How to get flat stomach today
• What you should eat for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner to beat bloat in just 24 hours (and the foods to avoid at all costs).
• Lovissa Nilsson and Shauna Willkinson have devised two eating plans • One-day protein-packed diet requires a strong will and dedication
• If attempting a juice fast, opt for liquidised vegetables rather than fruit • Make sure you cut out salt, root vegetables and even chewing gum
TRYING to beat the bloat in a day? Eat five times, drink six to eight glasses of water, and chew each mouthful of food until it almost turns to liquid, nutritionists advise.
You should also avoid chewing gum, steer clear of beans, roots vegetables and pulses, and cut down on salt.
Remember to incorporate foods such as kale, egg whites and yogurt, all which speed up metabolism, to your diet.
Lovisa Nilsson in-house nutritionist at Lifesum told FEMAIL: ‘In general, foods that are rich in fibre and proteins can speed up your metabolism naturally, such as egg whites, milk, yogurt, kale and grapefruit.’
But it is as much about what you avoid as it is about what you eat.
Shauna Wilkinson from Nutricentre told FEMAIL: “To reduce bloating the main foods to avoid are sugar, wheat, caffeine and alcohol as these are the ones most likely to cause bloating and weight gain.
“By cutting these out, drinking more water and eating more lean proteins you’ll also help balance your blood sugar levels, which means you’ll have a steady amount of energy to help stop those cravings for unhealthy, fattening foods like crisps, sweets and chocolate.”
And it is important to pace yourself when eating; rush and you may end up consuming more calories.
Shauna explained: “Chew each mouthful until the food is almost liquid; not only will this help to ensure that the food is properly digested, but it will also help you to eat slowly and enjoy your food, so can prevent you over eating.”
It will also help you feel lighter, more focused and more energetic too.’
If you’re pressed for time and need to get in shape very quickly, Lovisa’s one-day healthy eating plan (below) will go some way to helping shed the bloat.
She said: “Never skip breakfast; you want to keep your energy levels up until lunch, so it is important to fuel up on good protein.”
FOODS TO SPEED UP METABOLISM
Egg whites: Branched chain amino acid kick-starts your metabolism.
Milk and yogurt: Calcium encourages your body to burn fat
Kale: Zero calories and high levels of fibre.
Grapefruit: A glass of juice a day can help you burn body fat, increase metabolism and reduce appetit
Simple carbohydrates burn quickly and make you feel lethargic and tired when your sugar level dips after consuming.
Eggs, smoked chicken slices, almonds or cottage cheese are great options for this.
Lovisa said: :”A study showed that people who ate eggs in the morning felt less hungry throughout the day than when eating carbohydrates like bagels.”
Whole grain such as oatmeal is a great way to kick off your day. It contains fibre, a healthy plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals that have several health benefits such as helping with the digestion.
She continued: “You should try to consume 25 to 35 grams of fibre per day. Add some dark berries such as blueberries to your porridge, as they contain powerful antioxidants and loaded with fibre.”
Natural almond butter is a great alternative to commercially sold peanut butter because it is not processed and has no added salt, sugars and fats.
Eat: One slice of wholegrain toast with nut butter or porridge with berries and almond butter or two hard boiled eggs and a cup of berries.
Drink: Start the day with water and add juice from a lemon. It will make you feel invigorated and it contains antiseptic and cleansing powers. If you start your day off with lemon in your water you are stepping off on the right foot with your digestion.
Tip: Drink green tea in the morning as the caffeine in green tea can boost your metabolism for up to two hours and help to keep your stomach flat. Research has suggested that drinking two to four cups of green or oolong tea may push the body to burn 17 per cent more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short time.
TIPS FOR A FLATTER STOMACH
Eat five times a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and mid-morning and afternoon snacks.
Have herbal teas and plenty of water. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day, sipping slowly, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to heighten the cleansing effects. If you normally drink a lot of tea and coffee and are worried about going ‘cold turkey’ then have just one to cups a day, but really dilute to lessen the caffeine.
Got a sweet tooth and worried about getting cravings when you cut it out? Eating regular healthy meals, with a steady intake of protein, should help reduce sugar cravings by keeping your blood sugar levels balanced. But if you need extra help try taking a supplement of the mineral chromium, it will help boost blood sugar level balancing. Take two 200mcg tablets a day, one 30 mins before a mid-morning snack and one 30 mins before a mid-afternoon snack
Eat your celery. Celery is an excellent diuretic, due to its high potassium content, so it can help with water retention. Add celery chunks to salad, look for a good recipe for celery soup, or use celery as one of the ingredients in a vegetable juice
Limit gassy foods. Foods like beans, pulses and root vegetables are notorious for causing bloating and wind.
Always chew food well and take your time when eating. Chew each mouthful until the food is almost liquid; not only will this help to ensure that the food is properly digested, but it will also help you to eat slowly and enjoy your food, so can prevent you over eating.
Avoid all fizzy drinks, even diet ones. Fizzy bubbles in carbonated diet drinks can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach and can cause bloating. Instead, drink water flavored with lemon, lime, or cucumber or try peppermint tea or a herbal tea like Pukka Detox, £2.09, with detoxing aniseed, fennel and licorice.
Don’t chew chewing gum. It can lead to swallowing air, which can cause bloating. It can also stimulate your digest enzymes to expect food which can then stimulate hunger.
Watch your salt intake. Never add extra salt to your food as it increases the amount of water that the body retains and can therefore make you look more bloated and heavier.
Avoid sweeteners. Many people suffer from bloating because they consume too much sugar alcohol in artificially sweetened foods and drinks, and so it is important to avoid these sweeteners.
Tips from NutriCentre nutritionist Shauna Wilkinson
Unsalted nuts, such as almonds and cashews, contain healthy fat, and act as superstores for nutrients, packed with protein, fibre, and iron.
Lovisa explained: “According to research in the journal, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, monounsaturated fats that is found in nuts keep inflammation low, lead to a healthy heart but can also help to keep belly fat at bay, and aid in keeping your stomach flat.”
Vegetables are also low in fat, and for example celery helps to reduce toxins and water in your body.
She continued: “By eating small meals often you can make sure you keep your blood sugar levels steady and your metabolism going. It is recommended to eat filling, fibre and protein rich snacks such as fruit, nuts and natural yoghurt.”
It is important you have a healthy and substantial lunch though that will take you through to the afternoon.
Your salad should be based on dark leafy greens such as spinach or kale, which is a good source of calcium and very low in calories.
You should also add a complex carbohydrate source such as brown rice or quinoa, which is rich in fibre and vitamin B that helps to burn calories.
Lovisa said: “Make sure to get a healthy fat and protein source such as salmon or egg, and half the plate of colourful vegetables peppers, asparagus, tomatoes and avocado.
“Tomatoes are great fat-fighting foods as they reduce inflammation and water retention in the body and help to regulate metabolism.’
Lemon and olive oil vinegar can help to reduce hunger and the chemical found in olive oil can help to breakdown fats. While sunflower seeds are full of dietary fibres that will keep you full for longer.
Eat: Kale or spinach leaves with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, avocado, hard boiled egg, sunflower seeds and lemon and vinegar dressing.
Drink: After your meal drink organic peppermint or lemongrass tea, which both are great for improve the digestion.
Natural yogurt has good probiotic bacteria that helps with the digestive system and you will feel less bloated, which can keep your stomach looking flat. Sprinkle cinnamon or ginger, which will increase the metabolism and helps with digestion.
Cucumber, just like watermelon, reduces water retention and bloating in the body.
For dinner you should opt for lean protein like salmon. It is also rich in omega 3-fatty-acids. Sauteed spinach is a good source of calcium and is low in calories. And certain foods, including garlic, green tea, chilli peppers, soy foods, grapefruit and ginger, are believed to increase your metabolism and create a healthy gut, which in turn helps to achieve a flatter tummy. A healthy salad or vegetable mix including fennel is detoxing and has great dietary fibres that aid digestion.
Eat: Grilled salmon with spinach sauteed in olive oil and garlic.
• Anucyia Victor for MailOnline
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