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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

Spicy Metabolism Booster

Ah!  Sure, we did have a great weekend away, and Philly, we loved visting ya ;),  but too much of the food served to us in two different all-day events left us feeling heavy, and quite frankly, a bit gross!   The day after that occasion that leaves you feeling like you need to flush the bloat and reboot your body is never fun.  The great news (for you, not so much for us 😉 ) is that since we’ve been there too is that we’re constantly coming up with great ways to help to immediately get your mind and body back on the healthy track.  Our client’s favorite ways to get their mind and body back on track and start losing fat again is by starting with drinking our “detox” drinks, so we just created this one! (And it was for us too! 😉 ).

Although your body is equipped to detox and cleanse itself on its own, naturally, certain health-promoting foods and drinks, assist it in its process.  And this drink does just that!  Among other ingredients, it contains cayenne for the swift kick in our metabolism’s keister that we needed!  Read more about it below.  In addition to starting our day by drinking a large glass of water, on days when we want an extra lift, we also have one of our refreshers like our Kale Recharge SmoothieSparkling Cucumber and Refresh Detoxer, or we go for one of our smoothies that use the Easiest Way To Get our Greens — or when we feel like we want a fresh start after eating foods that we don’t typically eat, we go for this Spicy Metabolism Booster, that we just added to our list!

Spicy_lemon_metabolism_booster2This Supercharge Booster is sure to wake you up with its spicy kick. It’s the perfect drink if you’re feeling sluggish, bloated, and fatigued or if you have an insatiable appetite as it will help to cut it. Lemon combined with water provides the powerful one-two punch of potassium and water to quickly remove bloating culprits by rinsing out your digestive tract and while also restoring normal hydration status, swiftly flushing bloat (potassium helps to counteract salt and the puff that comes with it!) and toxins out of the body.

Cayenne pepper adds a kick (umm, if you need a little help getting your mind and body back on the healthy track, don’t say we didn’t warn you that this lil’ number will do it! 😉 ) while possibly lighting a fire within your metabolism and improving the overall appearance of your skin by increasing blood flow to the skin and nourishing it with antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin E which increase the health of the skin.  Studies show that cayenne may suppress appetite and help people to feel full–hopefully, it does this for you, but if not, you’ll benefit from capsaicin which is the component in the cayenne that creates the hot and spicy taste and that helps to reduce pain and is being studied for its possible positive effects on heart health, preventing headaches and other painful conditions.

The lemon: 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.). Lemon, is packed with vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant which 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. And lemons add a refreshing perk to any drink! 😉

This spicy version of “lemonade” can be included daily.  You can sip throughout the day to help cut hunger.

The small amount of honey or agave or stevia is optional. We opted “in” and think it was well worth the 5 calories–but if you don’t need it, more power to ya! 🙂

Spicy Metabolism Booster

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Serves 4, eight-ounce servings

Ingredients:
1 Lemon, fresh squeezed, (3 Tbsp), add a few slices to garnish
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp agave syrup (or honey or stevia)
32 ounces water

Directions:
Squeeze lemon into water. Add cayenne pepper and agave or sweetener. Mix and chill in the fridge overnight.
Nutrition Facts per 8 ounce serving:
5 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 1g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 0 g protein

Spicy Metabolism Booster
 
Author:
Serves: 3 sevings
Ingredients
  • Serves 4, eight-ounce servings
  • 1 Lemon, fresh squeezed, (3 Tbsp), add a few slices to garnish
  • ¼ tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp agave syrup (or honey or stevia)
  • 32 ounces water
Instructions
  1. Squeeze lemon into water. Add cayenne pepper and agave syrup. Mix and chill in the fridge overnight.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 ounces Calories: 5 calories

 

 

Spicy_lemon_metabolism_booster

Spicy_Metabolism_Booster_Collage

Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush

As registered dietitians and personal trainers we get a lot of questions about simple strategies that we use and that we have our clients use to help the body to get back on track and to feel better and lighter after a few too many overindulgences (salt, sugar, alcohol, etc., — you know the deal 😉 ). Of course, being authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure , we can’t help but to recommend loading up on veggies—especially bright colored ones—and greens. 🙂 They’re nutritional powerhouses and some aid the liver in breaking down and neutralizing toxins while others fight inflammation and the damage it does to the body. They’re also loaded with fiber, which helps to flush waste out your colon (goodbye constipation and unsightly gut bulges from it–hello flatter belly. Oh Yeah!)

Our clients have told us that some of their favorite recipes and strategies (like our 5 Steps to Cleanse Your Body, Detox & Recharge) to simply get their mind and body on the healthy track after having overindulged come from some of our Flushing “Detox” Drinks (like our Lemon Mint Detox Drink)–so that’s one reason we’ve created this refreshing elixir.  Enjoy this sipster before meals to take the edge off hunger, prevent overeating and help set your mind & body on the healthy track.

 

blueberry cucumber water with logo

 

And by now, you probably know how we feel about water and how important it is to stay properly hydrated. After all, if you are even slightly dehydrated (just 1% of your body weight), you’ll feel sluggish (you’re less likely to get to the gym if you’re feeling wiped out—and even if you do get there, you likely won’t work as hard) and you can easily mistake thirst for hunger.

Of course, less movement and eating more both spell trouble for your waistline! Ahh! Don’t let dehydration happen to you. If you’re not a water-lover, we’ve got a jazzed up water that you’ll dig!  You’ll wanna give this water a whirl!

Plus, drinking water helps to flush out excess salt and the bloated and puffy feeling that comes with it. (See below to see why cucumbers and all the other components in this drink help you to kiss puffiness good bye!)

Note: To get the most from this flush, we also recommend following our red, orange and green rule. Simply, include one serving of red, orange or green produce with every meal. Doing so will flood your body with antioxidants and plant nutrients that will begin to denature damaging particles and toxins. Plus if you fill up on veggies, you’ll be less likely to reach for starchy sides. Pssst… this drink helps you to meet our rule—cucumbers (green) and blueberries (fall under the red/purple).

And as far as what you should drink at meals… 16 ounces of any combination of water, green tea, Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush (recipe below) or one of our other detox drinks (hello Grapefruit Rosemary Detox,  Orange-Lime Sparkling Flusher and our  Pomegranate Tangerine Detox Flusher or a combination of any of these at every meal.

Cucumbers are packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which is especially helpful if you have had too much salt the night before and woke up feeling swollen. These drinks work magic because of their high water and potassium content (thanks to the fruits and veggies) which flushes bloat by restoring normal fluid balance so you can kiss puffiness goodbye.

Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush:

blueberry cucumber water with logo

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces water
  • 1/4 c. Blueberries
  • 1/4 Cucumber

Directions:
Slice cucumber thinly. Place cucumber and berries into a water glass and add 8 oz of cold water. Allow the ingredients to sit in the water for 15- 30min before drinking (the longer the time, the stronger the flavor).

We love to eat the fruit after it’s been sitting in the water—it gets really plump and delish! Note that if you don’t eat the fruit, the water itself will have virtually zero calories.

Nutrition Facts: Serves: 1, Serving Size: 1; Calories Per Serving: 32; Total Fat: 0g; Protein: 1g; Carbohydrate: 8g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 5g; Sodium: 2mg

 

Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush
 
Nutrition Facts: Serves: 1, Serving Size: 1; Calories Per Serving: 32; Total Fat: 0g; Protein: 1g; Carbohydrate: 8g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 5g; Sodium: 2mg
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¼ c. Blueberries
  • ¼ Cucumber
  • 8 ounces water
Instructions
  1. Slice cucumber thinly. Place cucumber and berries into a water glass and add 8 oz of cold water. Allow the ingredients to sit in the water for 15- 30min before drinking (the longer the time, the stronger the flavor).
  2. We love to eat the fruit after it’s been sitting in the water—it gets really plump and delish! Note that if you don’t eat the fruit, the water itself will have virtually zero calories.