women

We all have them, we all hate them - but you don’t have to let a fat day get you down.

So, you’re having one of those mornings where every outfit you try on looks wrong, your belly feels like a balloon and you’re dreading going out to face the world. We’ve all been there - it’s a full-on fat day.

You’re probably blaming the pizza you gorged on last night or that extra glass of vino with your Sunday roast. In reality, it’s less to do with food and more to do with your head: research from the University College London suggests that feeling fat or thin is an illusion created in your posterior parietal coretex - a part of the brain that integrates sensory information.

You’re probably blaming the pizza you gorged on last night or that extra glass of vino with your Sunday roast.

You’re probably blaming the pizza you gorged on last night or that extra glass of vino with your Sunday roast.

So if feeling frumpy, bloated and a little more ‘insulated’ than usual is simply a nasty little mind game, can you think yourself back to feeling slim? You Betcha. Here’s our expert guide to turning a fat day into a fit day.

Push the bloat out

A fat day might be imagined, but bloating is real. If you’re feeling puffy, it’s probably thanks to Aunt Flo or a dinner high in salt, but luckily, it’s only temporary. To minimize the damage, guzzle plenty of water. ‘You should drink a minimum of 1.2 liters a day, as dehydration causes water retention and constipation,’ explains nutritionist Helen Money (helenmoneynutrition.com).

‘You should drink a minimum of 1.2 liters a day, as dehydration causes water retention and constipation,’ explains nutritionist Helen Money

‘You should drink a minimum of 1.2 liters a day, as dehydration causes water retention and constipation,’ explains nutritionist Helen Money

Tucking into probiotic foods that contain ‘good bacteria’, such as live yoghurt, and green leafy veg, whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds will all help tone down your tummy. Go slow, too. ‘Eating quickly can lead to bloating,’ adds senior personal trainer Oisin Devitt (oisindevittpersonaltraining.co.uk).

One exercise that’s great for relieving bloating is yoga’s child pose. ‘Kneel on the floor, sitting on your heels,’ says personal trainer Joslyn Thompson (fitgirlabouttown.com). ‘Inhale and raise your arms. As you exhale, lower your arms to the floor lean forward and place your head on the floor.’

Get your sweat on

Fat days can knock your confidence, but you’re only 20 minutes away from a better mood, says Joslyn. ‘Go for a brisk walk or bike ride and let the happy endorphins kick in,’ she says. ‘Or find a group exercise class to get a healthy dose of team spirit.’

‘Or find a group exercise class to get a healthy dose of team spirit.’

‘Or find a group exercise class to get a healthy dose of team spirit.’

Oisin agrees that exercise is a great way to combat a fat day -just make sure your session is short and sweaty ‘Sweating is a good way to detoxify and, considering much of sweat is sodium (along with other electrolytes it’ll help to de-bloat you,’ he says IF a quick cardio or weights session sounds too much like hard work, turn up the heat in a Bikram yoga class instead.

Dress for success

There’s nothing wrong with a little wardrobe trickery on a fat day. ‘Wear darker  colors on areas you’d rather not accentuate and lighter  colors on your best assets,’ suggests fashion stylist Angie Smith (angiesmith.co.uk). ‘Avoid high-shine fabrics and bright colors, opting for darker tones, tailored shapes and light layers.’ High-waisted jeans are great, too. ‘They’ll pull you in, eliminate a muffin top, and make your legs look longer,’ says Angie. And if all else fails, squeeze yourself into some Spanx!

Don’t stop the music

For an instant pick-me-up, bust out your best ‘Gangnam Style’ moves! ‘Music is the best mood enhancer, as it gets the feel-good hormones flowing,’ says life coach Louise Presley-Turner (thegameoflife.co.uk). Turn up the volume on your favorite tunes and dance like no one’s watching.

 ‘Music is the best mood enhancer, as it gets the feel-good hormones flowing,’ says life coach Louise Presley-Turner

‘Music is the best mood enhancer, as it gets the feel-good hormones flowing,’ says life coach Louise Presley-Turner

Focus on the bigger picture

If you’re having a fat day, it’s a great opportunity to look past your body image to see who you are, rather than what you look like. ‘You are a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, a girlfriend, a friend,’ says performance development coach Charlotte Austin-Talbot (charlotteaustin.co.uk). ‘You are a million things besides just a body. Look past your perceived flaws and you’ll quickly realize that you’re far more than a wobbly tummy!’

Try some exercises to get the self-love flowing. Write a list of your greatest strengths, some recent compliments and things you’re really good at. ‘Keep this list as a reminder of why you’re so great, and look at it whenever you’re feeling down,’ Charlotte says.

See the real you

Visualization is a powerful tool that can block your brain’s attempt at ‘fat day’ mode. Use this technique to combat negative thoughts when you’re feeling less than amazing, says Louise. ‘Close your eyes and visualize a special occasion when you felt super-sexy,’ she says. Perhaps it was a first date, your wedding day or a birthday party. The trick is to remember what you were wearing, how you were holding yourself and how you were feeling about it, and then bring back those sensations. ‘Recall how amazing you looked and felt,’ she says. ‘Now imagine stepping into that gorgeous version of yourself.’

Go with it

If you can’t shake it, embrace it. We all have days when we look in the mirror and despair, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. ‘Put your joggers on, watch a film and have some cake,’ says Louise. ‘Tomorrow is a new day.’

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