Hey y’all, today I am bringing you three(ish) of my favorite foods that will help put you on the fast track to getting your six pack on, uh… track. (Insert awkward silence here for my repeated rhyming.)
If you have spent more than a minute reading up on six pack abs you have probably read that 80ish percent of your six pack comes from your diet. Sure, exercise and all that stuff is important, but you can make the biggest gains simply by fidgeting with your diet.
So where to start? Glad you asked!
Okay, so it’s not really “food” in the sense you can eat it, but it is so instrumental to your overall diet that it still ranks as my top super-food even though it isn’t one.
After all, it is what makes up a huge part of our awesome skeletal structure, and is one of the easiest — and by far the cheapest — ways to fix your diet.
The average North American is drinking about 250 calories per day. Sad face. Simply by eliminating juices, coffee and alcohol from your diet you are instantly eliminating thousands upon thousands of useless calories from your diet.
The below study was done in 2008 and shows the awesome power of water in burning chub:
Two groups of obese dieters were put on similar diets. Over the course of two weeks, they ate the same meals, but one group were instructed to consume 16 ounces of water before all three meals. The result? Team Water lost an average of almost 16 pounds, while Team No-Water lost about 11 pounds of each. Making for a 44% difference in weight lost over only two weeks.
Still not enough to sell ya?
How about this: consuming water (zero calories, by the way), also makes the body create more heat, boosting metabolism and burning more calories? And that it is border-line free, meaning that you are saving yourself a bunch of money at the vending machine and in the grocery store. Who knew getting a six pack could also be a lesson in economics.
Sold yet? Yup? Boom.
2. Whole Grains.
Put your hands up if you like cardiovascular disease. Well, I cannot tell if you actually put your hand up or not, but I am going to assume that you didn’t.
Cardiovascular disease blows. I mean, truly.
Calling it that is a little misleading, because it is actually a category of really bad things that we do to our hearts, including heart failure and all classes of heart attacks. So what does this have to do with whole grains? And more importantly to our aesthetic goals, what does it have to do with having a glistening six pack?
According to the smarty pant doctors over at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, having “an average of 2.5 servings of whole grains each day is associated with a 21 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to consuming only 0.2 servings.”
Whole grains are generally unprocessed (unlike their step-sisters refined grains, who might be pretty and popular but nobody likes them behind their backs) which means that super important nutrients like potassium and fiber are still in them when they finally get to your mouth.
The best time in the day eat whole grains is first thing in the morning. I literally stuff my face with them in the morning. Why? Cause they are chock-full of complex carbohydrates. Complex doesn’t mean they are deep and seek intellectual conversation, it means that they break down slowly in your system, giving you little bumps of energy evenly over the course of the day.
I was going to start with vegetables, but my inner 5 year old decided to go with what tastes better. Not all fruits are created equal, so here are the ones that can best be classified as super-foods because of their high nutrient value. I added one or two of the main benefits of each:
Blueberries. My favorite. I put them in my cereal, my oatmeal, my protein shakes, even my toast. Well, sometimes. Super high in antioxidants, which I explain the benefits of below.
Oranges. One full orange gives you a day’s worth of Vitamin C. You should know by now what Vitamin C can do for you.
Bananas. Another favorite. I have usually a couple a day. High in potassium lowers blood pressure and helps relieve cramping. Also nice and filling, which can help ward off hunger and over-eating.
Apples. The skin is high in fiber. Fiber is awesome for you for a variety of reasons, including improving digestion. Which makes you poop like a champ. And it makes a nice crunch sound when you bite into ‘em.
Kiwis. Twice the amount of Vitamin C bite for bite than an orange.
Pears. Full of a fiber called pectin, which binds to bile acids, which literally vacuums out bad cholesterol out of your system.
Grapes. Dark colored grapes are not only yummy, but are powerful heart disease fighters.
Strawberries. Another option for Vitamin C, also helps keep a lid on type 2 diabetes and inflammation.
Papayas. Papayas contain papain which helps you digest your food more efficiently.
All of the above are also very high in anti-oxidants, which are rich in vitaimin A, beta-carotene, lycopene and more. They help reduce the likelihood of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and help combat the effects of aging.