With so many different diets around, finding a meal plan that's going to give you a flat stomach without having to starve yourself can feel overwhelming. But thanks to food nutritionist Monica Grenfell, we've found a flat stomach plan that shows you how to lose 5lb in a week! And it's all centred around the health and diet benefits of introducing more fibre into your daily diet (which is music to our ears - say hello to feeling fuller for longer!)
If you want to lose belly fat on a diet that lets you eat healthily and feel full, this diet plan is a great way to get on the road to a noticeably flatter stomach.
And you don't need hours of exercise or a strict diet to trim your tum. It's more important to commit to a dedicated menu plan and 30 minutes of daily exercise. We've devised this diet as the first stage of a tummy-flattening plan - and it'll help you lose 5lb in seven days. After this initial week, you should aim to follow the plan three to four days every week to achieve your dream midriff for life!
Rule one: Deal with constipation
Constipation can add 5lb and several inches to your tum. All flat-stomach plans must start with a detox - which means fibre. Plant foods (e.g. fruit and veg) are all foods which contain fibre, so eat plenty.
Rule two: Stretch and tone
Forget endless crunches which create a thick, tummy-bulging sixpack. Tone your entire mid-section with some stomach-flattening exercises, including back and waist, for a stunning shape from all angles, using stretching, Pilates and yoga - not cardio.
Rule three: Posture
Standing and sitting correctly shaves inches off the appearance of your mid-section - as well as making you look confident.
The facts on fibre
Short of a zero-calorie cake or fat-free fries, fibre's the best thing around when you're watching your weight. Fibre makes calories disappear, acting like a sponge in your digestive tract, sweeping up molecules of carbs, fats and sugars - and their calories - and stopping them settling on your stomach.
It may take a few days to show results if fibre is new to you, but your body will love it! We need 18g-25g fibre a day. The best foods are: prunes, raspberries, apples, brown rice, peas, sweetcorn and oranges.
Flat Stomach Diet: Day one
Breakfast: 6tbsp bran flakes with 3 dried apricots, 1 banana and skimmed milk
Mid-morning snack: 12 strawberries
Lunch: 2 slices of wholemeal bread with 2tsp mayonnaise, small, skinless chicken breast, sliced, and 1 tomato. 1 orange
Dinner:180g baked salmon served on any amount of steamed spinach with 150g baked potato. Baked apple and 2tbsp custard
Total fibre: 25.5g
Flat Stomach Diet: Day two
Breakfast: 30g All-Bran topped with 200ml semi-skimmed milk and 1 dessert spoon of cubed mango
Mid-morning snack: 3 slices sesame crispbread with two sliced tomatoes
Lunch: 2 slices roast beef with 2 roast potatoes and 1tbsp each sprouts, carrots and cauliflower
Dinner: 2 slices smoked salmon and ½ avocado in a salad OR 3tbsp veggie chilli (pictured) made with low-fat chilli sauce, chopped veg and kidney beans on 3tbsp brown rice. Small bowl raspberries and 1tbsp single cream
Total fibre: 26g
Flat Stomach Diet: Day threeBreakfast: Home-made muesli (20g oats, 15g flaked almonds, 3 dried, chopped apricots, sprinkling of sunflower seeds, 200ml skimmed milk) topped with half a grated apple
Mid-morning snack: Small pot of fat-free plain bio yogurt with 1tbsp sultanas
Lunch: Sandwich of 2 slices granary bread with ½ sliced avocado, 3 finely crushed walnuts, 1tsp vinaigrette
Dinner: 3tbsp vegetable and cashew nut stir-fry or curry with 4tbsp brown rice OR Tarragon chicken (pan-fried chicken breast with 1tbsp creme fraiche and 1tsp dried tarragon) with unlimited steamed broccoli and 2 small boiled potatoes. Baked banana with 1tbsp raspberry coulis
Total fibre: 23.6g
Flat Stomach Diet: Day fourBreakfast: Small bowl orange and grapefruit segments, 2 scrambled eggs, 1 slice wholemeal toast, scraping of butter
Mid-morning snack: 1 apple
Lunch: Waldorf salad (1 stick celery, sliced, ½ apple, diced, 6
broken walnuts and 6 grapes, all in a little mayonnaise, served on shredded lettuce)
Dinner: Chicken with watermelon and hazelnut salad with raspberry vinaigrette (100g cold chicken, sliced, mixed with handful cubed watermelon and 1tbsp crushed and toasted hazelnuts). Toss and mix with vinaigrette with a few raspberries added. Serve on tossed spinach and watercress leaves. 6 peach slices topped with 30g crumbled almonds, 1tbsp yogurt
Total fibre: 21.4g
Flat Stomach Diet: Day fiveBreakfast: 40g porridge with semi-skimmed milk and 4 prunes (pictured)
Mid-morning snack: Small bowl mixed raspberries and blueberries
Lunch: 1 medium-sized jacket potato with 1 small can baked beans, 2tbsp grated low-fat Cheddar, small salad
Dinner: 3 wholemeal cannelloni stuffed with spinach and 1tbsp ground almonds, baked in a low-fat cheese sauce, with salad OR 1 fillet white fish, baked in milk, with unlimited steamed broccoli, carrots and mangetout. Small fruit salad
Total fibre: 36g
Flat Stomach Diet: Day sixBreakfast: 30g Fruit'n'Fibre, 200ml semi-skimmed milk, topped with a sliced banana
Mid-morning snack: Celery and carrot sticks with 1dsp half-fat cream cheese
Lunch: 300ml lentil soup, small wholegrain roll
Dinner: 180g chicken breast, cubed, stir-fried with veg and 6 crushed walnuts, served with salad leaves. Small bowl stewed apple with sultanas and cinnamon
Total fibre: 27.6g
Flat Stomach Diet: Day sevenBreakfast: 2 boiled eggs with two slices wholemeal toast. 250ml orange juice
Mid-morning snack: Small flapjack
Lunch: Salad of half an avocado and 1tbsp prawns OR half a avocado filled with tuna
Dinner: Pasta primavera (pictured) - mixed veg stir-fried with half a tin crushed tomatoes, plus handful of cooked penne pasta. Add 1tbsp Parmesan cheese to serve. Peach poached in orange juice with 1tbsp plain yogurt
Total fibre: 23.2g