Between bloating, puffiness, and excess weight, a flat tummy can seem as mythical as the Abominable Snowman. Belly fat can be hard to shed, but rest assured, attaining a flat stomach is no mythical feat. By eating the right foods, you can tell bloating and belly fat to hit the road! It’s all about filling up on fiber and protein, and flushing out excess sodium to get that waistline feeling trim and slim. We so are excited to share some of our favorite flat belly foods that are anything but bland “diet foods”. These tasty foods can’t be beat when it comes to getting a flat stomach.
Flat Belly Foods
- Yogurt. It contains probiotics, which are good-for-you bacteria that aid in digestion and fight against bloating and constipation. It also contains protein, which keeps you feeling satisfied so that you don’t end up diving into a bag of chips (or other foods that would lead to overstuffing and bloating your belly, as well as cause weight gain) soon after eating it. To get more yogurt into your diet, try this Creamy Oats and Fruit Pudding or this Pomegranate Banana Protein Smoothie.
- Tomatoes. They contain the magical combination of water and potassium, which brings on an instant flat stomach by flushing excess sodium, water and bloat from your body and belly. Plus, they’re fiber-packed (goodbye constipation and the puffiness that comes with it!) and super low in calories, so you can eat a lot of them without gaining weight.
Try these other ways to get a flat belly– and for the rest of the flat belly food list, continue on!
Flatten and depuff your belly by sipping on water infusions throughout the day. Simply bring a reusable water bottle (not plastic, which has chemicals that can leach into your water and put more of a toxic burden on your body that is already stressed- which can cause fat to accumulate around the mid-section) and fill it with lemon or other fruits. The extra flavor will keep you sipping while the combination of water and potassium from the fruit/ herb/ vegetable infusion will help to flush bloating culprits like salt and help restore normal hydration status. When you’re properly hydrated you won’t make the common mistake of confusing thirst for hunger and you won’t overeat (and gain extra weight that comes with noshing!). Plus, the extra fluid in your stomach can help to keep you feeling full. As an added bonus, the phytonutrients from the fruits, herbs and veggies will help to mop up free radicals and prevent them from harming your body. Here are a few infusion recipes:
Vitamin C Infused Detox Water
Cucumber Blueberry Water Flush
Grapefruit Rosemary Detox Infusion
Do this exercise to stimulate peristalsis to help to prevent you from falling prey to constipation; this digestion exercise will make your stomach flatter by helping to flush waste and toxins from the body by encouraging elimination of stool through the intestines. Suck in your stomach as far as you can, then stick it out as far as you can. Meanwhile, breathe in when sucking in, and breathe out when pushing your stomach out. This small exercise helps blood flow to the stomach, aids in digestion, and exercises your abdominal muscles. Plus, when you do things to keep your mind on the healthy track, you’re much less likely to succumb to that candy bar.
Do this at your seat at work or during your commute to get flat abs and boost energy. “Zip up Your Abs”– We rely on this and it truly makes a huge flat-belly difference! Activate your abs by squeezing them in tight and pulling them back against your spine as you exhale. Think of zipping your abs together by using your muscles to contract your abs by pulling in from the center—think about pulling everything in from a vertical line back towards your spine, from your belly button and up to between your breastbone. Think zipping together. Hold for a count of 10 as you continue to exhale. Slowly release and repeat for 10 reps at least three times. Not only will this create good posture, it will also wake up the ab muscles and make it easier to keep your abs in, preventing them from looking bloated. Also, breathing out and pushing air out of the stomach and lungs while pulling the muscles in tight helps to flatten your stomach while boosting your lungs with oxygen to give you more energy. Bonus: When you’re focusing on flat abs and a tight stomach you’re less likely to overeat while you’re on the road.
Want to improve your gut health and your microbiome? Check out an easy hack to boost gut health and get a flat belly.
Or try this 60 second exercise for Flat Abs, More Energy & to Stretch Legs.
- Snack on pistachios! Pistachios are high in fiber and protein (one the nuts that’s the highest in both). Their fiber will help to flush the waste out of your body and flatten the belly. The high protein, high fiber combination helps to keep you feeling full and keep blood sugar levels stable so you’re not diving into the cookie jar an hour later. So they’ll prevent you from getting excess calories. Plus, we call pistachios the skinny nut since you can have 30 of them for just 100 calories whereas most other nuts you only get about 10-12 nuts for the same 100 calories. What’s more, they have potassium to help counteract and flush out any belly bloating due to water retention from consuming too much salt.
- Vegetables. We always tell our clients to load up on them! They’ll fill your stomach with fiber, nutrients and antioxidants but very few calories. Their fiber will help to flush wastes out of your stomach and flatten it while the veggies that are high in potassium (most veggies are high in potassium!) will counterbalance salt and help to prevent bloating. Plus, if you fill up on veggies, you’ll crowd the other calorie-dense foods out of your diet that lead to belly fat. So veggies flatten the belly in many ways! An exception to the veggie rule: Peas, potatoes and corn. These are still good for you, but are higher in calories so you do want to limit the portions. For tons of veggie-licious recipe inspiration, check out our book, The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure!
- Eggs. Eggs not only are high in protein, but they’re one of the most satisfying foods out there. So they’re great for preventing hunger and the subsequent overeating that often accompanies it. Plus, eggs are also a good source of vitamin D. Insufficient levels of vitamin D have been linked to higher levels of belly fat.
- Avocados. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats and research shows that dieters who ate foods containing monounsaturated fats lost more belly fat than those who ate less monounsaturated fat but ate the same calories. Monounsaturated fats stop blood sugar spikes that lead to an accumulation of fat around the midsection. Say hello to avocado with this Honey Drizzled Veggie Avocado Cup.
- Quinoa. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that dieters who ate whole grains lost more belly fat than those who ate refined grains. Not only is quinoa made from the whole grain, but it contains 11 grams of satisfying protein per half cup to prevent crashing and binging. It’s fiber-rich too to help flush wastes and toxins from the colon and flatten the belly. Craving some quinoa? Whip up this Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili!
- Sip on green tea! Not only is it calorie free and packed with disease fighting antioxidants, but the warm drink pacifies and brings on relaxation. Itcan be used as a good strategy to prevent stress (and the belly fat hormones that come as a result of it) and overeating as it fills the stomach and takes the edge off hunger. Plus, anything that hydrates you helps to flatten the belly by flushing out excess salt that may be causing bloat as well as other belly irritants that may be lingering in the colon causing constipation and bloat. We always tell our clients to drink as much green tea as possible; if they can drink about 5 cups (4-6 ounce tea cups) of green tea a day, they can actually boost their metabolism and lose belly fat thanks to the EGCG in the tea. Additionally, the theanine (an amino acid) in the tea promotes a mental calmness, yet alertness that can help people to make wise food choices. And don’t sweat it if green tea isn’t your favorite, by sneaking in this Detoxifying Green Tea Smoothie, all you will taste is sweet, fruity goodness.
Stock up with the foods on this list, and you may just see your tummy tighten up in no time! Pssssssst, to make the most of these 8 flat-belly foods, be sure to use these belly flattening tactics especially if you sit at a desk–or if you have to commute: