The Abs Diet, created by David Zinczenko, uses a clever acronym to help dieters remember the 12 power foods : ABS DIET POWER. Each letter corresponds to a specific food or category of food that can help rev up your metabolism and build muscles that help you stay slim for life. So what are the 12 power foods?
A: Almonds and Other Nuts
Almonds and other unsalted, sugar-free nuts are a great source of healthy fats and necessary vitamins and minerals including magnesium, calcium, and vitamin E. A handful makes a great snack, and they can be easily added to many dishes for a nutritious boost.
B: Beans and Legumes
Beans are high in fiber and protein, contribute to a feeling of satiety, and can be used as main courses, side dishes and snacks. Just make sure you’re not eating baked beans (tons of extra sugar) or refried beans (high in saturated fats).
S: Spinach and Other Green Vegetables
Green vegetables are chock full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These cancer-crushing health boosters can be enjoyed at every meal or snack—just avoid for the cheese-laden or deep fried variety!
Dairy includes fat-free and low-fat milk and their offspring, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese. A wellspring of protein and chock full of calcium, lean dairy is essential in a healthy, fat-burning diet.
I: Instant Oatmeal
As long as its unflavored and not sugar sweetened, there are few complex carbs that rate as highly as oatmeal. Besides the fiber and blood sugar maintenance benefits, oatmeal also reduces cholesterol and improves energy.
Eggs deliver more biologically available protein than any other food source, and hence are a foundational tool of this abs-revealing, muscle-building diet.
T: Turkey and Other Lean Meats
This category includes all high-protein lean meats, including fish, chicken, and lean steak. Again, making sure you have lots of lean protein in your diet gives your muscles the building blocks they need to grow and keep you lean.
P: Peanut Butter
All-natural peanut butter is calorie dense, but its also heavy in fat burning and muscle building power. Avoid commercially produced varieties that are overloaded with hydrogenated oils and extra sugar.
O: Olive Oil
Replacing low-value fats with high-quality fats is a key to weight control and overall health. It doesn’t get much better than olive oil, which lowers cholesterol, helps control cravings, and improves immune system functioning.
W: Whole-Grain Breads and Cereals
As long as your cupboard isn’t filled with processed breads and cereals of the white variety, you don’t need to cut the complex carbs Atkins or South Beach style. Eating sensible amounts of whole grain breads and their products (whole grain pasta, for instance) will keep your blood sugar under control, protect against cardiovascular disease, and provide you with tons of vitamins and minerals.
E: Extra-Protein Powder
Whey protein powder will turn a regular smoothie into a supercharged powerfood, helping maintain a positive nitrogen balance, delivering much-needed amino acids, and improving body composition. There are many brands and types of protein powder; just make sure the one you pick isn’t soy-based or sugar-sweetened.
R: Raspberries and Other Berries
Berries are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, and as long as you eat them the way nature intended—with the skins on, and not doused in a sugar sauce—you’re on your way to better health and better abs.