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Couple with flat stomachs

Which supplements should you take for a flat stomach?

A firm, toned tummy is achievable! Discover the best supplements to take to regain a flat stomach.

Achieving a flat stomach: what causes abdominal fat to accumulate?

Accumulation of excess fat in the abdominal area is often the result of a combination of factors such as age, genetics and lifestyle. It usually occurs against a backdrop of a high-fat, high-sugar diet, excessive alcohol consumption, or increasing inactivity (1-2).

It’s true to say, however, that men are naturally more predisposed to it. This is because of the difference between the sexes in the distribution of adipose tissue: in men, it is concentrated mainly around the stomach (pot-belly, love handles ...) while in women, it tends to lodge around the hips and pelvis (saddlebags) (3). This tendency sometimes changes after the menopause when the fall in estrogen levels upsets the balance of female hormones, promoting an increase in abdominal fat (4). It’s important to note that a distended stomach is not necessarily a sign of excess visceral fat (the kind that surrounds the digestive organs and poses a long-term health risk) but could simply be due to recurrent bloating, or even pregnancy (5). Expectant mothers can often experience digestive discomfort caused by intra-abdominal pressure from the uterine organs.

3 ‘fat-burning’ tips for achieving a flat stomach

  • Adopt good eating habits. Excess fatty acids, especially saturated ones, are stored as triglycerides in fat cells (adipocytes) and contribute to the development of fat mass (6). Watch your intake of sugars too, as they are converted into fats when liver and muscle glycogen stores are saturated (7). Focus instead on eating whole fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and pulses (in modest amounts) without eschewing healthy fats (olive or rapeseed oil …)
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol. As well as being toxic for the liver, alcohol mobilises all the body’s metabolic processes to break it down, at the expense of sugars and fats which then accumulate more readily in adipose tissue (8).
  • Be more active. Cardio exercise (cross-training, swimming, running…) triggers fat-burning which refines body shape, while also increasing glycogen reserves (9). Alongside cardio, exercises for the core will also strengthen your internal abdominal ‘belt’.

Supplements for a slimmer tum (and body in general)

Red chilli pepper activates thermogenesis

Certain foods have proved their worth when it comes to regaining a trimmer figure in general. One such example is red chilli pepper (Capsicum annuum), the capsaicin content of which aids weight loss. Capsaicin is thought to both intensify the thermogenesis process (production of heat by the body) and thus increase calorie expenditure, and have a satiogenic effect (10). In cutting-edge supplements, it is combined for maximum impact with other ingredients that have recognized slimming benefits (in Metadrine, for example, red chilli pepper is paired with Garcinia cambogia which supports weight control and fat metabolism) (11).

A slimming supplement revered by Ayurveda

An ancient remedy from Ayurvedic medicine, Indian coleus (Coleus forskholii) also supports weight control and fat metabolism. Its most potent active ingredient, forskolin, is thought to interact with adenylate cyclase, a key enzyme in lipolysis, the process in which fats are broken down (which is why the supplement Coleus Forskholii is standardized to 10% forskolin) (12).

Other effective supplements for achieving a flat stomach

Konjac supplements and food bolus viscosity

Available in the form of noodles in supermarket slimming aisles, konjac has found its way into many weight-loss diets. It is almost calorie-free (3 kcal/100 g) and contains a form of soluble fibre called glucomannan which can absorb up to 100 times its weight in water, making the food bolus more viscous and prolonging the feeling of fullness (13). However, as the blandness and monotony of konjac noodles can become unappetising, consuming it in the form of capsules is an easier option over the longer term (Weight Loss Formula combines konjac with green coffee and Commiphora mukul which promotes weight loss) (14).

A plant studied for its potential slimming benefits

With remarkable antioxidant properties, liquorice plays a role in maintaining gastrointestinal health due to its unique combination of glycyrrhizic acid and flavonoids (glabidrin, liquiritoside, isoliquiritoside…)

More recently, scientists have been working to clarify its promising role in reducing visceral fat (Viscerox liquorice root extract is standardized to 30% polyphenols and 3% glabidrin for optimal effects) (15).

The fat-burning seaweed that helps you regain a flat stomach

Another fat-burner worth knowing about is knotted wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum). This North Atlantic brown algae supports weight loss by inhibiting two digestive enzymes, alpha-amylase and lipase, which are responsible for breaking down sugars and fats, respectively (16-17).

This results in decreased absorption of dietary carbohydrates and fats, making them more likely to be eliminated rather than stored as abdominal fat (Fat & Carb Blocker contains a premium extract of Ascophyllum nodosum with a controlled iodine content, produced with the utmost respect for the environment).

Is there such a thing as a ‘slimming probiotic’?

There’s now an increasingly clear link between excess weight and the gut microbiota. An intake of lactic acid bacteria in the form of probiotics thus represents a promising approach to ‘correcting’ certain deficiencies.

Supporting the balance of the gut microbiota, Lactobacillus gasseri is thought to act on various fronts. Several studies have measured its effects on subjects’ waist size as well as on bloating, abdominal discomfort and intestinal transit problems caused by poor digestion (the probiotic Lactobacillus Gasseri comes in the form of gastro-resistant capsules that withstand the acidity of the stomach) (18-19).

SUPERSMART ADVICE

References

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