How to Get a Flat Stomach by Eating Right
Let’s face it… having a flat stomach is something that most people desire. I would go as far as to say that it’s as exciting as say… winning the lottery! As we all know, flat abs are achieved by BOTH exercising properly and eating the right foods.
Too often people do the same old abdominal exercises over and over again, resulting in little to no change. There is more to life than crunches; yet sadly, due to improper biomechanics, most people usually injure themselves by doing too many sit-ups (crunches) or they see no results. The most efficient way to train the abs and get positive results is to perform a combination of exercises that include various planks and full body functional movement exercises that can be done using a suspension trainer and the Core Trainer by Total Gym.
As a licensed naturopath I know that no matter how well you eat, you will never achieve a flat belly if you do not consume enough fiber in your diet. Choosing the right fiber, however, is the challenge. Bloating in the abdominal area is very common, BUT can be easy to fix by making the right choices in dietary fiber. Too often, foods such as bran muffins and whole grain cereals are chosen for optimal fiber intake. These are far from ideal! They are loaded with sugar and can be hard to digest, causing cramping, boating, gas, etc.
The right type of fiber will make all the difference in how you digest your food, either causing the abdominal area to bloat or respond well. The best source of dietary fiber comes from fruits and vegetables, but most people simply are not eating enough of these foods.
The Two Kinds of Fiber
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Foods with soluble fiber include cucumbers, apples, oranges, celery, blueberries, and psyllium. These foods attract water and, when broken down, form a gel that slows down digestion. This delays the emptying of your stomach and makes you feel full, which helps control your weight gain in the long run. Insoluble fibers are gut-healthy, have a laxative effect, and help with constipation, promoting healthy elimination. Good sources of insoluble fiber are dark green leafy vegetables, grapes and the skins of all fruits and vegetables.
Foods with Both Kinds of Fiber
A simple way to not only increase the amount of fiber in your diet but also add biodense nutrients would be to add sunflower sprouts to your salads or any dish. Other whole foods that contain the highest levels of both soluble and insoluble fiber are psyllium seed husk, flax, and chia seeds, berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, almonds, peas, green beans, cauliflower, and root vegetables like onions and sweet potatoes.
I am a huge fan of high quality organic husk psyllium and I recommend it to my clients daily. It is very effective in that it offers both soluble and insoluble fiber. Although we try very hard to eat a good amount of whole foods, including raw vegetables and fruits, it is not always that easy. Starting the day with what I call a good cleansing drink (psyllium, chlorophyll and water) gets the job done!
By Frances Michaelson
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