Getting the perfect flat stomach is not just about hitting the gym and exercising, the food that you eat matters too. Often the foods recommended for weight loss are bland and uninteresting to the palate. And after a few days, you eventually go back to eating your regular meals, which is certainly detrimental for your flat-tummy aspirations.
Bright Side put together a list of 12 meal combos and food items that are tasty and healthy at the same time. Along with moderation and regular exercising, eating these will make the path to your dream stomach a lot easier and faster.
Eggs with beans for a healthy breakfast
Having a healthy breakfast is the key to weight loss, so eating a bagel or margarine on toast is certainly not the way to go. To start off your day healthy, eat eggs paired with beans and pepper. Eggs add protein to the diet and keep you away from feeling hungry during the day, while beans and pepper add the much-needed fiber. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that people who had eggs for breakfast ate less for the rest of the day.
Leafy green salad with avocado for a fulfilling calcium-rich meal
Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, chard, and collard greens are low in calories and high in nutrients. Also, being calcium-rich, they favor fat-burning over fat-storing. But eating just greens can leave you wanting more. To compensate for this desire, add avocados to your green salad. Not only do they taste great together, the good fats present in avocados also stave off hunger.
Vegetable soup with chickpeas for lunch or dinner
Research has shown that adding a broth-based vegetable soup to either lunch or dinner reduces the meal’s calorie intake by about 20%. This is due to the fact that the liquid in the soup fills the stomach and prevents the further consumption of high-calorie food. Adding chickpeas along with it, provides for the required amount of protein and fiber.
On the other hand, clam chowder, especially New England clam chowder can cause you to exceed your daily calorie allotment and gain weight with 1 cup of ready-to-eat New England clam chowder containing over 200 calories.
Cauliflower roasted in olive oil for a low-calorie delicious meal
Cauliflower is a weight-loss elixir. Containing just 25 calories in 100 grams and being low on the glycemic index (GI), a measure of how much a food raises your blood sugar, this vegetable should be in everyone’s meal. Use a drizzle of olive oil to roast it and savor this delicacy without worrying about getting fat.
Apples and pistachios for a fiber-rich mid-day snack
We often stock unhealthy chips in our drawers to munch on when we feel hungry mid-day. These chips are the worst thing you can eat if you plan on shedding weight. Instead, for your mid-day hunger, try munching on pistachios and apples. While apples provide the necessary fiber, pistachios are one of the lowest-calorie nuts and the hard shell of the pistachios guarantees that you won’t keep on munching mindlessly.
Baked sweet potatoes and salmon for your omega-3 dosage
Salmon has the perfect combination of healthy omega-3 fats and protein. While the omega-3 fats help you lose body fat, the protein keeps you from feeling hungry. Still, if one serving of salmon is not enough for you, try combining it with baked sweet potatoes. They will not only make the meal filling, but will also provide you with some fiber content.
Chicken with cayenne pepper sauce for when you want something a bit spicier
Sausages are processed meat that is packed full of salt and saturated fat, both of which are detrimental to your weight loss goal. Eating chicken breasts is a healthier option. One breast serving contains fewer than 150 calories and also a good amount of protein to keep you feeling full for a long time. Spicing it up with some cayenne pepper sauce will not only add a spicy twist to it, but will also boost your calorie burn.
Oatmeal: the easiest meal to prepare
We all know that adding fiber to the diet can lead to weight loss and, with about 4 grams of fiber per cup, oatmeal makes for an excellent choice for a meal. If eating just oatmeal sounds too bland, try adding blueberries or walnuts to it.
Greek yogurt to keep your thyroid happy
When weight loss is your goal, this creamy treat can come to your aid. For maximum benefits use nonfat Greek yogurt. Research has shown that people who consume more Vitamin D and calcium shed more fat than those who don’t.
Also, Greek yogurt is an excellent source of iodine. The body needs iodine for proper thyroid function, and the thyroid gland is essential for a healthy metabolism. Adding iodine to your diet increases the thyroid’s activity and, therefore, increases metabolism promoting weight loss.
Oolong tea for when you feel thirsty
Thirsty? Trust oolong tea to quench your thirst, as well as to help you in fighting weight gain. This traditional Chinese tea helps by accelerating your metabolism and improving fat mobilization, thereby aiding in weight loss. Research conducted by Chinese scientists proved its efficacy in controlling diet-induced weight-gain and fighting obesity.
Broccoli with beans for your vitamin C requirements
Broccoli contains the perfect combination of metabolism boosting calcium and vitamin C which is essential if we are on a weight-loss regimen. It is also known to increase the digestion, absorption, and storage of food, thereby not allowing the body to gain extra weight. Beans form an excellent ally with broccoli as they are rich in fiber and genistein—a compound that aids weight loss.
Watermelon, the go-to fruit for flat belly aspirations
Eating fruits is always healthy. And if losing the belly pooch is your goal, look no further than watermelon. Watermelons are 91% water and are low in fat. Eating watermelon will stave off hunger without adding any extra fat to your body.
However, remember that eating fruit is not the same as drinking its juice being sold in the supermarket. These juices have added sugar and preservatives and should be avoided at all costs.
Bonus: Exercises for getting a flat stomach
Some exercises are more effective than others at helping you get rid of stubborn belly fat. The best part of many of these exercises is that to perform them, you do not have to hit the gym, they can easily be done in the comfort of your home or in a nearby park.
- Running (you may use a treadmill)
- Jumping rope
Do you think that the diet regimen that your dietician recommended was too hard to follow because it was unsavory and left you feeling hungry? Let us know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to share the article with your friends who are striving hard to get the perfect, flat stomach.
Illustrated by Mariya Zavolokina for Bright Side