We’re all about those quick and simple hacks that work pretty much right away because let’s be honest — we live in a society that expects instant gratification. The truth is, health and fitness results take time, especially when it comes to long-term goals (I know, not exactly what you want to hear). But, we get it — when you’re bloated, experiencing digestive discomfort, or just aren’t feeling like yourself in your skin, you want some fast-acting results. Well, how’s 24 hours or less? That’s right — we have some tips you can implement immediately that may help you A) get a solid night’s sleep and B) wake up with a flatter belly in the morning.
Sound good? Here’s what you need to know.
5 Hacks to Get a Flatter Belly Overnight
#1 Ditch the Sugar
You know that bowl of ice cream that may have become a staple midnight snack? While many of us may be burning the midnight oil trying to squeeze all of our to-do’s in, don’t make mindless midnight snacking a habit. Those sugary snacks may be causing more trouble than you think, and you may wake up with some pretty uncomfortable bloating.
If you find yourself hungry before bed, try snacking on anti-bloating foods instead, like papaya, cucumber, or even a handful of almonds to help keep you full. With the right snack choices at night, you may be more likely to wake up with that flatter belly overnight.
#2 Take a Warm Shower Before Bed
If part of your morning routine includes taking a shower, consider switching things up and adding a warm shower to your evening ritual, 90 minutes or so before bed. Research suggests a warm shower before bed significantly improves overall sleep quality by activating your body’s thermostat and regulating your circadian rhythm. When you do that, you may find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. And with better sleep comes lower cortisol (aka, the stress hormone).
Research has shown that with too little sleep, the body is more likely to produce more cortisol. And, that increased cortisol doesn’t just happen overnight — one study found that sleep deprivation led to higher levels of cortisol later on in the day, too. The problem with this? We want cortisol levels to be tapering off later in the evening as we prepare for bed and enter the parasympathetic state. If cortisol levels remain elevated at night, that means our body stays in fight or flight mode, affecting everything from sleep and digestion, to the repair and rebuild process.
According to research, higher levels of cortisol can also prompt the body to store more fat. The takeaway? Getting enough sleep is a crucial part of not only supporting health but also for supporting weight loss efforts.
So, try this evening shower hack for a flatter belly overnight. Because over time, it may just help improve your sleep habits, which will be a domino effect for lower stress and less belly fat.
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#3 Sip on Ginger or Chamomile Tea
When those late-night cravings start calling your name, ditch the sugary snacks and turn to ginger or chamomile tea. Not only is sipping on a mug of herbal tea a great way to unwind and release stressors from the day, but both of these blends have digestive benefits that support a flat belly.
Ginger Tea: Ginger has been a medicinal digestive aid for thousands of years, thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties that aid digestion, reduce bloating, and soothe digestive upset. Try making a soothing tummy tonic with ginger tea, lemon, and a dash of honey.
Chamomile Tea: Chamomile is rich in antioxidants, flat belly supporting nutrients that aid the detoxification process by helping rid the body of toxic waste and excess water. And, this flowery brew is best known for its stress-busting and sleep-supporting properties, making it a beneficial blend to sip on before bed.
#4 Eat Dinner Earlier
If you don’t usually sit down to eat dinner until 9 PM, it’s time to make some changes. Eating dinner earlier will give your body plenty of time to digest before bed. The last thing you want is to eat a large meal that leaves you feeling bloated before you hit the hay.
And, when you do eat your evening meal, it may be worthwhile to consider the best and worst foods for bloat. Yes, even healthy foods can cause digestive discomfort and have an unfavorable effect on your flat belly goals.
Does a platter full of veggies make your stomach inflate like a balloon? Take it easy on filling your dinner plate with cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts. While they’re rich in nutrients, these veggies are high in FODMAPS, fermentable carbs that for some, can be difficult to digest and could lead to gas and bloating.
Plus, when your body isn’t working overtime digesting your food as you sleep, you can really get some restorative sleep and wake up feeling well-rested. This is key because sleep isn’t just important for helping support better energy levels the next day, how much we sleep can even affect our food cravings the next day and can affect the body’s regulation of our hunger hormones.
The takeaway? Try to eat dinner a few hours before bed and be mindful of the types of foods you’re eating and how they make you feel. You always want to listen to your body!
#5 Add a Probiotic at Night
If you tend to wake up bloated, try taking your daily probiotic supplement at night. For a flatter belly overnight, we have to make sure we are keeping all of those healthy bacteria in our gut happy.
Probiotics can also help promote a healthier balance of gut bacteria. Plus, research suggests probiotics aid energy and glucose metabolism, meaning these small but mighty microbes help reduce systemic inflammation while aiding nutrient absorption and regulating appetite. So, try taking your probiotic at night to see if it helps you wake up with a flatter belly in the AM.
Get Your Beauty Rest & A Flatter Belly (Overnight)
One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to getting that flatter belly overnight we all want is to keep up with healthy eating and lifestyle habits. These are hacks you should aim to make a regular part of your lifestyle. Pair these with a regular exercise routine, a clean eating diet, and a plan to reduce stress. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to a flatter belly that lasts all day long.