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6 secrets to a flat and fabulous stomach in 2011

Are you ready for a sexy, toned tummy this year? Dave Zinczenko of Men’s Health shares tips for getting your stomach flat.
/ Source: Mens Health

New Year, New You. You’ve heard this every January, but now David Zinczenko makes it easier than ever to transform your stomach with six secrets to a flat belly.

Eat six meals a day
We are so used to hearing people talk about eating less food that it’s become weight-loss doctrine, but if you want to look slimmer, feel fitter and — not coincidentally — live longer, than you need to eat more. Between 10 and 30 percent of the calories you burn each day get burned by the simple act of digesting your food. Satisfying your food cravings will actually make you burn away calories. But not all foods are created equal. Your body uses more calories to digest protein (about 25 calories burned for every 100 calories consumed) than it does to digest fats and carbohydrates (10 to 15 calories burned for every 100 calories consumed). By eating six small meals a day with the foods recommended in this plan, you will increase your metabolism, lose fat and add lean muscle mass. The main point here is to graze throughout the day — three small meals and snacks to keep your metabolism revved. Be mindful of portion control and eat just until you’re satisfied, then stop.

Make the 12 Abs Diet Powerfoods the staples of your diet
The New Abs Diet teaches you to focus on (not restrict yourself to) a handful of food types — the Abs Diet Power 12 — to fulfill your core nutritional needs. These food types are all good for you and are scientifically-proven to build muscle and burn fat. Incorporating these 12 foods in your six meals a day will satiate your tastes and cravings and keep you from feasting on the dangerous fat promoters in your diet. 

Almonds and other nuts

Beans and legumes

Spinach and other green vegetables

Dairy (fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese)

Instant oatmeal (unsweetened, unflavored)


Turkey and other lean meats

Peanut butter

Olive oil

Whole-grain breads and cereals

Extra protein (whey) powder

Raspberries and other berries

Drink smoothies regularly
Consider your blender your new best friend in 2011. It’s one of the most powerful tools in the Abs Diet plan because the 3rd secret to a flat belly is to drink smoothies regularly (and, I am not talking about the ones that you order a fast-food restaurant and are loaded with sugar).  Smoothies made with a mixture of the Abs Diet Powerfoods can act as meal substitutes and as potent snacks and they work brilliantly for a few reasons:

  1. They require little time
  2. Adding berries, flavored whey powder or peanut butter will make them taste like dessert, which will satisfy your sweet cravings.
  3. Their thickness takes up a lot of space in your stomach. 

Stop counting
Though calorie burning is paramount to losing fat, calorie counting will make you lose focus and motivation. By eating the 12 Abs Diet Powerfoods, the foods will, in a way, count your calories for you because they’ll keep you healthy and feeling full and satisfied.  

I am not giving you license to speed down the road of monstrous portions but if you stick to the foods recommended in the New Abs Diet, you will satisfy your cravings and boost your metabolism … and the best part is that you won’t feel like you are on a diet.

Know what to drink — and what not to
If you’re serious about shedding belly flab, I’d encourage you to limit your alcohol intake to a few drinks a week throughout the duration of the 6-week plan. Here’s why: There are health benefits to having one or two drinks a day, but there are many ways that alcohol can get you into trouble. Most important, alcohol adds calories that you don’t need right now. To maximize the benefits of the plan, you should also cut out empty-calorie beverages like soda. You can save 300 calories or more a day right there — or more than 30 pounds in 2011! These calories are empty because they don’t actually make you full or decrease the amount of food you eat. 

I hate to tell you to drink water, but drinking about eight glasses a day has a lot of health benefits. It helps keep you satiated, flushes the waste products your body makes when it breaks down fat for energy, helps transport nutrients to your muscles and keeps your metabolism clicking.

For one meal a week, forget the first five guidelines I would never advocate cheating on your spouse, your employer or your taxes. But I want you to cheat on this diet. I want you to take one meal during the week and forget everything about good carbohydrates and good fats. Have half a pizza, Buffalo wings or whatever it is that you miss the most while you’re on the plan. Have it, savor it and then dig back in for another week. I want you to cheat for a couple of reasons: I want you control when you cheat because it will help you satisfy your cravings and enable you to stick to the plan over the long term.  I also want you to cheat because studies show that a high-calorie day of eating can actually rev up your metabolism.

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