Got a bit of a belly bloat. If your belly fat hangs on like a stage 5 clinger (I swear it gets worse with age) then you might just want to follow these flat belly rules with me. Don’t worry, they’re actually quite easy to follow and not at all restrictive. Drink Up: Get some reusable water bottles and put them to good use, ladies! Your tummy gets puffy when you’re not getting enough H2O, so shoot for your 64-ounces a day, every day. In addition, snack on aqua-rich foods, especially fruit, and watch your sodium intake. Get Hot:The higher your metabolism, the quicker you’ll burn belly fat. One of the easiest ways to boost metabolism is upping your intake of capsaicin, which is a compound found in chili peppers. So start sprinkling those red pepper flakes on everything, from eggs to sautéed veggies. Fiber is Your Friend: Research shows that high-fiber foods, like beans, fruits, and vegetables, help burn belly fat. The goal is at least 25 grams a day; if you’re not there, up your intake gradually so as to not get gassy. Go Greek:Probiotics are a flat-belly savior. They aid digestion, so start your day off with a cup of non-fat Greek yogurt to get a toned tummy. Skip the containers with added fruits because that usually means added sugar, and instead top it off with some fresh fruit of your own for flavor. Just make sure to check for the words “active cultures” on the label to make sure you’re getting the benefits. Swap Soda:Skip on the carbonated drinks, whether it's tonic or diet coke, they can cause air bubbles in your stomach. While you're at it, avoid other sugar-free sweets like candies, because they contain chemicals that promote stomach swelling. Pick Protein:Watching caloric intake isn’t enough. You need to make sure the foods you’re consuming are the healthier picks. Compared to carbs and fat, your body uses more energy to break down the same number of calories in protein. So, you’ll be using more energy (read: burning more calories) by choosing grilled chicken over pasta, even if they have the same number of calories. Make sense? Shoot for around 80-90 grams of lean protein each day. Go Green:Stock up on green tea ASAP. It contains, EGCG, a powerful antioxidant that helps increase metabolism by four to 10 percent if you’re drinking two to four cups per day. Have a glass in the morning and another serving with your afternoon snack. Ban Trans Fat:Avoid anything trans-fat. It’s one of the worst things you can consume for your body, specifically your midsection. It not only promotes belly fat, but mobilizes fat from elsewhere in your body to migrate to your tummy, too. Seriously evil stuff. It’s found in shortening, some kinds of margarine, fried foods, and many commercial baked goods like cookies and crackers. Avoid anything that lists “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients. How are you slimming down your mid-section? Will you be putting these “rules” to good use?