A blender may be the ultimate weight-loss assistant. Smoothies blended mixtures of milk, low-fat yogurt, whey protein powder, ice, and other good stuff can act as meal substitutes and as potent snacks. They require little time; the berries, flavored whey powder (you won't even taste it), or peanut butter will satisfy your sweet cravings; and their thickness takes up space in your stomach. A University of Tennessee study found that people who added three servings of yogurt a day to their diets lost 61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more stomach fat over 12 weeks than people who didn't eat yogurt. Researchers speculate that the calcium helps the body burn fat and limits the amount of fat your body can make. So drink an 8-ounce smoothie for breakfast, as a meal substitute, or as a snack before or after your workout.
Know What To Drink and What Not To
There are many ways that alcohol can get you into trouble. It doesn't make you feel full or decrease the amount of food you'll eat. But it does encourage your body to burn as much as 36 percent less fat and make you store more of the fat you eat. And it can inhibit your production of hormones that help burn fat and build muscle.
Okay, so water isn't exciting, but drinking about 8 glasses of it a day has a lot of benefits.
It helps keep you satiated (often what we interpret as hunger is really thirst). It flushes the waste products your body churns out when processing protein or breaking down fat. And it transports nutrients to your muscles to keep your metabolism clicking. Otherwise, the best drinks you can have are low-fat milk and green tea (or, if you must, no more than 2 glasses of diet soda a day).
Focus on the Abs Diet Power 12
The Abs Diet encourages you to focus on (not restrict yourself to) a generous market basket of food types the Abs Diet
Power 12 to fulfill your core nutritional needs. These foods are so good for you, in fact, that they'll just about single-handedly exchange your fat for muscle (provided you've kept your receipt). Just as important, I've designed the Power 12 to include thousands of food combinations. The more of them you eat, the better your body will be able to increase lean muscle mass and avoid storing fat. Just follow these simple Guidelines:
- Include two or three of these foods in each of your three major meals and at least one of them in each of your three snacks.
- Diversify your food at every meal so that you can get a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
- Make sure you sneak a little bit of protein into each snack.
Abs Diet Power 12
1. Almonds and Other Nuts
(eat them with skins intact)
Superpowers: Building muscle, fighting food cravings
Fight against: Obesity, heart disease, muscle loss, cancer
These days, you hear about good fats and bad fats the way you hear about good cops and bad cops. One's on your side, and one's going to beat you silly. Oreos fall into the latter category, but nuts are clearly out to help you. They contain the monounsaturated fats that clear your arteries and help you feel full.
All nuts are high in protein and monounsaturated fat, but almonds are the best. Eat as much as 2 handfuls a day. If you eat 2 ounces of almonds (about 24 of them), it can suppress your appetite especially if you wash them down with 8 ounces of water.
For a quick popcorn alternative, spray a handful of almonds with nonstick cooking spray and bake them at 400°F for 5 to 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven and sprinkle them with either a brown sugar and cinnamon mix or cayenne pepper and thyme.
2. Beans and Other Legumes
(including soybeans, chickpeas, pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, lima beans)
Superpowers: Building muscle, helping to burn fat, regulating digestion
Fight against: Obesity, colon cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure
Beans are, as the famous rhyme says, good for your heart; the more you eat them, the more you'll be able to control your hunger. Black, lima, pinto, navy you pick it. They're all low in fat, and they're packed with protein, fiber, and iron nutrients crucial for building muscle and losing weight.