Life Hacks: 5 Flat Belly Secrets Revealed!

Okay guys, summer is in full force, the weather is hot, and dipping in a pool or the beach is almost inevitable. Time to bust out the bathing suit! Ladies, don’t leave that bikini hanging on your door handle another season—it’s time to kick that belly fat and feel comfortable in the skin you’re in. 

Since our tummies carry so much of our stress, inflammation, and irritation, belly fat—unlike most other problem areas in our bodies—is trickier to firm up. However, through our years of training ourselves and others, Chris and I have found 5 ways to shed that stubborn belly fat and tone up those abs, and we got to share our secrets to a slimmer, more toned belly on The Dr. Oz Show last week. As we explained during the segment, these are not quick fixes. These are life hacks, if you will, to be done at least 3x a week, if not daily, to kick that tricky tummy weight.

Here are some simple things you can do every single day to lose that stubborn belly fat once and for all:

The 10 Gulp Rule: If you’ve been following along for a while, I’m certain you’ve heard us preach the necessity of consuming enough water. Drinking half your body weight in ounces every day is necessary for becoming and staying hydrated, so how the heck are you supposed to guzzle down that much water in one day?! By following the 10 gulp rule, of course! Taking a sip here and there won’t cut it when it comes to hydrating, so instead, make a promise to yourself that every single time you put water to your lips you’ll take 10 small gulps before setting it back down. This is one of the simplest ways to ensure your body gets the water it needs to fight fat and stay hydrated!

Some of my favorite water bottles to keep you cute and hydrated:

Muscle Up Oats: I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage…Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is! But it’s what we put IN our breakfast that’s really important. A few years ago, Chris developed what he considers the holy grail of breakfasts: Plain oats, mixed with a raw egg, then cooked. Sounds simple, right? But it’s packed full of so many belly fat fighting essentials that it’s basically a slim down superfood. Combining oats with an egg makes it full of fiber and protein, and cooking the oats with the egg almost doubles the  size of the meal, making it high volume without being high fat. This meal will keep you fuller longer while providing the protein and nutrients your body needs.

Diuretic Salad: Sounds yummy, right? 😉 This bad boy may not have the most appetizing name, but its fat fighting properties make it extremely appealing. As Americans, we sadly consume way too much sodium—double, sometimes triple, the recommended amount—without even realizing it. It’s sneaks into your favorite foods, and before you know it, your belly is bloated with lots of unneeded water weight. A bowl full of some simple greens is a quick way to fight off that bloat, and a combination of dandelion stems and fennel acts as a natural diuretic, helping your body to rid itself of that extra bloat. Add baby arugula, Belgian, endive, carrot, celery, and a light lemon vinaigrette for a quick, easy, natural way to slim down that tummy after a sodium overdose. 

De-stress: I know—this is easier said than done. Look, we’re not expecting you to indulge in weekly massages or even take the time for daily meditation. What we are proposing is a few seconds a day to de-stress from the daily grind, and here’s how to do it: Stand up, tense and tighten every muscle in your body for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat 3 times. Feel better? Thought so! This is actually a tried and true method used by even the most seasoned athletes before big games or events, and it’s a fast fix for calming down and releasing negative energies. 

Vacuum with a twist: I’m not talking vacuuming up your carpet, although I’m sure if using a vacuum cleaner could ensure me rockin’ abs, I would have the cleanest house on the block! 😉 I’m talking about my trusty ol’ method for building strong abdominal muscles, and I’ve preached this method dozens of times because it just plain works. It’s truly the ONLY ab exercise I ever do. To complete this exercise, simply inhale, completely filling your lungs, then exhale all of your air slowly. Then draw in your abdominal muscles and begin to twist left to right. For a beginner, I recommend doing 10 reps 3x a day. As your muscles become stronger, try doing 20 reps 5x a day for maximum ab strengthening!

With so many quick fix methods, pills promising flatter abs, and belly fat busters on the market, it’s hard to know which end is up! These 5 methods are our tried and true, time-tested secrets for burning that belly fat for good. Try them out and let me know what you think!



PS: In case you missed our flat belly secrets segment on Dr. Oz, you can view the full segment here.

Related reading:

C-Section Solutions: How to Eliminate the Pooch and Reduce the “Tummy Shelf”
Fabulous Abs in Just 5 Minutes
#MomLife: 11 Life Hacks for Getting Fit
Diastasis Recti: Closing the Gap
Ask Heidi: Do Waist Trainers Actually Work?


  1. Flavia - April 19, 2018

    Should i keep breath during the twist reps???

    • Team Powell - April 19, 2018

      Hi Flavia: Yes, you’ll want to hold your breath during each twist rep. 🙂

  2. Kell - April 13, 2018

    Pick me for the bands!!!

  3. Alejandra - April 12, 2018

    Since I saw the twisters I’ve been doing it (two months now) I just love them. Are very easy/hard to do and really workout the abdominal area as Heidi said. I’m so grateful that Heidi have shared this amazing hack with all of us ❤️ @alehdez00

  4. Samantha - December 29, 2017

    Hello! I am currently on week 4 of my program and I have yet to lose any weight…am I doing something wrong? I’ve been following the meal plan and working out at least 5 times a week but I feel very bloated and sluggish right now. What can I do?

    • Team Powell - January 1, 2018

      Hi Samantha: Have you been doing your weekly progress updates? Those are really important so the app can adjust as needed. If you ever receive a prompt asking if you’d like to adjust your program for faster results, please accept this prompt. And here’s a post that might help too: And please be patient with yourself…these lifelong changes can take some time – you got this!

  5. Stephanie - August 31, 2017

    Hi Heidi,
    Long time fan and love your advice. I’m a mom of 2, a three year old and a brand new one ( 3 weeks)!! . Exercise and nutrition are a HUGE part of my life and we share a common background for poor nutrition and exercise habits. I have carb cycled before and had great success. Its time to get my pre-baby body back, but do you recommend carb-cycling when nursing?

    • Team Powell - August 31, 2017

      Hi Stephanie: Congratulations on your new baby! 🙂 You can carb cycle while nursing, but you’ll need to make some adjustments. Here’s a post that outlines Heidi’s pregnancy/nursing nutrition program, and I hope it can help: We wish you all the best!

  6. Tracy - August 26, 2017

    I am vegan. What do you suggest as a good replacement for the egg for the muscle up oats?

    • Team Powell - August 28, 2017

      Hi Tracy: That’s a tough one since the egg white adds protein to the muscle up oats. Do you have a favorite vegan protein powder? This could work. 🙂

  7. Micky - August 23, 2017

    First of all I want to tell you that I got your book extreme transformation and I really think that it’s fantastic. You are right that we never keep Our promises. Last year I was there for EVERYBODY but not for me and gained 30 kilograms! Now I promised that I’ll take care of me!!! Unfortunately here in Sicily I can’t find all the food you write in your book but I use the chart and get creative by myself.
    I have one question how much water should I drink? I actually weigh 133,3 kilograms. I drink 3,4 liters.
    I’m in my second week and lost 3,7 kilograms the first week. Thanks for your answer

    • Team Powell - August 24, 2017

      Hi Micky: You’ll aim to drink 4.3 liters a day, and we love that you’re loving the book! You can totally do this! 🙂

  8. Tracey - August 22, 2017

    I have just purchased Extreme Transformation and am about to start week 2. I am a little confused about the protein portion sizes. I convert the amounts to metric (1oz=28gms) as I am in Australia. It seems I am hardly getting any protein in my meals, maybe 2-3tlbs after cooked and chopped. I have looked at some of the photos of the recipes and I am certainly not eating meat portions as shown. Am I doing something wrong?

    • Team Powell - August 22, 2017

      Hi Tracey: There’s a “Create Your Own Meals” chart in this post that can be very helpful when putting your meals together: It outlines how many calories of each macro to include in each meal. Hope it helps! 🙂

    • Micky - August 23, 2017

      Hi Tracey I’m doing week 2, too. I live in Europe and here we don’t use ounces neither. I had the same problem so I looked up the calorie chart which tells us proteins for 150 or 100 calories. I got myself a calorie app. So I look everything up for now. How was your first week? Mine was great!!!! I walk quickly 1 hour and do the exercises. But they are very difficult for me. But I try my best. I feel great! I lost 3,7 kilograms in the first week. I love the idea with the promise. I hope I could help you a little bit.

  9. Tina - August 18, 2017

    About the water intake. Well I am from Germany, so my weight is 45kg. How much water do I need to drink in ml or litre? I find it hard to get information about what a gallon is🤔

    • Team Powell - August 18, 2017

      Hi Tina: 1 gallon = 3.7 liters, and 45kg = 99 pounds. You’ll drink at least 1.3 liters/day up to 3.7 liters/day. Hope that helps!

  10. Teri Zinser - August 15, 2017

    Hello! Saw this on Dr. Oz but so glad you posted it as well-thank you! Just wondering why you have to exhale and hold your breath while doing the twists?

  11. YARERY - August 12, 2017

    I’m 5’7 290 lbs where or which plans do I start ? How do I get stated ! I have a 2 yr old enough is enough

    • Team Powell - August 14, 2017

      Hi Yarery: Here’s a post that outlines talks about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program: I’d choose whichever cycle will be easiest to follow, and you can change cycles at any time! 🙂

  12. Jaime - August 10, 2017

    Do you have any help for people with auto immune problems like Hashimotos ? I’ve been stuck at the same aweful weight for years now and I’m so tired of being like this and cannot loose anything. I have looked in to diets like AIP but they’re not low budget friendly & it makes it hard to stay on. So tired of this battle & chronic pain 🙁

    • Team Powell - August 11, 2017

      Hi Jaime: I’m so sorry that you’re having to deal with this issue. It’s best to discuss any nutrition and exercise program with your healthcare team and have them help you make any necessary modifications for your health issues. They are the best ones to help you since they know your health history and can work with you personally. You might want to discuss Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program with them, and you can learn more about their program here: And you might also want to check out Chris and Heidi’s new app, which offers you a totally customized nutrition and exercise program: You can do this! 🙂

  13. Sylvia - August 10, 2017

    For the oats you put the raw egg in and mix it with the oats?

    • Team Powell - August 11, 2017

      Hi Sylvia: You’ll want to add the egg whites and then cook them in the oats for a bit. There are lots of recipes on the web so you can find the one you’ll like best! 🙂

  14. Jess B - August 10, 2017

    Just wondering for the oats if there is only egg whites added or the full egg?

  15. Amber - August 10, 2017

    What would be something to replace oats if you are eating gluten free? That’s the problem I run into most with meal planning and eating what is suggested. Thanks

  16. Shelly Seiler - August 9, 2017

    Heidi… what are your thoughts on intermittent fasting?


    • Team Powell - August 10, 2017

      Hi Shelly: Great question! Chris and Heidi really don’t include intermittent fasting in their carb cycling program that’s in both their books and their app. I hope that helps! 🙂

  17. Ashley Cassiday - August 9, 2017

    When doing the ab exercise when is the right time to take a breath?

  18. Cheri - August 9, 2017

    How do you cook the oats with egg? I need full directions please.

    • Karen - August 9, 2017

      This is how I make it.
      Scramble the raw egg with a fork, mix in 1/2 cup dry oats and then add water. Cook in microwave on high for 1 minute then mix and continue to cook for 1 to 1.5 more minutes or until desired consistency.
      Then I add a little honey and unsweetened coconut milk. It’s delicious!!

  19. Vanessa H. - August 9, 2017

    For the Muscle up Oats, how much oats and how much water do you add into the mixture with the egg?

    For the Diuretic Salad is is just “Add baby arugula, Belgian, endive, carrot, celery, and a light lemon vinaigrette” can you add tuna?

    Thanks for the tips 🙂


    • Team Powell - August 10, 2017

      Hi Vanessa: There are several recipes on the web for protein oats, and different people like different amounts of egg whites. And you’ll want to be careful about adding tuna to the salad since tuna does contain sodium and the purpose of the salad is to help get rid of extra sodium. Hope that helps!

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