Dr. Travis Stork: In my new book, The Lose Your Belly Diet, I emphasize the importance of building a diverse population of beneficial gut microbes (I refer to them as our Little Buddies); they play such a crucial role in our health that it’s kind of amazing that it’s taken so long for us to start giving them the attention they deserve. Research is emerging about the connections between our gut microbes and chronic disease and taking better care of our gut microbes may help us lose unwanted weight while also lowering our risk of developing the top three chronic health conditions in the U.S. – cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. The more microbial diversity and greater number of beneficial gut bacteria one has, the better the chances for living the longest, healthiest, and most vibrant life possible.
Allow us to throw a wrench in all this weight-loss talk: The evidence of its health benefits isn’t as cut and dry as you’ve been told. A controversial 2013 meta-analysis of almost 100 studies concluded that obesity is linked with all-cause mortality—but overweightness isn’t. Throw in the fact that about 80 percent of dieters will regain the weight, and it’s easy to see why health experts are turning from the calorie-counting approach to a focus on general wellness.
If you are six feet tall, you should figure it takes about 2400 calories of food each day to maintain healthy weight. Don’t know how much that is? Educate yourself. Read nutrition labels. You’ll find that 2400 calories is by no means a starvation diet. For instance, you can stay in the green with cereal, milk, fresh fruit, and one egg for breakfast, a turkey and veggie sandwich (hold the mayo) for lunch, a handful of nuts or crackers for a snack, and then four ounces lean meat, half a cup of rice, and a light beer for dinner.
Studies on white tea in weight loss are less prominent than green tea studies. However, there is research to show it is effective in maintaining a healthy weight. One such study was conducted in vitro in Germany in 2009. Researchers focused on antioxidants in white tea that can aid in weight loss. Specifically, the antioxidant EGCG was found to inhibit the production of fat cells. That means drinking white tea can help prevent weight gain to begin with.
Of course, drinking green tea alone probably won’t help you reach your weight loss goal. But it might support your efforts—so enjoy it in tandem with a healthy diet, and make an effort to be physically active every day. Have it hot or iced, and consider adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The vitamin C in the juice has been shown to help the body absorb up to five times more EGCG.
Whether white or sweet, potatoes are a nutrient-dense food that makes a good addition to any weight loss diet. They are low in calories but contain significant amounts of potassium, which can help beat bloat and counterbalance sodium. Potatoes also contain moderate amounts of protein and filling-fibre, hence, they can be beneficial for weight loss - as long as they’re not fried or served the french-fry way. Read - 5-day Potato Diet for weight loss: 6 simple tips to lose belly fat with the Potato Hack
Oolong tea enhances metabolism, helps your body to digest fat and block carbohydrates. This tea also comes from the camellia sinesis plant, but is processed differently. When the leaves are picked, they are shaken, which causes bruising. As the leaves dry, the bruised edges turn a reddish color with the surfaces becoming light yellow. The leaves are then pan fried, which creates a semi-fermented tea. Oolong tea also helps you to digest your food better after a meal.
Rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the “red bush” plant, grown exclusively in the small Cederberg region of South Africa, near Cape Town. What makes rooibos tea particularly good for your belly is a unique and powerful flavonoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Yup, sometimes the kettle can be as effective as the kettlebell.
Goji tea cranks up calorie burn by 10%. Lycium barbarum, the plant from which gojis are harvested, is a traditional Asian medicinal therapy for diabetes, but it also boasts a slimming effect. In a study published in the *Journal of the American College of Nutrition*, participants were either given a single dose of L. barbarum or a placebo after a meal. The researchers found that one hour after the dose, the goji group was burning calories at a rate 10 percent higher than the placebo group. The effects lasted up to four hours! Most goji teas are mixed with green tea, further boosting your calorie burn.
This question is on so many minds: how can I lose belly fat...and fast? While there's no magic formula of food and exercise to reduce belly fat with the snap of your fingers, there are nutrition choices, exercises and lifestyle changes that can help. Here's your guide to understanding exactly what belly fat is and how you might be able to reduce it over time.
Fleury, N., Geldenhuys, S., & Gorman, S. (2016, October 11). Sun exposure and its effects on human health: Mechanisms through which sun exposure could reduce the risk of developing obesity and cardiometabolic dysfunction. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(10), 999. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/10/999/htm
"When we’re lacking in sleep, our body’s hormones get thrown off balance which can impact our hunger levels the next day. We all have two hormones that affect our appetite: ghrelin and leptin. When we don’t get enough sleep, our ghrelin levels (the hormone that makes us feel hungry) rise, and our leptin levels (the hormone that makes us feel full) drop. This means that when we’re awake, we tend to eat more but feel less satisfied. Try going to bed a little earlier than usual to avoid this imbalance and remember to remove any distractions that might prevent you from nodding off."