Most of us would probably like to have a flat stomach. However, for many people, thinking about it is as far as they get in their dream. Unless you are one of the extremely fortunate few, it will be necessary to actually put some effort into your aim to have a perfect flat stomach.
To attain a flat stomach, a regime of exercise is advisable. However, it won’t matter how many sit ups or stomach crunches you do if you choose to eat the wrong foods. If you eat a high fat diet, even if you manage to get that perfect 6 pack, you won’t even notice it due to the layer of fat that will cover it if you eat too much fat.
And, even if you don’t exercise, or do so just a little, you may not get a six pack, but it is possible to make sure that you have a flat stomach if you eat the right foods. In this article, we look at twelve foods which will not only help your aim of achieving a flat stomach, but will improve your overall health.
Table of Contents
Almonds, and also other nuts, providing that the skin is left intact, are a great source of protein with only a little fat. These will help to build muscle and also stave off hunger, helping you to avoid the craving for snacks between meals. High in many vitamins, especially vitamin E, these nuts are full of healthy monounsaturated fats. There is also a great deal of evidence that almonds help to reduce cholesterol. Nuts are generally best eaten unprocessed and raw, usually as a snack.
Many of us will have eaten a huge quantity of baked beans during our childhood without realising how good they were for us. Unfortunately many of the commercial brands also contain a lot of sugar. For some time, the effort of preparing dried beans has put people off, but now they are widely available in tins, these are great low fat and high protein foods which also provide carbohydrates to give you energy. Despite their reputation for wind, this should not be a problem if correctly cooked. As well as being a great source for low fat protein, they are also very helpful in reducing heart disease and high blood pressure. Some beans such as chick peas can be eaten as a snack, but most are best used in salads or cooked dishes.
Oats make an excellent breakfast, whether as part of a muesli dish or as porridge. This is important as many people skip breakfast and then, as their blood sugar drops, they snack on sugary foods. Oats will give you a satisfying feeling without bloating you and will prevent the mid morning sugar dip. High in fibre, oats will also help to prevent and reduce cholesterol in your body helping you to have a healthy heart. Remember to buy the raw oats and not the processed ones with added sugar as this will add extra calories to your diet and help to prevent you from getting a flat stomach.
4. Olive Oil
It may come as a surprise to see oil included in this list as most of us link oily food to excess weight. However, we all need some fats in our diets but the key is to avoid saturated fat especially, as this will not only block arteries but will stay on your body for a long time. Olive oil is an excellent choice, especially extra virgin olive oil, as it is full of monounsaturated fats that will help to keep down your cholesterol levels. Do bear in mind though, that olive oil will not make you slimmer and care should be taken only to use a little, otherwise you may start to gain weight.
Berries are a great boost to a diet and come in just the right form to eat as a snack rather than sweets. Berries are full of fibre which will help to expel a lot of waste from the body, helping you to keep your figure trim and fit. The anti oxidants in darker coloured berries especially, such as raspberries and blueberries, will also help to keep your body in good condition.
Eggs have sometimes suffered from a bad reputation, but in fact, they contain vitamin B12 which helps the body to metabolise fat, therefore helping to prevent weight gain. Eggs are also a very easy and convenient food to eat when time is at a premium and they contain a great deal less fat than most processed foods that we tend to turn to when time is short.
7. Meats and Fish
Whilst many people who wish to have a flat stomach follow a vegetarian diet, there is room in the diet for both meat and fish. The problems with weight gain tend to come when the wrong meats are chosen, for example, both beef and lamb are very fatty meats. If you do choose to eat meat, lean white meats such as turkey is best as it contains little fat and a great deal of protein which means that the body will burn many calories as it digests it. Better still, however, is to choose fish, especially fishes such as tuna and salmon which contain high levels of Omega 3. These are essential fats which have been shown to reduce abdominal fat which is essential for a flat stomach.
8. Whole Grains
The benefits of fibre are well known and whole grains such as rice or whole wheat pasta are excellent sources. They also provide good quality carbohydrates which will provide you with a steady source of slow burning energy which will help you to avoid snacking during the day.
9. Green Vegetables
Most of us will probably have been told to eat our greens, and whilst we may have thought this a form of torture when we were younger, it turns out that the advice was very sound indeed. Green vegetables are absolutely full of life giving minerals and vitamins, and for seekers of a flat stomach, are full of fibre and contain very few calories. Increasing the amount of vegetables on your plate will help you to feel full without packing on the pounds. One great idea is to prepare an interesting vegetable dish or green salad to eat before your main meal which will help you to reduce the portion sizes on your plate.
It goes without saying that full fat milk is best avoided as it contains a lot of fat and calories. Semi skimmed, or even skimmed, milk is to be preferred. These contain the same amount of calcium as full fat milk which is necessary for strong bones. An additional benefit is that the calcium helps to break down fats in the body and there is growing evidence that it may help to prevent fats from forming in the first place.
The avocado is one of nature’s super foods. It is full of healthy monounsaturated fats and full of fibre. As well as tasting delicious, snacking on avocados will help to stave off those hunger pangs which tend to have us running for sugary foods during the day which will inevitably result in weight gain.
12. Green Tea
Not technically a food, but we all need an adequate intake of liquids during the day, to keep our bodies in good condition. Although in the relatively early stages of research, evidence is pointing strongly to the likelihood of green tea helping to burn off fat. This makes it not only a delicious and refreshing drink, but one which will help you to keep your waistline nice and flat.
The above foods will help you to attain your goal of a flat stomach, especially combined with relevant exercises. Remember though, however hard you work at it, if you feel you deserve a treat such as chocolate, you will need to work extra hard again to burn those added calories off.