Lose the belly pooch: 7 do’s and don’ts to accomplish a flat stomach 

When you're trying to lose weight and get in shape, belly fat can be one of the hardest problems to address. 

Even after you've managed to drop some pounds, your stomach may still have a persistent pooch.

In addition to making it harder to get into your jeans, belly fat may also have a negative impact on your overall health. Fat in this location has been linked to an increased risk of serious issues such as diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

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The Flat Belly Diet

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If you're looking for a diet that helps you achieve a flat stomach, there's one designed just for that purpose – the Flat Belly Diet. Created by a former Prevention magazine editor and a registered dietitian, the diet aims to reduce belly fat by increasing your consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids. The diet's creators say these types of fats target abdominal fat and promote fullness, so you'll lose overall weight as well as belly fat.

You'll find monounsaturated fats in foods like olive oil, nuts, seeds and chocolate.

FILE — Sliced almonds (Karsten Moran/The New York Times) (KARSTEN MORAN/NYT)

WebMD doubts claims that the diet specifically targets belly fat, but the site’s experts note that if assists in overall weight loss, you should also lose belly fat. Dr. Oz, on the other hand, said that the diet may work. He touts the diet's emphasis on magnesium, which he says may reduce inflammation and the level of bad bacteria in your stomach. This type of bacteria has been linked to weight gain.

What to add to your diet

In addition to taking a look at the Flat Belly Diet, consider these dietary changes to help reduce abdominal fat.

 Peppermint and chamomile tea: These types of tea help ease digestion and help your body dissolve gas, which can reduce bloating, according to

Constipation distends your belly, so a daily dose of fiber in the morning can keep your digestive system moving.. (AP Photo/David Duprey, File)

 Fiber-rich cereal: Constipation distends your belly, so a daily dose of fiber in the morning can keep your digestive system moving. says high-fiber cereals that contain two types of fiber – insoluble (from bran) and soluble (from psyllium) – are good choices.

 Yogurt: It contains probiotics, which can help balance the bacteria in your stomach and prevent bloating. says yogurt is also packed with protein, so it can help you feel full.

File photo. (Photo illustration by (Joern Pollex/Getty Images)) (Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

 Cucumbers: According to, cucumbers help reduce swelling and bloating due to their high water content and quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant.

What to limit


Alcohol: Some types of alcohol are loaded with calories. According to, these calories can't be stored for later, so your metabolism has to focus on the alcohol rather than on burning fat.

Sodium: Sodium makes you retain water, which increases your belly bloat. Stop salting your food, but also look at the salt content on pre-packaged foods, which are an even greater source of sodium for most people, according to

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