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With the summer months practically here—many college students with commencement this Mother’s Day, you high schoolers wrapping up shortly—there’s one primary thing on all your minds: the beach! And, of course, how you’ll be looking on said beach.
Since we want you to feel confident and have that flat stomach you’ve been fantasizing about since like summer 2014, here’s a list of superfoods that are proven to be high in nutrients and, critically, support fat burning. If you combine a thoughtful diet with a workout regiment (yeah, you’re gonna have to do that, too), by August, when you take the sands in your new suit and Blenders sunglasses, you’re gonna have people looking and going:
First tip: Sodium blows. Seriously. Salt and foods chock-full of salt (think chip snacks and anything highly processed) will make your body retain water. And when you retain a veritable boat load of water, you’ll swell and your tummy will look larger than it would otherwise.
One solution? Aside from cutting back on sodium, go with a potassium-infused food like bananas. Potassium is a super-duper nutrient in that it’ll flush away that pesky water and salt from your body, leaving you looking slim.
2. Boiled Sweet Potatoes
Not all potatoes are created equal! And we’re not just talking about french fries, either. Regular potatoes have a higher rating on the Glycemic Index than sweet potatoes—and the higher the GI rating, the more the carbohydrate content of a food is likely to impact your blood sugar.
This isn’t just a concern for diabetics. Foods with lower GI values (around 55 or lower) are digested more slowly, lowering insulin resistance and helping to stop calorie conversion into fat. When you boil sweet potatoes (as opposed to baking, etc.), they hold a low GI score somewhere in the 40s. Plus, sweet potatoes come stocked with awesome vitamins, including B6, C and A.
Sometimes, it’s okay to eat snacks. Ditch the flaming hot Cheetos for some nuts!
Nuts offer healthy fat (yes, there is such a thing) that can nourish your body while simultaneously switching off fat genes. The good, high fat content in nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc.) will also help keep you from feeling famished in-between meals, ensuring you don’t make a spur-of-the-moment pit stop at Carl’s Jr. for some monstrosity of a burger that leaves you depressed and feeling like a fat ass five minutes after consumption.
Note that peanuts are technically a legume, btw. So, try to stick with real nuts that are either lightly salted or unsalted.
4. Green Tea
Okay, ya drink it, ya don’t eat it, but the catechins
in green tea are antioxidants that trigger fat release from fat cells. It particularly targets your tum tum, too. After release, it even encourages the liver to burn that fat and use it as energy. In other words, if you don’t like hot tea, you dang well better start if you wanna look good in your suit and shades any time soon.
Lean protein is important. After you workout, you need to feed your hungry muscles if you want to develop a more toned (or even ripped!) body. Salmon is a lean meat that is both high in protein and way up there in omega-3s, which serve to ax fat build-up and fight inflammation, respectively.
BONUS - APPLES
Hey, apples rock. They’re tasty, but also low-calorie and a decently kickass source of fiber. And fiber helps to cut back on fat and may promote weight loss, even without an accompanying, overarching diet plan. So, yeah, how do you like dem apples now?