Want to show off a trim waist in the new year? Having a flat stomach can be a great goal to have for your health, but if you’re not going about it in a healthy way, you could be easily wreaking havoc on your waistline. So, should you be doing 100 sit-ups every day before bed? Not exactly. In fact, if you’re only focusing on ab exercises to get a trim waist without trying to eat healthily, you’ll never get the flat belly you want.

a young girl standing in front of a refrigerator: Woman looking in refrigerator late at night

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Woman looking in refrigerator late at night

Dr. Tonya Sweezer, an integrative family physician, does point out that while working out your core is good for toning and ab definition, if you’re not focusing on the nutrition aspect as well, you’ll never get that trim waist.

“Strong core is key for toning but abs are made in the kitchen,” says Dr. Sweezer.

So how exactly does one go about getting a trim waist by eating healthy? Dr. Sweezer gave us a few tips to help you get started.

Table of Contents

How to eat better for a trim waistline

First, Dr. Sweezer says eating late at night won’t do your waistline any good.

“Generally we should refrain from eating 3 to 4 hours prior to bedtime unless there is a medical reason this isn’t possible,” says Dr. Sweezer. One study by BMC Public Health does show an association between eating habits at night time and increased metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Next, it’s important to drink enough water.

“[By] not drinking enough water, this can cause water retention and belly bloat,” says Dr. Sweezer.

Drinking enough water is important for reducing belly bloat, warding off disease, and even giving you energy throughout the day. That’s why it’s important to calculate the amount of water you should be drinking at home.

Eating high-quality foods is also important, or it will cause digestive issues such as constipation and IBS, according to Dr. Sweezer.

“Avoid known ‘problem foods’ (those that are not tolerated well) and make sure to have enough high-quality fiber to ensure bowel regularity,” says Dr. Sweezer.

Overeating can also cause a series of digestive issues. According to Dr. Sweezer, overeating “overloads the digestive system and makes it difficult to process foods, leading to belly bloat.” She recommends keeping portions reasonable.

All-in-all, if you generally have a poor diet, no amount of ab exercises can reverse what you ate.

“A diet high in sugary snacks and unhealthy food has the biggest impact on the waistline,” says Dr. Sweezer. “Focus on healthy foods to take [control of] the waistline.”

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