Yes, it’s true, certain foods really can give you a flatter stomach. While this gives you no excuse to miss that workout, these superfoods can aid you in your quest for washboard abs so be sure to chow down to a trimmer physique!
Not only are they packed full of protein and vitamin B12 which helps the body to metabolise fat, but recent studies have proven that you burn more calories digesting this superfood than a carb-heavy alternative.
The most tummy-friendly member of the nut family, almonds make a perfect snack for curbing hunger between meals. Almonds are not only high in protein, fibre and good fats, but when eaten in moderation they promote weight loss and improve cholesterol levels. Their high magnesium content is what will really see you on your way to a six-pack for summer as your body needs in order to regulate blood sugar and prevent those energy dips that leave you reaching for that doughnut fix.
An avocado may have the same calories as a Mars Bar, but that’s where all similarities end. Full of mono-unsaturated fats for healthy skin, hair and nails, avocados are also a great source of fibre, which keeps you fuller for longer. The perfect excuse to eat the buttery fruit all mashed onto warm toast, whizzed up into cacao mousse, straight from the skin with a spoon…
Our favourite childhood snack is totally great to eat now we are grown up too, just skip the bread and jam… Packed with niacin, which keeps the digestive system on track and prevents bloating, peanuts are also a good source of protein and healthy fats to keep you feeling full. Check the labels and opt for unprocessed versions though, as some jars are laden with added sugars – a surefire way to send those abs into hiding!
Green tea is rich in antioxidants that have been proven to speed up metabolism so switch your normal cuppa for a green alternative to promote a flat tum. Sip on a cup first thing to hydrate you and help rid your system of excess water and add a squeeze of lemon to enhance the positive effects on digestion. Sitting down to savour a lovely hot mug of tea is also a fantastic way to curb stress and lower your levels of belly-fat inducing cortisol. So unwind and drink up!
Packed with resistance starch, a unique fibre that resists digestion, these legumes make the body work harder and burn more calories so you can wave ‘bye-bye’ to belly fat! Add to salads, sauces and stir-fries for a filling meal.
Slave to the the 11am slump? Then swap sugary cereals for warming, comforting, hearty porridge. Oats are rich in fibre and release their energy slowly, so they keep you energised until lunchtime and help to beat blood sugar peaks and troughs that lead to hormone imbalances and the dreaded tummy pooch.
Capsacin, the compound that gives chilli peppers their characteristic kick, heats up the body and effectively melts additional calories. Add cayenne pepper to hot water and lemon for a metabolism-boosting drink and throw plenty of chilli into sauces and soups to reap those fiery rewards!
Lean Meats & Fish
Not only does protein have a high thermogenic effect (meaning you can literally burn calories as you chew), but lean meats and fish, such as salmon, are full of Omega 3 and saturated fat, vital nutrients for preventing stress chemicals (yep, think cortisol again!) that can result in weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area.
Oats, bulgar, brown rice and quinoa (okay this one’s a seed but we’ll let it off!) are harder for our bodies to digest than processed foods, meaning they speed up the metabolism and burn more calories, which can lead to overall fat loss.
words Harriet Tisdall