How Cauliflower, Broccoli and LESS sit ups will give you a flatter stomach!
By Matt Luxton
Indole 3 Carbinol
The big problem with fat loss is that we all deposit fat in different areas and it’s very hard to spot reduce using exercises. The typical one is abdominal fat that hides everyone’s six pack (yes we all have a six pack!). Now, one of the major reasons we store fat in certain places is where our oestrogen cells are within our bodies. Generally, women tend to have them on the hips, outside of the upper thigh and the back of the upper arm. Men, tend to have them in the chest and abdominal area.
So we know that the exercise specific spot reducing does not work. You simply need to burn total calories, by using all the large muscle groups and elevate your heart rate to a level that requires recovery at a metabolic level, after you finish exercise. I will just say that with correct timings of work and rest you can use specific exercises to reduce fat in certain areas.
You can dramatically improve the fat loss process by adding certain vegetables to your diet. Research has shown these vegetables have a chemical known as Indole 3 Carbinol within them (1). When this enters the acidic conditions within the stomach, it creates an environment which is highly efficient at metabolizing oestrogen. We know that the increased testosterone release post resistance exercise is in part responsible for the elevated metabolism post training. So by adding foods that metabolize oestrogen, you have kind of got a buy one get one free situation.
Sit Ups and Pelvic Tilt
Time and Time again the sit up for abs horror story jumps up in front of me! Here’s something you may find interesting. We all strive for the flatter stomach so we set off on our journey to rip up the abdominal area by increasing the number of sit ups we are doing. You know what you are probably making that little bulge bigger. How? Well, every time you do a sit up (traditional sit up) you activate your hip flexors. These are the muscles that pull the upper thigh closer to the body. Now there’s nothing wrong with training these muscles to do exactly that, but when it comes to training the abdominal muscles for that flatter stomach there’s far more effective exercises.
The pull of tighter, over active(facilitated) hip flexors (as a result of too many sit ups) results in a pull forward of the pelvis, almost like you are emptying the contents of your torso onto the floor as if you were emptying the bucket of water you washed your car with. This in turn means that now your Gluteals (Bum) become underactive (inhibited). This is a big problem for fat loss because these are a big muscle group that require lots of energy to perform many whole body exercises. If they aren’t’ working then you are reducing the quality and ‘bang for your buck’ that you get from your training.
Now you’ve done all those sit ups, your pelvic alignment has been affected by the over and underactive muscles you have created and your tummy looks bigger! Why? Well you have just pulled everything forward and effectively you have pushed all your internal organs into a position that essentially means they are rammed up against your abdominal wall. This will also mean that you may not digest your food as well.
So what to do?
• Eat more cabbage, broccoli, spinach, curly kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. Dont cook for more than 9 minutes or you can lose up 20-50% of the nutrients that you need.(2)
• Focus on plank positions for both anterior (front) and posterior (back) core musculature. Balanced core is massively important for your flat stomach look. Remember there’s two sides to that Core!
• I have found that by Working on activating the glutes pre workout to get them fired up before you ask them to work! Using Clams, side lying hip abduction and supermans seems to do the trick very nicely!
1. Fahey JW, Zalcmann AT, Talalay P. The chemical diversity and distribution of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates among plants. Phytochemistry. 2001;56(1):5-51.
2. McNaughton SA, Marks GC. Development of a food composition database for the estimation of dietary intakes of glucosinolates, the biologically active constituents of cruciferous vegetables. Br J Nutr. 2003;90(3):687-697
Boost bones with calcium. This decade marks your last shot at building bone mass. (Later on, eating well and exercising will help you maintain what you’ve got.) Yet according to government research, more than half of women in their 20s get less than the 1,000mg of calcium they need daily to do that.
Most healthy eaters easily bank about 500mg, says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of “Eat Your Way to Happiness.” Make up the difference with a daily 500mg calcium supplement — either a pill or chocolate chew, whichever you like best! (Try not to take it too close to meals packed with high-calcium foods, since the body can only absorb about 500mg at a time.)
Star Sources: 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt (452mg), 1 cup calcium-fortified soy milk (368mg) or orange juice (267mg—347mg), 1 cup fat-free milk (306mg), 1 ounce cheddar cheese (205mg).
Health.com: Foods for healthy bones
Prep for pregnancy with folate. Up to 70 percent of neural tube birth defects (like spina bifida) could be prevented if moms-to-be consumed enough of this B vitamin.
Don’t wait until you see those two pink lines: Folate (and folic acid, the synthetic form found in supplements and fortified foods) begins boosting babies’ development in the days and weeks just after conception, when most women don’t even know they’ve conceived.
The 400mcg you need daily (600mcg if you’re pregnant) can come from food, but since it’s better absorbed through a supplement, hedge your bets by taking a multivitamin, too. (Check the label to make sure it packs that 400mcg.)
Star Sources: 3/4 cup cereal with 100 percent DV for folic acid (400mcg), 4 spears asparagus (85mcg), 1 cup raw spinach (60mcg), 1 ounce peanuts (40mcg), 1 slice whole-wheat bread (25mcg).
Health.com: America’s healthiest superfoods for women
Fight fatigue with iron. You’re juggling work, relationships, and kids — no wonder you’re tired! But that fatigue may also stem from low iron stores, common among women in their 20s and 30s who don’t eat much meat and, as a result, don’t hit the 18mg recommended daily allowance. (Have heavy periods? You’re at even higher risk.)
Though your body soaks up the most iron from animal protein, you’ll absorb more from plant foods by pairing them with those rich in vitamin C, like red peppers or strawberries.
Consider swapping out your aluminum pots, too: A study in Food Chemistry found that leafy greens cooked in iron-clad pots packed more than twice the amount of iron as uncooked greens or greens prepared in other cookware.
Star Sources: 3/4 cup fortified cereal (18mg), 1/2 cup white beans (4mg), 1/2 cup cooked spinach (3mg), 3 ounces beef (3mg), 3 ounces chicken (1mg).
Help your heart with omega-3s. Eating these fats regularly can slash your risk for heart disease by lowering triglycerides. If you’re pregnant, omega-3 fatty acids may improve your baby’s brain and eye development and help stave off postpartum depression.
Meet your daily requirement of 0.5g to 1g a day by eating at least two servings a week of low-mercury fish, like the ones listed among our Star Sources. (Though walnuts and flaxseed contain heart-healthy omega-3s, too, seafood sources are better for brain health, says Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D., Health’s Senior Food and Nutrition Editor and author of “Feed the Belly.”)
Star Sources: 3 ounces salmon (1g—2g), 3 ounces flounder (0.5g), 3 ounces halibut (0.5g—1 g), 3 ounces shrimp (0.30g), 3 ounces canned light tuna (0.20g—0.25g).
Health.com: 10 best foods for your heart
Feel full with fiber. Having trouble shedding extra pounds? Your metabolism is dipping along with your muscle mass, so your calorie needs now drop by about 100 a day. (Yup — bummer.)
Your new best friend: fiber, which can make you feel full while you’re eating less. Plus, fiber helps fend off constipation, which becomes more common with age; it can also help reduce cholesterol levels.
Most women get only half of the 25 grams they need daily.
Star Sources: 1/2 cup 100 percent bran cereal (9g), 1/2 cup black beans (8g), 1 small pear with skin (4g), 1/2 cup raspberries (4g), 1 ounce almonds (3g), 1/2 cup whole-wheat pasta (3g).
Lower BP with potassium. It’s common for blood pressure to start creeping up with age, but if you take action now, you may never need meds. Potassium doesn’t just help lower elevated BP levels — it also works like kryptonite against sodium’s BP-raising effects.
An extra perk: It may help lessen bone loss. Just make sure to hit 4,700mg a day to reap the rewards.
Star Sources: 1 medium sweet potato (694mg), 1 medium potato (610mg), 1 medium banana (422mg), 3 ounces pork tenderloin (382mg), 1 cup fat-free milk (382mg), 1/2 cup cooked lentils (365mg).
Health.com: Fill up on fiber
Age gracefully with antioxidants. There’s solid evidence that eating foods rich in antioxidants may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline — even dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a review from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. And these natural plant compounds may actively make your mind sharper by blocking reactions that can damage the cells found in brain tissue.
Our Star Sources have some of the highest antioxidant capacity among foods. Try to get 5 servings of these or other fruits and vegetables a day.
Star Sources: 1 cup blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries; 1/2 cup dried plums; 1 Granny Smith apple; 1 cup red grapes; 1 medium russet potato; 1 cup artichoke hearts; 1/2 cup broccoli rabe; 1/2 cup raw red cabbage.
Health.com: Fight aging: 6 secrets to staying young
Fend off disease with vitamin D. Every cell in the body requires vitamin D to function, which may be why it’s been linked to such a broad range of health benefits, from lowering cancer risk to warding off depression.
Getting the minimum daily 400IU is especially important now: By your 50s, you may be making as little as 30 percent of what you did when you were a kid from the same sun exposure, Somer says. Slathering on SPF a must for your skin cancer risk means you’re getting even less D, since sunscreen blocks its production.
“I always recommend food first when it comes to nutrients,” says Keri Gans, R.D., spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “But in the case of D, it’s simply too hard to get enough in your diet.”
Star Sources: 3 ounces canned light tuna (154IU); 1 cup D-fortified milk or juice (100IU); 1 egg (25IU). (Most basic multivitamins contain 400IU — or take a D supplement of 1,000IU a day, an amount Gans and other experts recommend.)
Health.com: Why you need vitamin D now
Stay sharp with B12. A full third of adults over 50 don’t make enough stomach acid to break down and absorb the vitamin B12 in foods, says Carol Haggans, R.D., scientific and health communications consultant with the National Institutes of Health.
That’s a problem, because not only is this key vitamin needed to produce red blood cells, it’s also involved in brain function which is why you may feel weak and fuzzy-headed if you’re deficient.
Low B12 levels can also trigger high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that’s linked to cardiovascular disease. Ask your doctor for a blood test to check your status if you suspect you’re deficient.
Note: At this age, you’ll absorb the B12 in supplements and fortified foods more easily than the natural kind, so take a multivitamin or have a bowl of fortified cereal (one with 100 percent DV for B12) to get the necessary 2.5mcg a day if you’re low in it.
Star Sources: 1 cup fortified cereal (6mcg), 3 ounces beef (2mcg), 1 cup yogurt (1.5mcg), 1 cup milk (1mcg).