Saturday, 26 May 2012

Body Sculpting foods

Sculpting a physique that is ready to be shown off in public is all about burning off fat while building lean muscle.
To tighten and tone, you must achieve two things; the first is to sculpt muscle fibres, the second is to burn fat around them. The one class of food that supports both these endeavours is protein, which boosts the metabolic rate. Consuming protein early in the day and then at three-hour intervals is your best bet to support the maintenance of muscle and destruction of fat. A typical 60kg woman should aim for at least 100g of protein per day.
Eating all the protein in the world won't help, however, if you lard it up on the sofa all day!  Exercise is vital too,weight training is best suited to body sculpting, it aims to overload the muscle fibres, causing a surge of metabolic activity, which results in the repair of these fibres. While one result of this is stronger muscles, your metabolic rate is increased for the entire repair process. This will typically last three days, so your body will burn more fat during this time.
The combination of muscular development and increased fat burning makes resistance training by far and away the most efficient form of exercise. Such exercises include press-ups, lunges, squats, chins, lateral pull-downs and the like.
Want to sculpt the perfect body? Here is a list of the best foods to help you do it.
A staple of body-sculpting diets, chicken is ideal because of its low-fat, high-protein content. Chicken is around 23% protein, making it easy for you to reach your target of consuming around 20g of protein with every meal. A 100g serving of grilled chicken breast (avoid frying and make sure you remove the skin) with roast vegetables or salad and 'good' carbohydrates like wholegrain bread is a perfect post-workout meal. Turkey, too, is lean and full of protein, so consider swapping that in to add some variety to your diet.
Forget the negative comments about eggs - they're a great source of protein that will promote lean muscle growth and, because they're also low in fat, they'll help you to lose weight. And remember - the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn, so make sure eggs (which contain around 6g of protein) are a regular part of your diet. Poached, scrambled, or boiled are best - again you should avoid frying as this only ups the fat content.
Oily-fish like fresh tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines are nutrient-dense foods which will keep you lean. Full of high-quality protein, tuna (fresh is best though canned tuna is also extremely good for us) is rich in B vitamins to boost your energy levels (helpful when you're trying to exercise regularly) and omega-3 fatty acids - good fats that protect us from numerous health conditions such as heart disease. These fatty acids also stimulate the release of the hormone leptin, which helps to regulate appetite and metabolism, and can thus protect us from weight gain and obesity.
While probably not something you could stomach every day, oysters are another fantastic source of lean, high-quality protein. A three-ounce serving of oysters contains around 10 grams of protein, as well as very little fat. Oysters are also rich in calcium, zinc and iron (which we need to produce collagen). Just go easy on the champagne, okay?
Meat! Again, you shouldn't eat too much of it, but if you are careful to choose lean cuts and limit yourself to around 500g a week, then red meat is one of the most adept body-shaping foods on supermarket shelves. Go for lean sirloin or fillet, which contains around 25g of protein and just 3g of fat per 100g.
No meat does not mean no body-sculpting protein. Tofu is a fantastic source of soy protein; just four ounces provides 9.2g of protein, almost 20% of your daily requirement. Tofu is also practically void of saturated fat and is low in calories. It's also a good source of those omega-3 fatty acids which also help us to burn fat.
Green vegetables
Spring is the time of year when suddenly our supermarket shelves really come alive with rich, green vegetables; spring greens, spinach, broccoli and kale, it's all there for the benefit of our bodies. Spinach, for example, is rich in iron and the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, which help our bodies to produce collagen, the protein that keeps our muscles and skin stretched and toned.
It's not just protein that helps us to tone up, other nutrients also play a crucial role in helping us stay in shape. The capsaicin in chilies, for example, was recently linked to weight loss in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. The study found that this spicy food is immediately converted to heat by a process called thermogenesis, which speeds up the metabolism and so helps us burn more calories. The research also found that food loaded with chilli can keep us feeling fuller for longer and control appetite, meaning we are less likely to overeat.
Red for danger? Not as far as your diet is concerned. Red food like tomatoes and peppers are rich in an antioxidant called lycopene, which stimulates collagen production and keeps our skin looking healthy. Tomatoes are also thought to be a powerful cancer-fighting superfood. Always try to make sure your shopping trolley is full of fruit and vegetables of all different colours, so you know you are getting a broad range of nutrients.
Whereas refined carbohydrates like white pasta, bread and rice cause spikes in blood sugar that leave us hungry again only shortly after we've eaten, wholegrains have the opposite effect on the body. As the name suggests, these 'whole' grains have not been stripped of their goodness, and are therefore rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats. The energy from wholegrain products is released much more slowly, meaning you'll feel like you have enough fuel reserves to exercise, while the fibre and protein content will leave you feeling satisfyingly full for long periods.
Nuts and seeds
The ideal grazing food, nuts and seeds, which are packed with protein, fibre and good fats help to stave off hunger pangs while also encouraging your body to burn more fat, rather than muscle. Always have a handful of almonds, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds in your handbag to banish cravings and flood your body with nutritional goodness.


I would love to hear from you and quite happy for some lively debate so feel free to say what you think! ....