©istockphoto.com/vgstudio Credits: ©istockphoto.com/vgstudio
It’s time to rev up your metabolic engine and burn your belly fat. Thankfully, there are a few nutritional superstar foods that can help to fill you up and help the needle on your bathroom scale move in the right direction.
Here are the top 5 foods to help you get the bikini body you’ve always wanted.
While it’s not technically a food, water is key to slimming down. There is no way around it – if you want to flatten your stomach you must be hydrated. Consuming at least 1.5 litres of water per day will quickly help you lose inches and will also optimize digestion.
Try adding some fresh lemons or limes to your water to take advantage of their natural astringent effects. You can also consider adding chlorophyll to your water for a boost of minerals. Much like lemons, chlorophyll is responsible for purifying our blood and providing our liver with a light detox.
2. Colourful vegetables
Colourful vegetables, such as baby carrots, leafy greens, cucumbers, zucchini, mushrooms and broccoli, are low in calories and filled to the brim with vitamins and minerals. Whether you eat them raw, barbecued or steamed, colourful vegetables are considered “free foods” and can be consumed whenever you like.
3. Lean proteins
Proteins trigger the hormone glucagon, which has a fat-burning effect. They also help fill you up and can help repair muscle tissues post-workout.
Women should consume three to five ounces of protein per day, while five to seven ounces of protein is recommended for men. For an idea of just how much meat that is, three ounces of protein is about the size of the palm of your hand without your fingers or thumb.
Lean protein options include chicken, fish, eggs, protein powder, Greek or plain yogurt, and occasionally lean beef.
4. Healthy fats
When it comes to weight loss and losing belly fat you don’t have to be scared of consuming fats. However, you do need to choose the right types of fats. The big “no-nos” are saturated fats (which are found in full fat cheese and excess amounts of red meat) and trans fatty acids (which are found in processed foods).
The good fats that will help you lose weight are monounsaturated fats, such as those found in avocados, almonds, olive oil and seeds, and omega-3 fats, such as those found in cold-water fish, fish oils, walnuts and flaxseeds. Research is very clear that eating these good fats will help to keep your weight down, your heart healthy and inflammation at bay.
While added sugars promote insulin secretion, fatigue and weight gain, natural sugars, like those found in fruit, do not. And while some weight-loss programs recommend avoiding fruits altogether, it’s really not necessary. Eating lower glycemic index fruits, such as berries, apples and grapefruit, is the perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth naturally.
Here are some more bikini-body tips.
• Watch your wheat intake. For fast weight loss, enjoy high-quality grains, such as quinoa, brown rice or sprouted grain bread, prior to 3:00 p.m.
• Save your alcohol for weekends. When you’re trying to flatten your tummy and lose your spare tire, two drinks per week is plenty.
• Watch your nighttime eating patterns. Too many people start their days off well, but do not finish them so well. If you’re craving food after dinner, enjoy a cup of tea, some cut-up vegetables, five almonds or one to two Skinnychews.
• Move it! Cardiovascular exercise is king when it comes to burning excess fat. Whether it is fast walking or running, exercising at least four times per week for 20 minutes or more is recommended.
Joey Shulman is the founder of the Shulman Weight Loss Clinic and the creator of Skinnychews. For more information, please visit drjoey.com.
Click here for more tips on getting the bikini body you've always wanted.