We know that not all foods are created equal but some have the power to spike metabolism, trigger hormones that burn fat and eliminate toxins that make it so difficult for your body to lose weight. A word of caution: you have to combine these fabulous foods with a clean eating plan and exercise. And not only will you slim down, but you’ll lose weight where you want to — your belly. So, here are five belly-fat-fighting power foods.
FISH and LEAN MEATS
Protein is the base of any diet plan. So naturally fish and lean meats are your classic muscle-building nutrient. Did you know that the body burns more calories digesting protein than it does to process carbohydrates or fat? Many studies have shown that high-protein diets help weight loss. Chicken (white meat), turkey and fish are especially good choices. Tuna and salmon also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may help keep metabolism revved and improve insulin sensitivity, which shrinks fat from your waistline.
Egg whites are pure protein and are more effective at building muscle than milk and beef. Egg sulfur is helpful for tissue regeneration and healing powers. Plus egg whites contain vitamin B12- a nutrient necessary for fat breakdown.
Broccoli alone is high in fiber and more densely packed with vitamins and minerals than almost any other food. It is said to scrub excess estrogen (a fat-promoting hormone) from the bloodstream. Asparagus is another miracle food that loads your body with nutrients like folate, vitamin C and copper while reducing water retention. And just one serving of spinach is full of folate and supplies nearly a full-day’s worth of vitamin A and half of your vitamin C.
Cayenne pepper revvs up your metabolism by creating heat. Scientists have found that it burns fat and helps weight loss when added to the diet. When you eat spicy foods, your body heats up in a process known as “diet-induced thermogenesis.” So when body heat rises, so does metabolism, and more calories are burned.
Just adding whey powder to a smoothie for snack helps you created the most powerful fat burning meal possible. Whey protein is a high-quality protein that contains essential amino acids needed to build muscles and burn fat. It’s especially effective because it has the highest amount of protein for the fewest number of calories, making it fat’s kryptonite.
How Much Should I Be Lifting?
I’ll say it again. Everyone needs to lift weights. It doesn’t matter what the goal is- building muscle, losing weight, toning up or shrinking a fat gut- lifting is key to achieving those goals. Well, not the last one, but if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re already in the wrong place.
Strength training builds muscle. Muscle burns fat, even when you’re resting. No fitness goals exist that wouldn’t benefit from using weights.
That, of course, brings up important questions. How much weight should you be lifting? How many reps and sets? Here’s one way to answer those questions. Go to your local gym and ask ten people. Take the ten completely different answers you’ll receive, put them in a hat, and pick one.
Unfortunately, that will likely leave you with an uniformed theory at best.
Everyone who exercises regularly has strongly held opinions. These vary wildly. Maybe you’ve heard, “You should pick whatever weight that allows you to do 100 reps in one sitting.” Or perhaps you’ve been told to, “Stay away from lifting. The only way to lose weight is to spend at least an hour doing aerobic exercises.” Don’t listen to either of these people.
The truth is, the amount you lift depends on your goals. Whether you’re doing 5 reps per set (for power) or 20 (for reducing and streamlining), the weight should be heavy enough that finishing the last rep is very difficult. Even then, finding a successful plan benefits you more than picking arbitrary weights. The default rep goal for men is 10 and women it’s 15.
That’s why you should forget asking those ten strangers at the gym. Instead, work with me or one of my Los Angeles personal trainers. Your strength training plan will vary based on your fitness goals. Take the randomness out of your exercising and contact us today for a custom tailored plan.