The 10 Best Foods for Flat Abs


Almonds

almonds

These delicious and versatile nuts contain filling protein and fiber, not to mention vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.

They’re also a good source of magnesium, a mineral your body must have in order to produce energy, build and maintain muscle tissue, and regulate blood sugar.

A stable blood-sugar level helps prevent cravings that can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Let me tell you what makes almonds most interesting,  their ability to block calories. Research indicates that the composition of their cell walls may help reduce the absorption of all of their fat, making them an extra-lean nut.

Try: An ounce a day (about 23 almonds), with approximately 160 calories.

An empty Altoids tin will hold your daily dose perfectly.

 

Eggs

You won’t find a more perfect protein source. Eggs are highly respected by dietitians because of their balance of essential amino acids (protein building blocks used by your body to manufacture everything from muscle fibers to brain chemicals).

Soy

Dry-Roasted edamame

Soybeans are a great source of antioxidants, fiber, and protein. Plus, they’re incredibly versatile. Snack on dry-roasted soybeans, toss shelled edamame into soups, and slip a spoonful of silken tofu into your morningsmoothie.

Apples

A large apple has 5 grams of fiber, but it’s also nearly 85 percent water, which helps you feel full.

 

Berries

Most are loaded with fiber, every dieter’s best friend. The more fiber you eat — experts say that it’s best to get between 25 and 35 grams every day — the fewer calories you absorb from all the other stuff you put in your mouth.

That’s because fiber traps food particles and shuttles them out of your system before they’re fully digested. Berries (and other fruits) are also high in antioxidants, which not only help protect you from chronic diseases like cancer but may also help you get more results from your workouts.  Antioxidants help improve blood flow, which can help muscles contract more efficiently.

Leafy Greens

Spinach

Their cancer-preventing carotenoids won’t help shrink your waistline, but their low calorie count definitely will. One cup of spinach contains only about 40 calories, while a cup of broccoli has 55 calories and satisfies 20 percent of your day’s fiber requirement. Most leafy greens are also a good source of calcium, an essential ingredient for muscle contraction. In other words, they help fuel your workouts.

Try for: Three servings daily. Keep a bag of pre-washed baby spinach in your fridge and toss a handful into soups, salads, pasta dishes, stir-fries, and sandwiches. When you get sick of spinach, reach for a bunch of arugula, broccoli rabe, or broccolini, a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale.

Yogurt

Probiotics!!!!!  People who get their calcium from yogurt rather than from other sources may lose more weight around their midsection, according to a recent study published in theInternational Journal of Obesity. The probiotic bacteria in most yogurts help keep your digestive system healthy, which translates into a lower incidence of gas, bloating, and constipation, which can keep your tummy looking flat.

Try for: One to three cups a day of low-fat or fat-freeyogurt. Choose unsweetened yogurt that contains live active cultures. Add a handful of fresh chopped fruit for flavor and extra fiber.

Veggie Soup

Easy Lemon Lentil Soup With Spinach

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that people who ate broth-based (or low-fat cream-based) soups two times a day were more successful in losing weight than those who ate the same amount of caloriesin snack food. Soup eaters also maintained, on average, a total weight loss of 16 pounds after one year. “Plus, it’s a simple way to get your vegetables,” says Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, author of Power Eating (Human Kinetics, 2001).

Try for: At least one cup of low-calorie, low-sodium vegetable soup every day.

Salmon 

Salmon

Seafood, especially fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. These uber-healthy fats may help promote fat burning by making your metabolism more efficient, according to Kleiner. An Australian study showed that overweight people who ate fish daily improved their glucose-insulin response. Translated, this means that seafood may help slow digestion and prevent cravings. If that doesn’t hook you, consider this: Seafood is an excellent source of ab-friendly protein.

Try for: Two four-ounce servings per week. Wild salmon, though pricey, contains more omega-3 fatty acids than farm-raised. (If it doesn’t say wild, it’s farm-raised.) If seafood’s not your thing, you can get your omega-3’s from flaxseed (grind and sprinkle on your cereal) walnuts, or fish oil supplements.

Quinoa

Curried Quinoa Salad with Grilled Shrimp

Never heard of it? Pronounced KEEN-wah, this wholegrain contains 5 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein per half cup. Cook it as you would any other grain (although some brands require rinsing). Quinoa’s nutty flavor and crunchy-yet-chewy texture are like a cross between whole wheat couscous and short-grain brown rice.

Try for: At least one half-cup serving (a third of your whole-grain requirements) per day. Try substituting AltiPlano Gold brand instant quinoa hot cereal (160 to 210 calories per packet), in Chai Almond and Spiced Apple Raisin, for oatmeal. Look for it in health-food stores.

 

 

Advertisements

Share your thoughts

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s