Getting a flat stomach is all about losing belly fat and toning abdominal muscles through exercise. While virtually any exercise focusing on working the abdominal muscles is efficient and can create a beautiful muscle tone, without diet, that muscle tone won’t show. Just as important, not all healthy foods will give you a flat stomach, despite being otherwise good for you. While some high protein and high fiber foods can get you a flat belly fast, refined cereals, legumes, salty dairy, some raw fruit, sugary carbonated beverages will only get you a belly.
No matter where you’re at when you decide you want a flat stomach and actively start working to get it, know that it will require time. If you’re an average person, no diet or exercise routine will give you a flat stomach as fast as a week or 10 days. Getting rid of belly fat takes time and effort and requires you to make conscious decisions towards your goal every single day. Even a relatively small belly or just a lower abdominal bulge require constant effort from your part. One food or one week of intense exercising is not enough to get results.
The more belly fat or overall extra weight you have, the more time and effort will be required from your part. At the same time, the more encouraging it will be because you will start seeing results faster than someone looking only to get rid of a small, flabby pouch. But even if you don’t see results, don’t lose faith because eating right and exercising produces real changes into your body even though they may not be visible when you’d expect. This being said, here is what to eat to get a flat stomach:
1) Chicken meat. Chicken meat is low in calories and can help you lose weight fast. It’s also a great source of protein which helps build muscle. More muscle means you burn more fat faster. Eating chicken more often than any other type of meat can help you achieve your goal of getting a flat stomach.
2) Occasionally lean beef and fish. Once or twice a week you can enjoy a serving of lean beef or fish like salmon, tuna or cod. Beef is an excellent source of protein, while fish provides essential fatty acids. Both protein and healthy fats eaten in moderate amounts help you lose weight and belly fat fast.
3) Small amounts of dairy for protein. Dairy is a good alternative to meat because it provides you with protein for building muscle and losing fat. Some dairy you can eat as much of as you wish (plain yogurt), while others need to be consumed in moderation because they also contain unhealthy fats and salt which are good in small amounts, but bad for you if you eat too much (like Parmesan cheese).
4) Eggs for a flat stomach. Eggs are a source of complete protein, meaning they contain all essential amino acids our body cannot synthesize, but can’t live without either. And it is this quality protein together with small amounts of fat and cholesterol that can help you achieve a flat stomach. Two boiled eggs in the morning have never given anyone belly fat, but actually maintain a flat stomach.
5) Whole grain cereals in the morning for good transit. One of the reasons you have a belly, not necessarily belly fat, is because you are constipated and might not even know it. Eating whole grain cereals in the morning regulates transit time and sends you to the bathroom regularly, which can flatten your stomach considerably. Some of the best morning cereals are oats, whole wheat or corn which you can eat with a small serving of walnuts, almonds, dried fruits, honey or yogurt.
6) Nuts and seeds with a fruit as a snack. The best snack for a flat stomach is made of nuts or seeds and a fruit. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc. and a fruit like a banana or some figs. Not only is a snack like this extremely nutritious, but it also has fiber to regulate transit, prevent constipation belly and minerals like potassium to prevent water retention or magnesium for your muscles. Best to avoid having fruits or nuts and seeds as dessert after a meal.
7) Green leafy vegetables. Some of the best foods for a flat stomach are green leafy vegetables. Spinach in particular is great because of the type of fiber it contains which doesn’t cause bloating, but regulates transit perfectly and helps get rid of belly fat and constipation belly. Other good leafy greens include arugula, lettuce, parsley, purslane, dandelion greens, patience dock etc. Other vegetables that don’t usually bloat and help reduce fat include celery (watch out for allergic reactions), carrots, radishes, turnip etc.
8) Foods rich in potassium and magnesium. Foods rich in potassium and magnesium can help you get a flat stomach because they combat water retention. Water retention is caused by an imbalance in electrolytes, usually too much sodium, and can lead to a distended stomach appearance, or a belly. By getting enough potassium and magnesium and, ideally, reducing salt intake, you can flatten your stomach considerably. For those that don’t have much belly fat, but do have a belly, the two nutrients can get them a flat stomach fast. Magnesium provides more muscle control and good muscle tone, helping burn fat.
9) Watery foods for a flat stomach. Watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, radishes and other watery foods are great options if you want a flat belly. Foods with a high water content are nutritious but low in calories which allows you to nourish and hydrate yourself and have plenty of energy while eating a lot less calories. And we all know that the secret to successful weight loss is eating less calories than you need, 500 to 1,000 less calories more exactly. Watery foods are also good foods to eat during a heatwave.
10) Best fruits for a flat stomach. Bananas, figs, watermelon, honeydew melon, peaches, apricots, sour cherries, cherries are some of the best foods to eat for a flat stomach. But if you have a very sensitive stomach and fiber causes bloating and gives you a belly, you can eat them boiled or steamed or peel their skin to reduce fiber intake (by its very nature, fiber creates air in the stomach and this can give you a belly appearance).
What not to eat for a flat stomach
1) Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas (they cause bloating and distend the stomach).
2) Broccoli, cabbage and other related vegetables (they cause air and bloating).
3) For some people, potatoes, peppers, pineapple and fruits with skin cause bloating.
4) Raw fruits: if you have a more sensitive stomach, even apples can cause bloating.
5) Anything you don’t cook yourself at home (it has more salt and fats than you think).
6) Refined cereals (they don’t have much nutrients or fiber, but are rich in calories).
7) Sweets, candy, sodas, baked goods, pastry, chips, fried foods, anything processed.
Other great rules and secrets for getting a flat stomach include:
1) Eat small meals often by using smaller plates and reducing portions.
2) Eat more protein than carbohydrates, even if more protein means more fat into your diet.
You will still lose weight and belly fat.
3) Cook you own food at home. No eating out, no take-out food, no fast food or half-cooked meals.
4) Don’t go hungry. Make sure you eat whenever you feel hungry.
5) Try to stick to an eating plan (main meals and snacks at roughly the same hours).
6) Don’t keep unhealthy foods in the house so there is no temptation to eat them.
7) Satisfy cravings with healthy options such as dried fruits or dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa) instead of candy or pastry, nuts and seeds instead of chips (choose raw, unsalted options), honey to sweeten tea etc.
8) Always eat at the table. Eating in bed or while watching television creates bad habits.
9) Season food with herbs to make it tastier and get you to appreciate real food.
10) Add as little oil or as little salt as possible to your food.
And remember, half your food doesn’t need any salt.
11) Use extravirgin olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and honey as salad dressings.
12) You can drink green tea and coffee for improved metabolism and constipation, but remember they have side effects (read more about coffee side effects).
Getting a flat stomach starts with losing weight, especially belly fat. This can be achieved by eating less calories and learning which foods are good for a flat stomach and which foods give you a belly. Constipation, bloating and water retention also create the appearance of a belly, so regulating transit, avoiding foods that bloat and getting enough potassium and magnesium into your diet can also help flatten your stomach. Eating less carbohydrates and more protein helps you lose more weight faster, builds more muscle that further increases the burning of fat deposits and gives you a beautiful muscle tone following exercise to better show off your flat stomach.