Want to maintain a flat stomach? These foods have fiber to banish the bloat, antioxidants to boost your abs routine’s effectiveness and protein to help maintain a healthy metabolism.

1. Cucumber 

Cucumber- - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness

Cooling and diuretic, cucumber is good to eat when your tummy feels like a tightened drum. It can help to relieve fluid retention and its fibre-rich skin is great for digestion.

Eggs - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness

2. Eggs

Being pretty close to a complete food, eggs contain numerous vitamins and minerals (primarily in the yolk). Go for omega-3 enriched. Only 1.5 grams saturated fat per egg, so they’re unjustly labeled a ‘bad’ food. Eggs have a low glycemic index and are very filling. Mitchell-Paterson recommends having an egg for a snack to curb the 3:30-itis and chocolate cravings.

3. BerriesBerries - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness

What do blackberries, blueberries, and acai berries all have in common? They all help you squeeze your way back into your skinny jeans. Studies have shown that people wanting to lose belly fat should opt for fruit that is blue or red color, such as cherries, red grapes and many types of berries. It is the chemical responsible for giving these fruits their color – anthocyanins – that help burn abdominal fat.

Almonds - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness4. Almonds

These delicious and versatile nuts contain filling protein and fibre, not to mention vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. They’re also a good source of magnesium, a mineral your body requires to produce energy, build and maintain muscle tissue, and regulate blood sugar.

5. AvocadoAvocado - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness

Fiber-rich and provides many additional micronutrients including potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamin C.

Avocado oil has a very high smoke point and is, therefore, a great choice for cooking. It is quite expensive but this is definitely a case for quality over quantity. Use it sparingly and a little will go a long way.

Spinach - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness6. Spinach

Extremely rich in the antioxidants carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health, reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Lutein is also thought to play a role in preventing colon cancer.

Also a fabulous source of the better known carotenoid, beta-carotene, which, in addition to its antioxidant potential, can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Very good source of dietary fiber, vitamins C, E, K, and B6, and thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. Good source of niacin and zinc

7. TurkeyTurkey - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness

A great source of protein that is low in both total and saturated fat. Turkey has high iron levels and is a good source of the vitamins B, B1, B6 and zinc, which have been found to keep blood cholesterol low, boost the immune system and regulate blood pressure

 

Yoghurt - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness

8. Yogurt

Provides a high dietary source of calcium and low GI carbohydrates. It is a good source of phosphorus and B group vitamins. Probiotic yogurts may also help with the digestive processes.

 

 

Salmon - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness

9. Oily fish

Oily fish such as salmon, trout and tuna are the best sources of omega-3 fats, which are crucial for optimal health. Oily fish is low in saturated fats and contain essential amino acids and are a good source of iodine, iron and zinc.

Water - tummy-flattening foods - Women's Health & Fitness

 

10. Water

While it’s not technically a food, a lack of water in your diet could be the one thing standing in your way of a flat tummy. Bloating is something that effects many women, and the problem is often worsened, sometimes even instigated, by a lack of fluids in the system. Drinking water will also help to flush toxins out of your system, curb hunger, improve digestive health and reduce fluid retention, all which help to leave your tummy looking flatter.

Apple cider vinegar - tummy flattening foods - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

11. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar in water is the best way to start your day. This bitter drink helps to stimulate the stomach’s digestive juices, to help with food digestion.

Try taking two teaspoons in water 10 minutes before breakfast.

Nut butter - tummy-flattening foods - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

12. Nut butters and olive oil

Good fats will satisfy your hunger without bulking out your tummy. Bad bacteria feeds on unhealthy fats and sugars.

Try subbing butter and spreads with avocado, nuts, nut butter, olive oil and salmon spread across your day.

Green-smoothie- tummy-flattening foods - image - Women's Health & Fitness
13. Dark leafy greens

Leafy greens are rich in fiber and help keep things moving through the digestive system, but increasing fiber all at once can exacerbate bloating.

Try a green smoothie based on leafy greens for breakfast, salad with lunch and steamed greens with dinner. For full de-bloat points, add apple cider vinegar dressing: two parts oil (coconut, olive, rice bran), one part apple cider vinegar and one part sweetener (honey, maple, rice malt syrup)

Sauerkraut - Tummy flattening foods - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

14. Sauerkraut

Fermented foods contain natural probiotics, which help to fight bad bacteria in your tummy and thus avert bloating.

Try adding sauerkraut to your tofu scramble, or serving it as a side to any main meal. Kefir, miso and cultured yogurt are other great options.

Garlic - tummy flattening foods - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

15. Onions, leeks and garlic (prebiotic foods)

These guys feed the good bacteria already in your stomach. Try adding them to your morning scramble, lunchtime soup or dinner stir-fry.

Beat age related weight gain - IMAGE - Women's Health and Fitness magazine

Can you beat age-related weight gain? We asked the experts for their diet and exercise tips for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

What is the ‘middle age spread’?

The term ‘middle-age spread’ has been etched into aging lore, yet unflattering connotations ignore the naturalness of physiological change. Expecting to weigh the same at 30 as 18 is folly according to clinical psychologist Louise Adams from Treat Yourself Well.

“Our body weight at age 18 is for many of us the lightest we have ever been,” says Adams. “We may not have stopped growing at that point and may not have reached full maturity. Weight gain as we age is quite normal and body shape and size can change over our lifetime. Sticking to a weight from many years ago is unrealistic for the vast majority of us. It’s similar to remembering how your skin looked as a teenager and expecting the same in middle age.”

How to stay trim – despite your age!

Dr. Lavie encourages a paradigm shift from weight to fitness. “It’s much better to strive for fitness and be on the thicker side than to be thin and unfit,” he says. “Loss of fitness is a much stronger predictor of mortality than weight gain.”

He says the idea is to exercise 40 to 45 minutes a day, five to six days a week, with plenty of strength work.

“Fitness gurus will tell you that strength training becomes more vital the older one gets, and they are right, for it supports muscle mass like no other form of exercise and can help increase not only strength but also bone mass,” says Dr Lavie.

“In most people, muscle strength peaks in our 20s and then gradually decreases. Recent research suggests that women on average will lose muscle mass twice as fast as men the same age, which can make a huge difference in their ability to maintain an ideal weight.”

Another key point is to make sure your weight loss program is sustainable, even enjoyable.

“Exercise alone is rarely sufficient for sustained weight loss,” says weight loss expert and GP Dr Patricia Bishop. “It must be combined with dietary changes. If a healthy eating plan is combined with a healthy exercise program, a decrease in tummy size is usually apparent within two weeks.”

SOURCE: WOMENS HEALTH

Get your Mexican fix with this fish taco recipe by pro surfer Sally Fitzgibbons.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 600g white fish fillets
  • Canola oil spray
  • Flour (for dusting)
  • Butter (for frying)
  • 1⁄2 iceberg lettuce, finely chopped\

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados 1⁄2 red onion, finely diced 1⁄2 red chilli, deseeded, pith removed, finely sliced 1⁄2 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lime Juice of 1⁄2 lemon.

Tomato salsa

  • 4 fresh tomatoes, diced 1⁄2 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped 1 red chilli, deseeded and pith
  • removed, nely sliced

Mango salsa

  • 1 ripe mango, diced 1⁄2 red chilli, deseeded and pith removed, finely sliced Juice of 1 lime 1⁄2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

Method

Mash raspberries in mixing bowl.

Mix shredded coconut, almonds, and vanilla protein and add mashed raspberries.

Melt coconut oil in the microwave, and add to mixture.

Blend all ingredients, scoop mixture into small balls and place balls on the foil-covered tray.

Melt dark chocolate in bowl and pour over each ball. Roll in nuts, cocoa or another coating if desired.

Place balls in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes and remove for a high-protein treat or recovery snack.

SOURCE: WOMEN’S HEALTH & FITNESS MAGAZINE

Target Body Part:
Abs, Lower Back –  Arms Quads

Equipment Needed:
Stability Ball

 

Step 1

Starting Position:

Begin in an all-fours position with your torso on the ball and hands and feet on the floor. Lengthen your legs and stretch your heels to the back of the room. Your hands should be under your shoulders.

Take a few deep breaths. Notice how your abdominals want to rest on the ball when you inhale.
Exhale and pull your abdominals away from the ball. Try to keep them pulled away even when you inhale. This is your abdominal engagement.

Step 2

Once you have established your abdominal engagement, slowly walk your hands forward until your feet come off the floor. Continue walking out until the fronts of your thighs or knees are resting on the top of the ball in a plank position.

It is important to keep your ribcage knitted together and the abdominals strong in order to maintain a rigid torso. Your legs should be very active so that your entire body is straight as a board and aligned parallel to the floor.
Keep your shoulder blades pulling away from your shoulders and toward your hips. Elbows must be straight and hands directly under your shoulders. Keep your legs active.

Step 3

Curling Phase: Exhale and slowly bend your knees towards your chest. The ball will roll forward as your knees tuck under your torso and your hips lift toward the ceiling.
NOTE: This brings your body into somewhat of a handstand position. Be aware of your shoulder strength and keep the elbows straight.

Ideally, your knees are under your hips, your hips are toward the ceiling and your shins are on top of the ball. Hold this position for a breath.

Step 4

Lowering Phase: Inhale and straighten your legs, rolling the ball back the plank position.
MODIFICATION: If you are uncomfortable or feeling unsafe with your hips raised and shins on the ball, simply tuck your knees into your chest without lifting the hips.

 

SOURCE: AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE