………………..95,……..96………97…….98………99………STOP! The bulge stops right here. We’re all guilty of thinking that doing 100 crunches a day is the way to a washboard stomach. But in truth it takes more than meaningless crunches to get one. You also need to eat the right foods that will burn right through that stubborn fat and promote lean mean muscle growth. This is where protein comes into play. This magic nutrient plays a great role in helping the body build muscle and stop storing fat. This is why I encourage you to eat protein at every meal or snack while sticking to a balanced and varied diet.
So where are you supposed to get this all important protein? Here’s some foods that will give your natural fat burners a boost and give you the honed and toned, to-die-for abs we all want.
Eggs are so versatile that they really can be eaten pretty much whenever. They are really good as a post-workout meal as they stop lean muscle being broken down. Meanwhile their high level of vitamin B12 has the opposite effect on fat cells. Another great advantage is that B vitamins give you energy, so you’ll feel like the Duracell bunny when doing sit-ups. (Now you know where I derive most of my energy from!)
Meats like turkey and chicken are full of the stuff, which makes them adept at building muscle and strengthening the immune system, but you need to make sure you buy as good a quality meat as you can afford (go free-range or organic).
Most beans such as kidney, edamame, pinto are packed full with protein as well as fibre which is great news for your digestive system. To get the maximum benefits make sure you cook them properly so that they are easier on your system to be break down the proteins that are essential to keep your muscles toned and your waistline trim. hang fire on baked beans because they can be full of sugar.
So many people are scared of nuts because of their eye-watering fat content. But this is the kind of fat we talk about when we say “good” fats. Nuts such as almonds and Brazils are the perfect snack to carry around with you. Make sure that they are the unsalted variety. They are also exceptionally good to bridge the hunger gap between meals.
Don’t be fooled into thinking these delicious fish will make you put on weight rather then lose it. They might contain significant levels of fat, but they are full of which are full of omega-3 fatty acids that work with the high levels of protein to increase muscle mass and stop your body from storing fat around your waist. Aim to eat three portions of oily fish a week.
It goes without saying that you should be cooking with olive oil rather than other, unhealthier fats such as butter or vegetable oil. Olive oil actually encourages your body to burn fat and reduces your cholesterol, which means your heart benefits too.
Despite the bad press carbs get, your body still needs carbohydrates (every meal should include a fine balance of protein, carbs and fat) so don’t cut them out of your diet altogether. If you want a flat stomach, then you need to stop eating processed carbs like white bread, pasta and white rice. Just swap them for wholegrain bread, pasta, rice and cereals.
Low fat dairy
You can still eat cheese without piling on the pounds. Just switch to a low-fat variety. As well as strengthening bones, low-fat dairy products are thought to help you rip through fat reserves.
Low in calories and fat (no sh*t Sherlock), green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and lettuce are packed with fat-burning fibre as well as an endless list of vitamins and minerals. Add these leaves to salads or serve them as part as your vegetables at meal times.
Another reason why protein is so fantastic at burning fat is that the body requires more energy to process it than it does carbs and fat, so you burn more calories in the process. Combined with eating these above foods and doing ab exercises, there’s no reason why that washboard stomach can’t be yours. It’s clearly a win win situation. Power to the protein!