There’s no quick fix for lasting weight loss. That said, certain flat tummy foods will help beat the bloat, banish cravings and boost your metabolism. So, if a key concern is how to lose weight on your stomach, work the below foods into your programme of healthy eating, regular exercise and general wellbeing to help keep your tum trim.
We asked nutritionists Cassandra Barns and Shona Wilkinson for their favourite flat-tummy foods - here's what the experts advised...
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Shona tells us: ‘Grapefruit has been shown to curb appetite, as well as lower levels of the fat-storage hormone insulin.’ Try swapping out your mid-morning snack for half a grapefruit, or adding it to your breakfast menu, to help keep your food cravings under control.
A minty tea after meals could be your new BFF. ‘Mint has been shown to help soothe the abdomen and relax digestive discomfort,’ says Shona. We like adding 7-10 fresh mint leaves to a cup of boiling water, then adding a teaspoon of honey or a squeeze of lemon to taste.
This bright yellow spice is rich in curcumin, useful for reducing inflammation in the gut. Cassandra adds: ‘Turmeric also helps with fat digestion, along with supporting the liver.’ But be sure to use it with care: it’s a devil when it gets onto your clothes!
4. Matcha powder
It’s an acquired taste, but Cassandra says this finely ground green tea could help burn fat and control appetite. Add a spoonful to your next smoothie.
Your morning bowl of porridge can actively help reduce bloating. Cassandra explains: ‘The fibre in oats aids regular bowel movements.’ Try adding flaxseed and berries to your porridge for a healthy start to the day.
6. Leeks, garlic and onions
Stinky? Yes. Healthy? Very. Shona explains that a bloated tummy is often due to hormonal issues. ‘These foods all contain sulphur, which helps your liver rid the body of unwanted hormones,’ she says.
Shona reveals: ‘A pear provides 24 per cent of our daily fibre intake, which helps maintain a healthy gut'.
8. Fermented foods
One of the biggest recent food trends needs to be on your shopping list. ‘The likes of sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, yogurt, buttermilk and kefir help feed the friendly bacteria in our gut,’ says Shona.
9. Wholemeal bread
Argh! The B word. But don’t neglect the bread basket. According to natural health expert Dr Marilyn Glenville, the wholemeal variety contains more fibre, zinc and iron than white bread. She told us: ‘The carbs in wholemeal bread are broken down slowly over several hours, suppressing your appetite and sugar cravings.’
Fish is a source of omega-3, which helps your body burn fat. Opt for fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna.
11. Coconut oil
‘A teaspoon’s all you need to bust any fatty food cravings,’ says Shona. ‘Plus it helps energy levels.’ Win, win.