Here are some dos and do-nots for those who crave for a flat belly:
- Eat five times a day. Your body needs food every three to four hours, so instead of eating three large meals, try to get in five smaller ones (breakfast-snack-lunch-snack- dinner). By staying full and energised, you’ll avoid hunger pangs, maintain an even energy flow, make healthier food choices (no bingeing or craving) and enjoy the most efficient burning of calories.
- Watch your portion size.
- Tackle problems and don’t rely on food as a comfort.
- Monitor your food intake and physical activity.
- Get in six to seven hours sleep.
- Opt for a sensible amount of high-quality healthy carbs. Fill up on fruits and vegetables as part of your healthy high fibre diet.
- Avoid high-carb/empty-calorie foods like fast food, cakes, cookies and candy. These are high in simple carbs and sodium, cause bloating and weight gain and are low in fibre and nutrients.
- Make sure you eat enough calories, from complex healthy carbs, lean protein and healthy fats.
- Focus on eating a balanced healthy diet. For best results, eat at least three to five, 4-ounce servings of veggies (15–25 grams of carbs); two to four, 4-ounce servings of fruit (30–60 grams of carbs) and about 1 cup (8 ounces cooked or 2 ounces dry, or 2 slices of bread) of whole grains per meal (90 grams per day).
- Drink at least eight ounces of water a day. Beverages with little or no calories, caffeine or sodium, including herbal tea are best. Avoid regular carbonated drinks or soups with lots of sodium.
Avoid carbonated drinks
- Fizzy drinks, including soda pop and spritzers, increase bloating because the carbon dioxide trapped in the bubbles creates gas, which slows down stomach emptying.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- These are both natural diuretics that increase fluid loss and don’t replace your body fluids as effectively as water, juice and caffeine- and alcohol-free beverages. They increase dehydration. Alcohol and caffeine can also flatten abs.
Eliminate sodium in diet
- Choose fresh, natural food over fast and packaged foods.
- Research shows that stress triggers the hormone cortisol to increase the appetite and deposits fat around the organs in your abdomen.
- High fibre food requires more chewing and takes longer to eat. This makes one feel more satisfied with a high fibre meal.