Friday, February 3, 2012

Guideline 3: Drink Smoothies Regularly

With schedules the way they are today, it’s no wonder that your
definition of a kitchen gadget is the one with a team logo that can
open bottles. You need to make one exception for the kitchen
gadget that won’t fit on a key chain: the blender. I don’t care how
many speeds it has or how it looks, and I couldn’t tell you the difference
between a mince and a frappe. All I care about is how
much stuff I can put in it and how good the stuff tastes when it
comes out. (One thing I do recommend: Get a blender with at least
400 watts, which will give it the power to handle chopping ice and
shredding fruit and to outlast any Jimmy Buffett fans who might
drop by unexpectedly.)
When you consider that changing your body takes time, motivation,
and knowledge, consider your blender to be one of your
most powerful tools in this plan. Smoothies made with a mixture
of the Abs Diet Powerfoods can act as meal substitutions and as
potent snacks, and they work for a few reasons.
They require little time.
Adding berries, flavored whey powder, or peanut butter
will make them taste like dessert, which will satisfy your
sweet cravings.
Their thickness takes up a lot of space in your stomach.
I don’t cook much. When I want a quick, healthy meal, I dump
milk, low-fat vanilla yogurt, ice, uncooked instant oatmeal, peanut
butter, and a couple of teaspoons of chocolate whey powder into my
blender and press a button. You can mix and match ingredients, depending
on your tastes (see the recipes in chapter 9), but use the
milk, yogurt, whey powder, and ice as the base. Here’s the evidence
showing these blended power drinks will help you control your
98 T H E A B S D I E T
T H E A B S D I E T N U T R I T I O N P L A N 99
Researchers at Purdue University found that people
stayed fuller longer when they drank thick drinks than
when they drank thin ones—even when calories, temperatures,
and amounts were equal.
A Penn State study found that men who drink yogurt
shakes that had been blended until they doubled in
volume ate 96 fewer calories a day than men who drank
shakes of normal thickness.
In a study presented at the North American Association
of the Study of Obesity, researchers found that regularly
drinking meal replacements increased a man’s chance of
losing weight and keeping it off for longer than a year.
A University of Tennessee study found that men who
added three servings of yogurt a day to their diets lost
61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more stomach
fat over 12 weeks than men who didn’t eat yogurt.
Wow! Researchers speculated that the calcium helps
the body burn fat and limit the amount of new fat your
body can make.
How it works: Drink an 8-ounce smoothie for breakfast, as a
meal substitute, or as a snack before or after your workout.
Guideline 4: Stop Counting
Though calorie burning is paramount to losing fat, calorie
counting will make you lose focus and motivation. By eating these
12 Abs Diet Powerfoods and their many relatives, the foods themselves
will, in a way, count your calories for you. They’ll keep you
healthy and feeling full and satisfied. Plus, the most energy-efficient
foods are almost like doormen at a nightclub: They’re not
going to let any of the riffraff in without your approval.
Of course, that doesn’t give you license to speed down the
road of monstrous portions. Most of us claim that we watch
what we eat, but most of us don’t have a clue. A U.S. Department
of Agriculture study asked men what they ate, then
checked it against reality. The truth: Men ages 25 to 50 were
eating twice the grains, fats, and sweets that they estimated. If
you eat six well-balanced meals, your body will regulate portions
through things like fiber, protein, and the sheer volume of the
smoothies. That said, it’s always wise—especially in the beginning
of the plan, when you’re most vulnerable and adjusting to
a new way of eating—to focus on portion control by limiting the
servings of some foods, especially the ones with fat (like peanut
butter) and carbohydrates (like rice or bread). A good rule: Stick
to one to two servings per food group, and keep the total contents

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