abs are made in the kitchen
holler! i would like to start out by commending you all on your wise decision to read susan’s blog. isn’t it the best?! i think we would all agree that she is the most stellar girl ever. now that i have made that agreement clear, allow me to introduce myself. my name is janetha, probably the only janetha here in blogland and also probably the only janetha you will ever know.. at least i have not come across another one and i have been around for more than a quarter century. anyway! i write a blog called meals & moves and i am super into documenting my eats and exercise routines. if ya’ll are into that sort of thang.. check it out.
i am sure several, if not all of you have heard the term “abs are made in the kitchen”. well, i am here to tell you, it is true what they say. (whoever “they” may be…) you can do crunches all day long and still not achieve the coveted six pack. well, i take that back it is very possible to work so hard on your abdominal muscles and have a washboard stomach.. but if that washboard is covered with a heap of laundry aka fat.. then you will never be able to see your hard work.
i was that girl. the girl who worked her abs day in and day out but still saw no results. why? i had a hefty layer of fat on my belly! and i knew exactly why. too much beer, too much greasy food, too many calories and not enough clean eats. i was extremely frustrated with my lack of visual progress in the torso area. it sucked big time.
enter: the kitchen. i started doing a lot of research on losing abdominal fat. i knew that i had the muscles underneath the fat but until i got rid of it, my hard work would never show. what did i learn? that clean eating is the key to dropping abdominal fat and in turn showing off those svelte abdominal muscles you slave away for at the gym. i could talk for days about clean eating.. but since this is just one little guest post, i want to focus on fat blasting foods. that is right, there are certain foods that are fat pulverizing powerhouses! through my journey i learned about lots of key ingredients that were on my team in the fight to get rid of belly fat. i would like to share eight of those fat fighting foods with you today!
ok, a lot of people may be saying, “cap-what? what’s that?” have no fear, there is a simpler word for this first fat blasting food.. spice! you have probably heard that spicy foods rev your metabolism and help you burn fat. well, this is true! and not only does it help us burn fat, it may actually kill fat cells before they fully form. you may notice that your heart rate is raised a bit when you eat spicy foods.. this is good for your fat burning metabolism! so next time you need to give your food a little extra flavor, pass on the sodium filled salt and reach for the pepper flakes instead!
ah, my favorite macronutrient ever. lucky for me, it is a good thing to be fueling my body with! protein is the hardest macro for our bodies to digest (next to carbohydrates and fat). what does that mean? well, it means that our bodies have to use more calories to digest protein grams. protein also keeps us full longer which means we are not hungry as soon.. which means we don’t stuff our faces with random, unnecessary food before the time to eat comes again. have you ever noticed that a breakfast full of eggs and yogurt fills you up way longer than a bagel with cream cheese? yeah, that is the protein filling you up. and it is wonderful. i aim to have a solid protein intake in every meal and every snack (i eat 5 times a day). my favorite protein sources are chicken breasts, fat free greek yogurt, fish, low fat cottage cheese, protein powder and egg whites.
this is something i have not been familiar with for very long, but i have read several studies that show glutamine will in fact increase fat burning when taken after meals. you probably have seen a lot of people taking glutamine supplements or adding it to their post-workout shake. glutamine can be found in beans and dairy, but i personally use a glutamine supplement which comes in the form of a capsule. it also comes in powder form which makes adding glutamine to your drinks really easy!
glory hallelujah, one of my favorite things on earth is also a key to blasting fat?! yes, i was happy when i made this discovery. cinnamon has been known to metabolize blood sugar levels better and as a result will lower your blood sugar level. why is this good? well when your blood sugar levels are too high, your body thinks it needs to store fat. don’t ask me why our bodies think this.. but they do. tell those blood sugar levels who is boss by dumping.. er, um.. sprinkling cinnamon on anything and everything.
my roommate eats a grapefruit a day because she heard it helps you lose weight. i looked more into this because she really had nothing to back up her actions. turns out, citric based fruits have been known to lower your insulin levels which in turn helps you resist the urge to snack! if you don’t like grapefruits, surely you could get some extra citrus in through devouring an orange or squeezing some lemon or lime on your favorite dish.
we have all heard that berries, specifically blueberries, are packed with antioxidants. turns out they are good fat fighting fruits as well. i read an article in oxygen magazine stating that these berries act the same way cinnamon does and help tell your body to not store extra fat. you have probably also heard the recent buzz about the fat fighting powers of goji and acai berries. berries are very low in calories and taste amazing.. so they are a no-fail fat blasting food! try adding some berries to your next green salad or throw a handful into your smoothie. here is a tip: instead of ice, use frozen berries in a smoothie to create an ice cream-like texture.
yeah, i KNOW you have all heard this one! and although lots of “fad” diet pills use green tea as a selling point, there really is something to this little leaf. in addition to increasing your energy and decreasing your cholesterol, green tea has been known to act the same way capsaicin does and rev your metabolism for extra fat burning fire and extra calories burned. and since this beverage is calorie free, why not drink a few cups daily? swap it for your morning java or drink it iced with your lunch. just be careful to avoid the green teas with added sugars and flavors. i drink my green tea straight up and brew it myself so i know there is no hidden additives to it. it may take your palette a minute to get used to the unsweetened flavor but i promise, you will learn to love it. tip: brew a HUGE batch once a week and store it in a tea jug in the fridge. fill up a reusable bottle daily for on-the-go metabolism revving power!
i know, some people may think, “wait, omegas ARE fat, how can they FIGHT fat?!” but rest assured, omegas are the friendly fats :) in fact, you need fat to burn fat. and the healthy omega 3s actually have blockers that keep the other fat in foods you eat from turning into body fat. good sources of omega 3s are salmon, tuna, flax seed and walnuts. you can also find bottled supplements of fish oil capsules or flax seed capsules, i take two doses of fish oil capsules daily in addition to consuming fish a couple times a week. i also purchased a large contained of cold pressed ground flax from costco and like to sprinkle it into my oatmeal or protein shakes.
now i am not an expert and i don’t have a degree in anything except general studies (don’t hate!) but i do know from first-hand experience that these foods helped me go from this..
and it definitely was not due to lots of ab sessions at the gym. in fact, once i started eating the right foods, i was actually working my abs out less and found that i didn’t even need to kill myself at the gym for hours to achieve the torso i was aiming for. what a relief!
it is seriously amazing that with a little research we can learn about foods that will work in our favor and when putting them to the test they actually will help us lose fat faster than doing it the hard way. thank you fat burning food finds! i heart you for life.
now that i have talked about these fat blasting foods i would love to hear your favorite ways to use them! leave a comment telling me (and susan!) your favorite way to use one, or more than one, of these fabulous ingredients to spectacular abs!
also if you have any other fat fighting food facts.. please share them with all of us!
xo. janetha b.