Eat Your Way To A Flat Tummy With These Top 11 Foods
If getting a flat belly is on your mind, you’ll be surprised to find out just how easy it is just by consuming certain whole foods! With the holidays a couple days behind us, our belly and energy levels can reminds us of how much we either indulged on holiday treats, or stayed true to our goals. And, if you went ALL out this season, that is OKAY! Although most people do experience some weight gain this time of year, it’s mostly water weight, rather than fat – which we are usually led to think.
So before we dive into the foods that you should eat for a flat stomach, let’s get a few things straight. There are a couple factors that contribute to belly size and general appearance. The 3 major things are:
- Water retention
- How much food is in your stomach, intestines, and colon
- Overall body fat
General rule of thumb: Assessing the state of your belly should be done by addressing those three things in that order.
Water weight and the amount of food processing through your digestive tract act like illusions, deceiving us into thinking we’re much further off from our goal than we really are. But even though they can change our appearance so dramatically, their effects can be alleviated in as little as a day or two. So the next time your distended belly has you questioning your will-power, you’ll remember you are just seeing water weight and full intestines.
Now, the KEY to getting that flat stomach you want is a combination of fat loss and digestion! Both of these can be achieved through proper nutrition and consistent exercise. The foods that contain the most nutrient bio availability and digest the best, will ultimately have the best effect on your appearance.
Our favorite foods are listed below. Exercise will greatly aid in both fat loss and digestion. The exercise you do should consist of cardio and total body weight training, as the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Focusing on nutrition first, followed by cardio, and then some abdominal exercises will create the flat abs you desire!
Choose these top foods and eat them abundantly for enhanced fat loss, digestion, and a flat belly you can be proud of!
- Berries– High in antioxidants, water, and fiber, berries contain the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your cravings with less calories than packaged sweets.
- Spinach– Spinach contains many vitamins and minerals that benefit your body in so many ways, including burning fat and keeping hormones balanced. Also, spinach is high in flavonoids that help keep toxins out of the colon.
- Celery– Although celery may be thought of as a ‘boring diet food’, it’s actually quite a nutrient dense powerhouse! Celery is high in potassium and phosphorous which help to balance electrolytes, prevent bloating and alleviate water retention. You will get full quick, and the high in fiber/ water content will actually clean you out, if you know what we mean. It’s been said that celery is an ancient remedy for constipation!
- Apples– High in fiber and low in calories, an apple a day will keep your belly at bay!
- Bananas– Bananas regulate water and electrolytes so can have a flat and lots of flavor! You can also add bananas to shakes or make ‘nice cream’ for a healthy way to indulge your taste buds!
- Legumes– Although the soluble fiber in beans are said to cause gas and bloating, when eaten regularly, they normally lose that affect. Also, people have said that a major cause of gas is from the water in canned beans, so rinse your beans in a strainer under cold water until the bubbly stuff is gone! Remember, beans are high in protein and fiber which will regulate hunger and keep your digestion moving.
- Broccoli–Similar to legumes, broccoli can sometimes get a bad rap. Broccoli is full of fiber that ‘scrubs’ the digestion tract, while it’s high volume and density provide you with fullness. Broccoli and other forms of cruciferous vegetables, contain raffinose, a gas producing sugar. But you’ll have to figure out whether they cause you gas or bloating, as everyone’s body tolerates raffinose differently. Typically, the more regularly you have a certain food, the better your body will adjust. Additionally, the intake of broccoli tends to be quite comfortable for individuals with healthy digestive tracts!
- Tofu– Tofu is high in protein and low in fat. It absorbs the flavors you add to it, making it completely satisfying and satiated when paired with vegetables or eaten alone.
- Dark chocolate or cacao– Dark chocolate can lend itself to achieving a flat stomach in many ways. Obviously a little chunk will satisfy a sweet tooth perfectly, but it also can give you a little dose of energy to boost your metabolism.
- Oat bran– Although oat bran is technically part of a ‘whole’ grain, it has exceptional benefits for weight loss and health. Oat bran is the outer layer of the oat grain and has 50% more fiber than the same amount of oats. It also contains more protein, antioxidants, calcium, iron, thiamin, phosphorous, riboflavin, magnesium, and zinc! The most effective part of weight loss and a flat tummy come from oat brans ability to eliminate waste in the intestines by becoming a gel like substance called, bolus. Bolus carries extra calories from the digestive tract into the stool. Meanwhile sugars are absorbed slowly keeping your blood sugar levels stable! To make this process more effective, is to reduce or eliminate other grains in your diet, or replace them with oat bran.
- Grapefruit – In addition to being high in immune boosting vitamin C, having a grapefruit a day is effective for keeping weight stable and digestion healthy. Grapefruit is high in water and fiber, two key components to regular movements. It also has a glycemic index of 25, which means it keeps blood sugar normal and insulin stable. Studies have shown that individuals who had just ½ a grapefruit a day for 12 weeks lost more total weight than individuals who did not.
With these foods in mind, you may want to slowly add them in rather than all at once. Unless you already eat a high fiber diet or are a plant based eater, loading up on fiber rich foods can initially make you feel full, bloated, and sometimes gassy. Your body needs some time to re-regulate its digestive system and catch up to its optimal speed. And when you follow a nutrition plan in highly digestible foods such as these, your system will get a much needed kick start!
Seeing a flat stomach really depends on factors like your current body state, activity level, how much food you eat in one sitting, and quality of food you eat. Making sure the majority of food you eat in one day is nutrient dense, reasonably portioned, and flavorful are integral in achieving proper digestion and being able to maintain the results you get! It’s also important to know how certain foods make you feel after eating them. I.e. are you full of energy? Can you use the bathroom regularly? When what you eat is working in your favor, you’ll have so many indications that it is!
By making the foods above some of your most commonly eaten ingredients, we’re confident that you’ll notice a difference in a few weeks! Remember, drink lots of water and stay active to achieve optimum results.
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