A young woman measuring her waist
Diet hacks

How to achieve a flat stomach with these diet tricks

Some carbohydrates can help you lose those excess pounds

Those pesky excess pounds tend to land right in our midline and they can be very stubborn to shift! So an obvious question is: can we get a flatter stomach by changing our diet ? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no one... it requires understanding not only what we eat but how are body reacts to what we put in it.

Woman looking at herself in the mirror©Istock
The abdominal area is one of the first areas to accumulate excess fat - and the hardest to lose from

Some diets can give pretty speedy results – such as ketonic ones and Paleo ways of life – where complex carbohydrates are avoided and more focus is put on eating proteins and healthy fats. Some dietitians insist, however, that carbohydrates should be included in diets for the energy that they provide to the body.

But it’s important to focus on the quality and quantity of carbohydrate consumed. When over-consumed, carbs convert into fat, which then heads around the body, often stubbornly settling around the belly and hips. And this isn’t just an aesthetic problem but also one of health - many studies have shown a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes for people carrying extra weight around their middle.

Multi-grain cereales©Istock
Multi-grain bread and pasta plus cereals like oats are good carbs to add to your diet

Carbs are divided into simple and complex ones. Simple ones are sugar, white bread, soda and highly processed food. The body processes them quickly, so the hunger pangs return and they are highly addictive.

Complex carbs are rich in fibre and are digested slowly. You can find them in multi-grain cereals, fruit, pulses, nuts, seeds and vegetables (especially rocket, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts).

Many say that six packs are made in the kitchen and defined in the gym. So start by reducing your simple carb intake and focus on the complex ones. The odd treat is always permitted but try to avoid sugary drinks and limit alcohol as much as possible.

Plate of salmon and vegetables©Istock
Diets rich in lean proteins, good fats and complex carbs are a winner

Eat lean proteins (fish, chicken, etc) and eggs where possible. Also choose good fats like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil etc. Try to avoid fried food. Keeping active is also fundamentally important, prioritizing exercises that work your core (the body’s corset). If you follow these steps you’ll not only feel healthier, you should also gain a lot more energy in your day-to-day life.

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