For better or for worse, the summertime often has people thinking about their midsection as crop tops and bathing suits take center stage. While weight loss is never the main goal, we're all about feeling comfortable and confident in our own skin, especially through healthy, doctor-approved lifestyle choices.
Enter Travis Stork, MD, who recently spoke to Women's Health about the simple, realistic lifestyle changes you can make to assuage a bloated stomach and supplement your workout efforts. It turns out the key to a flat stomach isn't cutting carbs and doing cardio five times a week. Instead, it's about fueling your body with nourishing foods and boosting your metabolism with targeted workouts. Ahead, learn his best tips for a flat stomach (that are actually doable).
1. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
"You don't have to give up carbs, but you do need to add fiber," he explains. Think lentils, beans, avocados, chia seeds, bananas, broccoli, and chickpeas. "Yes, it keeps you full, but it also promotes good gut bacteria, which has been linked to a healthy weight." Be sure to stock up on these foods and incorporate them into your go-to recipes for a flatter stomach over time.
2. Snack on Almonds
Almonds, of course, are an excellent, fiber-rich choice that aid digestion, and they're a key part of one of Stork's tips for a flat stomach. He cites a recent study that found that "people who ate them daily lost more abdominal fat than those who didn't." Next time you need a mid-afternoon snack, reach for a handful of almonds instead of a sugary granola bar or bag of chips.
3. Lift Weights 3 Times a Week
As for the weightlifting, Stork regards it as a metabolism-boosting workout that can help your body burn excess abdominal fat. "But don't knock moderate exercise, either," he clarifies. "Sticking to a routine is most important for weight management overall, so pick something you enjoy—jogging, brisk walking, whatever—and make it a habit."
Follow Stork's tips for a flatter stomach to work towards your summer health goals. It's as simple as incorporating a few specific foods into your diet and tackling the weights section at the gym.
Shop More Healthy Living Essentials:
This post was originally published on June 9, 2017, and has since been published.