Do you leave the gym drenched in sweat, sore from another round of intense cardio and countless crunches? Exercise is just one way to flatten your abs. What you put inside of your body is just as important.
When you indulge in low-sodium meals, lean protein and water, you help reduce unwanted bloating around the midsection, making your efforts in the gym more noticeable. Here are the flat-tummy foods you need to kick-start your fight against flab and help you win the flat-ab battle.
The first meal of the day is the most important. What you eat will set the course for every snack and meal to follow. For a tight midsection, munch on:
- Fresh fruit—banana, orange or cup of berries—with Greek yogurt
- One egg (hardboiled or scrambled in a little olive oil) with a slice of whole grain bread
When noon hits, enjoy a lunch of mixed greens, vegetable soup or whole grain bread stuffed with lean meats and veggies. These meals will keep you full until your afternoon snack or dinnertime. For protein, choose tofu, boneless chicken or tuna—they're all quick and easy to prep. Cook your tofu the night before to make it even easier. Pair the protein with any variety of vegetables.
When the snacking hour comes, it hits hard. Take a deep breath and sip a glass of water or unsweetened green tea. If you can't shake that hungry feeling, nosh on:
- A handful of almonds
- A piece of fruit
- Air-popped popcorn
- A small piece of dark chocolate.
Cap off your day with a dinner of lean grilled meats and veggies, a hearty salad such as the goat cheese and beet salad on page two, or a satisfying soup. Sodium can come back to haunt you. Try to keep your salt in check if you're heating up a can of soup.