It’s the first week of spring, and that don’t-you-wish-I-was-your-girlfriend bathing suit you bought last year is STILL sitting in your drawer with the price tags on.
Stop reading this and take off your clothes. Go look in the mirror. Ask yourself, “Is my body right and tight, or sadly flabby?” Put your clothes back on and keep reading.
The central focus of a hot bathing suit body is a woman’s middle. But sit-ups alone won’t get you that hour-glass figure you crave because if your diet isn’t right, it doesn’t matter how many core exercises you do, you’ll still have a pooch.
Take a look at the top foods to get your body tight and your bathing suit out of the drawer:
Skinny Food 1: Almonds. Just a handful of these will not only quell your hunger, but give you a nutritional boost of antioxidants, fiber, and good fats that contribute to fighting heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Choose naked almonds, sans the salt and sugar, says Connie Guttersen, RD, PhD, and author of the best-selling, The New Sonoma Diet: Trimmer Waist, More Energy in Just 10 Days. “To bring out the flavor, toast them for a few minutes in a warm oven or over the stove in a cast iron skillet,” she says.
Skinny Food 2: Beans/Legumes. They’re rich in fiber that keeps you full, protein that helps build long, lean muscles, potassium and magnesium. Studies show that peeps who eat beans weigh less and have slimmer waists, says Dr. Gutterson. No need to cook them for hours–opt for the can and get the same nutritional value. But please be kind–Beano is your friend.
Skinny Food 3: Broccoli. Remember when your mom made you eat it, and you pretended you were a giant eating the little green trees? Or was that just me? Whatever the case, broccoli “is the king of disease fighting vegetables,” says Chef Gurpareet Bains, author of “Indian Superfood.” Those little green florets are chock full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and and enough fiber to keep you full for hours. Try some raw with a side of hummus (legumes!) for a snack to tide you over until lunch time.
Skinny Food 4: Olive Oil. Cook with it, slather it on after a bath, and use it on your hair. However you look at it, olive oil is the best oil to consume. It’s high in disease-fighting antioxidants and is composed of the good fat that helps lower your cholesterol and surprise! lose weight.
Here’s an idea on how you can consume all these skinny foods at once: lightly stir-fry halved broccoli florets in olive oil and cook until tender, but still crisp. Sprinkle cooked broccoli with sliced blanched almonds with a side of hummus.
Christelyn D. Karazin is a health writer and co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed (to be released February 2012), and runs a blog, Beyond Black & White, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of No Wedding, No Womb!, an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.