Watch what you eat, sure—but don't watch reruns. A boring diet is hard to stick with.
"There is no one set of foods you must always choose from in order to make your abs show," says nutritionist Alan Aragon.
1. Bok Choy
If you like . . . Broccoli
Try: Bok choy
Why: Like broccoli, this leafy vegetable has a crunch—and less than half the calories and carbohydrates of its cruciferous cousin.
How to prepare it: Separate, wash, and dry the leaves of one head of baby bok choy. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil on medium high. Saute the leaves with a thinly sliced garlic clove for about 5 minutes or until tender.
If you like . . . Apple
Why: This sweet Asian fruit is a better source of vitamin C than your average apple.
How to prepare it: The most common persimmons are always deep orange and should be very soft when ripe. To eat one, cut it in half and spoon out the goods. Served chilled, it's a tasty dessert.
If you like . . . Steak
Why: Pound for pound, goat has less than half the calories of porterhouse steak, and a few more grams of protein.
How to prepare it: Try it barbecued kebab-style, finished with a squeeze of lemon and some chopped rosemary. Or slow-roast a bone-in cut for a hearty winter meal. No goat at your market? Try thymeforgoat.com.
If you like . . . Oatmeal
Why: Buckwheat may have more disease-fighting antioxidants than oats, barley, or wheat germ, according to a 2008 Turkish study.
How to prepare it: For two new ways to start your day, try Bob's Red Mill buckwheat pancake mix ($4 for 26 ounces) or organic creamy buckwheat cereal ($5 for 18 ounces). bobsredmill.com
5. Edam Cheese
If you like . . . Muenster cheese
Try: Edam cheese
Why: This Dutch cheese is semifirm, unlike the semisoft Muenster, and has more protein, fewer calories, and a richer, nuttier flavor.
How to prepare it: Cube the Edam and eat it with a fresh pear. Better yet, try it in a grilled-cheese sandwich with apple slices and stone-ground mustard.