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Last Updated Thursday September 21 2017 01:33 AM IST

Diet plan for the perfect abs

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Abs

Here are some dos and do-nots for those who crave for a flat belly:

Eat regularly

► Eat five times a day. Your body needs food every three to four hours, so instead of eating three large meals, try to get in five smaller ones (breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner). By staying full and energised, you’ll avoid hunger pangs, maintain an even energy flow, make healthier food choices (no bingeing or craving) and enjoy the most efficient burning of calories.

► Watch your portion size.

► Tackle problems and don’t rely on food as a comfort.

► Monitor your food intake and physical activity.

► Get in six to seven hours of sleep.

► Opt for a sensible amount of high-quality healthy carbs. Fill up on fruits and vegetables as part of your healthy high fibre diet.

► Avoid high-carb/empty-calorie foods like fast food, cakes, cookies and candy. These are high in simple carbs and sodium, cause bloating and weight gain and are low in fibre and nutrients.

► Make sure you eat enough calories, from complex healthy carbs, lean protein and healthy fats.

► Focus on eating a balanced healthy diet. For best results, eat at least three to five, 4-ounce servings of veggies (15–25 grams of carbs); two to four, 4-ounce servings of fruit (30–60 grams of carbs) and about 1 cup (8 ounces cooked or 2 ounces dry, or 2 slices of bread) of whole grains per meal (90 grams per day).

► Drink at least eight ounces of water a day. Beverages with little or no calories, caffeine or sodium, including herbal tea are best. Avoid regular carbonated drinks or soups with lots of sodium.

Avoid carbonated drinks

► Fizzy drinks, including soda pop and spritzers, increase bloating because the carbon dioxide trapped in the bubbles creates gas, which slows down stomach emptying.

► Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

► These are both natural diuretics that increase fluid loss and don’t replace your body fl uids as effectively as water, juice and caffeine- and alcohol-free beverages. They increase dehydration. Alcohol and caffeine can also fatten abs.

Eliminate sodium in diet

► Choose fresh, natural food over fast and packaged foods.

Reduce stress

► Research shows that stress triggers the hormone cortisol to increase the appetite and deposits fat around the organs in your abdomen.

High fibre

High fibre food requires more chewing and takes longer to eat. This makes one feel more satisfied with a high fibre meal.

(In arrangement with THE MAN)

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