TODAY   |  January 29, 2014

Blast belly fat and boost your metabolism

In TODAY’s special series, “The 6 Months to a 6-Pack Challenge,” TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer and fitness trainer Jeff Halevy present exercises and foods that you need to lose stomach flab. Check out for some bonus ab-blasting recipes.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to our six months to a six pack challenge. helping you get those abs of steel by summer. and today we have the things you can eat.

>> joy bauer has great tips, also our three participants. looking great.

>> look how good they look.

>> i know. they've come a long way, joy. how far have they come?

>> remember, it's only been four short weeks. and they're not doing well, they're doing phenomenal. we're going to start with beautiful kelly. she weighed in at 177 at the first week. she's now 159 pounds.

>> all right.

>> she's down 18 pounds.

>> wow.

>> oh, my gosh. good for you.

>> awesome.

>> then we have stunning tamara. she started at 178 pounds now weighs 169, she's down 9 pounds.

>> all right.

>> oh, my gosh.

>> and hunky ralph over there.

>> he is getting hunky.

>> started at 200 pounds, now weighs 187 pounds and he's down 13 pounds!

>> all right.

>> whoo!

>> ralph , do you ever wear a shirt anymore? just walk around like that?

>> trust me, i need a shirt.

>> we devised a little game. we're going to have you to be our contestants here. our first question. which of the following fast food items is under 500 calories and will help blast belly fat most effectively? is it, a, wendy's chili baked potato , or burrito bowl with chicken, beans, cheese and guacamole. a, b, or c?

>> made me hungry is what it did.

>> "b" and "c."

>> the answer is the wendy's, it's "a." it's a small chili and a baked potato . guess what, only 450 calories. and thanks to the beans in the chili and the skin on the potato, you have a lot of filling fiber to keep you feeling satisfied.

>> all right.

>> sorry, guys.

>> okay. next question, which exercise will help you burn off belly fat faster? is it, a, squats or, b, planks. go ahead, make your guesses.

>> "b" across the board.

>> okay. so?

>> the correct answer is squats.

>> wow.

>> why is that?

>> the reason is, there's no such thing as spot reduction . the only way to spot reduce is by doing liposuction. the best way to really target fat loss overall is to do big movements. like a squat. and the best way to learn how to do a squat is to set up right alongside a chair and we all do this all day long. part two is standing back up and make sure the knees track correctly, straight in line with toes, fold your arms over your shoulders, keep your chest up, just like that.

>> just a body weight --

>> rinse and repeat.

>> you can add weights, too.

>> there are world class lifters who do the exact same movement but with 800 pounds on their back.

>> you guys doing squats yet?

>> question number three, which of these condiments can boost your metabolism. a, hot sauce , b, hummus, or c dijon mustard ?

>> all right!

>> what's great about hot sauce , it contains an ingredient that helps to suppress your appetite and slightly rev your metabolism. put a few dashes on everything from egg whites to stews to casseroles, even in your salad.

>> they got that one. here's another exercise question, guys. ready? what move makes your abs stronger? is it, a, crunches or, b, medicine ball ? okay. let's see what we've got here. jeff?

>> jeff step to the side. "b" and an "a."

>> so the medicine ball slam will be your best friend when it comes to abs. the reason for this, when you do a crunch, it's the equivalent of doing a biceps curl like this. you're really not working the muscles that much. much better choice is using a medicine ball . i know it makes it sound icky, but it's awesome. you're going to bring the ball high overhead and slam it. i'm not going to do it right now, forcefully down. i'm sorry?

>> go for it.

>> well, i don't want to slam it. the most important thing is to make sure you get your whole body involved. it's not just this, it's getting your hips and everything involved as you slam it back down.

>> we've got time for one more question. this is a big one. the super bowl 's coming up on sunday. you're at the super bowl party , looking at the spread, which one is the best snack to indulge in? a, a plate of chicken wings with blue cheese dip, or artichoke dip or two small slices of pizza? what do we think? a, b, or c.

>> okay. full disclosure here, i don't want them to indulge in any of these three options. but if it's calling for you, you're going for the pizza! because two small slices is only 650 calories and honestly, the other things you keep eating and eating and eating and the calories are through the roof.

>> i think ralph 's our winner.

>> oh.

>> workout gadgets for you.

>> lots of great workout stuff.

>> everybody wants that.

>> keep it going. looking great. couple more weeks to go. thank you.

>> congrats, guys.

>> well done. and we posted, by the way, three recipes on

>>> coming up next, rolling stone calls her one of hollywood's most talented and promising actresses. film, tv, stage star sarah paulson right after this. that's a man interviewing for a job. no. not that one. that one. the one who