IMG_4583GoNutrition Sports Nutritionist Tommy Gaughan highlights six foods to help achieve your summer six-pack.

Spring is in the air, the winter coat is destined for the wardrobe and you’ve just booked your summer break. Now is the time to start thinking (panicking) about how you’re going to get yourself into shape to don your favourite pair of budgie smugglers this summer.

Over the next few weeks many of us will be ramping up the training in order to shed that ‘winter layer’ and get in shape for the summer months. What’s important to remember is that no matter how many crunches, sit ups and core exercises you do, without proper diet and nutrition your six-pack will simply never achieve its full potential. Here are my top six foods to help shed the unwanted fat and get the defined six-pack look.

Lean Meat and Fish – Lean meats and fish such as chicken and tuna are packed with protein and are low in carbohydrates and fats making them a real six-pack food. Protein provides the body with the amino acids required to build lean muscle and can also increase fat burning.

Green Veg – Ok, a bit of a no brainer, but green veg such as broccoli, asparagus and spinach are packed full of essential vitamins and minerals and fibre to keep you fuller for longer. Unlike many fruits green vegetables are extremely low in sugars, meaning they should make up the majority of your five-a-day.

Eggs – Eggs are among the highest quality protein available so they’re an essential in the six-pack diet and a great breakfast food. The majority of the protein in found in the whites, but that doesn’t mean you should throw away the yolks. The fats in egg yolks are a great source of energy as well as being packed with energy boosting B vitamins and vitamin D which may support fat loss.

Nuts and Nut Butters – This one maybe slightly more controversial, however natural nuts and nut butters (that’s the ones without the added sugars and salt) are a fantastic source of protein, healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. The healthy fats in nut butters can also promote fat loss.

Healthy Carbs – It’s important not to forget carbohydrates when training for that summer six-pack. Whilst lowering carb intake can be an effective method of burning fat, totally eliminating them from the diet will just cause your metabolism to crash, meaning you’ll find it harder to burn fat and cravings will rocket so you’ll be more likely to fall off the wagon. Sweet potatoes and quinoa are both great carb choices.

Coconut Oil – Coconut Oil is one of the healthiest fat sources around. It is good choice for cooking with as it isn’t damaged by heat and it’s great for adding flavour to your favourite meals. Due to its high energy coconut oil is also a great addition to a black coffee to give you an early morning or pre-workout kick!

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Tommy Gaughan is the Sports Nutritionist and New Product Development Manager at GoNutrition.com, the UK fastest growing sports nutrition brand.