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Fitness Coach Shares the Foods to Start Eating If You Want a Flat Stomach

They could help jumpstart your weight loss.

Fitness is about so much more than having washboard abs—it's about feeling good in your body, making the most of its abilities, and supporting your overall health with sound nutrition and exercise. If you also feel so inclined to strive for a flat stomach, Jenna Rizzo, a fitness and weight loss coach, said in a recent TikTok post that there are two foods you're probably not eating but "absolutely should be."

RELATED: If You Want to Lose Weight, "Avoid These Foods Like the Plague," Fitness Expert Says.

Before you start dialing into the specifics of your diet, it's important to take stock of your broader nutritional needs. Whether your goal is to lower your risk of chronic illness or lower your weight, most experts recommend following a whole-food diet that emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limiting your intake of processed foods and reducing your intake of added salt, sugar, and saturated fat, can also help you reap both of those benefits.

Once you've laid a healthy nutritional foundation, Rizzo says you can start adding certain foods to help boost your weight loss efforts.

"The first thing you want to make sure you're eating a lot of is any type of fermented food," the fitness coach says, recommending yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha in particular.

"These foods are going to be loaded with nutrients and good bacteria called probiotics. And these foods are going to help way more with reducing bloating than any type of green drink ever will," Rizzo adds.

RELATED: 4 Probiotics That Trigger an Ozempic-Like Weight Loss Effect, Doctors Say.

Research seems to corroborate that fermented foods could help lower your weight. In fact, a 2023 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences says they could someday be used as "nutritional therapies for long-term body weight homeostasis." In other words, eating fermented foods as part of a broader weight loss regimen could help people lose weight and keep it off.

"Regular consumption of fermented foods has been associated with a variety of health benefits (although some health risks also exist), including improved digestion, enhanced immunity, and greater weight loss, suggesting that fermented foods have the potential to help in the design of effective nutritional therapeutic approaches for obesity," the study authors write.

They further explain that fermented foods produce short-chain fatty acids in the gastrointestinal tract that can "regulate the intestinal microbiome, inhibit inflammatory pathways, and reduce appetite hormones."

The second way Rizzo recommends changing your diet is to add more protein to each meal.

"You are going to add protein to every meal and snack you eat throughout the day. Not only is protein going to help you feel fuller for longer periods of time, it's going to naturally increase your body's ability to burn fat. It also creates a nice muscle tone," she says.

Besides eating lean meats, the fitness expert recommends eating Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese, low-fat milk, cottage cheese, protein shakes, and fortified bread and cereals. She suggests aiming for about 30 grams of protein per meal, and 15 grams of protein per snack.


Start eating the first one & watch your bloating disappear.

♬ original sound – Jenna Rizzo | Weight Loss

Several studies seem to back up the notion that increasing your protein intake can help you shed pounds faster. For example, a 2014 study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism explains that one of the mechanisms behind weight loss associated with high-protein diets involves "increased secretion of satiety hormones (GIP, GLP-1)," the same mechanism that makes weight loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy effective at curbing appetite and reducing calorie intake.

The study also notes that protein helps reduce the release of ghrelin (a hormone that causes hunger), increases the thermic effect of food, and helps to stabilize blood sugar. Together these help reduce cravings and burn slightly more calories while you digest your meal.

Though no one food alone can promise weight loss, incorporating fermented foods and more protein into your broader nutritional plan could help speed up the process. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist to learn more about ways to safely and sustainably lose weight.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. If you have health questions or concerns, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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