Tried every diet under the sun but still plagued with a well-endowed waistline? Certain foods can play havoc with our tummies, causing uncomfortable bouts of bloating and sluggish afternoon slumps. Salty, gas-inducing foods are the worst culprits when it comes to bloating and swelling. But there are some surprisingly 'healthy' vegetables and fruits that can also cause the same damage to our tums.
Before you start to panic, there are a few simple tricks you can incorporate into your daily diet plan that will help lose belly fat and de-bloat in flash.
What to avoid
Steer clear of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, as well as beans, peas and lentils, as these are difficult for your stomach to digest. They are known for bringing on gassy spells, causing your tummy to swell up like a balloon.
In general, foods that are high in fibre and protein will speed up your metabolism, helping you to digest food quickly and keep your waistline ultra-wispy. Stick to foods like citrus fruits, berries, high-fibre cereals, lean proteins, nuts, yoghurt and spinach.
Watching your carbohydrate and salt intake, as well as stocking up on gallons of water will also help to reduce bloating.
There are a few herbal teas you can try to help with digestion and flush out any unwanted toxins. Ginger, peppermint or fennel teas are good choices when it comes to de-bloating.
From curbing your carb intake to supping on herbal teas our list of foods to avoid and enjoy will help you blitz the bloat and achieve a flat stomach fast.
Snack on fruits
Citrus fruits, melons and pineapple are loaded with vitamin C and fibre, as well as being packed with water, so snacking on them will in fact help to slim down unwanted lumps and bumps.
Cook your veg
You may like to cut corners when it comes to cooking, but if you're looking to streamline that stomach, cooking is the key! Cooked vegetables reduce the amount of gas your body produces whilst digesting, helping your body to break down tough fibres quickly.
Pack in the protein
Lean meats and fish like chicken, turkey, lean beef and salmon help to speed up your metabolism as well as aiding healthy digestion.
You may not make any new friends, but gorging on garlic will provide your body with a host of health benefits. From boosting immunity to fighting against illness and premature ageing, garlic is a nutritional powerhouse you won't want to pass up on. Studies have also shown that eating garlic can also help with weight loss as when eaten, it helps to increase the number of calories burned off during daily activities – even walking. So you are literally eating yourself thin with this spectacular superfood!
Get your yoghurt fix
The 'good' bacteria found in yoghurt helps to boost healthy bacteria in the gut, and reduce excess gas that may gradually build up in your digestive system. Gulp gallons of water Drinking water will flush out harmful toxins, excess salt and help to keep everything moving in your digestive tract.
Sup on herbal tea
Time for a cuppa? Boiling the kettle could be they key to keeping that tum ultra trim. Opt for ginger, peppermint or fennel tea – these help to reduce bloating and will also calm any tummy irritations like cramps or flatulence.
Avoid processed foods
Foods that are packed with sodium cause the body to retain more water, and in turn make us bloated and full. This is often due to the high salt content in the food. Our bodies will try to dilute the salt to maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes.
Curb your carbs
Carbs like pasta, rice and bread are killer culprits when it comes to bouts of bloating. Carbs like these cause your body to store three times more water than protein-based foods like chicken breast or salmon. So if you're feeling peckish it's best to snack on these throughout the day rather than tucking into a heavy bowl of pasta.
Watch your cruciferous veg intake
Veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and leafy greens like kale and spring greens contain tiny sugars that are difficult to digest for certain people, and can lead to a swollen tum. So keep them to a minimum when you're looking to de-bloat.
Scrap sugar substitutes
Artificial sugar sweeteners can cause gassy spells in the stomach – so if you're looking for a sugar hit in your tea or coffee, use natural honey, agave or brown sugar instead.
Say farewell to fizzy drinks
Carbonated drinks – even fizzy water – will cause excessive bloating in your stomach. So opt for still water when you can, and try to avoid that mid-afternoon diet coke!
Lay off the legumes
Gorging on beans, peas and lentils may sound super-healthy and slimming, but in actual fact legumes are one of the worst culprits for causing a bloated tum. They're filling, yes – but they're difficult to digest (even more so if you already suffer with digestive problems e.g. paleo or coeliac disease). If you're trying to de-bloat fast, it's best to avoid these types of foods.