SIX-PACK SU­PER­FOODS

Work­ing out is half the bat­tle. Be­come the lean­est you’ve ever been by adding Joe Wicks’ go-to in­gre­di­ents to your gro­cery shop­ping list. Con­sider them your tools for to­tal re­con­struc­tion

Men's Health (Malaysia) - - Cover Stories -

Joe Wicks (@ the­body­coach) shares his favourite things to eat that will help you sculpt abs.

CRUSH YOUR CRAV­INGS

Nuts are a great way to in­tro­duce healthy fats into your diet, and Wicks makes al­monds his sta­ple. Com­par­a­tively low in calo­ries – a 10-nut serv­ing has roughly 60 calo­ries with 2g of carbs – their fi­bres sta­bilise blood sugar and re­duce hunger, ac­cord­ing to the Euro­pean Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nu­tri­tion. A win­ning strat­egy for your abs as­pi­ra­tions.

OIL THE EN­GINE

No #LeanIn15 video is com­plete with­out Wicks chuck­ing a spoon of co­conut oil into the pan. And he’s onto some­thing: 60% of the oil’s fats are MCTs, which quickly con­vert to en­ergy. They’re a bit like carbs in that sense, but won’t im­pact blood sugar. A study by the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for Clin­i­cal Nu­tri­tion found that sub­jects who used MCT oils, in­stead of olive oil, lost more body fat too.

STAY FIT FOR PUR­POSE

Min­imise missed work­outs by fol­low­ing Wicks’ lead and adding star anise to your cur­ries. It’s a source of shikimic acid, which a study in the Jour­nal of Med­i­cal Virol­ogy found con­trib­utes to im­proved im­mune func­tion. It’ll sup­port pro­tein ab­sorp­tion too, ac­ti­vat­ing di­ges­tive en­zymes that help your body process the mus­cle-fu­elling macronu­tri­ent.

BLITZ EX­CESS WEIGHT

Wicks adds an­tiox­i­dant-packed blue­ber­ries to his smooth­ies and oats. And it’s a habit we’d hap­pily en­dorse: not only are they rich in polyphe­nols that in­hibit the for­ma­tion of fat cells, they’re also a source of cat­e­chins to fight that fat which has, well, al­ready formed. Fi­nally, the berries’ skins con­tain ur­so­lic acid, which the Univer­sity of Iowa found halts mus­cle break­down. You’ll only lose weight where you want to.

TREAT YOUR HEART

Wicks has a sweet tooth like the rest of us. When crav­ings hit, he breaks off a few squares of dark choco­late, which is packed with nat­u­ral flavonoids. In a study by the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia – San Fran­cisco, a daily dose of dark choco­late was shown to im­prove blood ves­sel func­tion, de­liv­er­ing more oxy­gen to your mus­cles dur­ing your work­outs for bet­ter per­for­mance and quicker re­cov­ery.

PICK LEANER GREENS

He says “mid­get trees”, we say broc­coli, but let’s not call the whole thing off. Wicks’ favourite veg is rich in sul­foraphane, which the US Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion found cre­ates “brown fat” – the calo­rie-burn­ing kind. It’s also a source of blood sug­ar­balanc­ing chromium, keep­ing your en­ergy lev­els up. Trust us, you’ll need it for Wicks’ YouTube HIIT ses­sions...

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