Spring never changes its arrival date, but somehow, this pesky season has a way of sneaking up on us every year. If winter zipped past before you could mumble through the chorus of “Auld Lang Syne,” fear not. While we don’t have a secret concoction or a magic pill to help you reach your health goals, we do have a collection of foods, provided by Mother Nature herself, to help you make moves in the kitchen and whittle your waistline.

It’s time to focus on foods in their purest possible forms, specifically NSVs (non-starchy veggies) such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, and tomatoes. To satisfy your sweet tooth, opt for apples, berries, citrus fruits, or pineapples (or the fruit of the goddesses, if that’s what you want to call it) in lieu of rich, sugary desserts. And when it comes to protein? For meat eaters, baked or pan-seared chicken breasts are excellent options, salmon and tuna are great fish options, and for the vegetarians, you can’t go wrong with eggs. Vegans, we haven’t forgotten about you! Choose nuts, nut butters, and tempeh.

Another time-tested strategy for eliminating excess fat around the midsection is to consume adequate amounts of water. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll likely see higher numbers on the scale than you would if you were well-hydrated. That’s because when your body feels like it’s lacking a vital resource, it will hold on to the little bit it has available. Increase your water intake for a week and measure the progress with before and after pictures. Be careful though—there is a such thing as drinking too much water. You don’t want to flush out the sodium your body needs to operate optimally. A good rule of thumb is to take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. The quotient from those two numbers is the number of ounces of water you be drinking each day. So, if you weight 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water in a 24-hour period.  

Of course, you must eat these super-foods as part of a healthy diet, not as an add-on to an unhealthy one. Apples won’t make much of a difference if most of your other calories come from oversized burritos, fries, and soft drinks. Be intentional about eating well 80% of the time to see your efforts in the kitchen and the gym pay off in a big way.

You didn’t think we’d leave you with all this information but no application, did you? Try this simple pineapple recipe, guilt free.

Pineapple Carrot Smoothie

  • ¾ cup chopped pineapple
  • ¾ cup chopped carrot (make it small)
  • 1 chopped banana
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 ½ cups papaya juice or almond milk

Blend ingredients to desired smoothness and enjoy!

Do you have a favorite tummy-flattening recipe? Share it in the comments!