Spice Up Your Six Pack Regime | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Spice Up Your Six Pack

With less than a month until summer, you’ve probably realised now is the time to make some positive health and lifestyle changes to reveal that summer six pack! And you’ll be pleased to know that it isn’t about flogging yourself unrealistically in the gym or restricting yourself from your favourite foods. By understanding 80% of your body composition will come down to your nutrition, now is the time to focus on the foods that help uncover those washboards abs whilst celebrating healthier versions of your favourite feeds.

As a starting point, I always encourage people to celebrate the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and eliminate any that may cause you harm or inflammation. That means choosing real food options as often as you can, cooking from scratch, and ditching anything overly refined, processed and packed with sugar. Once you’ve got these basic principles down pat, there are some spicy secrets to have you leaner than ever before, with just the simple addition of some every day ingredients. Lets take a look at the top three and how they can benefit you by adding them to your plate!

Cinnamon

This has got to be one of the most flexible spices that suits both sweet, savoury and your everyday beverages like coffee, tea and protein shakes. In a recent study, results showed that by adding cinnamon to a meal lowered the glycemic index (GI) of the foods by up to 29%. Now the reason I highlight this is because the higher the GI of a meal, the higher your blood sugar levels rise, resulting in the storage of excess body fat, something we want to be avoiding when revealing our abs.

Using cinnamon in recipes also tricks our tastebuds that item is slightly sweet as it works on the same receptors on our tastebuds. By giving us the sensation our food is sweet, we are less likely to crave other sugary foods, plus it helps keep our blood sugar levels under control. 

Using cinnamon also helps us to maintain insulin sensitivity. If you struggle with your weight, either unable to lose it or gaining as time goes on, its likely that you have some type of carbohydrate dysfunction, and that wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if you’ve eaten processed and refined foods for a long period of time in your life. Insulin resistance is one of the most common people experience, where even a moderate amount of carbs can cause you issues, resulting in a hormonal imbalance. Insulin is released to deal with the influx of glucose, but your cells are resistant to it, resulting in a blood sugar spike, that in turn the pancreas secretes even more insulin, preventing the release of stored body fat as a source of energy, not to mention the spiral effect where the excess glucose is converted into fatty acids and eventually lands back on us as body fat.

Combine maintaining your blood sugar levels and maintaining insulin sensitivity with the high levels of antioxidants also packed into each sprinkle of cinnamon, feel free to add it to smoothies, shakes, marinades, spice rubs and so much more!

Cayenne Pepper

If you like it hot, cayenne pepper is not only an incredible tasting spice, but it is also one of the best spices for burning excess body fat!

You will be familiar with thermogenic foods. Think things like green tea, even some pre-workouts are thermogenic. Cayenne pepper naturally gives the body a thermogenic boost. In other words, it causes our body to “heat up” forcing it to burn more calories and increase energy expenditure. Thats why sometimes when you consumer too much of it, you might get your sweat on! 

Like cinnamon, cayenne pepper can also prevent large blood sugar and insulin spikes after a meal dominated by carbohydrates and/or sugars, balancing the effects of the meal after consumption.

Start with a small amount to test out your sensitive to the heat of the spice, and once you know how much you can handle, start adding some sprinkled into and over your meals.

Turmeric

You would be hard pressed not to have heard this superfood buzz word thrown around these days. From turmeric supplements to golden lattes, this ancient Ayurvedic spice is popular, and for very good reasons.

The amazing health benefits of turmeric include its ability to reduce inflammation, heal wounds, improve skin health, protect cognitive abilities, and ease menstrual difficulties. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, Turmeric also helps manage depression, alleviate pain and slow the ageing process. 

Often used as a powder, but also available in most supermarkets in its root, Turmeric, helps boost your metabolism rate and lets your body burn a significant more number of calories, leading to weight loss. And with our aim being the big reveal of our six pack abs, it is also useful in reducing fat mass and detoxification of the liver, which are essential contributors when it comes to weight loss efforts in our mid section. Being so good at reducing inflammatory messages in our muscles, pancreas, and fat cells, it allows our body to focus on reducing body fat rather than fighting inflammation.

Now, its important to remember, we all have abs! Its whether we can see them or not, under our body fat. Making sure we make smart food choices, keep active and manage stressors in our life is the key to successfully revealing them.

So, its time to spice up your six pack regime lads, and I mean literally. Thats right, by sprinkling some delicious and aromatic spices onto your food can speed up fat loss, reduce inflammation around your mid section, resulting in a tight, toned smooth stomach.

Related: What’s The Best Diet For Men?

By Mens Health Staff

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