October 1, 2018 | Categories: Weight Loss & Nutrition
You’ve been working on your abs since January and they’re almost ready for the big reveal. Your last step before hitting the sand? Beating back bloat. Follow these seven diet tips to ensure your stomach looks (and feels) as flat as it really is when you show up seaside.
Sure, sugar-free gum and candies are lower in calories, but they also contain sugar alcohols—sugars that have been bound with an alcohol so that your body digests only part of the sugar, explains Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. The partial-digestion process can cause gastrointestinal side effects including bloating, gas, and even diarrhea.
If you knocked back a few too many drinks on the boardwalk last night and chased them with salty food, your stomach is probably feeling swollen from the alcohol and salt. The fix: drink 12 ounces of coconut water (look for varieties without added sugar) shortly after you wake up to rehydrate and help eliminate bloat. “The potassium in the water helps balance sodium levels in the body and can help fight water retention,” says Palinski-Wade.
Many people have some form of lactose intolerance, which makes digesting dairy products difficult, notes Palinski-Wade. If your body can’t break down lactose, consuming any food that contains dairy can result in gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. Skip cereal and milk and start your day with eggs and veggies or toast with all-natural peanut butter instead.
We all know french fries aren’t flat-abs food, but when you’re on vacation, it’s sometimes easy to just say, “Why not?” Before you reach for the plate keep in mind that the greasy treat could make you look puffy—and send energy levels plummeting. Fat slows down stomach emptying and can make you feel overly full. You’re better off ordering steamed veggies or a side salad, which won’t weigh you down for days.
Fast-absorbing carbs—sugar, white bread, and white rice—can raise blood sugar and insulin levels, flatlining your energy levels and stressing your body’s digestive system. Instead, choose slow-burning carbs like oats, barley, sweet potatoes, and wild rice, which provide more sustained energy and help reduce sugar cravings.
That doesn’t mean easily digestible carbs are off the table, though. Try eating fast-burning, high-glycemic index carbs right after your workout, when they’ll be quickly used up. Focus on fruits like watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and cucumber for a couple of days for extra bloat-fighting power.
Your body stores carbs with water, so going lower-carb for a couple of days—or focusing on “dry carbs” like rice cakes—can help you attain more defined muscles. Focus your meals around lean proteins such as chicken breasts, egg whites, fish, and extra-lean ground turkey. Include greens and other non-starchy vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, celery, and tomatoes, plus a thumb-sized amount of heart-healthy fats like extra-virgin olive oil at each meal.
Read the full article on Men’s Journal.
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