It’s that time of the year again when being fit seems to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. After a few months of paying a little less attention, suddenly we all become obsessed with how flat our abs are again. It’s only natural that as the weather gets hotter and less clothes are necessary we start thinking more about what we look like, but the truth is that we should really be thinking this way year round. Not only for the physical reasons but more for the health benefits. Staying active and exercising definitely plays a part in what your abs look like but a large part of our core (or lack thereof) comes from what we eat and there are certain foods out there that you can include in your diet to help promote flat abs. Here are 8 of those best foods:
Set yourself up for success from the beginning of your day by having eggs for breakfast. They are a great flat ab food because they are really filling on their own, before you even add anything. Not only will this help you not overeat throughout your day, but a good breakfast in the morning helps set your brain right and prevents you from making bad food choices out of desperation, tiredness, or laziness. Eggs are a terrific source of protein (3.5 grams per egg!) and not just any protein at that, but they are a good source of lean protein which — I’m sure you see where this is going — helps keep your stomach lean.
We hear it all the time: be sure to eat your greens. I know it’s old hat and a tired phrase, but like most cliches and common sayings, it’s repeated for a reason — because it’s true. Leafy greens are an important part of a healthy diet. Similarly to eggs, there isn’t a specific thing in them that helps de-bloat your stomach, it is more about the overall benefits you get when you eat them. Greens are very filling, pretty low in calories, yet high in good nutrients. This means that when you choose to eat them over potato chips or a sugar cereal, you are not only going to be fuller longer but you’ll have ingested less calories that you would if you chose the less-healthy option. A true magic food.
Yogurt is good for you in general but it’s especially great for your stomach. It helps to keep your digestive system working properly which in turns keeps your stomach looking and feeling flat. The important part of eating yogurt is to make sure you are choosing the right yogurt. There are many different types, flavors, and kinds out there. Some of them are an empty calorie sugar bombs masquerading as a healthy snack. If your goal is flat abs and healthy choices, stay away from yogurts that have a separate portion of the container for a “mix-in” aka candy. I would also avoid any of those “light” yogurts because while they might seem like the healthier choice due to the low calorie count, they often have a higher sugar or artificial sweetener content to make up for the fat that the manufacturers took out of them to reduce those calories.
It may not seem this way but berries have a lot of fiber, an important nutrient for keeping your body working as it should and for helping to keep you full. It’s not just the berries themselves that keep you full but it’s more about what they do inside your body, which is letting it know for a while after you ate that you are satisfied and you don’t need anymore fuel. They are a healthy food that will fill you help and simultaneously help to force out food that your body doesn’t need to use, which keeps your stomach flat. They are also a great source of antioxidants which, while not directly related to slim abs, is good for your overall health.
An apple a day helps keep the bloat away? Yup! It does. Similarly to their fruit friend berries, apples’ biggest source of flat-ab-providing-power comes from fiber. A medium sized apple has 4 grams of fiber in it which, like I mentioned earlier, helps keep you full. Additionally, apples contain a lot of water which also helps to do the same thing. They are great to snack on with some nut butter mid-afternoon when a lot of us tend to feel a crash coming on. Not only will the carbs help to prevent that crash but the nut butter will balance them out and keep your blood sugar from doing anything wonky.
Salmon is not only great for attaining flat abs, it’s one of the best foods for you to eat period. It’s a great source of lean protein, meaning it’s not only providing a nutrient that your body needs to run properly but it’s doing so in a healthy way. This is in opposition to a fatty piece of red meat which also contains a lot of protein, but not the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids that salmon gives you. Not only that, but it’s a very filling (are you sensing a theme with all the foods here?) fish that doesn’t feel heavy in your stomach, which is a bonus because who likes feeling weighed down all the time?
Broth and Soups
Have you heard that fitness-minded people tend to drink a lot of water and are sticklers for making sure that they are properly hydrated? It’s a for good reason. Being hydrated helps to keep you from snacking (sometimes our brains confuse thirst for hunger) and helps all your body processes and organs stay moving correctly. It might seem counter-intuitive because often water is linked to bloating, but that’s not the case. Bone broth is going through a moment of popularity right now for it’s health benefits, but in truth many different soups and broths are great for a flat stomach. They help with the hydration and as long as they aren’t cream based, normally contain foods that are good for you like vegetables or grains.
What do you eat when you’re looking to flatten your abs?
Featured image is from Peter Belch.