abs are made in the kitchen.

by Janetha on February 18, 2011

in meals

hey guys! i am hanging out in chicago right now. i totally spaced asking for guest posts for while i am gone.. so i am actually cheating and posting some of the guest posts i have written for some of my blogging friends in the past. i know, shame on me, but hey—this is probably all new material for most of you, because these guest posts are old! back when i was janetha b! apologies to those who have read them already.. hope you enjoy!

here is a post that i did for my dear friend susan from the great balancing act.  susan recently broke her elbow in a tragic skating accident.. go send her some get well wishes!

abs are made in the kitchen.

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!

capsaicin.
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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!
protein.

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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.

glutamine.
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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!

cinnamon.
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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.

citrus.
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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.

berries.
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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.

green tea.
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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!
omega 3′s.
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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..

before

to this..
after

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.

Q~

1. do you eat any of the above foods? what are you favorite ways to enjoy them?  

xo. janetha g.

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Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 18, 2011 at 6:23 pm

This was a new read for me and super interesting. Thanks!

lindsay February 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I love the recycled post! Its so informational. I used to do crunches every day and saw nothing, Same boat. Diet is key! Clean eating will shed that layer.

runyogarepeat February 18, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I loved these food ideas! Clean eating does wonders, and I love seeing peppers on the list because spicy food is my favorite.

leslie February 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm

So very very true..the kitchen is where it’s at! I did so much ab work that my abs were probably screaming at me to stop! No results until I started cutting back on the fatty stuff. thanks for this post!

Katy (The Singing Runner) February 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Hmmm interesting. Definitely something that I will consider!

Christin@purplebirdblog February 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm

My love for Sriracha has a purpose after all! ;)

Meg February 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Hot sauce love fo life!

BroccoliHut February 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Very interesting–I didn’t know these foods were fat-blasters! I’m not exactly satisfied with the state of my stomach, so I might have to try eating these more often.

Ashley @ 365 things February 18, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I eat so much cinnamon that it’s gross. I think I could take on the cinnamon challenge…I really do.

TheNewHealthy February 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I’ve never seen this post–so it was new to me!

Hope you’re having fun in Chicago!! :)

Pure2raw twins February 18, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I totally agree that diet is key to get a flat stomach!!!

Have fun in Chicago.

L February 18, 2011 at 9:24 pm

How long did it take you to start getting definition on your body

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm

i love cinnamon and everything else you mentioned, too! but i eat cinnamon on sooo much…fruit, popcorn, whatever…probably has cinny on it.

Thank you for the Susan shoutout. She has been in my prayers so much this past week.

And the abs are made in the kitchen..I 100% agree! About a year ago when i was training for my fitness competition, i did a Tough Love & Abs post. I was getting so many ?’s about how to get them and basically i said what you said. I wish i could have been even “tougher” but didnt want to piss even more people off :)

MelissaNibbles February 19, 2011 at 4:36 am

I 100% agree with everything in this post. It took me forever to actually believe it, but once I put it to practice, I realized I was doing everything wrong. GREAT POST!

falafelwaffle February 19, 2011 at 5:06 am

I eat most of the above foods, but I will definitely be adding even more of them in, and I will investigate glutamine capsules.
Thanks so much for this post :)

melissadishes February 19, 2011 at 5:55 am

I eat most of those foods, but no glutamine. I’ve considered it for a long time now, probably should give it a whirl.

I was happy with my stomach before I got sick. If I was ever not bloated, it may still look ok, lol! I got a new Dr, unfortunately I can’t see him till May :-(

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine February 19, 2011 at 6:14 am

My body type is the kind that always gains in the stomach first, but the cleaner I eat, the more definition I have for sure!! I’m excited to see cinnamon on that list- I dump it on everything too :)

movesnmunchies February 19, 2011 at 6:20 am

great post!! i love spices esp cinnamon and eat omega 3s! but i could definitely up my intake!

Nicole February 19, 2011 at 7:16 am

Definitely an interesting read! I consume heaps of green tea each day, it’s my favorite beverage! Spicy foods too. I add dried chile flakes to almost everything I eat :)

Healthy Coconut February 19, 2011 at 7:33 am

Thanks for re-posting this, I haven’t read it.

I eat most of the items above, but one thing that I really know is true from my personal experience, is that adding protein to my meals and making sure I eat a balance meal with protein/carbs/fat has helped me a lot with staying toned, especially in the abs area.

Also, adding strength training to my workout has helped toned my abs more too.

Erika February 19, 2011 at 8:07 am

Great post! I always work my abs and eat pretty clean, but perhaps I need to add a few of these gems into my diet. I already have the cinnamon and spicy stuff down pat! ;]

Sara @ Nourish and Flourish February 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

Eating more protein and omega 3’s has made a HUGE difference for me. I feel more satisfied, which cuts my urge to snack on sugary foods. I’m unfamiliar with glutamine…Do you think it’s worth buying some?

frankj February 19, 2011 at 10:08 am

I knew that eating healthy could lead to losing weight, but I haven’t considered this one right here. It’s a new perspective and I may want to try it.

Kimberly Robb February 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

So interesting! What brand of fish oil do you buy?

Bean Blog! February 19, 2011 at 10:31 am

funny story, my insides felt like they were bleeding when I had thialand chili peppers along with 1/2 cup of cayenne pepper in my bok choy stir fry the other night. LOL uh oh!

jackie February 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

good to know! i am on my 7th week of bfl life and have seen some improvement on my abs but not as much as i would like. then again i did have 3 kids in 4 years so maybe it will take me longer! i eat most of the mentioned foods but will have to try those supplements.
thanks for the info!

Amanda (The Nutritionist Reviews) February 19, 2011 at 11:15 am

This is a great post! Would you mind if I used part of it on my blog as long as I make sure to credit you?

Natalie (The First Kitchen) February 19, 2011 at 11:58 am

Great post! I’ve always had a pretty strong core but I only recently started to see definition once I started burning more fat through a cleaner diet. Can’t wait to try out some more of these tips!

Emily February 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Just a little warning to any readers out there… if you are on bp meds or antidepressents do NOT eat grapefruit. Grapefruit messes with the way your body will metabolize those medications.

Additionally, if you are on birth control DON’T EAT GRAPEFRUIT. It will make your bc not work! Could lead to an unwanted surprise… no fun!

valgal123 February 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I eat very clean 98% of the time,but I continue to gain body fat. Its frustrating. I’ve ruined my metabolism from crash diets so I believe this is why my body gains weight if I just look at food. I wish it was as simple as diet and exercise for me, but its not.

Susan February 20, 2011 at 7:26 am

I actually love reading old posts from other bloggers – and this is one of my favourites of yours! It’s funny because the majority of my clients still think doing crunches will give them a six pack. It’s a long process hammering it into their heads that what they eat has a larger impact than what they do in the gym. But those who take my advice seriously are the ones who’ve had the best success. Living proof that diet is HUGE!

I’m one to talk though. I just had two croissants for breakfast ;)

Sana February 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Girll you look awesomee!

Mandy@One Hungry Mess February 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

great news! I love hearing I’m doing something right :P I pretty much put cinnamon on everything and love me some spicy food. Woo!

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