Perhaps we all want a flatter belly—or at least that seems to be the general consensus. However, we are big proponents of living our best lives, so we can’t let our worlds totally revolve around the notion of a flat stomach. But on those days when we want to look and feel our best and appear snatched as hell under that bodycon dress or crop top, take note.
Shauna Faulisi is one of our go-to experts when it comes to all things food. She’s a holistic nutritionist and chef and well-rounded wellness expert. Her professional opinion is one we trust, big time, especially when it comes to what to eat and when. On the occasions we want to look like the tautest and slimmest versions of ourselves, we are steering clear of the following.
“Avoid dense lectin-containing foods like beans and grains. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that bind to sugar and other carbohydrate molecules and are resistant to human digestion … i.e., they can bring on the bloat and fatigue. Keeping lectins down from starchy foods like beans, and some grains, will help to keep bloating down and your digestion happy.
If you’re needing carbohydrate support, go with white rice. I know it’s contrary to what we’ve been taught, but because white rice is stripped of its outer coating that contains lectins, the grain is easier on the gut and will be digested faster.”
“Sugar can cause GI distress and bloating, not to mention it can trigger the same reward center in our brain as drugs and alcohol, making it a tough habit to kick. There is no off-switch to sugar in our brain—this means we can consume sugar all day and never feel full or satisfied. This becomes a slippery slope because it not only affects our body, but it affects our skin, hormones, sleep, and mood. Avoiding sugar means you get to cut out excess calories and bloat, feel way more vibrant, and find freedom in your moods and cravings.”
Many packaged foods contain trans fats in the form of hydrogenated oils, because they extend their shelf life as a major preservative. “Packaged foods are designed to be delicious and to keep you coming back for more. That’s how they keep their sales up. They’re designed to light up the reward center in your brain and to make it hard for us to stop eating them,” Faulisi explains. Hydrogenated oils not only tend to store in our body as belly fat, but they are highly inflammatory, which does not help us achieve our tight tummy goals. It can lead to more bloating and digestive duress.
Not everyone has a hard time digesting lactose, but a surprising amount of the population does, even if it doesn’t manifest in immediate discomfort or obvious symptoms. It often just produces gas and bloating, which will definitely make your favorite high-waisted jeans fit a little tighter, and not in the right places.
But feeling good doesn’t have to be all about restriction. Faulisi is fully supportive of anyone who wants to debloat, lose a few pounds, or just feel more vibrant in their body—as long as there’s kindness and thoughtful intention with oneself surrounding the desire. “It’s more about focusing on what you can have rather than focusing on what you can’t. It mentally puts you in a softer space and allows you to focus on all that’s around you, instead of any lack.”
“When I and my clients have the same desire, I advise that they focus on leafy greens plus easily digestible vegetables with extra virgin olive oil, drink plenty of water, and make their own food,” Faulisi shares. “The act of cooking and connecting with your food will naturally make you appreciate it more. This helps us slow down and tap into when we’re full and satiated.”
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