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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.
Fill a big teacup with soothing peppermint tea, and sniff yourself skinny! While certain scents can trigger hunger (a trick Cinnabon figured out long ago), others can actually suppress your appetite. One study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of five pounds a month. (Although tea is relatively low in caffeine—about 25 percent of what a cup of coffee delivers—decaffeinated varieties are great to have on hand for a soothing bedtime treat.) Consider also adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your pillow or burning a minty candle to fill the room with slimming smells. For a stress- and belly-free mind and body, alternate your mint tea tea with one of these 5 Teas That Melt Fat Fast.
Burning body and belly fat with cardio exercises is half the battle. Next is strengthening abdominal muscles so you have something to show once the fat is shed. In a recent study, ab exercises were ranked from best to worst. The bicycle exercise ranked as #1 because it requires abdominal stabilization, body rotation, and more abdominal muscle activity.
Dr. Travis Stork is an Emmy®-nominated host of the award-winning talk show The Doctors, and a board-certified emergency medicine physician. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Duke University as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and earned his M.D. with honors from the University of Virginia, being elected into the prestigious honor society of Alpha Omega Alpha for outstanding academic achievement. Based on his experiences as an ER physician, Dr. Stork is passionate about teaching people simple methods to prevent illness before it happens with the goal of maximizing time spent enjoying life while minimizing time spent as a "patient." Dr. Stork is a New York Times #1 bestselling author of “The Doctor’s Diet,” “The Doctor’s Diet Cookbook,” “The Lean Belly Prescription,” and “The Doctor Is In: A 7-Step Prescription for Optimal Wellness.” An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Stork is a devotee of mountain and road biking, whitewater kayaking and hiking with his 15 year old dog, Nala.

Americans are getting less sleep than ever these days and it’s taking a toll on our health—most visibly on our waistlines. Losing just 30 minutes of sleep per night can make you gain weight, according to a study done by the Endocrine Society. Worse, that weight is more likely to go straight to your tummy. Instead, the researchers found, the best sleep cycle is one that follows your natural circadian rhythms, which means sleeping and waking around the same time as the sun. Here are the 7 ways to banish belly bloat in your sleep.


Some of the most common ingredients you’ll find are things like senna, rhubarb root, buckthorn, cascara, castor oil, dandelion leaf, cassia, burdock, catsia, and prunella. They’re herbs—but they can still potentially dehydrate you. And the laxatives could create a dependency, making it difficult for you to have natural bowel movements without them.
Bottom line: “In reality, it is your behaviors that determine your health, not the number on the scale,” says intuitive eating coach Alissa Rumsey MS, RD, creator of the free Ditch the Diet e-course. Instead of restricting yourself, she recommends tuning in to your fullness cues. When you actually stop eating when you’re satisfied, you’ll likely end up eating less without feeling deprived—which could finally be the end of your yo-yo dieting. Don’t miss these other 50 things your doctor wishes you knew about losing weight.
As long as they’re made without sugary mixers like sherbet, smoothies are a guilt-free way to hydrate—and watermelon is a terrific, low-cal smoothie base. Not only is it a natural hydrator because of its water content, watermelon is also loaded with nutrients, including cancer-fighting lycopene, as well as an amino acid known as arginine. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that arginine can decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass, so whip up this 56-calorie metabolism booster and sip away!

Travis Stork worked in the E.R. at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN, and also cohosted the hit TV show, “The Doctors” (he was also “The Bachelor,” though he’s now engaged to someone else). One of the things he looked for when someone came into his emergency room was how much stomach fat they were displaying–it’s a key marker for how well a patient will recover. His “Lean Belly Prescription” builds on that experience, and lays out a plan for small adjustments to one’s diet that can lead to big abdominal changes.


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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.)
Some of the most common ingredients you’ll find are things like senna, rhubarb root, buckthorn, cascara, castor oil, dandelion leaf, cassia, burdock, catsia, and prunella. They’re herbs—but they can still potentially dehydrate you. And the laxatives could create a dependency, making it difficult for you to have natural bowel movements without them.
Bottom line: Cutting 100 calories a day doesn’t mean you’ll automatically lose ten pounds this year, so quit treating your meal plans like a perfect equation. Find an eating plan that will keep you healthy and satisfied in the long term, and be prepared to tweak it to match your body’s new needs, starting with these 12 secrets of people who have maintained their weight loss.
It’s the best fruit for weight loss. That means Pink Lady over Granny Smith, watermelon over honeydew, red grapes over green ones. The higher levels of nutrients called flavonoids—particularly anthocyanins, compounds that give red fruits their color—calm the action of fat-storage genes. In fact, red-bellied stone fruits like plums boast phenolic compounds that have been shown to modulate the expression of fat genes.
The fat-burning setting on a workout machine is designed to be less intense than other cardio programs. Carbohydrates are low-hanging fruit when your body is looking for energy, while fat is a bit tougher for your body to use. When you go slow and steady with your workouts, your body isn’t so desperate for quick energy, so you do burn a higher ratio of fat than you would going all-out on the cardio machine.
Puerh tea is a type of Chinese black tea that has been fermented. It is traditionally enjoyed after a meal and studies have shown it may lower blood sugar and blood triglycerides. The cooked ripe puerh tea can keep the stomach fit and warm it, while the fresh raw puerh tea has a better effect on weight loss than the cooked tea, on account of its strong taste. It helps burn fat and help shed pounds, as well as having a deliciously mellow and deeply earthy flavour.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the anti-obesity effects of tea flavones. The study analyzed 4,280 men over a 14-year period. The researchers focused on 6 specific catechins and 3 flavones during the study period. The study was also adjusted for factors including type 2 diabetes, smoking status, and lifestyle. After the adjustment, researchers found that increased flavone intake resulted in healthier BMIs. The improvements were seen mainly in the female participants.
Certain carbohydrates have a tendency to be poorly absorbed in your intestines and then rapidly fermented, leading to gas and bloating. Common culprits include refined carbohydrates and simple sugars—like those found in processed foods with added sugars. Excess sodium can also cause bloating due to increased water retention. Opt for freshly prepared foods and reduce processed, packaged foods to cut back on belly bloaters. In the morning, swap your sugar-laden bowl of cereal for this Green Smoothie, made with fresh fruits and vegetables to get your day started the right way.

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.


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.

‘Do it for a couple of minutes in bed and you’ll actually be able to wind down and fall asleep more easily. But it’s a skill, so it requires a commitment to practice it, as with anything. Think of it a bit like dating – the first time you do it it’s terrible, it’s uncomfortable, nobody knows what they’re doing, but the more dates you go on the better it gets.
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