Having a well-balanced diet is a vital part in getting rid of any fat around your stomach, and introducing new food groups into your everyday life is simpler than you think. Here are five key foods that you should include in your flat belly diet.
Introducing more whole grains into your diet is an effective way of dropping those unwanted pounds. Whole grains are a fantastic low-fat source of slow-release energy, keeping you going throughout the day. And, thanks to their high levels of fibre, your digestive system will become healthier and more regulated. Whole grains also have the added benefit of stopping fat from being stored around the stomach, by lowering the insulin and cortisol (the stress hormone) within your body.
Wheat is often the primary whole grain in the diet of many people – however, this tends not to be the best choice. Due to it being difficult to digest, wheat can cause you to feel bloated, which is common in processed flours. To stick to a flat stomach diet, opt for grains that are still in their natural form, such as oats, spelt, brown rice and buckwheat. Try quinoa as a substitute too – although it's a seed, you can use it as a nutritious replacement for grains.
Water or other still drinks
One of the major elements that could be hampering your efforts in achieving that flat belly could be a lack of water in your diet. When you don’t have enough fluids in your body, it can make you feel bloated and often worsen the problem. Drinking plenty of water can help leave your stomach looking flatter by curbing your hunger, flushing any toxins through your body, improving your digestive system and getting rid of any fluid retention.
So you can enjoy the above benefits, it's important to take in at least eight glasses per day. Opt for drinks that are low in calories and still. It doesn't just have to be water you drink either – green tea is a great option and is said to have fat burning qualities. Avoid any fizzy drinks during your flat stomach diet plan, as these may make you feel bloated.
Berries could be your secret weapon in achieving your flat belly goals. Research has found that going for red or blue coloured fruit (think cherries, blueberries, blackberries and red grapes) can help you lose that unwanted belly fat. The chemicals which give the fruit their brightly-coloured appearance can also burn stomach fat and help you get the abdominal area you’re after.
Full of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), flax seeds are the perfect seed to introduce into your flat stomach diet. The MUFAs found in flax seeds will help to bring down your body fat and lower your cholesterol levels – something that the saturated fats found in junk foods do not do. Liz Vaccariello, author of The Flat Belly Diet, is an advocate for introducing more of these healthy fats into our diets and especially those looking to shed weight around their abdomen.
Flax seeds are not only a must for anyone looking to get a flat belly, but they are also ideal for anyone who suffers from frequent bloating. With high levels of fibre, the seeds will keep your digestive system in good health and help reduce and remove any bloated feelings. They are easy to bring into your daily routine – a tablespoon of ground flax seeds will go perfectly with your lunchtime salad, mixed into a flat stomach smoothie or sprinkled over your morning cereal.
Low in both fat and calories, yoghurt could be the ideal food to add to your flat stomach diet. It can help improve your digestive health, and combat against any potential bloating and excessive gas through the probiotics it contains – these active cultures stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your stomach. One of the major advantages is how easy yoghurt is to fit into your diet, whether it's just a quick snack or as part of one of your main meals. Add some yoghurt into a flat belly smoothie, try it with your morning cereal, or perhaps mix some natural yoghurt with flax seeds or berries.
A study undertaken at the University of Tennessee revealed that participants who ate 18 ounces of yoghurt per day (as well as reducing their overall calorie intake) lost, on average, 81 per cent more belly fat compared to those who opted to diet without eating yoghurt. It's also a great source for minerals and vitamins too, with zinc, iodine, potassium and vitamin B5 all active within yoghurt.