"Researchers are now discovering that gut bacteria also seem to play a role in the complex process of weight loss and weight gain," he writes. "We don't know exactly how much impact our Little Buddies have on our weight, but we're learning enough to believe that understanding the connection more fully may help us as we confront the obesity epidemic in the United States — and in our own bodies."
Sometimes, to whip your body into shape, you have to get a little nutty. While nuts are high in fat, it’s that very fat that makes them such powerful weapons in the war against a ballooning belly. In fact, research from Reina Sofia University Hospital reveals that study participants who consumed a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, like those in nuts, over a 28-day period gained less belly fat than their saturated fat-consuming counterparts while improving their insulin sensitivity.
With its gut-healthy probiotics and satisfying protein content, yogurt has taken center stage as go-to healthy snacks. But take a closer look at that nutrition label. “There’s so much yogurt on the market that’s just glorified ice cream in terms of sugar and artificial ingredients,” says Nolan Cohn. Most fruity and dessert-inspired varieties have tons of added sugar, negating any of the benefits you’re getting. And those fat-free, low-calorie versions usually have been stripped of their protein and probiotics.
14 ways to lose weight without diet or exercise Strict diets can be challenging to follow, and people may not always have the time or ability to exercise. However, a variety of simple lifestyle changes can help people lose weight and improve their health. These include taking probiotics, getting enough sleep, and thoroughly chewing food. Learn more here. Read now
Grains get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, but that's because refined grains (read: processed foods!) are linked to wider waists. 100% whole grains are bloat-busting superstars, however, as they're packed with minerals and de-puff by counter-balancing salt. Stick to brown rice, quinoa, wheat, barley, millet, farro, sorghum, and amaranth for the biggest benefits.
Salt, in moderation, is a good thing—the mineral is necessary for a healthy heart and brain. But too much salt and you’ll retain water, bloating up like a water balloon. Cutting salt is one of the primary ways to drop extra water weight (one reason you may see a big weight loss when starting a new diet!). Move the salt shaker off your table so you’ll get out of the habit of routinely salting all your food. Then if you taste your food and still really want salt you can still stand up and get some. For more weight loss benefits, add these fat-burning foods to your plate to help you lose weight.
A little garlic in your meals could mean a lot less weight around your middle. The results of a Korean study found that mice given a high-fat diet supplemented with garlic lost significantly more weight and abdominal fat than those who just ate fatty foods. Even better, they also improved their liver health, making it easier to stay healthy and burn off that excess fat in the long term. For more flavorful ways to make your food more enjoyable, turn to the 20 Spicy Recipes That Fire Up Your Metabolism and watch those pounds melt away.
Oolong, a Chinese name for “black dragon,” is a light, floral tea that, like green tea, is also packed with catechins, which help to promote weight loss by boosting your body’s ability to metabolize lipids (fat). A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost six pounds over the course of the six-week time period. That’s a pound a week! It also has a calming effect. Drink a cup if you’re a nervous flyer, or to calm yourself after a hard day’s work—and if you’re a particularly anxious person, sip these 4 Teas Better Than Therapy!
Exercise alone cannot solve your belly fat crisis. On one hand that’s good, because it means you don’t have to sign up for an ultramarathon to get your body where you want it to be. On the other hand, this means shedding belly fat is going to require a meal plan makeover—or at least an end to late-night snacking. And it’s not going to happen overnight. But these five steps will steadily guide you towards your goal:
That doesn't mean you can't slim down your stomach, though. Follow a balanced and calorie-controlled diet to lose fat all over your body consistently, and you'll burn fat in your midsection, too. Include strength training to hold onto metabolism-boosting muscle, and use exercises like planks and side planks to cinch your abdominal muscles and give the appearance of a leaner stomach.
It makes scientific sense, also: A recent study found that antioxidants in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and actually lowered their blood sugar levels. And another study at Louisiana State University found that gut microbes in our stomach ferment chocolate into heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory compounds that shut down genes linked to insulin resistance and inflammation. Why the berries? The fruit speeds up the fermentation process, leading to an even greater reduction in inflammation and weight.
With a caffeine count higher than coffee, these teas kick your metabolism into gear. In a study published in the journal *Physiology & Behavior*, a 3-4 percent increase in metabolic rate was measured in both lean and obese subjects after a single 100 mg dose of caffeine. Look for teas made from this caffeine-containing fruit; if you want to skip comparative shopping, just grab a box of Celestial Seasonings' Fast Lane, which clocks in 20 mg above your daily cup of coffee at 110 mg caffeine.
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.