The Top 5 Ways to Flatten Your Abs - dummies

The Top 5 Ways to Flatten Your Abs

By Erin Palinski-Wade, Tara Gidus, Kristina LaRue

Part of Flat Belly Cookbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you can make only a few simple changes to your lifestyle, you want to make sure the changes you make are the most effective ones. Here are the top five ways to flatten your midsection permanently:

  • Eat more whole grains (such as 100 percent whole wheat bread and brown rice). A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a calorie-controlled diet rich in whole grains trimmed extra fat from the waistline of obese people. This may be due to the decreased insulin response to whole grains versus refined carbohydrates, making it easier to mobilize fat storage.

  • Get more antioxidants through fresh fruits and vegetables. Diets rich in antioxidants help to fight off inflammation-causing free radicals. When inflammation is increased in your body, it triggers the storage of fat — specifically, fat in your midsection!

  • Eat fat to fight fat. Healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids have been found to help individuals lose more belly fat — even without changing the number of calories they consumed or exercising more. You find monounsaturated fats in olive oil and almonds. Omega-3s are in abundance in fatty fish such as salmon, as well as walnuts and flax seeds.

  • Kick stress. Being stressed increases the circulation of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in your body. These hormones then mobilize fatty acids and, when not burned off, re-deposit them right in your midsection. Eating a diet rich in vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids can help decrease the levels of stress hormones and fight belly fat. Some foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, and spinach.

  • Get active. Exercise not only helps you to burn more calories (promoting weight loss), but also helps you build metabolism-boosting muscle and fight off belly fat-storing stress. Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.