Eat optimally for a tighter tummy
Frustrated because you haven’t seen your abs appear, despite crunching away endlessly?
You may have heard that abs are made in the kitchen. It’s true! The X-factor here is nutrition!
Follow these tips for a month at least, and let us know how you’ve progressed!
Say goodbye to sugar
Sugar is the number one enemy of a great midsection, it can lead to fat storage here. You don’t have to swear off dessert forever, just keep a balance and save the treats for special occasions.
Eat good fats
Avocado, coconut oil, nuts, nut butter and flaxseed are great examples of healthy fats. Ditch the sunflower oil, animal fats (chicken skin and visible fat) butter and margarine. Get 20-35% of healthy fats in a day – adjust the number according to your goals.
Eat at least one salad a day. Opt for leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, herbs, lettuce and cabbage. Chomp away on these as often as you can – they provide a high fibre content, leaving you fuller, for less calories.
Low GI Carbs are best
Eat carbohydrates low on the Glycaemic Index. Unprocessed carbohydrates provide a higher fibre content, leaving you fuller for longer, and balances your blood sugar. Carbs should make up 30-40% of your caloric intake, once again depending on your goals.
Lean protein such as chicken breast, turkey, fish and lean red meat help build muscle and keeps your metabolism revving. Your body works a bit harder to digest this nutrient. Eat 30-40% calories from lean protein. You need roughly 1.8g protein per kilogram of body mass. If you weigh 60kg, you need about 108g of protein on a daily basis.
Fish is your friend
Fish are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which promote fat loss and enhances leptin efficiency, leptin being the hormone that regulates your appetite. Try to eat at least one meal of fish per day. Tuna, salmon, hake, haddock and kingklip are popular choices.
Drink at least 3-5 litres of water per day. It keeps your body functioning optimally, minimises bloating and water retention and keeps thirst away. In fact, if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Keep a water bottle with you at all times, and sip on it throughout the day.
Steer clear from alcohol
We all know alcohol is full of empty calories – sugar and carbohydrates. It is also a toxin (read poison) and in response, cortisol (the body’s main stress hormone) is released. When you’re stressed and cortisol levels are high, your body actually resists weight loss. Cortisol has been linked to increased belly fat as there are more cortisol receptors around the abdomen.
If you absolutely can’t skip happy hour, stick to one drink maximum.
I am a probiotics and digestive enzymes enthusiast. It helps maintain healthy bacteria and aids with digestion of food.
Lastly, stay focused and do not give up. Don’t stop training your stomach if you want that six-pack to appear. Eat healthy and give it time – your hard work will pay off.
By Letitia Kleynhans