Summer beckons and it’s time to flaunt your beach body in smart bikinis and shorts. But here’s the big question – Are you beach body ready yet? No reason to panic if you’re not. Make workouts and healthy foods your best friends, and they’ll tone and sculpt your body, and help you lose weight quickly. So here’s a look at nutrient-dense foods that you need to get acquainted with, for a flaunt-worthy bikini body.
Water has zero calories, suppresses appetite and prevents fluid retention, all of which help you look leaner. So drink up, or eat low-calorie, water-rich foods such as watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and grapefruit.
Wait, don’t raise your eyebrows just yet. Whole grains like oats and barley are packed with fibre, keeping you feeling full longer. Just lay off the refined flours.
Proteins trigger the secretion of glucagon, which helps burn fat. They also fill you up and help repair muscle tissue after your workout.
Quinoa is a healthy protein alternative to rice or pasta that’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs and Greek yoghurt are all foods you should be consuming, in your pursuit of a bikini bod! The protein in eggs helps build muscle and reduce fat, making it ideal. And don’t forget your lentils.
Yes, the right fats are good for you, keeping your heart healthy. Omega 3-fatty acids found in salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds actually help in weight reduction, while almonds, olive and avocado have generous amounts of heart-friendly monounsaturated fats and tummy-trimming fibre.
Increase your intake of non-starchy vegetables to lose weight quickly. Colourful vegetables like carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, leafy greens and broccoli are especially packed with nutrients and fibre and contain very little calories. Have them raw, steamed, barbequed, in soups or cooked with very little oil to make the most of their goodness.
While some weight loss programs bypass fruits for their sugar content, it’s actually not required, especially for fruits with a low glycemic index. So include bananas into your diet for their high potassium content to reduce bloating and help flatten your tummy. Apples are great because they are low in calories and high in fibre, essential for reducing visceral fat. Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are antioxidant-abundant, low-calorie, fibre-rich foods that reduce bloating, so they’re definitely good for swimsuit season!
Green tea comes a close second to water. Studies have found it reduces cholesterol, burns calories, increases metabolism and regulates blood sugar, so sip away!
Salt causes water retention, giving you that bloated look, so cut down on extra sodium. Instead, try flavouring with turmeric. It works directly on your fat genes, turning off the genetic mechanism that causes obesity and inflammation.
Foods to Avoid
While avoiding some foods like cream cakes, bacon, pizzas and ice cream are a no brainer, some foods are a little less obvious. Like packaged fruit juices for their high sugar content, margarine for its trans fats, smoothies for their high calorie content, pretzels for their high sodium levels and brussels sprouts, because they cause gas and GI expansion.
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