Belly fat out of control? Here's what to eat and how to exercise to get flatter abs.
June 30, 2013
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Eat to shrink
Jackie Newgent, RD, created this nutritionally balanced plan. Pick three meals and one snack a day the first week and lose up to 6 pounds when you also do this workout. After the first week, add a second snack a day. Each morning, fill a pitcher with water, mint, and cucumber slices; sip throughout the day (black coffee and tea are OK, too).
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(approximately 300 calories each)
Nectarine Smoothie Blend 1 large chilled nectarine, pitted and puréed, 1/2 cup almond milk, and 1 tsp honey.
Chocolate Lover's Breakfast Combine 1 cup whole-grain oat cereal, like Cascadian Farm Organics Purely O's, 1 cup light soy milk, and 2 TBSP semisweet chocolate chips; sprinkle with 1/2 tsp cocoa powder. Serve with 3/4 cup cherries.
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Breakfast on the go
Breakfast To-Go Enjoy a nut-based bar, such as Kind, with a large McCafé Iced Latte made with espresso, whole milk, and 1 sugar packet.
Peachy Almond Panini Spread 2 slices whole-grain bread with 2 tsp each almond butter; place slices from 1/4 peach between them. Spritz sandwich with 1/2 tsp oil. Grill in a preheated panini press on medium-high until toasted or in a skillet over medium-high heat.
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Lunch/Dinner: Salad or Veggie Tex-Mex
(approximately 400 calories each)
Smoked Turkey and Pear Entrée Salad Top 2 1/2 cups mixed salad greens with 2 oz smoked turkey breast, 1/2 cup sliced English cucumber, 1/4 cup canned drained white beans, 1 small sliced pear, 10 seedless red grapes, 1 1/2 TBSP chopped roasted walnuts, and 2 TBSP vinaigrette.
Veggie Tex-Mex Enjoy a burrito bowl from Chipotle, made with pinto beans, fajita-style vegetables, guacamole, roasted chili-corn salsa, and tomato salsa.
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Lunch/Dinner: Stir-Fry or Kebabs
Tofu-Basil Stir-Fry Heat 1 1/2 tsp peanut oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 oz extra-firm tofu cubes and 1 small minced serrano pepper; stir-fry till tofu is browned. Add 2 Tbsp pad thai sauce, 3/4 cup each cubed zucchini and sliced red bell pepper, and 1 minced scallion; stir-fry until veggies are al dente. Stir in 1/4 cup fresh basil. Serve over 1/2 cup brown rice; top with 2 tsp chopped peanuts.
Steak and Summer Squash Kebabs Arrange 6 lean beef tenderloin cubes and, separately, yellow squash wedges onto skewers. Brush with
1 1/2 tsp olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, grill until done. Serve with 1/2 cup steamed quinoa with grated lemon zest to taste.
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Lunch/Dinner: Grilled Tuna or Fish and Chips
Southwestern Grilled Tuna Brush a 4-oz yellowfin tuna fillet with 1 tsp olive oil; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp each chili powder, ground cumin, and black pepper. Grill to desired doneness; top with salsa. Serve with 1 lime wedge and 2 cantaloupe wedges.
Healthy Fish and Chips Prepare a salmon frozen meal, such as Organic Bistro Wild Salmon with Pesto, according to package. Enjoy with a 50-calorie serving of kale chips.
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(approximately 150 calories each)
1/4 cup trail mix
15 roasted almonds and a fresh fig
1 slice whole-grain toast topped with 2 tsp dark-chocolate peanut butter and 3 Tbsp mashed raspberries
Vanilla Yogurt Shake: Blend 2/3 cup fat-free milk with 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt and 1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract.
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Dos for a flat tummy
Get juice with benefits. In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who drank three glasses of calcium- and vitamin-D-fortified orange juice a day for four months had less belly flab than those with unfortified OJ.
Eat cereal or oatmeal. A 2010 study of the diets of nearly 90,000 people found that those eating at least 10 grams per day of fiberespecially the kind in whole grainshad waists about three inches smaller than those who ate very little.
Say cheers! Red wine has a substance that can prevent small fat cells from maturing into full-grown ones, says a 2012 study.
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Don'ts for a flat tummy
Skimp on shut-eye. Studies show that lack of sleep can boost levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to ab fat.
Indulge in margarine. Research suggests the trans
fats found in some margarines may prompt the creation of particular fat cells that tend to migrate to the midsection.
Smoke. As if smokers need more incentive to quit, multiple studies show that cigarettes, even as they cut appetite, prompt the body to deposit fat around the waist.