1 July 2014

Health | Fifteen Foods to a Flatter Stomach

Ladies (and gentlemen), I'm about to crush your hopes and dreams but here goes...

100 crunches a day aren't going to give you a flat stomach. (Sorrrryy!)

However, combining a good exercise routine and a cleverly balanced diet will! Yay! (feeling those hopes creep back a little?)

I've had a good hunt and below are 15 easy to use (and easy to find!) foods that you can easily (catching onto the theme here?) incorporate into your shopping lists and diets to trim those tummies just in time for bikini season...

Over the next few weeks I'll be popping up recipes and meals that include these ingredients so keep popping back for inspiration!

I love chilli, dry or fresh, and add it to everything. Its a great way to boost your metabolism, which helps you burn fat faster. A single chilli pepper also contains a full day’s supply of beta carotene which, for all you beauty fanatics out there, is great for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Total bonus!

Tasty, full of antioxidants AND they help you lose weight - tomatoes are one of my favourite foods and you can use them in everything! They have been found to reduce inflammation and water retention, as well as reversing leptin resistance (Leptin is a protein which helps regulate our metabolic rate and appetite). 

Celery is a great source of fibre, which means it can help move food through your digestive tract (World’s Healthiest Foods) or in other words, helps make you more... regular. Grab a few celery sticks and peanut butter for a tasty-healthy snack that will leave you full and satisfied.

Bananas really are the multi-taskers of the fruit world - eating a banana is not just a great way to provide your body with skin-healing zinc, brain-powering slow release energy and filling fibre, but can also help you to relieve water retention thanks to the high levels of potassium they contain!

(As well as strawberries and raspberries) are bursting with fibre, which keeps you feeling full longer (and more regular, again!). Plus they are packed with vitamin C, which is good for your immune system as well as your skin.

Adding cinnamon to morning porridge, smoothies and pancakes not only helps regulate soaring blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin but, there is also evidence that it helps make fat cells more responsive to insulin. This means they are less likely to hold onto excess energy and are more likely to burn existing fat stores instead!

Brown Rice
Brown rice is rice in its natural state - that means it has more fibre, vitamins, minerals and less carbohydrates.
This results in a low glycemic index and will give you a steady release of energy, keeping that rumbling tummy in check for longer!

Is full of of healthy fats that burn fat while providing your body with energy! It also lowers colesterol and is easy to incorporate into smoothies, salads or have on mashed onto toast with chillies!

Quinoa (Keen - wah)
The best things come in small packages right? This saying is so true of Quinoa. It is a complete grain, combining protein (11g per 1/2 cup), fibre, B vitamins and complex carbohydrates all in one! Quinoa will boost your metabolism and burn belly fat faster!

Natural Yoghurt
The probiotics in yogurt help reduce swelling and inflammation, and improve digestion. Stick with an unsweetened, low-fat Greek-style yogurt, which offers more protein and fewer refined carbs.

Is a great source of lean protein, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These help bump up your metabolism and get your body burning fat faster and more efficiently.

Melons are high in water (92%!) and low in acid, they trick your body into releasing some of the fluid it stores when you're dehydrated, helping to reduce the puffiness you can experience from water retention.

Almonds packed full of vitamin E (great for skin) and protein, their high fibre content also stops you feeling hungry. In 2007, researchers at Purdue University also reported that – despite the fact they are relatively high in calories – almonds themselves do not contribute to belly fat (score!). Swap your usual mid-morning snack for these and see if it makes a difference!

Leafy Greens
Kale is extremely low in calories, full of fibre and offer several vital vitamins and minerals that help to ease water retention without causing the bloating and discomfort that some other vegetables might do. #supervegetable?

Beans (Kidney, Lentil ect.)
Each bean is packed with nutrients, including protein and fibre, while remaining low in calories and full of slow-release energy. This means you’ll feel fuller, while the high protein content will help firm up your muscles and keep you toned!

Which foods are your favourites? I love Avocado and Blueberries!