May 22, 2013

Belly Bulge or No Ab-Fab? 9 Foods here to help.

Whether it's abs of steel we want, or simply a litte less bloating after meals, the flat tummy can be had by all. And food plays a huge role. Here are 9 of my top picks that you wanna get in your gob if you're after a trim taut tummy.

+ Almonds
Little gems of protein, fibre and vitamin E - a powerful antioxidant - with plenty of magnesium, which our body must have in order to produce energy, build and maintain muscle tissue, AND regulate blood sugar; this is what helps prevent cravings that can lead to overeating and weight gain. Soaking them prior to eating them also helps with the digestion of them, which can further make your tummy happy :) All other nuts are also great.

+ Eggs
You won't find a more perfect protein source thanks to their balance of essential amino acids. Personally, and from what I've seen, when people eat eggs for brekkie, they feel less hungry throughout the day (than when breakfast is mainly complex carbohydrates like breads and cereals). The protein and fat in the egg is likely what contributes to the feeling of satiety. And unless you've got an allergy, no bloating seen!

+ Berries
Antioxidants and fibre! The more fibre you eat the fewer calories you absorb from all the other stuff you put in your mouth because fibre traps food particles and shuttles them out of your system before they're fully digested.
+ Leafy Greens
Super super low calorie count is what helps that waistline here. One cup of spinach contains only about 40 calories, while a cup of broccoli has 55 calories and satisfies 20 percent of your day's fibre requirement. Most leafy greens are also a good source of calcium, an essential ingredient for muscle contraction, helping fuel your workouts. However, if your system is struggling with digesting foods, make sure you're cooking your greens.

+ Salmon
Seafood, especially fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, is an excellent source of uber-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote fat burning by making our metabolism more efficient. Ontop of that, salmon (and other seafood) is an excellent source of abs-friendly protein.

+ Oats (unsweetened, unflavored)
Unless you experience gluten sensitivity, oats are a great flat-tummy food. Boosting our energy right up, and helping to maintain our blood sugar levels, so we're not reaching for the unhealthy stuff.

+ Peanut butter
Oh hello. Who else adores peanut butter? In anything and everything, I'll eat it. And what's even better? It builds muscle, and burns fat. What more could we want?

+ Avocado
Rich in monounsaturated fats that will help maintain a trim stomach.

+ Probiotic foods
It's the healthy probiotic bacteria in yogurt, kombucha, kefir and fermented vegetables such as saurekraut that helps keep our digestive system healthy, translating into a lower incidence of gas, bloating, and constipation, which of course keeps your tummy looking flat. Our health starts in our colon so if we ensure plenty of healthy bacteria there, we are ensuring health in the rest of us - this includes a healthy looking tummy.

NOTE: This is not a definitive list. If you are allergic, sensitive or intolerant to any of these foods, it is likely that they are not flat-tummy foods for you. Listen to your body and eat what works best for you. This is only a guide.

And one biggie to avoid...

+ Processed carbohydrates
These increase insulin levels and if we eat too many too often, they can stimulate abdominal fat (ontop of being devoid of any real nutrition). Some examples of these are low-fibre, processed breakfast cereals, white bread, pikelets, crumpets, bagels and scones, white rice and sugary soft drinks. Refined sugars, refined wheat, trans fats, and ANYTHING ELSE YOU'RE BODY DOESN'T LIKE for that matter, all start the stress mechanism which leads to fat storage.


+ Regular exercise is essential to a flat tummy. People who exercise regularly are better fat burners, burning more fat all day long, as opposed to those who don't exercise regularly.

+ Practice good posture; yoga, pilates and the like all teach you to engage your core muscles and help you develop strength. All the sit ups in the world won't faltten your tummy if your deep postural muscles are not activated.

+ Avoid overeating and eat slowly to give your stomach time to send fullness signals to your brain--it could take up to 20 minutes to realize you're satiated. Chewing food thoroughly will also help the digestion of your food, ensuring less troubles later on.

Christie xx

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