As well all well know there are plenty of rules around what we should and shouldn’t be eating to lose weight, tone up and get our bodies healthy. Sometimes the information can be a complete land mine of discussion about amino acids, calories, kilojules, carbohydrates, good fats, bad fats, saturated fats and protiens….are you exhausted yet?!
Well, we have taken all the difficult leg work of understanding the complex nutritional language and discussion of different types of fats and proteins and laid out the best foods for toned, tight and taught tummies that will help you to reach your fitness goals and be your most confident….read on!
Bursting with approximately 23 grams of muscle-building protein per cup, Greek yoghurt is a great source of calcium and probiotics, both of which have been proven to help reveal your six-pack. Nutritional studies have shown that people who drank fermented milk with probiotics every day lost a significant amount of abdominal fat that lives between your muscles and organs, however those who didn’t, lost no stomach fat at all.
To make Greek yoghurt work for your ab goals, make sure that the packaging says that it contains ‘live and active cultures’ and ensure that you stay away from flavoured varieties as they contain truck-loads of sugar, this excess sugar can lead to spur belly fat and fluid retention around the midsection.
This source of protein also includes branched-chain amino acids, which decrease exercise-induced muscle damage and increase muscle recovery to help your workouts score you the strongest core possible. In a study that was conducted for the FASEB Journal, dieters who doubled their protein intake in general, not necessarily from whey, lost more fat and maintained more muscle than those who ate the recommended daily amount.
If you’re skipping out on protein from dairy because of an allergy, whey protein generally doesn’t cause any stomach upset, bloating, or gas, even in people who are lactose intolerant. Using whey protein powder, you should be eating around 110 grams a day.
Complex carbohydrates are vital to powering your workouts and reaching your fitness foals, the fibre from whole grains reduces stomach fat and increases your body’s levels of satiety hormones that help to keep you from overeating.
In a university study that was conducted by Pennsylvania State University, collecting a group of dieters who got all of their grains from whole grain over the course of 12 weeks, they lost about the same amount of weight as those who avoided grains altogether, and those who ate whole grains lost more fat from their midsections- can we get a hello abs?!!
The green stalks of the asparagus are rich in prebiotic fibre, a type of fibre that fuels the good bacteria in your digestive tract and helps to fight bloating. Plus it acts as a mild diuretic and the less excess fluid you have in your body, the more your muscles will pop, asparagus’ high antioxidant value may also help keep your core muscles strong while preventing inflammation-related weight gain. When thinking about making those ab muscles pop, you really can’t go wrong with any veggie, usually people who eat more vegetables tend to carry around less abdominal fat- period.
Besides keeping things moving through your GI tract to prevent constipation and bloating, the non-fermentable fibre in nuts will increase satiety and promote the stabilisation of blood sugar levels. In a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating 30 to 35 almonds a day helped dieters shed abdominal fat, this is considered prevalent because almonds contain more fibre than most other nuts.
Between its caffeine and antioxidants, green tea has it all happening. While both nutrients can help to reduce any excess belly fat, pairing them with workouts will help you to score the best results in the gym. How it works is that while caffeine blocks fatigue-inducing adenosine to help you work out harder and longer, in one Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise study, EGCG, the powerful antioxidant for which green tea is famous, was found to increase the amount of oxygen that your body can use as fuel while you sweat. The result: better work out performance and results- try drinking a glass before your next workout.
Those who eat highly processed foods including white bread, pasta, cookies and chips greater their chances of both over consumption of sugar (due to the refined carbs) and obesity. Refined sugars are infamous for shooting your blood sugar up, resulting in insulin spikes, fat storage and constant cravings. The body burns more calories digesting whole foods than it does digesting highly processed ones. Even if two foods contain the same number of calories as well as grams of protein, fat and carbohydrates, more calories will be stored as calories in your fat cells after consuming the processed food compared to after eating whole foods. By spurring excess inflammation, highly processed foods can degrade muscle cells and inhibit post-workout recovery.
While many studies have tied moderate drinking to a range of health benefits-including healthier waistlines- a 2016 analysis from Boston University shows that the bulk of those studies are flawed, with studies suggesting benefits when in reality, there are none. While the jury’s still out on moderate drinking and negative impact on metabolic health it’s clear that higher intake covers up women’s abs with health-wrecking belly fat. Even after a drink I two, alcohol stokes your appetite, disrupts your body’s ability to process calories and often comes in sugar-laden cocktails. Technically we should be capping things at three drinks per day or seven drinks per week, whichever is reached first, alcohol can still fit into your lean diet as long as the rest of your daily meals are nutritious.
Hopefully this gives you a little more guidance when it comes to what to eat in order to sculpt those abs, because it goes further than just the gym, it really does come down to what you’re creating in the kitchen too!