with our other top tips!
How to get a flat tummy in your 40s and 50s…
1. Avoid fiery foods if you want a flat tum! We all love indulging in a spicy curry, especially at the weekend, but this delicious take away can irritate your gut and lead to bloating.
2. Try new (and very easy!) fitness craze, ‘stomach vacumming’ – a simple breathing exercise that you can do anywhere. Sit up straight and inhale as much air as possible. Then exhale and pull your navel in. Aim for 3 sets of 60 seconds.
3. Make sure you’re getting your 40 winks! It’s been widely proven that lack of sleep leads to weight gain as not only is your body not functioning to its full potential, you’re also more likely to snack on salty and sugary treats to boost energy levels.
4. Change your eating habits. If you eat in front of the TV, your computer or while dashing out of the door, you need to give your meal times a reshuffle! Put aside the time, even if it’s just 20 minutes to really enjoy your food.
5. It might sound obvious, but remember to thoroughly chew your food. Food that hasn’t been chewed well takes longer to digest and results in bloating.
6. Get tropical! Delicious pineapple is high in natural fruit sugars, which help to fend off your sweet cravings and leave you less likely to reach for the biscuit tin. It also contains a digestive enzyme that helps to ease bloating.
7. Bathe in Epsom Salts. Buy some at your local pharmacy and dissolve in a hot deep bath to ease stress, flush out toxins and restore your body’s pH balance.
8. Salty not sweet
Water is attracted to salt, meaning the more salty foods you eat, the more likely you are to retain fluids. Try flavouring with herbs rather than salt.
9. Make sure you relax!
Stress hormone cortisol means you gain weight quicker, so get that bath run!
10. Cranberry juice rules
Cranberry juice contains diuretic properties, which helps the body to get rid of any excess fluids – meaning you’ll be able to see the difference on your waistline! Just make sure you pick the sugar free option.
11. Keep some pears on your desk to snack on instead of sugary sweets
They act as a diuretic to fend off water retention to keep your waistline trim.
12. Ditch the salt
Too much salt causes water retention that can give you a bloated, puffy look. Try cooking food from scratch so you can monitor how salty it is, or when buying food from the supermarket look for the green traffic light on salt to be on the safe side.
13. Get posture perfect!
Did you know that slouching can give you a pot belly?Try standing tall when possible and hold in your tummy. Classes like Pilates are also great for your improving your posture and toning that tum.
14. Be wary of bread.
Instead of a thick slice of toast with your peanut butter (bread is always going to cause a most-meal bloat!) try dipping slices of apple in instead for a tasty and nutritious breakfast or snack.
15. Peppermint tea helps your digestive system and helps you beat the bloat
A hot cup of peppermint tea after a big meal can really help a bloated stomach. Nutritional therapist Natalie Lamb, who works for Bio-Kult, suggests, “Additional digestive aids like ginger, fennel and peppermint could all help digestion as could taking a probiotic, some digestive enzymes, or a teaspoon of apple cider.”