We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!
By Diana Kelly, Prevention
The Flat Belly Diet Four-Day Jump-Start is a great way to reduce belly bloat and start flattening your stomach instantly. It was created to reduce water retention, eliminate heavy solids, and relieve gas so you will quickly look and feel lighter. You can lose up to seven pounds in four days! Make these food swaps and look slimmer fast!
Season Food Differently
Make This Smart Swap Add zing to your meals with salt-free seasoning blends such as the Original and Italian medley Mrs. Dash®.
Avoid These Salt, salt-based seasonings, and highly processed foods.
Why? You may be attracted to your saltshaker, but water is, too. When you take in higher than usual amounts of the salty stuff, you’ll temporarily retain more fluid, contributing to that sluggish feeling, a puffy appearance, and extra water weight.
Steer Clear of Acidic Drinks
Make This Smart Swap Drink plain tap water or our belly-soothing Sassy Water instead of coffee, tea, juice, and alcohol. Think of it as tough love for your tummy.
Avoid These Alcohol, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and acidic fruit juices
Why? We realize that giving up your morning cup of joe may be tough to swallow (pun intended!), but it's only for four days. Coffee and the other bad guys of bloat on the "avoid" list are all high-acid beverages that can irritate your GI tract, causing swelling.
Learn what other swaps you can make for a flatter belly after the break!
Hold the Hot Sauce
Make This Smart Swap Some people love their food four-alarm spicy! If that includes you, you'll have to lay off the barbecue sauce and garlic for a few days while reducing bloat. Give dishes a flavor boost with in-season fresh or dried herbs like dill, basil, mint, sage, tarragon, and rosemary. You can also use curry powder or lemon or lime juice — all perfect with fish or chicken.
Avoid These Black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, chili powder, hot sauces, onions, garlic, mustard, barbecue sauce, horseradish, ketchup, tomato sauce, and vinegar
Why? Spicy foods can stimulate the release of stomach acid, which can cause irritation.
Chuck the Chewing Gum
Make This Smart Swap If you chew gum by habit or just like to bite down on something crunchy, reach for some nuts, like roasted or raw unsalted sunflower seeds.
Avoid These Gum
Why? You probably don't realize this, but when you chew gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your GI tract and causes pressure, bloating, and belly expansion — none of which help flatten your middle. See the 10 Flat Belly Diet MUFAs that help you lose stomach fat.
Make This Smart Swap As mentioned earlier, you should eat your veggies cooked — but there are a few to take off your shopping list while debloating. Skip gas-producing veggies like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and legumes; instead cook up green beans, mushrooms, and squash for a delicious dinner side.
Avoid These Legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, peppers, and citrus fruits
Why? Certain foods simply create more gas in your GI tract (think: blown-up balloon inside your stomach).
Cut the Carbs
Make This Smart Swap Use one slice of whole grain bread for your sandwich at lunch and pack extra protein like turkey slices and low-fat string cheese. Swap your afternoon pretzels for nuts or seeds. At dinner, stick to brown rice if you must have a starch.
Avoid These High-carb foods like bagels, pasta, pretzels, and cereals
Why? As a backup energy source, your muscles store a type of carbohydrate called glycogen. Every gram of glycogen is stored with about three grams of water. But unless you have a vigorous exercise routine, you don't need all this stockpiled fuel. When you decrease the carbs, you'll temporarily train your body to access this stored fuel and burn it off. At the same time, you'll drain off excess stored fluids.