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.
Weight loss teas and supplements have been found to contain dangerous (and sometimes illegal) ingredients like ephedra and cybutrine, which are tied to heart attacks. Bitter orange, a banned stimulant, has also been found in some products. I’ve had patients who’ve taken weight loss supplements that were purchased from places like vitamin shops, who then suffered seizures. (These 15 common supplement ingredients could make you seriously sick.)
Wheatgrass has a high concentration of iron, magnesium, calcium, amino acids, vitamins C, A and E, B12, B6 and chlorophyll. These vitamins and minerals provide many therapeutic benefits. Consuming wheatgrass can rid the digestive system of harmful bacteria and cleanse the body of toxins. It also cleanses the colon and can help in the treatment of joint pain, ulcerative colitis, skin infections and can even prevent diabetes.
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.
Another win for your morning cup of joe: Caffeinated coffee keeps things moving through the digestive tract. Since staying regular is key to a tighter-looking tummy, drinking about 8 to 16 ounces of java at the same time every day can help you stay on schedule. Remember: Sugary drinks can lead to weight gain, so skip fancy flavorings and synthetic sweeteners containing sugar alcohols, which can cause bloating.
In this book, we look at all of the ways you can improve your own gut health, starting with the food you eat. My diet recommendations, meal plans, and recipes will help feed and protect your gut microbes. And we look at the many other steps you can take to support your beneficial bacteria, from avoiding unnecessary antibiotics to changing the way you think about dirt and germs. Even the choices you make about how you bring your children into the world can have an impact on your family’s microbiomes.
Physical activity helps burn abdominal fat. “One of the biggest benefits of exercise is that you get a lot of bang for your buck on body composition,” Stewart says. Exercise seems to work off belly fat in particular because it reduces circulating levels of insulin—which would otherwise signal the body to hang on to fat—and causes the liver to use up fatty acids, especially those nearby visceral fat deposits, he says.
I thought these were three important reasons but after just the few fast-reading chapters, I discovered that there are other, far more important, health-related reasons to lose the belly fat. Even more so, this book demystified for me WHY the fat was there in the first place. See, I don't eat junk food. I don't drink beer. I ride my bike to work daily, etc. So, it didn't make sense that I was getting fat. This book explained why it's unhealthy and how to get rid of it. I am excited to get started on the actual diet (which is not the strenuous exercise and calorie deprivation regimen you're expecting) which I think will add a few years to my life as well as remove inches from my middle.
Sure, ketchup is tasty, but it’s also a serious saboteur when it comes your weight loss efforts. Ketchup is loaded with sugar — up to four grams per tablespoon — and bears little nutritional resemblance to the fruit from which it’s derived. Luckily, swapping out your ketchup for salsa can help you shave off that belly fat fast. Fresh tomatoes, like those used in salsa, are loaded with lycopene, which a study conducted at China Medical University in Taiwan links to reductions in both overall fat and waist circumference. If you like your salsa spicy, all the better; the capsaicin in hot peppers, like jalapeños and chipotles, can boost your metabolism, too.
If you’ve got weight to lose and you want it gone fast, try swapping out your usual proteins in favor of fish. Not only is fish lower in calories than an equivalent amount of beef or chicken, a study published in Obesity reveals study subjects who added omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish, to their diets shed more weight and had an easier time keeping it off than those who skipped them.
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Though it's been months since its debut, the book continually spikes on Amazon's Movers and Shakers list — its roundup of the top-selling products across the site — and it's currently listed as the No. 1 bestseller in the Diet Books category. Naturally, this begs the question: What's all the hype about? Aside from the famous author — and the fact that the title suggests fixing a problem just about every human struggles with (just look at search traffic for "flat belly" and "flat stomach" exercises). Is it all just marketing hype?
Despite what the headlines on the newsstands claim, getting rid of belly fat and achieving a flat stomach is not a ten-minute transformation; it's a lifestyle transformation. Belly fat increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. With The Belly Fat Diet you can get rid of your belly fat permanently, and finally achieve the flat stomach you've always wanted.
If you’re only getting a minimal amount of sleep each night, that leaves more time for you to snack and make otherwise unhealthy decisions that could affect your weight loss. Although it will vary from person to person on how much sleep you actually need to be most effective (and therefore make progress toward your weight loss goals), the ideal number is typically 7 or 8 hours, says Dr. Cheskin. (Struggling to get that shut-eye? This doctor-approved breathing exercise will help you fall asleep fast.)
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Bottom line: Consider your lifestyle and what you’re willing to give up before committing to a diet. Your goal should be long-term wellbeing—not just quick results—and you’ll regain the weight if you get burnt out. “The sustainability [of these diets] is just really low for the majority of people,” says registered dietitian Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RDN, owner of MNC Nutrition in Philadelphia. “After a period of time, you get that sense of deprivation because you’re not eating that variety that you were used to.” But if you could take or leave bread, these diets could be for you. Before taking the plunge, read the 15 things you need to know before starting a keto diet.
Stomach fat can increase your risk for certain diseases and health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. The National Institutes of Health reports that menopausal women who have excess fat around their stomach or have a large waist compared to hip size may be at more risk for breast cancer. Certain herbal teas contain natural elements that can prevent and help to lessen stomach fat.
You’d think that since they have few or no calories, artificial sweeteners would help with weight loss. But some studies suggest that’s simply not the case. Guzzling diet soda is actually associated with an elevated risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, a 2013 review of a number of studies in the journals Trends in Endocrinology concluded. Researchers think artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking it is consuming real sugar, which causes you to release insulin and store belly fat. Artificial sweeteners may also contribute to carbohydrate cravings.
‘Lastly, if your nutrition is on point but you still have excess tummy fat, then you need to look at your training. There’s a real craze for high-intensity workouts and really pushing yourself at the moment, but training is a stress on the body, and if you’re not giving it the tools to manage that stress and recover from it, then it can lead things like excess belly fat.