If you’re struggling to find a way to lose belly fat, you’re not alone; the road to a flatter stomach is paved with temptations galore. But we know that abs are made in the kitchen - so which foods will help us get that washboard stomach?
If lunchtime proves to be your healthy diet downfall, fret not as we asked nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik for her recipe for success. From the best nutrient-dense foods to the ingredients that keep you fuller for longer, these are the lunchbox boosters worth serving up when it comes to getting closer to achieving your middle management goals.
“Avocados are a great belly buster, since their monounsaturated fat content supports cell membranes so cells can communicate better with fat burning hormones - and switch off fat storage hormones too,” explains Eve. “In addition, they help to boost metabolism by protecting the energy production part of cells from oxidative damage that we know occurs when working out.”
As far as foods that keep you fuller for longer, almonds fit the bill perfectly. “Almonds are a good source of fibre and protein which helps to suppress appetite and increase metabolism by turning on the fat burning hormone, glucagon,” says Eve. “This also keeps the body satiated for longer meaning less cravings for refined sugar foods.”
“Eggs are an excellent source of protein that help repair and replenish muscle tissue and hence promote a higher metabolic rate overall,” explains Eve. “Free range organic ones also contain good levels of omega 3 fatty acids that help to regulate blood sugar hormones. As they are so nutrient dense, they also keep you satiated for longer,” she adds.
Probably one of the most widely used ingredients in the world, the humble onion also boasts a range of health benefits too. “Onions are a good source of antioxidant compound quercetin, which increases energy expenditure and as such, supports weight loss,” explains Eve.
“Not only is kale one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat, but it helps to suppress appetite and it’s also incredibly supportive for the liver helping to eliminate toxins faster,” says Eve. “A cleaner system means less cravings for sugary refined foods.” It’s no wonder ‘Team Kale’ counts Beyoncé, Gwyneth and Rachel McAdams as just a handful of its hardcore recruits...
6. Wild salmon
“Wild salmon is a great choice of protein which is important to keep you full, but it is also an excellent source of the omega 3 oils that help to improve insulin sensitivity as well as reducing inflammation,” explains Eve. “It also supports thyroid functioning for healthy metabolism.”
7. Chilli peppers
It’s been said that variety is the spice of life and mixing up your lunch repertoire by adding a touch of heat could help fire up your flatter stomach artilleries. “Chilli peppers also have a thermogenic effect which means essentially heating up the body and as such, the faster burning of calories,” says Eve.
“Broccoli is another great food for helping to shift out toxins,” recommends Eve. “And it contains a phytonutrient called sulforaphane that stimulates an enzyme that tells your fat cells to burn fat.” Hmmm, that extra helping of veg suddenly became a lot more appetising...