There’s a saying amongst the fitness community: abs are made in the kitchen. Think that you can have the abs of your dreams by blasting through 1000 sit ups but still eating what you want? Think again. While cardio and ab exercises are important to strengthen and tone the muscles, the inescapable fact is that diet plays the most important role in getting a flatter, more defined stomach.
So what foods should you be concentrating on to trim belly fat? Here are some of the best…
Once frowned upon by nutritionists for the high levels of cholesterol, eggs have emerged as one of the top sources of protein for those looking to trim fat and build muscle. As well as being high in protein, eggs also contain vitamin B12, which helps with fat breakdown. Whip up an omelette or enjoy a poached egg on wholemeal toast for an ab-friendly breakfast or lunch.
As well as being rich in protein and vitamin E, almonds are also a good source of fibre, meaning they’ll keep you fuller for longer. Although fairly high in calories, a handful of almonds as a mid-afternoon snack is an ideal way to keep cravings at bay and ensure you’re not adding unnecessary fat to your abs.
If you have a sweet tooth, then berries are the perfect way to keep your sugar cravings satisfied. Great alone as a snack or for making your morning porridge more interesting, berries also contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and fibre.
Leafy Green Vegetables
If bloating is getting in the way of your perfect abs, then load up on leafy greens. Spinach, broccoli, and kale are all rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals while remaining very low in calories (for example, a cup of spinach contains only 40 calories). On top of this, they also help to ease water retention which will minimise your bloating and help achieve a flatter stomach.
While chicken is praised as one of the main sources of protein, turkey is in fact the leanest meat that you can eat if you’re looking to cut calories and build muscle. One turkey breast also provides you with a third of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 and niacin. You can also cut up turkey to enjoy in a salad in place of chicken, or experiment with turkey mince to create bigger evening meals.
As the saying now goes: an apple a day keeps the belly fat away. A large apple will not only provide you with 5 grams of fibre, but as it is 85% water, it will also help to keep you fuller for longer. At only around 100 calories, an apple or two each day is the perfect way to satisfy your snacking cravings.