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Want flat abs? Avoid these foods

Last updated on: January 2, 2012 18:45 IST

Want flat abs? Avoid these foods

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Payal Banka, Lifemojo.com

Eating healthy foods and drinks that will help flush out excess fluid, reduce water retention, and relieve gas can de-bloat your belly. Here are several foods to be avoided to guarantee success in your belly flattening endeavours.

Many people, who cannot be considered as obese, show concerns on weight loss. They are actually concerned about fatness in specific body parts like the thighs, hips and the belly. Of these, the belly fat gets easily noticed and people feel embarrassed. Their confidence level goes down to a considerable extent. Losing the belly fat becomes a challenge to them and they try several options for achieving a flat tummy.

The Flat Belly Diet, written by Liz Vaccariello, is targeted towards millions who want to notch off a few inches or more off their waistline. The basic Flat Belly Diet plan is a 1,600 calorie Mediterranean-style diet with an emphasis on wholesome, unrefined foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, lean protein, and very little red meat.

1. Salt

People should avoid the salty seasonings and the highly processed foods which have high sodium content. Intake of salty foods in greater quantities produces a puffy appearance. This is due to the fact that salt attracts water and a higher amount of salt leads to fluid retention in the body. This adds up as the extra water weight of the body.

LifeMojo is one of the most trusted source of information about good health and wellness. To those who want to manage their health themselves, LifeMojo provides necessary information, tips, tracking tools and support to help them stay informed and motivated




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2. Bulky raw foods

It is better to prefer cooked vegetables over the raw ones. Raw foods take up more space in the gastro-intestinal tract compared to the cooked foods. The nutritional value is also the same in both these types of foods. For example, a half cup serving of cooked carrots delivers the same nutrition as one cup of raw carrots, but it takes up less room in your gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, there is no need to add extra volumes to the gastrointestinal tract by loading it up with raw foods.


Image: An Indian model wears an outfit made of vegetables designed by Soma Chatterjee during a vegetarian food festival in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta late June 28, 2003. A city hotel donned models in vegetable garments to attract customers during a promotion for its vegetarian food festival.
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters
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3. Gassy foods

People often find their bellies bloated due to the accumulation of gases in the gastrointestinal tract. Thus, they should avoid gassy foods like broccoli, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels, legumes, peppers, sprouts and citrus fruits.


Image: An Indian model wears an outfit made of vegetables designed by SomaChatterjee during a vegetarian food festival in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta late June 28, 2003. A city hotel donned models in vegetable garments to attract customers during a promotion for its vegetarian food festival.
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters
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4. Sugar alcohols

These are found in low-calorie cookies, candies and energy bars as substitutes for sugars. Sugar alcohols are known by the names xylitol or maltitol. The gastrointestinal tract cannot absorb major parts of the sugar alcohols and so these are the likely choices for the calorie conscious people. But these ingredients are unhealthy for the belly since these can lead to gas, bloating, abdominal distention and diarrhoea.


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5. Fried foods

The fried fatty foods undergo a slow digestion process and this generates a feeling of heaviness. The flat belly diet recommends the consumption of good fats which contain monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). These fatty acids work against the hard-to-lose visceral tummy fat. Some of the sources of monounsaturated fatty acids include olive oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, nuts and seeds (like walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, roasted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds), olives, avocado and dark chocolate.


Photographs: kspoddar/Wikimedia Commons
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6. Spicy foods

These foods are prepared with spicy seasonings like chili powder, onions, tomato sauce, garlic, vinegar, mustard, barbecue sauce, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper. These are hard-to-resist foods! But during the digestion of these foods, the stomach acid gets stimulated and this becomes a cause of irritation.


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7. Surplus carbohydrates

The muscles are the storage sites for a type of carbohydrate called glycogen. This is an energy backup source. Around 1 gram of glycogen is stored with 3 grams of water. This stored energy is not needed during a normal routine. So if the carb intake is reduced, then the body can use this stored fuel. This way, the body can also burn out the additional fluid stored with glycogen in the muscles.


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8. Chewing gum

Chewing gums can be associated with the bloating of the belly. When people chew gums, they swallow air! This air remains captured in the gastrointestinal tract and becomes responsible for bloating and expansion of the belly.


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9. Carbonated drinks

The belly is the ultimate place where the bubbles from the colas get accumulated. One can replace colas with Sassy water, the ultimate option for the flat belly dieters. One has to drink around 2 liters or 8.5 cups of water. The ingredients include 1 tsp ginger, 1 peeled and thinly sliced cucumber, 1 thinly sliced lemon and 12 small spear mint leaves.

All the ingredients are to be combined in a large pitcher and the mixture should be allowed to rest overnight. This forms the Sassy water and one should drink the entire volume by the end of the day.


Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
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10. High acid drinks

Drinks in this category include tea, coffee, hot cocoa, acidic fruit juices and alcohol. These high-acid beverages can lead to the bloating up of the belly by causing irritation to the gastrointestinal tract.

A perfect flat belly diet should target reduction in the water retention, elimination of heavy solids and release of gases. The foods mentioned above stand in the way of achieving these objectives. Excluding these foods from the diet would let oneself reduce his belly fat.


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