Help, I just want to tone my tummy…

tummy and foodsIn my last blog post, I talked about ‘bingo wings’ and that a lot of women want to know the secret of how to make them look more toned.

Well, today it’s another area of your body I want to talk about – I mean in general, not particularly your body!

The tummy and how, as we get older, more fat tends to accumulate around there. As a man, I need to be careful too because I’ve met quite a few ex-school friends recently and (I’m not being discourteous here) but they have put a few pounds on around the tummy! Maybe it’s drinking beer, eating too much of the ‘wrong’ foods or just middle-aged spread!

[By the way, NEVER use the “I’m getting old so it’s natural for me to put on weight” excuse].

Maybe it’s an area that you’d like to address. Maybe you’ve put a few pounds on that you’d like to shift. Maybe you just want a few suggestions of how you can start using your tummy muscles to increase your core strength (the core muscles are those that hold you in good posture – around the tummy, lower back, obliques etc).

Let’s start with food and in a later message, I’ll talk about exercises that could help.

These foods are now well known to help with targeting the fat around your tummy. These are real foods – as I call them – as they are not processed and are perfectly natural, one-ingredient foods. Concentrate on eating these foods and you’ll give yourself the best chance to lose a few pounds around your middle.

Here we go…

1. Avocados: These are loaded with two nutrients that are key to targeting visceral fat: fibre (11 to 17 grams per avocado) and monounsaturated fats, which studies have shown to actually ‘spot reduce’ visceral fat.

2. Peanut Butter: This also includes seeds (such as flaxseed, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame) and nuts especially pistachios, walnuts, almonds (or almond butter). Why? They keep you full and satisfied for long periods of time, and they’re stuffed with healthy fats and minerals. (Choose natural peanut butter as the regular stuff is full of deadly trans fats.)

3. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants (nearly eight times the number found in strawberries) and it contains stimulants that can have a positive effect on fat burning, including theobromine and caffeine. It also contains oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat. Make sure to choose 70% or higher cocoa levels for best results (the higher the % the better).

4. Green Tea: Not only does it contain a potent antioxidant, many scientific studies have linked green tea to increased fat burning, including a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found green tea extract boosted the daytime metabolism of test subjects by 35-43%.

5. Cinnamon: Researchers have found that cinnamon contains a type of antioxidant that increases insulin sensitivity and effectively helps to stabilise blood sugar, meaning better fat burning results.

6. Greek Yogurt: Most regular yogurt is loaded with sugar (real or artificial) so will help to store body fat. However, Greek yogurts are loaded with probiotics that fight visceral fat. Add some nuts and berries for an ideal snack.

7. Lean Cuts of Meat and Fish: Any lean protein source is good to aid fat loss. This includes wild salmon and trout, free-range chicken or turkey, whey protein powders, and most especially grass-fed beef because it contains natural CLA—a fat that studies have actually shown to burn fat. The interesting thing about protein is your body will burn off as much as 30% of its calories to digest and process it.

8. Cruciferous Vegetables: Contain phytonutrients such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) that help fight against estrogenic compounds and therefore visceral fat. Examples are broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, kale and cauliflower.

9. Coconut Milk/Oil: Both contain lauric acid, which can help lower cholesterol [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: although it raises LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, it raises HDL (‘good’) cholesterol even more]. Benefits include possible antiviral and anti-carcinogenic properties. They contain MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which are easily burned as fuel by the body. Buy coconut milk in cartons rather than tins. Use coconut oil for cooking.

10. Olive Oil: One of the healthiest oils to cook with (low acidity). It is good for the skin, lowers LDL cholesterol, increases HDL cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, is high in antioxidants and therefore may decrease the chance of obtaining heart disease. It contains oleic acid, which can fight the toxins in your body.

Oh, I’d say cruciferous vegetables are CRUCIAL in your diet. Start including more in your meals.

Also, if you want more ideas on healthy eating choices, why not download my FREE Detox Meal Planner, 5 weeks worth of healthy meals and snacks?

Click HERE to download it.