You can do as many crunches as you want, but you’ll never get those Janet Jackson abs (circa 1990’s) if you don’t eat the right stuff. Some of your favorite foods likely lead to bloating and sodium retention, which is anything by good for that six-pack you’re trying to show off. Here are the foods that will help give your stomach the look you want.
Filling protein keeps you satiated and magnesium gives you energy to play at the beach all day long. Almonds are best for long-term weight loss because they help regular blood sugar—stable blood sugar keeps you from having ravenous cravings and eating foods that will lead to weight gain and a flabby midsection.
These water-heavy fruits and vegetables are perfect for your beach-day snack pack. Not only is it important that you stay hydrated when you’re out in the sun, but their high water content keeps you full for a long time, similar to protein. Dip celery and cucumbers in hummus and nosh on the watermelon as is.
These powerhouse foods are full of protein, which your muscles need to rebuild and become strong. They also help your body burn fat and regulate digestion. A healthy digestive system is key to beat bloating, which can hide those hard-earned abs.
One cup of spinach contains only 40 calories—so go crazy with your greens. Make a big salad (watch what toppings you put on; avoid high-fat dressings, oily croutons, etc.) and indulge whenever you want. Greens are also a great source of calcium, which your body needs to push through a workout and get stronger. The more muscle you build, the more fat your body burns at rest, and the sooner you’ll see your abs.
If you want less gas, bloating and extra love around your midsection, grab a yogurt for snack. While this flat-belly food is loaded with calcium and protein, its real advantage is in the high probiotic content. Probiotics keep your digestive system healthy, which is why you experience less gas and bloating. Toss in high-antioxidant berries for a healthy snack that will help fight the bulge.
Think salmon and tuna, both of which are high in omega-3s—the fats that help your body burn more of the bad fat. Fish also helps to slow digestion and cravings so you’re not reaching for chips at 3pm between lunch and dinner.