Strategies to Quickly “De-Puff”, Lighten Up and Flush Bloat

 

As registered dietitians and personal trainers we get a lot of questions about tips for getting a flat belly when people are heading to the beach, the BBQ or an event. We completely get it –and relate to not wanting to look bloated when arriving at your destination–whether you’re stepping into a bathing suit, a dress, or any outfit, you want to look and feel your best! 🙂   So if anything related to your tummy causes you angst before your event, believe us, you’re not alone–and we can help!

 Here’s what to do: 

  1. Water, water and more water.  Water will keep you hydrated, stave off dehydration headaches, moisturize dry and weathered- looking skin, prevent mistaking hunger for thirst, and it will help to flush sodium and other bloating culprits out of your body so you can arrive at your event feeling bloat- free. It also helps push waste out of your colon for an even flatter belly. Sip extra water the day before your event and leading  up to your event.  Skip sodium packed tomato juice and bloating soda and seltzer (the carbonation puts excess gas and bubbles in your stomach -and no one wants that! And before you leave for your event, we highly recommend sipping one of these “flushing” drinks between meals (or with them too) to keep your mind and body on the healthy track:

Cool Citrus Cucumber Detox

Apple Cider Vinegar & Lime Detox Drink

Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush

Lemon Ginger Detox

Mixed Citrus Ginger Flush

Spicy_Metabolism_drink_booster1

 

2. Go to town on veggies-  fill half your plate with them for the days leading up to your event so you’ll have less room for the heavier stuff (carbs, protein and fat)-  this will help you to shed some belly fat.  Vegetables are packed with water, so they’ll help you to stay hydrated, plus they’re packed with fiber to get your digestive tract moving, pushing out wastes, salt and toxins from your colon along with unsightly belly bulges from a constipating diet (or all-too-familiar travel constipation). Plus, you’ll automatically feel healthier and immediately get your mind and body back on the healthy track knowing that you’re loading up on antioxidant-rich, super low-calorie fare instead of heavier fare. 

(Note: If you’re not accustomed to eating many veggies or fiber, you may need to increase your intake gradually to allow your intestinal tract time to adjust. You may find cooked vegetables easier to digest than raw ones and may want to start by including them and allowing your body time to adjust).

When you’re home try these veggie recipes

Colorful Detox Salad

Roasted Detoxifying Veggies

Caramelized Cauliflower with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice

Roasted_cauliflower-colander

 

3.“Zip Up” Your Abs: We rely on this and it truly makes a huge flat-belly difference!  For the days leading up to your event, activate your abs by squeezing them in tight and pulling them back against your spine as you exhale. Think of zipping your abs together by using your muscles to contract your abs by pulling in from the center. Think about pulling everything in from a vertical line from your belly button and up to between your breastbone and pulling everything in and back towards your spine. Think zipping together. Hold for a count of 10 as you continue to exhale. Slowly release and repeat for 10 reps at least three times throughout your flight, but ideally as much as possible. Not only will this create good posture, it will also wake up the ab muscles and make it easier to keep your abs in, preventing them from looking bloated. Also, breathing out and pushing air out of the stomach while pulling the muscles in tight helps to flatten your stomach, so you’ll be a step ahead of the game.  Bonus: Your abs will be warmed up for when you’re at your event and need to keep your abs tight! 😉 You can see the video for an example here in this post.

 

 

4. Do some form of cardio every day before the event.  Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Exercise and water both get your intestinal tract going to get things moving out of your colon and they will work in tandem with veggies and other sources of fiber to prevent constipation and the gut bulges that come with it!

The morning of your event: 

 

5. Wake up and immediately drink 16 ounces (or more of water) and avoid surprising bloaters.
See step 1 for why this works! Also avoid surprising bloat promoters like chewing gum and sipping through a straw that can cause belly bloat by drawing excess air into your stomach. Carbonated beverages also leave your stomach full of gas.

 

6. Eat a breakfast that is high in fiber and protein. It will set you on the healthy-track for the entire day, and you’ll immediately feel great both mentally and physically. The fiber will help you to feel satisfied by filling up your stomach and assisting your digestive tract in making sure everything keeps moving along to prevent constipation and bloat while the protein will keep you satiated. Stay away from super heavy breakfasts that will weigh you down and make you feel heavy. Try a Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and a tablespoon of chia seeds or a hard-boiled egg with a small portion of oatmeal with a few slivered almonds and berries.  This satisfying weight loss breakfast is pretty easy to make or order anywhere, just ask that they don’t use oil or butter in the pan.  Ask them to spritz it with oil if they must.

 

7. Immediately before your event, Do This:

 Sip on green tea. It contains the amino acid theanine which brings on a mental calmness, yet alertness which will make it easier for you to relax and enjoy your vacation. You’ll feel healthy and good about yourself. Plus, green tea will flood your body with antioxidants and mop up some of the free radicals circulating in your body, which can be especially helpful if you had a lot of stress before you left for your vacay or if you were breathing too much jet fuel on the runway. (Simply pack a tea bag in your luggage and get a cup of hot water at the hotel, voila!)

 

 

10. And follow these tips as much as possible–including trying this drink if you can–at least when you get back!

Apple_Spinach_Green_Smoothie

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

If you’ve read our other recipes and blogs, it’s no surprise to you that these twin sister, veggie-loving registered dietitians and personal trainers have a big ‘ole sweet tooth.  And while we’ve got many recipes and tricks to prevent our nasty canines 😉 from getting the best of us, we find that when we discover a delicious sweetie to satisfy us, it hooks us for a good long while.

So a few months ago, when chocolate was calling our names a bit too often, we found a super sweet (and healthy!) alternative and we’ve been turning to it ever since.  Frozen, slightly defrosted blueberries (still chilled, but defrosted enough so their sweet juice seeps its way into the bottom of the bowl. Yum!) This addictive treat (aka as blue crack 😉 ) is now making its way into many of our latest creations—and our taste buds, brain and waistline are thankful!

Psst… if you like this recipe, you may want to try:

Blueberry Protein Weight Loss Breakfast Smoothie

Kale Recharge and Detox Smoothie

Detoxifying Green Tea Smoothie

Wake-up Smoothie

Say hello to this healthy and delicious smoothie—a sweet and energizing combo including berries and tropical fruits that you can whip up for two people in the morning and both of you can start your day off right!

 

Here’s what you’ll love:

  • This is a high-protein and low-calorie smoothie without any protein powder! So if you’re not a fan of protein powder, this is for you!

 

  • Just using all natural fruits, vegetables and yogurt, this sister will give your morning a boost of energy.

 

  • Kale! A veggie for breakfast and you’d never even realize! Kale adds so many bonuses including it’s special “detox” capabilities as it aids the liver in both phases of its detox. Blueberries flood your body with anti-aging and disease-fighting phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds as well as bloat-fighting potassium and water!

 

Blueberries paired with pineapples, add  fiber and vitamin C to keep your immune system strong.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

 

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

Makes 2 servings

Prep: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

¾ cup raw kale, broken into 1” pieces, loosely packed

½ cup frozen, unsweetened blueberries

½ cup frozen, unsweetened pineapple

1 large banana, broken into 1” pieces

2 teaspoons coconut flakes, unsweetened

1 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients in the blender, with yogurt being closest to the blade.  Blend together all ingredients until smooth and there are no large food chunks.

 

Nutrition Analysis (for 1 serving): 177 calories, 32 grams carbs, 0 grams fat, 15 grams protein, 62 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber

Blueberry Banana Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A fruity and filling blueberry smoothie for the morning or as an afternoon snack!
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Cuisine: Breakfast
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup raw kale, broken into 1" pieces, loosely packed
  • ½ cup frozen, unsweetened blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen, unsweetened pineapple
  • 1 large banana, broken into 1" pieces
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in the blender, with yogurt being closest to the blade. Blend together until smooth and there are no large food chunks.

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Ginger Turmeric “Detox” Tea

 

This flat-belly, inflammation and toxin-fighting drink is one of our faves—especially after we haven’t gotten a good night’s rest and feel especially stressed or rundown.    And while this twin sister team of registered dietitians and personal trainers originally started making elixirs like this when we created our Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush, our Lemon Ginger Detox drink and our Vitamin C Infused “Detox” Water

for you and for our clients who were requesting more drinks like this after experiencing the positive benefits, these hot numbers have become our besties as well!

If you’ve tried them, you know it’s no secret that these bevvies help to prevent hunger and overeating, squash cravings, beat the bloat and flood the body with nutrients that  help combat the damage caused by a poor diet, alcohol, daily stress and from everyday living.  They’ve become so important in the success of our clients that we’ve even included them as an important part in our 21-Day Body RebootTM,  our life-altering program that helps you to lose your last 10 pounds or more—while going wild on the weekend!

They immediately help to get your mind and body back on the healthy track.  We call them Clean-ToxTM drinks because they work especially well in helping the body in its’ natural detox process as you eat, wholesome, “clean” (aka, unprocessed) food. And although your body is equipped to detox and cleanse itself naturally, certain health-promoting foods and drinks, like this one, can be monumental when it comes to assisting in its process.

 

Why are we obsessed with this flat-belly number?

The chance to combine two of the most powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients?! Sign us up! 🙂

 

Less inflammation= a calmer body on the inside, less stomach distress, less bloat.

YUM!  A little sweet, a little spicy… you’ll want to keep drinking.  You’ll also hydrate as you get water:

 

This pic below shows how I made it to place in the tea strainer with fresh turmeric.   You are seeing both the ginger and turmeric grated. You’ll see directions for whichever you choose to use–fresh or powdered turmeric below.  Who’s got your back and belly, baby?! Us 🙂

 

The water: Water washes bloating sodium and waste from your body, preserving your kidneys and intestines, keeping them in better condition. And water helps the body to run at its’ best since every process in the body relies on water.

The ginger: (Yes, I, Lyssie, confess that I’m ginger-obsessed and it somehow finds its way to most of my home-cooked dinners— au revoir bloat and damage from toxins!). Ginger contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components.

  • When you overindulge in food and drinks and your intestinal tract is acting out in response, i.e.–you’re feeling bloated and your tummy is full of discomfort, ginger is great!
  • It helps to ease stomach and intestinal discomfort and settles your insides so they can start calming down, repairing, de-puffing, rebooting and rinsing the bloat.
  • Your body responds to poor food choices and toxins with inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes damage to tissues in the body and it speeds the aging process. Preventing that inflammation means not only will you be less inflamed inside and have less stomach distress, but you’ll also be healthier in the long haul!

Turmeric: (another recent obsession for Lyssie—after discovering its’ anti-inflammatory benefits help her sinuses during the seasonal allergies she got for the first time in NYC–she even sprinkles it on some foods she eats with her hands, like kale chips and turnip fries (although she has to be careful because the orange color of the turmeric [powerful antioxidants] colors her nails–oy!) This is one of the most potent healers; it protects the cells from harmful free-radicals.  If you’ve overdone it with a poor diet, this is one way to help nurse your body back to health!

 

This pic below is the ginger root and turmeric root, just hanging, before I grated them. 😉  Once you peel the skin of the turmeric it looks like a baby carrot!

Lemon: helps to promote the activity of a liver enzyme that converts harmful, toxic substances to less harsh chemicals (via the liver through a compound called d-limonene.). The vitamin C in lemon is a potent antioxidant that mops up free radicals from environmental toxins, stress, alcohol, fatty foods and other toxins and helps to prevent them from damaging your body.  Vitamin C also keeps the skin radiant and youthful by helping to boost levels of collagen, which helps to keep the skin elastic.

Lemon Ginger Turmeric “Detox” Tea

You can reserve the “tea” in the strainer for several uses.  Feel free to add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cayenne for an additional boost.

Start with this simple combo for 1 serving:

Ingredients:

8 ounces water

1 tbsp. grated ginger

1 tbsp grated turmeric (*alternatively 1 tsp ground turmeric)

Juice from fresh lemon

Directions:

  1. Boil water.
  2. Place grated ginger and turmeric in tea strainer** and place inside a coffee mug. Pour boiling water in and let steep for several minutes.
  3. Remove strainer and reserve for second cup of tea. Squeeze several squirts of lemon in mug and enjoy! Note: You can reserve the tea in the strainer for several uses.

*If using ground turmeric, place in the mug when you add the strainer with grated ginger, add the warm water and stir until no lumps.

**If you don’t have a tea strainer, you can place the grated ginger and turmeric in the cup loosely and strain before drinking.

Nutrition Facts per 8 ounce serving:  2 Calories

Lemon Ginger Turmeric “Detox” Tea
 
Author:
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • You can reserve the “tea” in the strainer for several uses. Feel free to add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cayenne for an additional boost.
  • Start with this simple combo for 1 serving:
  • Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces water
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp grated turmeric (*alternatively 1 tsp ground turmeric)
  • Juice from fresh lemon
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Boil water.
  3. Place grated ginger and turmeric in tea strainer** and place inside a coffee mug. Pour boiling water in and let steep for several minutes.
  4. Remove strainer and reserve for second cup of tea. Squeeze several squirts of lemon in mug and enjoy! Note: You can reserve the tea in the strainer for several uses.
  5. *If using ground turmeric, place in the mug when you add the strainer with grated ginger, add the warm water and stir until no lumps.
  6. **If you don’t have a tea strainer, you can place the grated ginger and turmeric in the cup loosely and strain before drinking.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 2

Why a Weight Loss Plateau is A Good Thing

As registered dietitians and personal trainers for over fifteen years, these twin sisters have seen our share of weight loss plateaus.  And while we’re well aware that a weight loss plateau is a good thing, we’ve seen how destructive and deflating it can be when someone hits one and doesn’t realize the benefits of a plateau.

 

So we’re busting at the seams to tell them (and you!) that a weight loss plateau is actually a good thing!  If you’ve ever experienced this we want you to pay close attention and follow this advice as this will help you to succeed when faced with it again! First, don’t let a plateau derail your efforts or discourage you.  Although a weight loss plateau can often last for several weeks, it’s not the time to give up, and in fact, just the opposite!

 

Here’s why:

A weight loss plateau is a normal and healthy part of the weight loss process and it simply means that your body is recognizing that it’s a new smaller person—and it’s settling in and adjusting to being slimmer.  Your body is taking an assessment and acknowledging it no longer needs as many calories to maintain itself and it’s just taking time to recalibrate.  This recalibration is important; if your body never recognizes it’s smaller and doesn’t take time to stabilize, your body doesn’t know who it is and can easily change; bouncing back to a higher weight will be easy as it wouldn’t have set a new place at a lower weight that feels comfortable.  Think about it—if you constantly are losing weight, your body has no clue what to expect and it doesn’t yet know where it feels stable.  A few missed workouts, a few not so healthy meals could easily throw your body off kilter. On the other hand, if you hit a plateau, it’s recognizing your newer, smaller body.  It’s a sign that your body is taking notice of your new trimmer self!  Once you push past this, maintaining your new weight will be easier!  Feel proud and know this is part of the amazing successful weight loss process and you’ll push past it!

 

 

More good news?

There are ways to push past a plateau—and if you stick it out, they pay off big-time!

 

Here are 4 of our top ways to bust through a weight loss plateau:

 

  1. Eat more veggies. Yup, read THIS to see how eating more actually works.  By now you know that we love veggies, always encourage our clients to eat them, and we too, eat them like nobody’s business (despite having been super picky eaters in the past)—but that’s because they’re little miracle workers, and in more ways than one. (Pssst… we didn’t write The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure for nothin’!  😉  )

 

  1. Sip on THIS Toxin-Neutralizing, Bloat-Busting Bevvie throughout the day. It will keep you hydrated, flush bloat and wastes out of the body, fill your stomach so you eat less, and flood the body with antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals and pull toxins out of the body.

 

 

  1. Incorporate HIIT training into your workouts.   These periods of more intense exercise followed by less intense exercise burn extra calories and rev your metabolism.  Find out how to do it!

 

 

  1. Leave three bites behind at each meal. If you typically eat all of your meal, leave three bites on your plate; if you don’t typically eat all of your meal, make a conscious effort to eat three fewer bites.  Over the course of the day this will equate to a couple hundred calories, which over the course of the month can equal nearly two pounds or more!

 

 

  1. For the next few weeks keep a food log (if you don’t already). You may discover places where excess snacks can be cut—or you may realize that while you were on a weight loss roll that you weren’t quite as diligent as you thought and tightening the reigns will help you to push past the plateau.

 

 

The Nutrition  Twins’ Do Your Body Good Challenge—and your 5th way to bust through a weight loss plateau.

 

Swap Dry foods for Wet Foods:
Eat Water-Rich Foods.

  • Why? Dry foods, like baked goods and cookies, chips, crackers, candy bars and trail mixes, are light and airy and don’t fill you up but are high in calories. Instead go for water and fiber-filled foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, sweet potatoes, and whole grains—these are generally full of water and fiber and not many calories. So your body feels the weight of these foods and it helps to satisfy you, as opposed to the dry, calorie-dense, light-weight foods.

 

How to do it:

 

 

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Bust Boredom or Past a Plateau with THIS!

If you’re stuck in a weight loss or boredom rut, we’ve got just the workout for you—and an added bonus is that this workout is ideal if you’re short on time (and seriously, who isn’t?)!

 

In New York City if the cold outside (or the heat) is unbearable for us and we need to get a quick indoor workout, we’ve got a foolproof routine– intervals! As registered dietitians and personal trainers, we recommend intervals to the majority of our clients. Intervals are great because you can be more productive in a shorter amount of time, which is especially helpful if you’re trapped inside and exercising indoors isn’t your thing.

 

We personally do our intervals on the treadmill and sometimes on the cross-trainer, but you can use any equipment that allows you to get a cardiovascular workout (and if it’s nice out—head out for some fresh air, baby!). Studies have shown that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at least once a week can boost cardiovascular fitness and increase the body’s potential to lose weight (woot, woot!).  Plus, constantly increasing and decreasing the speed keeps you occupied, so the time goes by so much more quickly!

 

Your body can become accustomed to doing the same exercise routine and then it no longer is a challenge and you stop seeing results.

 

This means it’s time to shake things up a bit. 

 

Here’s why we recommend HIIT to jumpstart your fitness:

  • HIIT training consists of short, high-intensity periods of exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods.
    • The higher intensity exercise challenges your body in new ways, which means you’ll burn more calories and fat.
    • The low-intensity recovery periods, also known as rest intervals, are important because they ensure that your high-intensity intervals are done at an optimal intensity. Without the rest intervals you’ll only be able to work at a medium intensity for the full duration of your exercise—which is no different than what you were doing before.

 

Here’s how to do HIIT:

 

During your normal cardiovascular routine, try increasing your speed to a fast sprint every 4 minutes. Stay at this high intensity for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your ability. You should be out of breath and really challenging yourself. The 4 minutes in between will help you recover. When those 4 minutes are up, pump it back to a sprint. You’ll be sure to feel great and will also burn a lot of calories!

 

  • If you’re a beginner, start with a 1:2 ratio of a challenging workout to rest. So go as hard as you can for 30, 45, 60 or 90 seconds and then rest for twice as long.  Then start on the challenging interval again.  As you practice this, aim for a making your rest period the same length as your interval.

 

Give it a try!  You got this! 🙂

 

 

 

The Nutrition Twins demonstrate the Playground Workout

Embrace your inner child and let loose! The best workout is one that you’ll make time to do! Keep it fun!

For working out and sticking with it, you gotta find something you love! As giggly girls who loved to monkey around, this was our fave thing to do- so these days we join Tammy’s kids on the playground, but boy it’s a lot harder now! This reminds us what a great workout you can get when let yourself be free to play!

And sheesh,what a great arm workout!

 

Also try hop-scotch, hula-hooping and jumping rope!

 

 

Psst… looking for more traditional exercises?  Try these!

Anytime, Anywhere 90-Second Metabolism Booster

Easy At-Home Shoulder Toner

Triangle Push-Ups

Leg & Butt Toner