1. Plain or Greek yogurt: We all know that yogurt is good for us, but did you know it's also good for maintaining your flat abs? For a nice mid-section, nutritionist and owner of Essential Nutrition For You Rania Batayneh says to reach for the kind that's plain flavored or Greek. "The probiotic bacteria in most yogurts help keep your digestive system healthy, which translates into a lower incidence of gas, bloating, and constipation, which can keep your tummy looking flat."
2. Whole grains: Set aside the white bread and rice and swap them in for whole grains such as 100-percent whole wheat bread, lentils, and brown rice. "A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a calorie-controlled diet rich in whole grains trimmed extra fat from the waistline of obese subjects," registered dietitian Erin Palinski says. "This may be due to the decreased insulin response to whole grains versus refined carbohydrates, making it easier to mobilize fat storage."
3. Cruciferous vegetables:
That means, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppers, and yellow beans, which contain vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, and fiber, Batayneh says.
4. Monounsaturated fats: New research indicates that a diet high in monounsaturated fats like olive oil can help us lose some of that belly fat, even without changing calorie intake or adding in additional exercise, Palinski says.
5. Vinegar: A Japanese study found that the substance that gives vinegar its sour taste and strong odor might fight fat. "The study found that in overweight individuals who consumed 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily for 12 weeks had significantly lower body weight, BMI, visceral (belly) fat, and waist circumference than the control group that didn't consume any vinegar," Palinski says. "Researchers feel this may be due to vinegar's acetic acid, which may switch on genes that pump out proteins that break down fat."