The #1 Best Eating Habit for a Flat Stomach, Dietitian Says: Eat This, Not That

There is a lot of debate about which food is really the most important; in the United States, it is generally considered breakfast, but in different countries around the world, lunch and dinner are also emphasized.

But according to Meghan Stoops, DR At Naked Nutrition, none of that should matter. Instead of eating the traditional three large meals, the best eating habit to help get and maintain a flat stomach is to eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day.

“It helps keep your metabolism running optimally and avoid overeating throughout the day,” says Stoops. “In other words, it’s an easy way to reduce your overall intake while still feeling full.”

Read on, and for healthy eating tips, check out 4 Ways to Dine Out and Still Lose Weight.

Woman eating yogurt and fruit

This can be a difficult change to make for people who are more used to eating three larger meals throughout the day. To help ease the transition, Stoops recommends continuing to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, but keep them smaller and include two snacks between meals throughout the day.

He also says it’s important to include good sources of protein, as well as sources of fiber, at each meal to help maintain a feeling of fullness. In addition to the benefits of eating smaller, more frequent meals, including regular sources of high-protein foods in your diet will also help contribute to a flat stomach, according to a 2018 study from the UK The study says a high-protein diet can be an “effective weight loss strategy” because it reduces hunger and increases energy expenditure.

One of the things that can keep a tummy from looking flatter is bloating, and Stoops adds that eating smaller meals at a more frequent pace can help prevent bloating because it avoids the heavy digestion that bodies go through after consuming a hearty food.

“If you’re prone to bloating, choosing small, frequent meals can help you avoid the heavy digestive burden that a large meal often causes, thus eliminating the discomfort of bloating and gas,” says Stoops. “It’s much easier on the stomach.”

In addition to helping relieve bloating, being easier on the stomach according to Stoops, and aiding in the effort to get and maintain a flat stomach, eating several smaller meals throughout the day has also been associated with better heart health, says a 2019 study.

The study concludes that eating more than four meals a day can improve cholesterol levels, ultimately leading to better heart health and a lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

So if you’re interested in trying this method of eating, grab some of your favorite snacks to have on hand between meals and give them a try!

Erin Yarnall

Erin Yarnall is a freelance reporter from the Chicago area. read more

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