I want to have a flat belly. She has one and seems to eat whatever she wants. How am I supposed to eat? What is the Perfect Diet to get that nice flat belly that I always wanted? How many sit-ups do I have to do?
So here it is….There isn’t a perfect flat belly answer that fits us all. You knew that, but like all of us, you were hoping.
We do know that sit-ups are not the answer for just flatness. To have a flat belly one needs to lose fat around the waistline and manage bloating.
So, what’s the best diet for fat loss?
Paleo, vegan, Atkins, South Beach, low carb, high carb, low fat, high protein and on and on. It can be extremely confusing.
So let’s step back a minute. What are the commonalities of all of these diets?
- Eat lots of vegetables, especially leafy greens.
- Eat primarily whole or minimally processed foods.
- Eat until full.
- Drink plenty of water.
So how do you know what’s right for you?
We are all individuals with our own unique genes and biochemistries. Our metabolisms and abilities to process the nutrients we consume are specific to the individual. There are those who seem to eat whatever they want and never gain a pound and others who seem to gain a pound eating a piece of lettuce. This metabolic uniqueness is called bioindividalism. So, a high carb diet may work for one person because she metabolizes carbohydrates quite easily, while others may go into storage mode on the same diet and gain weight.
There is also the complication of the rebound affect. A certain diet may work for weight loss, but as soon as you stop it you gain back all the weight and more. This is the yo-yo effect recently written about the Biggest Loser contestants. So, does that mean you have to stay on this restrictive diet for life? No.
Lastly, there is the issue of hormones. Many of our hormones decline with age, which can also slow our metabolism. So, just when you thought you had your body figured out, it goes wacky again. Sound familiar?
So, what’s the final answer. Self-experimentation and self-study. Lets start to walk through these steps.
There are some hints that one lifestyle approach may work better than another. In this era of diabesity, most will need to cut back on those processed yummy carbohydrates. Others who are lucky enough not to be insulin resistant may tolerate a larger percentage of carbohydrates in the diet. We will talk about insulin, metabolism and how to manipulate those in a later post.
The four general commonalities listed above are the backbone of any healthy diet, but if you are like me you love food and like to know how much you can push the envelope.
Start with this.
- Write down everything you eat for a whole week.
- Look at the vegetable content, processed food content and portions. How do you think you did? Be truthful with yourself.
- Now look at the week ahead. Make 1 or 2 small goals – maybe add a vegetable to lunch, or cut out the afternoon processed snack, or add an extra glass of water. Continue to write things down as you go along.
Is this awareness and are these small changes something you can maintain? I bet you can! You are on your way to a flat belly!
Let me know how this goes. I would love to hear your story.