Apr 3, 10:04 PM
Spring is here and it’s time to get bikini ready for fun under the summer sun!
“You are what you eat,” your mother once chided as you reached for the second candy bar. While she may not have told you the literal truth, studies show that what we eat, in fact, does influence our bodies in unexpected ways like metabolic function and fat burn. So whether you’re looking to drop pounds or just want to tone up your middle, these food tips will assist you in sculpting that bikini-worthy bod.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Flab Away! Apples contain polyphenols which have been found to boost muscle strength, physical endurance and even fat loss. Apple polyphenols have actually been shown to directly decrease body fat by increasing the activity of genes that enhance fat-burn and decrease fat production and storage.
Snack on Grapefruit. A study performed at Scripps Clinic found that subjects who ate half a grapefruit or drank 8 ounces of grapefruit juice three times a day without any diet changes lost an average of 4lbs in 12 weeks, some losing up to 10lbs.
Calcium Up. Just another reason to get your calcium: calcium has been shown to promote fat loss, particularly around the middle. Calcium regulates calcitriol, a hormone that causes the body to produce fat and inhibit fat-burn. When calcium levels are adequate, calcitriol is suppressed. Try plain low-fat yogurt, which has also been shown to cut belly fat.
Eggs for Breakfast. Eggs are not only packed with protein, but morning consumption has been shown to help with eating fewer calories throughout the day and help promote fat loss. Try incorporating a couple of eggs for breakfast in a scramble or an omelet.
Fat Fighting Fish. Omega-3’s found in fish oils have been shown to promote fat loss. Take 1-2 grams of fish oil at breakfast, lunch and dinner, or just incorporate more fatty fishes into your diet.
Skip Diet Drinks. Although more popular now than ever, these harmful sweeteners compromise your body’s ability to regulate calorie intake, leaving you hungrier throughout the day. Studies have also linked diet drinks to long term weight gain. So the next time you’re tempted to gulp the diet, reach for the green tea.
Embrace Spice. Consuming hot peppers have been shown to promote calorie-burn and reduce hunger. Add a little kick to your meals by sprinkling some cayenne pepper over your dishes.
Slow and Steady. A very low-cal diet within the 400 to 800 calories a day range slows your metabolism by 15 to 20%, making it easier to gain back the weight once the diet ends. Choose a diet between the 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. You will slim down without halting your metabolism, and 90% of the weight you lose will be fat instead of muscle.
Limit Carbs. A diet high in carbs and low in protein can inhibit your body’s fat burning mechanism during sleep (when your fat-burn should be at its peak). A study at Skidmore College found that subjects following a diet with at least 40% of their calories from protein for eight weeks lost more body fat (especially around the middle) than their counterparts on a low-fat high-carb diet. Try a diet with at least 35% of your calories from lean protein sources.