With the hot weather kicking in and the holiday season approaching most people are switching their wardrobes to shorter skirts, shorts and crop tops. Are you dreading to show of your tummy and feel embarrassed looking in the mirror?
Even though soon enough we are half way through the year and you probably now regret that you haven’t started working on that beach body earlier, there are still things you can do to feel better about yourself. Of course, there is no magic pill and strategic exercise and food planning for a healthier lifestyle cannot be replaced by quick fixes, but there are certain foods to eat more often that can help you achieve leaner abs, provided your diet mainly consists of nutritious meals, you control your portion sizes and generally lead a lifestyle that promotes muscle growth and fat burning.
Almonds and other nuts ideally consumed in their natural form (no salt, no sugar coating or any processes) will help with muscle recover and prevent cravings to kick in. Watch the amount thoudh as it’s high in healthy fats which means it’s easy to consume too many calories. A handful a day will suffice.
2. Beans and legumes
A good plant based protein source for those who’d like to reduce meat intake or are vegetarian. It will help building lean muscle, burn fat and aid recovery. Due to its fibre content it also helps regulate digestion. If you’re one for counting macronutrients, you need to count them as part of your carbohydrates too.
3. Spinach and other green vegetables
They are a good source of vitamins and minerals and a fistful provides 1 of your daily 5 fruit and vegetables. Greens are also a great source of fibre and low in calories.
Eggs provide a great balance of essential amino acids, that are the building blocks of protein that help your body recover better and are also important for other parts of the body. You can eat them as scrambled eggs, poached eggs for breakfast or the hard-boiled version can be consumed anytime during the day for a protein packed snack. You can even make egg muffins with a variety of vegetables that also make great low calorie, high protein snacks.
Soybeans are a great source of antioxidants, protein and fibre and they are incredibly versatile, which is why they are the preferred replacement of meat proteins used by vegetarians. You can have them dry-roasted. A wide range of soy products are available to make different meals, like scrambled tofu or tofu used in main meals in many shape or form from curry to soy milk and other dairy free alternatives.
Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries are all high in vitamins and are loaded with fibre for a better digestive system. A handful of them also make 1 of your 5-a-day. They are nice added to yoghurt, smoothies or porridge.
Let’s clarify, we talk here about natural yoghurts, including Greek yoghurt or high protein Icelandic type yoghurt. Any other flavoured ones will contain added sugar and other ingredients that will increase the number of calories you consume. The probiotic bacteria found in yoghurts is beneficial for gut health that translates into less gas, bloating or constipation thus resulting in your tummy looking flatter.
8. Salmon and other sea food
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, a form of healthy fats that promotes better absorption of fat soluble vitamins, may have a boosting effect on metabolism hence adding fat loss.
It’s considered a superfood as it’s packed with fibre and protein and is a great source of carbohydrates too. A great choice for people on a plant based diet to ensure sufficient protein intake. It can be used as a side or in salads.
It has a long history of use for relieving digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain, in other words it may help your gut to recover and revert normal digestive processes and get rid of gas. Try pouring hot water over a few slices of raw ginger root and lemon in the morning and drink it as a tea, works well as an energy boost instead of coffee.
11. Dark chocolate
Not all chocolates are made equal. The higher percent of cocoa is the better, 75% still has a great balance of sweet and bitter taste. It’s also rich in healthy fats and can help manage sugar cravings when on a fat loss project. 1 normal square equals to 60 kcal on average so ensure you take that into account when including it into your diet.
Focusing on eating enough fibre, cutting back on highly processed foods filled with refined sugar and carbs, cutting back alcohol intake, eating more of the above-mentioned foods and following a carefully planned exercise routine for fat loss will help you become leaner and more confident in your bikini.
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