Surprising secrets for a flatter stomach

WARNING: after reading these flat stomach tips you may experience strong, uncontrollable urges that will cause you to flash your flat belly in public. Proceed with caution:
Stop doing so many crunches

Most people think that to achieve a flat, toned stomach you need to do a thousand crunches every morning before work, but that’s just not true. The surprising secret is that doing lots of ab specific exercises will only help you tone that area on a short-term basis, if at all.

To get the flat stomach you want, you have to work your entire core, building up its strength and flexibility. Doing exercises like Pilates or stability ball work will help you do this. Working your core is the key to achieving a flat stomach because it works all of the muscles in your stomach area, such as the rectus abdominis, your internal and external obliques and your transversus abdominis.

Stock up on whole grains

A study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered a surprising secret for a flatter stomach. The study gave participants a healthy diet to eat, consisting of fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, meat and fish. However, they gave one set of participants wholegrain foods to eat and the other set of participants refined grain foods.

At the end of the study those participants who had eaten the wholegrain foods had lost more weight from their stomachs than those who ate the refined grain foods. The researchers believe that the participants who ate more whole grains and ate less refined carbs lost more from their waistlines because this change in diet mobilised people’s fat stores because of a shift in their glucose and insulin response. If you want to swap refined grains for whole grains, eat less yeast-based breads, pasta and cakes or cookies and eat more foods such as oats (which contains as many antioxidants as broccoli and spinach), brown rice and wheat berries.

Get some sleep

It may seem as though sleep has nothing to do with your dream of having a flat stomach, but it does. If you don’t get enough sleep then your hormone levels change, which can make you feel hungry and can also make you feel less satisfied once you have eaten. This can lead to overeating. Plus those late nights watching TV or going out with friends gives you more time to snack and reach for unhealthy foods.

So, how much sleep should you be getting? The Mayo Clinic advises adults that they should sleep for no less than seven hours a night. If you struggle to get this much sleep make sure you are exercising regularly, that you don’t nap during the day and that you eat foods that contain tryptophan (an amino acid that helps you sleep), such as chicken, milk and yoghurt.

Time your meals

If you eat food quickly then you might find that you are eating more than you actually need to. Slowing down the pace you eat meals at will help you to achieve a flatter stomach because you will eat smaller portions. Also a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that eating quickly did not allow the hormone that makes you feel full to kick in. Therefore when eating quickly you are far more likely to eat more than is necessary.

To stop eating so quickly you should make sure you eat at your dining table and do not eat in front of the TV. Concentrating and savouring what you are tucking into will help slow down the rate you eat at. You could also set a timer and try to consciously slow down so that you eat the last bites of your food when the timer goes off. Also, a study found that soft lighting and gentle music helped participants eat less quickly so you could always dim the lights and put on some Enya too.

Tuck into some enzymes

An enzyme that will help you achieve a flatter stomach is called bromelain and it can be found in pineapples. The bromelain enzyme digests protein and is called a proteolytic enzyme. It is useful for those who want a flatter stomach because it aids the digestion of foods that are high in fibre, such as beans or vegetables. By aiding the digestion of these foods this enzyme eases bloating, which is a major obstacle that stands between many people and their flat stomachs.

If you want to get a flat stomach and think the bromelain enzyme might help you to achieve this then you should eat some fresh pineapple before a meal to aid your digestion. The enzyme can also be taken as a supplement.
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10 foods that are healthier than you think

Knowing the right kind of food to eat for better health can be a confusing affair. This is especially so because the market is flooded with products and food items that are being sold as calorie-free or super-foods. However, are you well-educated on what exactly is healthy and what’s not? Read on about 10 foods that are healthier than you thought, and be surprised!

Chicken Thighs
Chicken breasts are known to be rich in unsaturated fats, but chicken wings are a healthier as well as more economical option for those who crave non-vegetarian items in their daily dinner menu. So, include the item in your meal at least a couple of times a week.

Rich in protein, this nut has a benefit greater than what other nuts provide, that is, it helps curb the appetite. Added to your pesto sauce or mixed with other vegetables, pinenuts make for an excellent and healthy snack or dish.

Red Meat
Red meat has always been known as harmful due to its saturated fat content. However, more recent studies reveal that red meat provides the body with proteins, and enhances the metabolism! The consumption, nevertheless, must be moderate.

You have always heard of pickles being fattening, haven’t you? Well, contrary to that popular belief, if consumed in moderation, pickles can actually do more good than harm. This is because they contain vinegar, an excellent source of cutting down the digestion of starch in the body.

Whilst you would likely hear all about the negative impacts of drinking too much coffee, you should also know that coffee is brimming with antioxidants, which are essential to build immunity and strengthen the body against diseases. Moreover, it is known to reduce the risk of Type-II Diabetes.

Peanut Butter
Never thought this would make it to this list, did you? However, peanut butter is rich in protein, vitamin E as well as fibre. Moreover, it is capable of providing the requisite amounts of calorie to the body. Therefore, shy not from the tasty spread!

Eggs are packed with components that are highly beneficial to the human body - vitamins A and D, protein, as well as antioxidants. So, an egg a day must form part of your diet.
Another food that people shrug off due to its high levels of starch, potatoes are actually quite a healthy part of one’s diet. They are necessary for your daily dose of protein, fibre, iron as well as vitamins.
Now whosoever thought pasta could make it to a list of healthy foods! Not you! Now, you can indulge knowing that pasta has a low fat content and its healthier options can be consumed using less creamy sauces and recipes with tons of veggies! When it comes to healthy eating, avoiding some of your favourite foods may not be necessary. Know the right foods to eat and stay fit!
Bananas are popularly known as rich in sugar and carb content. However, what they actually provide is an excellent amount of Vitamin C and B6 to the body and they are also packed with potassium, which is great for the heart.
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Top 10 Expensive Foods in the World

Extravagance and luxury are not just restricted to cars, homes and jewellery. Meet the top 10 expensive foods in the world.

This $52 million cake has literally taken the bakery with it, and been dubbed as the most expensive in the world.

The ubiquitous South Indian fare - the dosa - just got its first taste of luxury and how. Raj Bhog in Bangalore is the restaurant behind this dosa. What makes this dosa different from its peers is the fact that itis covered in gold, and costs Rs 1,001.

Made from a combination of organic produce, saffron and other spices along with gold make this delicious accompaniment the most expensive chutney in the world. A 190ml jar of this chutney costs £2000.

Bombay Brasserie in London bags the title of serving up the most expensive curry in the world. Priced at £2000, this dish is a seafood delight comprising lobster, caviar and sea snails topped with edible gold.

The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata comes in at a whopping $1,000 dollars and is the most expensive omelette in the world.Watch how it's made.

Fittingly called the “Le Burger Extravagant”, this $295 burger is made with Japanese Wagyu beef, white and black truffles, James Montgomery cheddar cheese and quail egg.

Wrapped in 24-carat gold leaf, this sushi comes with Mikimoto Pearls and diamonds! This five-piece sushi plate costs a mere $1978.15.

The humble go-to comfort commercial food just got turned on its head. White truffles and gold leaf make this pizza the most expensive in the world. Made in Malta, this pizza costs $2,400, and must be ordered in advance

This rare and expensive Iranian white Beluga caviar called Almas retails apparently at £16,000 for a kilo. It comes in gold-plated tin.

At $25,000, the Frrrozen Haute Chocolate is a bejwelled piece of work. This ice cream sundae is clearly the most expensive ice-cream sundae in the world. This decadent dessert is made with a blend of several types of coco beans, and is served in edible gold-lined goblet which is accessorized with diamonds and gold.
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Time for a Summer Detox!

Recently overindulged? Feeling a bit sluggish? Or just not looking your best? It could be that your body is in need of a detox. Fortunately, there are many foods around that can help counteract the effects of a toxic lifestyle. Whether you want to lose weight, feel more energised, improve your complexion or boost your mood, check out these top 10 foods to cleanse your body and boost your health.

Lemon: Lemons are a staple of many detox diets, and there is good reason for this. Firstly, lemons are packed with antioxidant vitamin C, which is great for the skin and for fighting disease-forming free-radicals. Furthermore, the citrus fruit has an alkaline effect on the body, meaning that it can help restore the body's pH balance, benefitting the immune system. Try starting your day with hot water and a slice of lemon to help flush out toxins and cleanse your system.

Ginger: If too much fatty food or alcohol has caused problems for your digestive system, it may be worthwhile adding some ginger to your diet. Ginger is not only great for reducing feelings of nausea, but it can help improve digestion, beat bloating and reduce gas. In addition to this, ginger is high in antioxidants and is good for boosting the immune system. To give your digestion a helping hand, try sipping on ginger tea or adding some freshly grated ginger to a fruit or vegetable juice.

Garlic: Garlic has long been known for its heart benefits, however the pungent food is also good at detoxifying the body. Garlic is not only antiviral, antibacterial and antibiotic, but it contains a chemical called allicin which promotes the production of white blood cells and helps fight against toxins. Garlic is best eaten raw, so add some crushed garlic to a salad dressing to boost its flavour and your health at the same time.

Artichoke: If you have recently been overindulging in fatty foods and alcohol, adding some steamed globe artichoke leaves to your meals is a great way to help get your body back on track. Globe artichokes are packed with antioxidants and fibre and can also help the body digest fatty foods. On top of this, globe artichoke is renowned for its ability to stimulate and improve the functions of the liver - the body's main toxin-fighting tool.

Beetroot: For those needing a quick health-boosting shot of nutrients, you can't do much better than beetroot. Packed with magnesium, iron, and vitamin C, the vegetable has recently been hailed as a superfood due to its many reported health benefits. Not only is beetroot great for skin, hair and cholesterol levels, but it can also help support liver detoxification, making it an ultimate detox food. To enjoy its benefits, try adding raw beetroot to salads or sipping on some beetroot juice.

Green tea: While it's not technically a food, no detox plan would be complete without regular consumption of essential liquids. Fluids are essential for keeping our organs healthy and helping to flush toxins from the body, and drinking green tea is a great way of boosting your intake. Green tea is not only a good weight-loss drink, but it is extremely high in antioxidants. Research has also suggested that drinking green tea can protect the liver from diseases including fatty liver disease.

Cabbage: Many celebs have resorted to the cabbage soup diet to help lose weight and get in shape quickly before a big event, however cabbage is not only good for weight loss - it is also an excellent detoxifying food. Like most cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli and sprouts), cabbage contains a chemical called sulforaphane, which helps the body fight against toxins. Cabbage also supplies the body with glutathione; an antioxidant that helps improve the detoxifying function of the liver.

Fresh fruit: Fresh fruits are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre= and are also low in calories, making them an important part of a detox diet. If you're after brighter eyes and skin, shinier hair and improved digestion, try boosting your intake of fruit and eating from a wide variety of different kinds. The good news is fruit is easy to add to your diet, so try starting your day with a fresh fruit salad or smoothie and snacking on pieces of fruit throughout the day.

Brown rice: If you want to cleanse your system and boost your health, it is a good idea to cut down on processed foods. Instead, try supplementing your diet with healthier whole grains such as brown rice, which is rich in many key detoxifying nutrients including B vitamins, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous. Brown rice is also high in fibre, which is good for cleansing the colon, and rich in selenium, which can help to protect the liver as well as improving the complexion.
Watercress: Like most green herbs and vegetables, watercress is an excellent health-booster and detox food. Firstly, watercress leaves are packed with many vital detoxifying nutrients, including several B vitamins, zinc, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C. Secondly, watercress has natural diuretic properties, which can help to flush toxins out the body. To reap the benefits of this nutritious food, try adding a handful of watercress to salads, soups and sandwiches.
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20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

It's time for a new slim-down mantra: Eat more to weigh less. The right foods help you drop up to two pounds a week by revving your calorie burn and curbing cravings.

An apple a day can keep weight gain at bay. People who chomped an apple before a pasta meal ate fewer calories overall than those who had a different snack. Plus, the antioxidants in apples may help prevent metabolic syndrome, a condition marked by excess belly fat or an "apple shape."
Eat more Apples are the ideal on-the-go low-calorie snack. For a pie-like treat, chop up a medium apple and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp allspice and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Pop in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.

Beef has a rep as a diet buster, but eating it may help you peel off pounds.Try to consume local organic beef; it's healthier for you and the environment.
Eat more Grill or broil a 4-ounce serving of top round or sirloin; slice thinly to top a salad, or mix with veggies for fajitas.

Dig in to eggs, yolks and all: They won't harm your heart, but they can help you trim inches.
Eat more Omelets and scrambles are obvious choices, but if you can't cook before work, bake a frittata on Sunday; chill it and nuke slices for up to a week.

Long sidelined as a lowly garnish, this green belongs center stage on your plate. One raw chopped cup contains 34 calories and about 1.3 grams of fiber, as well as a hearty helping of iron and calcium.
Eat more Mix chopped raw kale into cooked black beans. Or slice kale into thin strips, sauté it with vegetable broth and top with orange slices. Make it a meal by tossing the mix with quinoa.

All oats are healthful, but the steel-cut and rolled varieties (which are minimally processed) have up to 5 grams of fiber per serving, making them the most filling choice. Instant oats contain 3 to 4 grams per serving.
Eat more "Instead of using breadcrumbs, add oats to meat loaf—about 1 cup for a recipe that serves eight," Iserloh recommends. Or try her recipe for turkey and oatmeal meatballs.

Lentils are a bona fide belly flattener. Eating them helps prevent insulin spikes that cause your body to create excess fat, especially in the abdominal area.
Eat more There are many varieties of lentils, but red and yellow cook fastest (in about 15 to 20 minutes). Add cooked lentils to pasta sauce for a heartier dish, Zuckerbrot suggests. "Their mild flavor blends right in, and because they're high in protein, you can skip meat altogether."

Goji berries
These chewy, tart berries have a hunger-curbing edge over other fruit: 18 amino acids, which make them a surprising source of protein. Snack on them mid-afternoon to stay satisfied until dinner. The calorie cost? Only 35 per tablespoon.
Eat more Mix 1/4 cup of the dried berries (from health food stores) with 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 cup walnuts for a nourishing trail mix. Or for dessert, pour 1/4 cup boiling water into a bowl with 2 tbsp dried berries; let sit 10 minutes. Drain, then spoon over 1/2 cup lowfat vanilla frozen yogurt.

Wild salmon
Not only do fish fats keep your heart healthy, but they shrink your waist, too. "Omega-3 fatty acids improve insulin sensitivity—which helps build muscle and decrease belly fat," Grotto explains. And the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns. Opt for wild salmon; it may contain fewer pollutants.
Eat more You don't need to do much to enhance salmon's taste, says Sidra Forman, a chef and writer in Washington, D.C. "Simple is best. Season a fillet with salt and pepper, then cook it in a hot pan with 2 tsp oil for 1 to 3 minutes on each side."

Buckwheat pasta
Swap plain noodles for this hearty variety; you'll slip into your skinny jeans in no time. "Buckwheat is high in fiber and, unlike most carbs, contains protein," Zuckerbrot says. "Those two nutrients make it very satiating, so it's harder to overeat buckwheat pasta than the regular stuff."
Eat more Cook this pasta as you do rice: Simmer it, covered, over low heat. For a light meal, toss cooked buckwheat pasta with broccoli, carrots, mushrooms and onions. Or make buckwheat crepes using our tasty recipe.

All berries are good for you, but those with a blue hue are among the best of the bunch. They have the highest antioxidant level of all commonly consumed fruit. They also deliver 3.6 grams of fiber per cup.
Eat more Instead of topping your cereal with fruit, fill your bowl with blueberries, then sprinkle cereal on top and add milk or yogurt, Iserloh recommends.

Almond butter
Adding this spread may lower bread's glycemic index (a measure of a food's effect on blood sugar). A study from the University of Toronto found that people who ate almonds with white bread didn't experience the same blood sugar surges as those who ate only the slice.
Eat more Try it for a change from peanut butter in sandwiches, or make a veggie dip: Mix 1 tbsp almond butter with 2 tbsp fat-free plain yogurt, Iserloh suggests. Or add a dollop to oatmeal for flavor and protein.

The juice gets all the hype for being healthy, but pomegranate seeds deserve their own spotlight. In addition to being loaded with folate and disease-fighting antioxidants, they're low in calories and high in fiber, so they satisfy your sweet tooth without blowing your diet.
Eat more Pop the raw seeds on their own (many grocery stores sell them preshucked) as a snack at your desk. "Use them in salads instead of nuts," Iserloh says. "They're especially delicious on raw baby spinach with lemon—poppy seed dressing." For another take on the seeds, use our easy recipe for sweet and spicy pomegranate salsa.

One reason to spice up your meals: You'll crank up your metabolism. "A compound in chiles called capsaicin has a thermogenic effect, meaning it causes the body to burn extra calories for 20 minutes after you eat the chiles," Zuckerbrot explains.
Eat more Stuff chiles with cooked quinoa and marinara sauce, then roast them. To mellow a chile's heat, grill it until it's almost black, peel off charred skin and puree the flesh, Krieger says. Add the puree to pasta sauces for a one-alarm kick. Or stir red pepper flakes into any dish you enjoy.

Dietitians often refer to plain yogurt as the perfect food, and for good reason: With its trifecta of carbs, protein and fat, it can stave off hunger by keeping blood sugar levels steady.
Eat more "Use lowfat plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise in chicken or potato salad, or top a baked potato with a bit of yogurt and a squeeze of lemon juice," Krieger says. You'll save 4.7 grams of fat per tablespoon. Look for Greek yogurt, which has more protein than other versions.

Curbing hunger is as easy as piling your plate with this whole grain. It packs both fiber (2.6 grams per 1/2 cup) and protein, a stellar nutrient combo that can keep you satisfied for hours, Krieger says.
Eat more Serve quinoa instead of rice with stir-fries, or try Krieger's take on a scrumptious hot breakfast: Cook 1/2 cup quinoa in 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup orange juice for 15 minutes. Top with 1 tbsp each of raisins and chopped walnuts

These tiny fish are the unsung stars of the sea. They are high in protein and loaded with omega-3s, which also help the body maintain muscle. And they're low in mercury and high in calcium, making them a smart fish pick for pregnant women. If the flavor doesn't appeal to you, "soak them in milk for an hour; it will remove any trace of fishiness," Iserloh says.
Eat more "Use sardines in recipes you like that call for anchovies, including Caesar salad and stuffing," Iserloh says. Or make a sardine melt: Toss whole sardines with chopped onions, fresh herbs and diced bell peppers. Put the mixture on top of a slice of pumpernickel or rye bread, cover with a slice of cheddar and broil.

You can use this herb, a staple in French cooking, in place of salt in marinades and salad dressings. Plus, tarragon lends a sweet, licorice-like flavor to bland foods.
Eat more Rub 2 tbsp dried tarragon on chicken before baking or grilling. Or make a tasty dip by mixing 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon into 4 oz lowfat plain yogurt and 1 tsp Dijon mustard, recommends Jacquelyn Buchanan, director of culinary development at Laura Chenel's Chèvre, a fromagerie in Sonoma, California.

Drop that rubbery lowfat cheese and pick up the real stuff. Women who had one serving of whole milk or cheese daily were less likely to gain weight over time, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds.
Eat more "Grate Parmesan over roasted vegetables," Buchanan offers. Or snack on a 1-ounce portion with an apple or a pear.

Don't let the fat content of an avocado (29 grams) scare you—that's what makes it a top weight loss food, Kraus says. "The heart-healthy monounsaturated fat it contains increases satiety," she says. And it's terrific summer party food.
Eat more Add avocado to your sandwich instead of mayo for a creamy texture and a shot of flavor. Avocados do contain a lot of calories, so it's best to watch your portions. One easy way to do it: Try Wholly Guacamole's 100-calorie fresh guacamole packs ($3; grocery stores or They're easy to pack in your lunch and pair with chopped vegetables.

Olive oil
Like avocados, olive oil has healthy fat that increases satiety, taming your appetite. But that's hardly its only slimming feature. "Research shows it has anti-inflammatory properties," Kraus says. Chronic inflammation in the body is linked to metabolic syndrome.
Eat more Drizzle your salad with olive oil and you'll increase the antioxidant power of your veggies, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition notes. Or toss pasta with a few teaspoons of olive oil, fresh basil and sautéeed garlic, Kraus suggests. Add this oil to your summer menus for a flatter tummy by fall.
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