What Do You Need to Do Every Night to Have a Flat Stomach?

What Do You Need to Do Every Night to Have a Flat Stomach?

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Sleep may be the secret to getting a slimmer torso.

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Getting a washboard set of abs and a flat, toned torso isn't just about how many crunches you can do in the gym. Your daily lifestyle has a big impact on your efforts to slim down your stomach. While there's no magic stomach-flattening diet pill, there are a few quick health routines you can do every night to help you get lean. However, don't forget to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your exercise or dieting plans.

Swap Out Your Drinks

The alcohol in your evening glass of wine can contribute to belly fat accumulation, while Berkeley's University Health Services warns that the sugars in the soft drinks you may sip with dinner have specifically been linked with an increase in deep belly fat -- also known as visceral fat. Instead, swap out these evening beverages for a no- or low-calorie option, such as water with lemon juice. Or, try a few cups of decaffeinated green tea every night. Certain substances in green tea, such as its catechins, may help you to burn fat, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Turn the Lights Down Low

High levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol has been linked to increased belly fat, partially because this hormone may increase your appetite and might also boost fat retention. Bright lights in your home may throw off your body's natural circadian rhythm and cause a spike in cortisol, so try dimming the lights every night when the sun goes down. A side bonus: you'll save on energy bills.

Add a Fiber-Rich Side Dish to Dinner

If you're trying to decide what to eat for dinner, pick a fiber-rich food every evening and you may eat your way to a flatter tummy. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's researchers found that, over the course of five years, people can reduce their stomach fat by 3.7 percent for every 10 g of soluble fiber they eat per day. With your dinner, add a 1/2 cup of pinto beans or a cup of green peas to easily hit this 10-g fiber goal.

Spike Your Dinner with Vinegar

In a 2009 Japanese study published in, "Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry," researchers found that people who consume 15 or 30 ml. of vinegar every day have less stomach fat and a slimmer waist compared to people who are on identical diets but who don't drink or eat vinegar. That may be because the acetic acid in vinegar helps your liver to better burn fat. Every evening, drink a glass of water mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar. Or, use vinegar as a dressing with your dinner salad.

Get Enough Sleep

The more Zs you catch in bed, the less pounds you may pack on around your waistline, according to a 2010 study in the "Sleep" research journal. In the study, people who slept less than five hours every night experienced a 32 percent gain in belly fat over five years. In contrast, people in the study who slept just a couple hours more experienced just a 13 percent increase in abdominal fat.