We’d believe flat belly advice from practically any of The Bachelor’s former suitors. Those infamous shower scenes do not hide anything — not one defined ab. So advice coming from a bachelor with an M.D. are like gold to us, and The Lose Your Belly Diet by former bachelor and The Doctors co-host Dr. Travis Stork has no shortage of them.
1. AVOID GUT BOMBS.
These are mega meals packed with grease, calories, salt and sugar — think: a bacon burger with soda and a side of fries — and there’s a zero-percent chance you’ll feel good after eating one. But according to Stork, not only does the food weigh you down, it actually triggers the release of chemicals in your brain that negatively impact your mood and make you want to waste the day away on the couch … instead of at the gym.
2. LOAD UP ON FIBER.
Gut bacteria — or what Travis semi-creepily refers to as his “Little Buddies” — are essential for digesting food properly (and avoid things like bloating), and they thrive on fiber. Women age 50 and younger should be getting 25 grams per day, which you can hit with foods like apples and raspberries (skip the juice and just eat them whole), beans (“the more you eat, the more you toot” is real) and hummus.
3. LOOK ALIVE.
Probiotics are foods that are teeming with living bacteria — and as gross as that sounds, they’re actually really, really good for you since they help support and add to the bacteria already living in your gut. Stork recommends eating at least one probiotic food every day, such as yogurt, kimchi or tempeh.
4. WHEN HE DIPS, YOU DIP.
We all know crudité are really just a vessel to transport dip to your mouth, and Stork’s on board with this hack if it gets you to eat more vegetables. Raw produce is better for you anyway, he says, since it’s more likely to be broken down lower in your GI tract, where many of your gut microbes live. There a dozen super-healthy recipes in his book, including rosemary-garlic yogurt dip and white bean spread.
5. DO DATE NIGHT AT THE GROCERY STORE.
And head right to the salad bar. (You and bae both know you were never going to choose salad over lasagna at that cute, little Italian spot on the corner.) You’ll save some money, and Stork is all for sprinkling on some fun stuff — like feta cheese or dried fruit — in moderation. And here’s his favorite hack: If you can’t swallow another bite of oil and vinegar, swap dressing for hummus or guacamole, both of which are packed with nutrients.
6. REPAIR YOUR FRIENDSHIP WITH GRAINS.
If all you want in life is world peace and for nutrition experts to agree on whether or not you should eat grains, keep wishing. That said, Stork is fully #teamgrains; in fact, he attributes a lot of his good health (Need we remind you of his abs?) to them. He explains that a diet high in whole grains like quinoa and brown rice can lead you to lose weight and body fat — even if you’re not trying!
7. TAKE BABY STEPS.
You don’t need to go from gym-avoider to marathon-runner. Stork’s favorite form of exercise is a good ol’ power walk, which will help you shed pounds plus lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol and reduce your risk of diabetes.
8. ADOPT A DOG.
Stork is not claiming that you’ll wake up with a six-pack the morning after welcoming Fido into your home. But what he is saying is that a pup could make you a lot more active, with things like constant walks and fetch in the backyard. C’mere, boy!
9. PLAN A VACATION.
And make it active. Sure, it’s more expensive than a gym membership, but what’s going to keep you more hooked on your New Year’s resolution: Hiking volcanoes in Hawaii or running on a treadmill in an apartment basement gym?
10. KEEP YOUR SQUAD HEALTHY.
When you share a home with people or spend a ton of time with them, you start to share microbes, AKA gut bacteria, with them, too. They’re in the air you breathe, the food you eat and the pets that are running around. So, the healthier your partner or roommates are, the healthier you’ll likely be.
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