A flat stomach is made in the kitchen.
When I was younger, I remember always having a “layer of pudge” around my mid-section, despite exercising sometimes 3 or 4 hours a day! There is a common misconception that you can eat whatever you want as long as you workout, but that is absolutely not the case.
Here are the top flat stomach foods to keep your waist small and tummy flat.
Almonds have been shown to aid in weight loss in numerous studies. They’re the perfect mix of protein and fiber, making for a filling snack that will peel off, not add on, the pounds.
Have a handful or two of almonds as a snack, or use them to top a smoothie bowl, coconut chia seed pudding, or a salad.
High in fiber and antioxidants, studies show apples help positively regulate your gut microbiome, resulting in less inflammation and weight loss.
Eat an organic apple as a snack, or slice and bake with a touch of cinnamon for a warm dessert.
While it’s full of fat, avocado most certainly will not make you fat. The healthy fats in avocado keep you lean and satiated. Plus, since it’s high in potassium, avocado will help you beat bloat or water retention from eating too much salt.
Berries contain powerful antioxidants and copious amounts of fiber. The more fiber you eat, the less calories you absorb from the other foods you put in your mouth. So top your breakfast or salads with 1/2 cup-1 cup of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or raspberries. You can also add them to a smoothie or use as in healthy desserts, like this Very Berry Tart with Coconut Whipped Cream.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are good for just about everything, including keeping your stomach flat. Because they are nutrient and fiber rich yet calorie poor, they do a good job of filling you up without filling you out. The more greens you eat, the less of everything else you eat (which is presumably higher in calories and sugar, and lower in nutrients).
Aim for at least 3-4 cups a day, either cooked or raw. Try kale, spinach, arugula, broccoli, collards, chard, or watercress.
A high quality dark chocolate (one that contains at least 85% cocoa, is free of dairy, and is sweetened with coconut sugar or another gentler sweetener), can indeed be a part of your flat belly plan. Dark chocolate is high in magnesium, which relaxes the digestive tract muscles, prompting you to hit the loo. Besides for getting rid of any “food babies,” multiple studies have shown dark chocolate can help reduce belly fat, with at least one suggesting results in as little as one week.
Eggs are a great source of protein that is typically easily digested by most, without bloating. Up the belly blasting power by making a dark leafy green omelet.
Flaxseed offers tummy taming properties on many levels. First, it’s a good source of the metabolism boosting omega-3 fatty acids. Secondly it’s an excellent source of fiber (a whopping 8g per 3 tablespoons), which aids in keeping the pipes clean, if you catch my drift. The fiber is also responsible for kicking cravings, keeping you satiated, and fat loss. Lastly, it’s a good source of protein (6g per 3 tablespoons) which aids in satiety and will help repair and tone ab muscles after a workout.
Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of fresh ground flaxseed over salads or oatmeal, or blend the seeds into your morning smoothie.
A list for flat belly foods could not be complete without green tea, even though it’s technically a drink, not a food. Green tea aids in metabolism and stress reduction, both of which help whittle your waist.
Sip on fresh brewed organic green tea, or eat it in a matcha smoothie bowl.
Wild Salmon is a good source of omega-3s, essential fats that may help promote fat burning by making your metabolism more efficient. It’s also a good source of protein.
Foods to Avoid
While these foods all aid in blasting belly fat, getting a flat stomach is as much about what you don’t eat, as it is what you do eat. The single worst offender for creating muffin top is sugar and other insulin spiking foods, such as refined carbohydrates, including pizza, pasta, bread, crackers, and the like. So add in these 10 belly-fat blasting foods, but be mindful of reducing or eliminating the foods that contribute to the bulge in the first place!
Want to Make Healthy Eating a Habit?
Know what to eat, but having a problem sticking to it? Think you eat healthy, yet still having trouble losing weight? OR, totally overwhelmed and not sure where to start when it comes to healthy eating?
Whether you want to lose weight naturally or simply eat healthier, check out the 10-week interactive online course, EatSLIM. The next class starts January 2018.
Maria Marlowe is a holistic nutrition and wellness coach who uses real food to help her clients improve their health, weight, and skin. She offers a healthy eating meal plan that teaches you how to batch cook, as well as one to clear up acne. She has ongoing group workshops both in NYC and online, and writes healthy and delicious plant-based recipes for her popular blog. She is also the author of the #1 New Release on Amazon, The Real Food Grocery Guide, the most practical guide to selecting the healthiest foods, without going broke, which has been praised by Dr. Oz and InStyle magazines. You can find her on instagram @mariamarlowe.