With bikini season approaching, many of us are shelving our beloved snacks and reaching for the celery sticks. But you shouldn’t have to torture yourself for that flatter belly. Here are seven delicious foods to help you battle the belly bulge.
1. Air-popped popcorn
For a flat summer belly, you should make foods high in fiber your new best friend. Experts recommend between 25 and 35 grams every day. High-fiber foods like air-popped popcorn will help you flatten that belly by regulating bowel movement. When it comes to the popcorn, avoid added calories by checking the label – make sure it’s light on the butter and low in sodium (if fiber is your best friend, consider sodium your worst enemy).
2. Dark chocolate
To help satisfy your sweet craving, reach for a piece of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in monounsaturated fats (the “good fats”), which are shown to reduce your belly fat and banish the bloat! Not only is dark chocolate a wonderful source of monounsaturated fat, it’s high in antioxidants, which can protect you from chronic diseases and help you get better results out of your workouts. Don’t go overboard on this one — you shouldn’t be eating more than a quarter cup of dark chocolate per day.
Lay off the pancakes and French toast for breakfast, and go with oatmeal instead, another high-fiber food. As an added bonus, oatmeal keeps you feeling full for longer, so you won’t feel (as) tempted to munch on unhealthy snacks during the day.
4. Raw almonds
Try throwing some raw almonds on that oatmeal, or munch on them during the day for a healthy snack. Raw almonds (not the salted ones, and especially not the candied ones) can help reduce cravings and build muscle, thereby trimming down that tummy.
5. Probiotic yogurt
Probiotic bacteria has been shown to improve intestinal mobility, thereby relieving constipation, and banishing unwanted bloat. Yogurt is a wonderful dietary source of these probiotics.
6. Fruits (with skin)
For a topping to that yogurt, cut up some organic apples, figs and pears. The skin on these fruits is high in our old friend, fiber. Bananas make another great food topping (see below for another banana treat).
7. Frozen banana
Bananas are high in potassium, which helps battle sodium in your body and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. For a delicious treat, freeze up a banana and dip it in that monounsaturated-fat heavy dark chocolate. Sprinkle some almonds over the top and you’ve made yourself a counterintuitive belly busting snack for the summer! (Again, keep this one in moderation.)
Now, go eat up to slim down!