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Quick solutions to trim your tummy

November 3, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Nobody wants a muffin top. That's the term many women use when they're talking about the fat that sits on their stomach. Well of course diet and exercise are the first line of defense, but if you need to get in shape fast, we've got the quick solutions to trim your tummy.A lot of it has to do with air. When you drink carbonated beverages, sip through a straw, even chew gum, you take in extra air that ends up in your belly.

Vegetables are wonderful low calorie foods. Yet broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts cause temporary gas that can bloat you up big time -- although a couple of Beano tablets can break down the problem.

Other helpers are chamomile, peppermint and fennel teas, along with probiotic foods that have been shown to help tame an irritable bloated stomach.

Besides food, movement plays an important role in the appearance of your mid section.

"One thing that you can start doing right away is Pilates," said fitness expert Jill Brown from the Sports Club LA.

Brown says there's no equipment needed. Just grab a mat or lie on carpet to try a reverse crunch in order to train the deepest level of your abdominal tissue; as standard crunching might not be effective.

"If you're doing crunches all day long, 1,000 crunches a day or what have you, you're only working the six pack. But that's not actually going to shrink the width of your belly or flatten your tummy," said Brown.

An inexpensive stability ball ads back support along with the ability to make basic crunches harder. Beginners start with the ball on the upper back to assists movement. As you get better, position the body so the ball is lower, making it harder to crunch.

Finally, one of the easiest things to do is straighten up. Slumpers with rounded shoulders, often have a protruding pouch. Brown says if the upper body is lifted tall with the shoulders pulled back it will help the core stay aligned. Also, tell yourself to pull your belly button in towards your spine, for a taller, thinner appearance.


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