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What Do Women Eat to Have a Flat Stomach?

By Andrea Cespedes

By following a specific diet plan combined with exercise, you can achieve a flatter stomach. While some people try to crunch their fat away, they are only strengthening the muscles that are under layers of fat or bloating. Genetics do play a role, but women who have a flat stomach often follow specific diet strategies to keep their bellies slim.

Types of Foods

Women who have a flat stomach tend to eat whole, natural foods like lean proteins, non-fat dairy, unsaturated fats, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. They avoid saturated and trans fats, excessive sodium, sugars and refined grains. Overly processed snack foods, prepackaged meals and fast food are rarely eaten by women with flat stomachs.

Expert Insight

Dairy can help flatten your abs, as shown in a 2009 study done by researchers at Curtin University in Australia. Dieters in this study who ate five servings of dairy daily lost more weight and belly fat than dieters eating three servings. Whole grains can also help you achieve a slimmer midsection as indicated by a study in a 2008 edition of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" where dieters who ate whole grains as part of a low calorie diet experienced more midsection fat loss than dieters eating refined grains.

Portions

Women with flat stomachs keep their calorie intake in balance with their energy expenditure. Control portion sizes at meals by sticking to just 3 or 4 oz. of protein, ½ to 1 cup of carbohydrates and a teaspoon or two of unsaturated fats at meals, recommends Joanne Larsen, R.D. on Ask the Dietitian. Overeating any food, even healthy, ab-friendly varieties, can cause weight gain and bloat your abdomen.

Strategy

Eating small meals often can help prevent hunger that can lead to overconsumption that can cause weight gain or just temporary stomach expansion. Divide your daily calorie intake by five or six mini-meals and eat every few hours. Women with flat stomachs usually take in plenty of water and fiber to keep their digestion smooth and prevent bloating due to constipation.

Considerations

Women who have a flat stomach may also be aware of what foods to avoid to prevent bloating and gas. Some people are intolerant to foods like lactose--the sugar in milk products, soy and wheat. These foods can cause a flat stomach to appear distended and full. If you suspect you have a food intolerance, consult your physician for guidance on how to safely eliminate offending foods.

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