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Lose the pooch! Try the flat belly diet

Losing actual flab takes a little time, but if you want to lose that belly pooch quickly — that’s pretty easy, and with a few small adjustments you’ll feel flatter and look slimmer in a matter of days. Eating healthy foods and drinks that will help flush out excess fluid, reduce water retention, and relieve gas can de-bloat your belly. Here are key foods to eat and foods to avoid.Shrink your
/ Source: Prevention

Losing actual flab takes a little time, but if you want to lose that belly pooch quickly — that’s pretty easy, and with a few small adjustments you’ll feel flatter and look slimmer in a matter of days. Eating healthy foods and drinks that will help flush out excess fluid, reduce water retention, and relieve gas can de-bloat your belly. Here are key foods to eat and foods to avoid.

Shrink your belly with MUFAs

What are MUFAs? Monounsaturated fatty acids, plant-based fats found in some of the world's most delicious foods. Studies show that these good-for-you fats enhance heart health and protect against chronic disease. And now the latest research shows that these dietary superstars may even target fat where it's hardest to lose — in your belly! 

Oils

Pick your MUFA: Canola oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, peanut oil, pesto sauce, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil and walnut oil

Use them like this:

  • Stir-fry with sesame, peanut, or canola oil

  • Pan-fry in walnut or olive oil

  • Add walnut, sesame, or olive oil to marinades

  • Cook with safflower, soybean, or sunflower oil

  • Use flaxseed oil in salad dressings (flaxseed oil cannot be heated and used for cooking)

Nuts and seeds

Pick your MUFA: Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew butter, natural peanut butter, dry-roasted cashews, dry-roasted peanuts, dry-roasted sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sunflower seed butter, tahini (sesame seed paste), walnuts

Use them like this:

  • Eat as a snack

  • Sprinkle on a salad

  • Spread nut butters on crackers, bread or fruit

A serving equals: 2 tablespoons

Avocado

Pick your MUFA: Florida avocado, Hass avocado

Use them like this:

  • Slice and serve with a salad or any entrée

  • Mash with lime juice, salt, and pepper and serve with chips

  • Chop and fold into store-bought salsa

A serving equals: 1/4 cup

If you want to reduce belly bloat and start flattening your stomach instantly, avoid these foods. 

The salt shaker, salt-based seasonings and highly processed foods

Water is attracted to sodium, so when you take in higher than usual amounts of sodium, you’ll temporarily retain more fluid — which contributes to a sluggish feeling, a puffy appearance, and extra water weight.

Bulky raw foods

A half-cup serving of cooked carrots delivers the same nutrition as one cup raw, but it takes up less room in your GI tract. Eat only cooked vegetables, smaller portions of unsweetened dried fruit, and canned fruits in natural juice. This will allow you to meet your nutrient needs without expanding your GI tract with extra volume.

Chewing gum

You probably don’t realize this, but when you chew gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your GI tract and causes pressure, bloating, and belly expansion.

Excerpted from “Flat Belly Diet!” by Liz Vaccariello. Copyright (c) 2008. Reprinted with permission from Rodale Books.