If you’re trying to get lean and show off your abs in time for summer, it’s time for the Ab Diet. Eat the right combinations of these foods and you’ll watch the fat just melt away, leaving your 6-pack abs there for all to see.

There are two components to being lean; diet and exercise. The amount each contributes to you being fat free varies with each person. A 25% – 75% split, with diet comprising the 75%, is about normal. That being the case, here is the Ab Diet Lucky 13 you’ll need to have abs you can be proud of.

1 – Yogurt (non fat, no sugar or HFC sweetener)
Yogurst is a power packed addition to any diet. What’s more, it’s a scientifically proven muscle builder and fat burner. In one recent (2005) study those who ate 3 servings of the stuff each day lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat (and an amazing 81% more belly fat) than those who simply cut calories and didn’t partake. The yogurt eaters also were far less likely to lose muscle mass when losing their weight.

2 – Fish
There’s no secret here. Fish is packed with top quality protein. It can be high in fat too, but some of the fat is of the highly touted Omega-3 variety. Omega 3 fatty acids are well known for their ability to chase away heart disease and other baddies. Salmon is the king of O3s.

3 – Chicken – Skinless
Another protein packed addition to your diet, skinless chicken is versatile, tastes great and can help you put together a fantastic muscle building, fat burning diet.

4 – Oatmeal
This stuff will scrub you out and taste great too. High in protein for a grain, oatmeal has Vitamin A, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin and Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron and Manganese too. It is a great source of dietary fiber as well.

5 – Green Tea
Not so much a nutrient, green tea has been proven to help burn fat. It is also extremely high in antioxidants, and some researchers have demonstrated that it helps your body detoxify itself.

6 – Almonds
These things are another protein and antioxidant packed treat. Much of their antioxidant power is in the skin, so make sure you eat yours with the skin. According to the USDA, almonds have the most nutritionally dense nut, although other nuts have a lot going for them as well. You’ll also find almonds loaded with monounsaturated fat, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and iron, so grab some on the next trip to the store.

7 – Eggs
Eggs have gotten a bad rap for being high in cholesterol in the past, but new research seems to indicate that an egg a day won’t hurt you. Eggs have the highest quality protein you can find without going to artificially produced supplements. Recent studies reinforce the importance of eggs in your diet if you’re trying to lose fat and/or gain muscle.

In fact, a 2008 study showed that eating a two egg breakfast helped dieters lose 65 percent more weight and feel more energetic than those who ate a bagel breakfast with the same calories and volume (another strike against New York Doughnuts). Another one found that individuals who ate high-quality protein foods for breakfast, including eggs, discovered they felt fuller throughout the day compared to when they had more of their protein at lunch or dinner.

8 – Whey protein isolate
I mix a scoop of this with my oatmeal every morning for a complete breakfast. Whey protein isolate, a byproduct of that stuff you put on top of your pizza, is pure and leaves behind things other forms of whey protein don’t, namely lactose and fat. Whey has immunoglobulins and lactoferrin to help boost your immune system.

9 – No flour, flax seed bread
Flour, even whole grain flour, is ground up whole grains. This grinding cones at a cost to your fat loss efforts, namely making the stuff burn faster. That’s the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to slim down the ole’ midriff. No flour bread avoids the whole flour fiasco by using sprouted grains, so it’s much better for your body. Lower glycemic index and high nutrient content, you know. Flax seeds are high in Omega 3s to help your heart.

10 – Broccoli / Spinach
This green duo is a must eat if you want to show your abs. Low glycemic index carbohydrates, nutrient packed, and as an added bonus spinach is mildly anti-inflammatory. It has a great calories to nutrient ratio, and you almost couldn’t eat enough of the stuff to gain weight. Along with spinach, Broccoli is another one of nature’s true super foods. It is high in protein Vitamin C, folate, and fiber, while being low in fat and cholesterol.

11 – Whole Grain Pasta
Switch your white flour pasta for the whole grain variety. You’ll lower the noodles’ glycemic index, and pick up a ton of nutrients in the bargain. If you’re going to eat pasta, and really, who can resist, this is the stuff to eat.

12 – Black Beans
Loaded with protein and dietary fiber, black beans also have a good bit of antioxidants (as much as blueberries). You’ll find black beans a good part of your fat fighting diet due to their folate, magnesium, and iron, in addition to their other attributes.

13 – Organic Skim Milk
Skim milk is a powerful fat fighter and muscle builder. You’ll see an ab or two poke through after incorporating this into your diet. It’s not just me saying so, either. Actual researchers and scientists have come to that conclusion after university studies.

A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated the power of cow juice. In that study of weight trainers, milk drinkers lost at least twice as much fat as the groups that drank carb or soy protein drinks. To make matters even better, they also gained between 40% and 63% more muscle too.

Bonus food – Goat Meat– This would be on the list, but you can’t find at every super market. It is lower in calories and fat than chicken, and higher in protein to boot. Eat up!

No list of what you should eat would be complete without including the one thing that you shouldn’t. So, here it is; refined sugar. Americans eat an average of 156lbs of this stuff every year in one form or another. That’s completely and totally insane!! That level of refined sugar consumption is a key contributor to our growing obesity problem. Actually, you should avoid white flour while you’re at it. Both of these will derail your fat loss efforts faster than about anything else you can eat, so don’t.

There you have it, the 13 foods that can rip up your midsection and cut you up for summer. If you want an ab diet, these 13 foods will darn sure do it.

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