Question : Since July 4th is coming up and I haven't had time to go to the gym, is there anything I can do to get ripped abs ASAP like the guys in Magic Mike? - Daniel Klein, Los Angeles, CA
Well, lucky for you there are some steps you can take to make those abs look more defined just in time for the beach. By avoiding certain foods that are notoriously associated with gas and bloating, and incorporating other foods that will help you lose water weight and feel slimmer, you can see some fast results. I'm not sure if I can promise the physique of a male stripper in 24 hours, but I can guarantee that you will feel better and look a bit more toned if you follow this sample meal plan.
Breakfast : Start your day with an asparagus and tomato omelet and a cup of green tea. The lean protein from the egg with help you feel full while the detoxifying properties of the veggies will leave you feeling clean and healthy. Green tea is important because it is a natural diuretic and will boost your metabolism slightly while helping burn fat.
Snack : Instead of grabbing that bag of salty chips that will make you retain water and leave you feeling bloated, try cutting ½ grapefruit and adding ¼ tsp of cinnamon on top. Cinnamon has been shown to slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the small intestine, which may make you feel fuller for longer and even reduce your appetite. Don't forget to have a glass of water with lemon. Lemon may help detoxify your liver and get you to drink more water.
Lunch : Try a tasty dandelion green turkey salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, and a splash of lemon juice. Stick with these veggies today and ditch the cruciferous vegetables like cabbage or broccoli. These veggies can cause uncomfortable bloating and unwanted stomach distention. Conversely, dandelion greens are sometimes used as a diuretic to help get rid of excess fluid. Don't forget your cup of green tea or water with lemon!
Snack : 15 raw almonds it is. Almonds are a great nutritious snack, high in protein, fiber and healthy fats. Both the protein and fat contents will help you stay satisfied, and though you will not see this effect in just one day, studies have shown that incorporating almonds into your diet may curb your appetite and help you lose weight over time.
Dinner : Rather than eating those fried chicken tenders, go for a simple baked or broiled salmon over a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and of course, your cup of water (or tea) with lemon. Fried food is high in fat and usually salt, which makes you retain water and feel bloated. Salmon is an excellent source of protein and omega-3, a type of fat that fights inflammation.
Exercise : Don't think that your last minute ab workout is useless! Gas retention and symptoms of bloating can be significantly reduced in individuals who exercise. Even mild forms of exercise have the ability to decrease bloating symptoms. Try and squeeze in some crunches, situps, and pelvic lifts if you have the time.
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