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Getting a flat belly should be viewed as a long-term goal that involves a lifestyle overhaul. Losing a significant amount of weight in one day is not possible. It's also not possible to dictate where our bodies gain and lose fat. However, if you only have a slight pooch, the foods you eat can make a noticeable difference in your belly overnight. However, foods that generally cause a slimmer appearance in others may do the opposite for you. Get to know how your body reacts to certain foods.

Avoiding Water Retention

Retaining water can add inches to your waistline. Two common culprits that lead to water retention are dehydration and high sodium intake. When our bodies are dehydrated, they hold on to water. To avoid this, drink enough water: a simple rule to follow is the "8 by 8" rule, meaning you should drink 8 ounces of water eight times a day. Salt attracts water in our bodies, so a diet high in salt and sodium can make your body retain water. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the amount of sodium you should eat per day is 2, 400 milligrams, which is the amount in just one teaspoon of salt.

Avoiding Bloating

To slim your belly, it is very important to avoid bloating, which is a natural part of your digestion process that occurs when gases are broken down by your body. But it can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Bloating triggers include eating fattening foods, high stress levels, smoking, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and other gastrointestinal problems. If you are lactose-intolerant, avoid dairy products. Those with celiac disease should avoid gluten. Common foods that may cause bloating are beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, apples, peaches, pears and lettuce. Other things to avoid are hard candy, chewing gum and all carbonated drinks.

What to Eat

Since you are avoiding processed, high-fat, and hard-to-digest foods, your task is now to find unprocessed, low-fat, and easily digestible foods. According to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, carbohydrates and proteins are easier to digest than fats. Your meal plan should be based around starches without a high fiber content, such as potatoes without skin, white bread, bananas, and a variety of low-fiber cereals and grains, such as cream of rice, puffed rice and cream of wheat made with water or lactose-free milk. Low-fat protein sources include egg whites, chicken breasts and lean ham.

Long-Term Fat Loss

This way of eating is not ideal for the long term. If you are trying to cut your belly down, you will have to take in fewer calories, and it will be very hard to do that when you are avoiding high-fiber foods. These foods, such as broccoli and lettuce, are bulky and move through your system slowly, so they keep you full for longer on fewer calories. Additionally, whole-grain carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread are healthier than their white counterparts. While avoiding bloating and water retention can reduce your belly in one day, the amount of fat you can lose overnight is not significant. To do that, you should make long-term changes for a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

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