Q. What’s the greatest belly-busting motivator?
a) A form-fitting dress or slimming jeans.
b) A personal food diary or app.
c) Fashion magazines.
d) A personal trainer.
Motivators that give you a sense of control over your weight tend to be the most effective.
a) Dressing in a way that flatters your figure and is comfortable while fitting well (so nothing too tight, rather opting for body-skimming clothes in firm fabrics) helps you make better food choices than if you wear a flowing dress or elasticised pants. This is because loose clothing lets you eat anything without noticing how full you feel.
b) Keeping a food diary where you log everything you eat has also been proven to encourage sensible, belly-reducing eating. A personal trainer can be a great motivator, but monitor your own progress and don’t be afraid to ask to increase the pace or vary the program to what you find works best for you.
Q. Which two contribute most to a bloated belly?
a) Cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.
b) Gobbling your food.
c) Beans, lentils and chickpeas.
d) Fatty or fried foods.
b) Eating too quickly (are you always first to put down your fork?) is guaranteed to cause your stomach to balloon. It means you don’t chew properly, preventing essential digestive enzymes from starting the breakdown of foods in your mouth. You’re also likely to swallow more air and eat more than you need because you won’t notice when you’ve had enough, which all adds up to bloat.
d) Meals dominated by fatty or fried foods take longer to digest, so they sit in your belly for longer than other foods, causing you to feel overfull. Eating cruciferous vegetables or pulses can cause gassy bloating (in the gut, they’re broken down into fructose which is poorly absorbed by some people), but frequently eating small amounts of them has less of an effect. And they’re worth it because they greatly add to your nutrition and the variety in your diet.