Starting a flat stomach diet isn’t all about fitting into tight jeans or looking good in a bikini, it’s also about being healthy. Subcutaneous fat, is the fat we can see that accumulates just under the skin usually in the buttocks, hips, thighs, and abdominal areas. Seeing too much subcutaneous fat is an indication that we also have too much visceral fat. This is the fat that is around our vital organs such as liver, heart, lungs and digestive tract. This fat cushions the organs, but too much of it can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, colon cancer and other health conditions. Research is also finding fat to be linked to bone loss and other bone related problems. This is why getting on a flat stomach diet is important to keep healthy. Getting rid of visceral fat allows us to have better sleep, more energy and better overall health. According to Travis Stork, MD, emergency room doctor and a host of the daytime talk show The Doctors, diet and exercise work better on fat on the belly than on other body fat.
When we talk about a flat stomach diet though, we’re not talking about a specific counting calories, follow this meal plan flat stomach diet. We are talking more about making lifestyle and dietary changes to get rid of fat and keep it off. Diet results will vary for individual people according to genetics, level of activity and other factors, but these lifestyle change tips can help reduce belly fat and leave you healthier overall.
FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #1 – BE A PICKY EATER
Start being picky about the kinds of foods you eat. Avoid processed foods and junk food with their preservatives, sugars, fats and salt. Opt instead for organic whole foods. Then find healthy nutritious foods that you enjoy that will fill you up. Finding what works for you to satisfy hunger without adding extra fat, sugar or salt will help you lose weight without feeling deprived or starved. Also consider the types of foods and how your body processes them. For example, it takes more energy to process protein than it does carbohydrates or fat or eating certain types of foods can increase metabolism or eating raw foods to get more enzymes helps digest the foods you eat. Start giving some thought to what foods you will and will not eat. This may involve making a big change in your diet, but establishing a new way of thinking about eating can be a lifelong change that will have a major effect on your health.
FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #2 – ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidant foods rich in flavonoids seem to be particularly good at improving metabolism and warding off belly fat. These are found most prevalently in fruits and vegetables which are also low in calories and help fill you up making them a good food choice. Pears, apples, onions, leeks, and sweet peppers all fall in the flavonoid category. Tea and dark chocolate are also good sources of flavonoids as long as you don’t go overboard on the chocolate since it does have more calories than veggies. Berries are also a good source of antioxidants and studies have shown they can keep fat cells from increasing in size and help them release a hormone that helps in the reduction of inflammation and lowering blood sugar.
Ubiquinol is an active form of Coenzyme Q10 which works much like antioxidants in keeping our cells healthy. There are very few foods that can supply us with enough so supplementation is important. One supplement that has the ubiquiol to help support cell energy, also has reishi mushrooms which are a complete whole food rich in proteins, enzymes, minerals, and complex polysaccharides and oyster mushrooms that give us fiber, vitamin D, niacin, iron and the antioxidant ergothioneine and has the many added benefits of superfood bluegreen algae loaded with omega-3s.
FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #3 – MUFAS AND PUFAS
MUFAS are monounsaturated fats or monounsaturated fatty acids and PUFAS are polyunsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Both of these are in the “good” fats category as our bodies do need some fat in order to function properly. For example, fat is needed to dissolve certain vitamins that are vital for a healthy body. Research has found that eating MUFAS helps keep blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels stable, reduces the risk of heart disease and helps burn off belly fat. They are also more filling so you don’t have to eat as much as with other foods to satisfy hunger. PUFAS can help release fat, increase metabolism and the body burns them faster than saturated types of fat. Good sources of MUFAS are nuts, olive oil, seeds, and avocados. PUFAS are found in fish and fish oils, bluegreen alage, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of PUFAS and have many benefits for physical and mental health.
FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #4 – TRANSFATS
Transfats or trans fatty acids are considered one of the “bad” fats. This type of fat increases LDL cholesterol levels and lowers HDL cholesterol levels and can increase triglycerides. Some transfat is naturally occurring such as animal fat in meats, but transfat can also be created by taking vegetable oil and adding hydrogen to it. This is done to help give processed foods a longer shelf life and you may find it listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Margarine, cookies, crackers and pasta are some of the foods to watch for this to be listed in ingredients. Transfats can take fat from other parts of the body and move it to the belly section. Even those of us who read labels have to be careful because in the U.S. the label can list 0 grams of transfat if it contains less than 0.5 grams per serving. That may not sound like much, but eat several servings and it adds up. Avoiding foods that have this type of fat will help with your flat stomach diet.
FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #5 – EAT MORE SMALLER MEALS
First eat breakfast. You’ve probably heard this before that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but especially if you are on a flat stomach diet, don’t skip breakfast. Besides eating breakfast, don’t skimp on breakfast. You may be starting your day out with more calories, but it will pay off throughout the day. Eating a good healthy breakfast in the morning helps curb the appetite the rest of the day and starts your day out with a boost for physical and mental energy. Then the rest of the day start making the lifestyle change of going for several smaller meals instead of the typical 3 meals a day mentality. Eating several smaller healthy meals every few hours helps reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, helps keep you away from the junk food, keeps you feeling full thus avoiding hunger pains and keeps you from feeling food deprived so that you don’t go on a binge later.
FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #6 – PROBIOTICS
When working on a flat stomach diet, good digestion is a must. If food doesn’t keep moving through the digestive system it can become stuck which causes belly bulge. Probiotics, such as acidophilus and bifidus, are the friendly bacteria that naturally live in your small and large intestines. These bacteria help your body process and digest the foods you eat and move them through the digestive system. Foods such as yogurt and kefir with live active cultures can help give you some probiotics, but usually not enough. What I like to do is take these convenient daily packets of capsules that give me not only acidophilus and bifidus, but also digestive enzymes and 2 kinds of AFA bluegreen alage. The probiotics and enzymes add to a flat stomach diet by aiding the digestion process and the algae provides a rich source of omega-3 and a lean source of protein. In fact did you know this form of microalgae has 75% usable high quality protein compared to just 18% in red meat?
FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #7 – FIBER
Many research studies have reported that eating foods high in soluble fiber can help get rid of belly fat. This would include adding foods such as oatmeal, flaxseeds, beans – especially black beans, kidney beans and navy beans – vegetables like Brussels sprouts, turnips, sweet potatoes, and asparagus and fruits like apricots, oranges, grapefruit, and mangoes into your diet. If you are not used to eating a lot of these, then you may need to start slow adding them in to avoid gas buildup. Beans and legumes also have the “good” carbohydrates that can help keep burning fat after eating and help you feel full so you eat less. And to add even more to their health benefits, they are a lean protein source.
FLAT STOMACH DIET TIP #8 – SODIUM
Cutting down on sodium and increasing fluids can help in a flat stomach diet by reducing water retention. Read food labels to see how much sodium they contain, stop reaching for the salt shaker, and avoid recipes with excess salt. When you consider that one teaspoon of table salt has 2325 mg. of sodium and Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends between 1500 – 2300 mg. a day, you can see how we easily can end up with too much sodium in our diets. We do need some sodium to help balance body fluids, transmit nerve impulses and help muscles contract and relax, but too much is bad for heart, kidneys, fluid retention and blood pressure. Start experimenting with various herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of the traditional salt and pepper flavoring.
Drinking more water can help increase metabolism, help the liver to convert stored fat into energy and help in burning off fat. Most people need about 2 quarts of water throughout the day. Drinking water is important, but drinking green tea everyday can also help in a flat stomach diet. Green tea has EGCG which is a great antioxidant for increasing metabolism.
There you have it, 8 tips to help you make lifestyle changes that will equal a flat stomach diet for you to develop for yourself. You may already be doing many of these things and you won’t have so many changes to make. If you aren’t, then don’t get overwhelmed and stressed out by these suggestions. Take one or two at a time and start incorporating them. Once you are comfortable with those you can add another suggestion. Any of these tips can help you get a flat stomach diet going for yourself, but more importantly they will help you develop healthy dietary habits for the rest of your life.