Want a tight tummy? Watch what you put in it
That nice firm stomach that we all desire is made in the kitchen.
Why go to the gym and literally work your butt off only to come back home and stuff your body with junk? With so many diets out there – Paleo, Atkins, Grapefruit, Lemonade – it can be confusing. The best way is to eat “clean”.
What is eating clean? Eating clean is taking all of the nutritionally meaningless foods out of your diet. So that means no fatty, fried, sugary, processed foods.
Many people will hear that and assume it means they are limited to a diet of poached chicken and vegetables but what eating clean actually means is that you can eat more food and consume fewer calories. And who doesn’t love to eat?
Processed foods such as French fries or potato chips will digest quickly and leave you feeling hungry. If you were to eat a plain baked sweet potato instead, your hunger would be quenched and your body would be nourished. Processed foods also contain tons of sugar, sodium and preservatives that make them quite addictive.
Try starting with some lean protein – turkey or chicken breast, white fish, tofu, tempeh – all help build muscle and keep you feeling full longer.
To that add fresh fruits and vegetables – asparagus, broccoli, spinach, pumpkin, lettuce, strawberries, melons, apples, grapes … the possibilities are endless – and also good fats like what can be found in avocados and almonds. Lastly you could add some whole grains such as brown basmati rice, quinoa, oatmeal or bulgur wheat.
You can season your foods with fresh herbs and onions, garlic, cinnamon, lemon juice, liquid aminos or Tabasco. Try to stay away from mayonnaise, ketchup, butter and other fat and sugar-laden condiments.
It’s hard I know as they are on the go-to list for many people who find them delicious but the good news is it’s possible to train your taste buds so it’s not so difficult to stay away from chips and candy and all the other naughty foods.
Give it a couple of weeks and you will notice a change in your body almost immediately, even if you slip up a few times.
Here are five tips to get you started:
1. Add fresh fruits and vegetables
Start removing anything that is fried, sugary or processed from your home and replace it with your favourite fruits and vegetables.
Switch refined carbohydrates like white rice and pasta with brown rice, whole grain pasta or quinoa.
3. Eat frequently
Try to have five small balanced meals per day. If this is too challenging, stick to three but make sure the meals are balanced.
4. Prepare ahead
I say this all the time but it is really the key to succeeding in most things. Try to prepare the main courses for a couple days ahead. You can add the vegetables and fruit as you go along.
5. Stay hydrated
Sometimes we think we are hungry when our bodies are crying out for water. Try drinking about 8 ozs of water the next time your hunger alarm goes off early.
I hope this motivates you to eat clean and not diet senselessly. It’s all about developing our lifestyles into healthier and happier ones. Let me know how it goes. Some helpful links are thegraciouspantry.com, cleaneatingmag.com and eatcleandiet.com.
Let’s clean it up and B-Active For Life!
Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook