Having a bikini-ready body is attractive and a goal for many women, especially moms. But reducing one's waist circumference is more important than just looking good at the beach.
OB-GYN Rebecca Booth, M.D., author of "The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of Your Cycle... at Any Age," wants moms to know a larger waist isn't just hard on your vanity, it can be a health risk too.
"The changes in our metabolism can add extra weight around our middles, putting us at increased risk of heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers."
Moms in particular are especially prone to increased belly fat. This is due to a variety of factors including hormonal changes because of pregnancy and possibly breastfeeding, the loss of elasticity in the abdomen muscles, and the lack of sleep that comes with motherhood.
However the news isn't all bad. The belly is actually one of the quickest places to lose weight. And losing that jiggly-wiggly belly may be easier than you think. Most experts agree that the best way to lose belly fat is to eat ... the right foods, of course.
The type and quantity of food you eat is important for getting a flat stomach. These three flat belly foods are not hard to find or obscure, at all. In fact they are probably in most American kitchens already.
1. Berries, cherries, grapes
These fruits add more than a spot of color to meals. They are full of heart-healthy antioxidants and fiber to fill you up. And they taste good too. Experts say to include up to two cups of these fruits per day regularly.
2. Lean protein
Getting six ounces of lean protein each day such as fish, skinless chicken breasts, turkey cutlets, pork tenderloin, and egg whites will help reduce belly fat. These lean proteins take longer to digest than carbohydrates and makes you feel full longer. They will also help to build muscle and won't add more belly fat if eaten in moderation.
A half cup of beans daily can cut down on belly bloat too. Chickpeas and kidney beans are great choices. Well-rinsed canned beans also work, though the low-sodium kind are best.