Smoothies Why they’re a flat belly food: Smoothies are not only packed with antioxidants but can also be rich in MUFAs. Adding a nut butter and flaxseed oil to fruit and yogurt boosts your intake of healthy fats while imparting a rich, nutty flavor. Enjoy a slimming sip as a snack or on-the-go breakfast.
Wraps Why they’re a flat belly food: Load these low-carb options with plenty of fresh veggies and a tablespoon of either olive tapenade or pesto and you’ve got yourself a superslimming lunch. A light coating of these zesty sauces is all you need for maximum flavor, which makes it easy to boost your intake of MUFAs without adding loads of calories.
Guacamole Why it’s a flat belly food: Don’t be shy when this popular dip appears at your next pool party. With nearly 10 g of MUFAs per half an avocado, you’ll fill up without feeling bloated. Avocados also contain more beta-sitosterol, a fat that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food, than any other fruit. So enjoy a quarter-cup serving guilt free.
DEPRESSION The Solution Brown rice—one cup of cooked rice daily The Science Carbs help regulate the production of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter in controlling mood and suppressing anxiety. A complex carb like brown rice will give you the best high-carb-low-cal combo.
MUSCLE ACHE The Solution Tart cherries—one cup, or two glasses of juice, daily, before and during exercise The Science Contains the same anti-inflammatory enzymes as ibuprofen, without the potential kidney and stomach-related side effects.
Fresh Seafood Why it’s a flat belly food: Most seafood is low in calories, packed with protein, and filled with good-for-you ingredients like heart-healthy omega-3s and immunity-boosting selenium. But you can make them work for your waistline too. Simply coat salmon, tuna, or shrimp with MUFA-rich olive oil, pesto, or nuts and toss on the grill for a flat belly meal in minutes.
Veggie Pizza Why it’s a flat belly food: Turn this splurge into a skinny slice by loading up the veggies and slimming down the dough. Take a thin whole wheat crust; pile on low-cal peppers, onions, and mushrooms; and top with some belly-slimming, MUFA-rich pesto or olive oil. You’ve just made a better-than-delivery dinner.
Pesto Pasta Salad Why’s it’s a flat belly food: Pesto, a rich green sauce made of garlic, basil, nuts, oil, and cheese, is delicious and a natural waist whittler. Nuts and oils are rich sources of MUFAs, so this savory side dish is a healthy way to get a pasta fix, especially when it’s made with whole wheat pasta and tons of veggies. Steer clear of pasta salad made with creamy, white sauces. These typically contain mayonnaise, which packs in 90 calories and 10 g of fat per serving!
UPSET STOMACH The Solution Peppermints—one or two after dinner The Science Peppermint has long been associated with aiding digestion and has also been shown to soothe inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract. Peppermint tea also works.
2. Beans You’ve probably never heard of cholecystokinin, but it’s one of your best weight-loss pals. This digestive hormone is a natural appetite suppressant. So how do you get more cholecystokinin? One way, report researchers at the University of California at Davis, is by eating beans: A study of eight men found that their levels of the hormone (which may work by keeping food in your stomach longer) were twice as high after a meal containing beans than after a low-fiber meal containing…