A flat stomach starts with healthy eating choices. But that doesn’t mean just adding a couple healthy foods to your diet says Dr. Eric J. Shapiro of University Hospitals Case Medical Center’s gastroenterology department. “What people need is a complete framework,” he says. Shapiro offers four tips on how changing what’s on your plate can transform your body.
Eliminate artificial sweeteners: “They’ve been consistent failures in helping people lose weight and tend to come with other ill effects,” says Shapiro. “I see more people trying to be healthy that have bloating from nonnutritives, which include artificial and caloric sweeteners.”
Avoid processed foods: “If you look at the list of the ingredients and don’t know what some of those things are, put the box back on the shelf and don’t eat it,” he says. “Don’t try to figure out all those chemical names and if they’re good or bad for you.”
Balance your proteins, carbohydrates and fats: “The biggest component should be vegetable complex carbohydrates. The second should be the protein,” Shapiro says.
“The smallest should be healthy fats, like the ones that come from olive oil and other
monounsaturated oils or the ones that come from fish.”
Learn to cook well: “Everyone can learn simple ways to make food good-tasting, and that’s the only way you can consistently eat healthy,” he stresses. “We live in a Golden Age of resources with farmers markets full of fresh food and Community Supported Agriculture programs. You can even watch YouTube video tutorials.”