Every girl I don’t care who you are dreams of having abs like Gisele. God knows she’s been showing them off enough in the spring glossies. But don’t hate her for it instead, think of it as a little motivation to get you bathing suit ready. I’ve even gone so far as to make her V Magazine photos my desktop background. But it’s going to take more than staring at Gisele all day to give me the perfect bikini abs. So, to make sure we’re all bathing suit ready this beach season, I’ve enlisted the help of Calorie Count‘s Director of Nutrition Mary Hartley to educate us on the foods and drinks to dish or ditch.
Cintia Dicker Photo: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2011
DITCH IT: Frozen Dinners
Even the light versions are often high in sodium, which holds on to water to create overall bloat. Read the label to find the lower sodium brands.
DITCH IT: Cruciferous Vegetables
Cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and others are full of raffinose, a fiber that no human can digest. It hangs around to produce gas. Solve the problem with Beano.
DITCH IT: Sugar-free chewing gum, mints and candy
These dietetic foods contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that can cause bloating in large amounts. People vary in sensitivity.
DITCH IT: Milk Products
Fluid milk, ice cream, cottage cheese, and half and half are poorly digested by more than 70 percent of adults around the world. If a mysterious bloating affects you, then treat milk as a likely suspect and try lactose-free brands.
DITCH IT: Regular Soda
Non-diet soda packs a double whammy. It introduces carbon dioxide bubbles into the GI track, where they may become trapped and create gas. Soda is also full High Fructose Corn Syrup that can, in large amounts, overwhelm the body's ability to digest fructose, producing even more gas.
DISH IT: Asparagus
Natural diuretics do exist and, although they may be mild, they are helpful. Asparagus has diuretic properties, as does parsley, watercress, celery seed and melon.
DISH IT: Yogurt or Kefir
Yogurt and kefir are fermented milk products formed by live bacteria. When eaten in an adequate amount, their live cultures have probiotic activity that sweetens the gut to keep it well-behaved.
DISH IT: Grapefruit Juice
Grapefruit juice is low in calories, highly nutritious and refreshing. Grapefruit contains nootkatone, a natural compound that enhances energy metabolism in muscle and the liver. Drink grapefruit juice mixed with water on ice.
DISH IT: White Fish
White fishes, like cod, flounder and halibut, are ultra low in calories and loaded with high-biological-value protein. Eat more fish and less meat to stay lean.
DISH IT: Bran Cereals
A flat belly depends on clean innards and a daily dose of a bran cereal will keep you clean. Read the label to find a cereal that provides 10 or more grams of fiber per serving.