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The Best Foods for a Six-Pack Stomach

To acquire a six-pack stomach, eating the right foods is just as important as how you train. You must lose abdominal fat to see those muscles you have been working to perfect. The number of calories you burn, the foods you eat and the number of calories you consume all determine the distribution of abdominal fat. Certain foods can help your body burn energy from fat stores more effectively. Adding these foods to your diet regimen and following a regular exercise program will help you achieve a six-pack stomach.

Monounsaturated fatty acids are important fats that promote liver, brain and other bodily functions. According to a 2007 study that appeared in the "Journal for Diabetes," consuming a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids will reduce central body fat distribution in areas such as the abdomen. Foods high in MUFAs include olives, vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, dark chocolate and avocados. For best results in achieving a six-pack stomach, aim to add MUFAs to every meal, while keeping the portion size small. Ideal small-portion amounts include 10 olives, 2 tablespoons of seeds and nuts, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or 2 ounces of 70 percent or more dark chocolate.

To burn fat with consumed foods, you need to chose healthy foods. In the book "Eat Clean Diet" author Tosca Reno explains that clean foods -- not refined or processed -- provide your body with the natural nutrients it needs to properly function. When your body is running efficiently, it naturally burns more calories from fat. This will help reveal a six-pack stomach. For clean proteins, choose lean turkey, chicken, beef, tofu, fish, legumes and beans. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and rice are healthy choices for clean complex carbohydrates.

Chilies, peppers, turmeric and cayenne all contain thermogenic properties, which create a rise in your metabolic levels to help your body burn fat. According to research conducted at Oxford Polytechnic Institute, capsaicinoids found in peppers can elevate thermogenesis and burn calories approximately 25 percent faster when consumed in an individual meal. Thermogenesis is the process of heat production in humans. Add these spices to your meals to help raise your metabolism and burn fat stores. However, don't overdo it. Too much spice can lead to stomach and gastric problems.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.