The summer is fast approaching, and that means it's time to get ready to rock those bathing suits and summer dresses. If you need some extra confidence, check out these four tips for combating that pesky belly bulge so you're looking and feeling your best all season long. Some of these tips will take just a few weeks to work, while others will slim you instantly!
Swap out bubbly beverages.
Fizzy drinks contain carbon dioxide gas and phosphoric acid which can get trapped in the belly and cause it to puff out, says Anne Louise Gittleman, a certified nutrition specialist. Instead, she suggests infusing flat water with slices of lemon, lime, and cucumber, and sipping it daily for at least two weeks before slipping into a swimsuit. “These diuretic and detoxifying fruits help rid the body of retained fluids and trapped toxins,” she says.
Slim with a castor oil pack.
When absorbed deep into skin, the anti-inflammatory oil eases puffiness, plus its ricinoleic acid helps stimulate lymph flow to nix “false fat,” says dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD. To do: Soak a washcloth in castor oil and place on your belly; cover with plastic wrap. Lie down on your back and place a heating pad on top of the wrap (this boosts circulation) for 30 minutes; rinse. Use twice a week for a flatter belly within a month.
Crank out some bicycle crunches.
The bicycle crunch is an exercise that engages the rectus abdominis and obliques to firm the belly, says Autumn Calabrese, celebrity fitness expert. To do: Lie on your back; then place your hands behind your head and lift your head and shoulders off of the ground. Alternate bending one leg in and touching the knee with the opposite elbow. Do three sets of 15 crunches four times a week for 30 days.
Slip on a button-down dress.
The simple details of a button-down cover-up perfectly camouflage the belly in three ways. Celebrity stylist Samantha Brown says that pockets above the waist direct focus away from rolls, and buttons down the middle pull the eye in and up and down to “stretch” and trim the torso. And finally, a waist-cinching drawstring whittles the middle while skimming easily over the belly. Get the look with this Ailunsnika Loose Short Kimono Cardigan ($20.00, Amazon).
Diagonal ruching on a dress, top, or bathing suit tricks the eye into seeing a longer, slimmer tummy, while a busy print disguises lumps and bumps.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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