Top 5 tips by Registered Dietitian Ilana Muhlstein on how people can reduce belly fat for bathing suit season
- What are foods to eat to reduce belly fat?
Water filled veggies are great for helping you lose weight, and stay regular so you can relieve bloat. Some great examples are tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis that are rich in potassium, which can also help release water retention you may be carrying in your stomach.
- What are some foods to avoid?
Research has shown that cortisol, our stress hormone, can cause abdominal weight gain. Meaning that if you are stress eating, you will likely not just gain weight, but gain it in your lower stomach. Therefore, it is a good idea to ab-void stress eating in general and find better coping strategies for dealing with stress. Examples are calling a friend, taking a walk or long shower, doing yoga or another workout, meditating and/or journaling.
And the foods we reach for when stressed are typically higher in fat, refined carbohydrates, and sugar, which can be addictive and lead to excess weight gain. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep these trigger foods out of sight and out of mind, and not buy and bring them home, especially during stressful times.
- How to keep belly fat off for good?
Clear the counter tops of sliced bread, jars of cookies, bowls of candies, and boxes of cereal. And replace it with great things that can be helpful immediately if feeling hungry like a water cooler, boxes of cherry tomatoes (my daughter reaches into these daily for a quick snack), and a bowl of apples. You should also have things out that keep you thinking about your healthy lifestyle. Some examples are a tea or coffee station; some veggies that need cooking like spaghetti squash, turnips, and onions; and a Shakeology or smoothie station (if there is still room).
- What are your favorite core-flattening recipes?
I like to make a chocolate Shakeology shake with half a cup of water, half a cup of coconut water, ice, and a scoop each of the Shakeology Power Greens and Digestive Health Boosts. This recipe tastes like delicious chocolate ice cream, but is only 250 calories. It also has 20g of protein which helps stave off hunger and cravings, and 13g of fiber which helps keep you regular, (because constipation is definitely not “core flattering”).
- How do you limit sugar intake?
I always keep a little “mommy drawer” that contains mint gum in the kitchen. I find that if someone is craving chocolate, brushing his teeth with mint toothpaste could crush that craving. And chewing gum makes it really hard to also chew a mouthful of pasta or teriyaki beef stir fry.
Also the PB& J sandwich swapped for a PB&J Wonder Whip. In a bowl, add plain Greek yogurt, powdered peanut butter, and honey or stevia to taste. Whip it up very well, and top with sliced grapes or strawberries.
For additional professional opinions on this topic, we highly recommend visiting Dr. Michael Ruscio’s blog (and also downloading his latest book, Healthy Gut, Healthy You).