Sleep’s a big deal. Losing a mere hour of shut-eye over the course of three days is enough to negatively impact the body’s hunger and appetite-regulating hormone, ghrelin. Quality sleep, on the other hand, fuels the production of fat-burning hormones, making it a top priority if you’re trying to drop a few pounds. Valerian is an herb that’s long been valued as a mild sedative, and now research is showing what tea enthusiasts have known for centuries. In a study of women, researchers gave half the test subjects a valerian extract, and half a placebo. Thirty percent of those who received valerian reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep, versus just 4 percent of the control group.
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.
I read a lot about health and nutrition; and think that this book offers a lot of well grounded, common sense advice on what to eat. He is not preachy and explains things in a very accessible way. Geek as I can be, I even made a little chart for myself on a suggested way on how to break out the different kinds of foods for meals or snacks so that I can keep track of them. Highly recommended.
Stress skyrockets your levels of cortisol, often called “the belly fat” hormone because it signals to the body to store fat around your waist. Add the daily stressors of living our modern lifestyle and you can see how cortisol can be constantly coursing through your veins. This perma-stress mode isn’t good for a lot of healthy reasons, your tummy being just one of them, so it’s important to take time every day to de-stress. Yoga, meditation, walking, journaling, doing a hands-on hobby, or playing a musical instrument are all great time-tested methods. (Hint: Know what isn’t? Watching television. The boob tube actually increases your levels of cortisol!)
The good news is, once you’ve lost the pounds, getting a set of sexy abs is a real possibility. Editor-in-chief of Men’s Health David Zinczenko is also the best-selling author of the Eat This, Not That! franchise. He wrote “The New Abs Diet for Women,” which was recently updated with 40 percent new research, though it still focuses on the Power 12 foods such as beans, eggs and peanut butter.
Kava Kava quells worrying thoughts. In one study, 120 mg of kava-kava was administered daily over 6 weeks to patients who had stress-induced insomnia. The results suggested a statistically significant improvement in sleep latency, duration and waking mood. When you’re anxious, your body feels like it’s under a tremendous amount of stress all the time. This is why anxiety is a powerful trigger for weight gain. A recent study in the journal *Eating and Weight Disorders* placed anxiety as “one of the most important factors significantly associated with weight gain.” In fact, two-thirds of people with eating disorders also suffer from anxiety, and the anxiety usually existed first. But sip with caution—at very high levels, kava kava can cause liver toxicity. Kava Kava should only be one part of an overall, balanced tea cleanse.
The Belly Fat Diet is an interesting and well-rounded book, perfect for those who are serious about losing belly fat and being healthy. The author, John Chatham, does a good job explaining fat and how to best tackle that issue in a safe and sensible manner. While it is a seemingly easy diet, as there is no weighing or portioning of food, it is emphasized that undertaking this diet requires a lifestyle change in order for it to be successful. Yet, Chatham makes it easier by providing a cookbook, shopping guide, and even basic exercise routines to encourage those who want to do it. Readers will appreciate the flexibility of the exercise routines, which can be easily done at home and without gym equipment. What is also nice about this book is that Chatham is in tune with reality. He understands that any diet is a challenge and includes allowances, such as one dessert a week, to keep the individual motivated.
Think of white tea as Spanx in a cup. It actually works with your body in four different ways to promote fat-burning: It blocks the formation of new fat cells while simultaneously boosting lipolysis, the body’s process of breaking down stored fat, according to a study published in the journalNutrition and Metabolism. Another group of researchers found that the tea is also a rich source of catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from the cells and—bonus!—helps speed the liver’s ability to turn fat into energy. Brew this and burn fat.
‘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.
Add a cup of low-fat milk, a part-skim mozzarella stick, or a half cup of low-sodium cottage cheese to breakfast, and you may have a belly-busting win. While lots of research links calcium with lower body weights, results from a 2014 study suggest that calcium-containing foods may reduce waist circumference in those genetically predisposed to carrying weight in their midsection.
C. W. Randolph argues in “From Belly Fat to Belly Flat” that when women develop the dreaded spread, it’s all down to ‘estrogen dominance,’ and that with an “anti-estrogenic” diet, pounds can be shed and stomachs can shrink (though you’re going to have to work on improving your sleep, upping your amount of exercise and lowering your stress levels, too).
Belly fat is considered unhealthy fat. Carrying more fat around your middle, referred to as visceral fat, increases your risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes. In women, excess belly fat may also increase risk of breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery, according to Harvard Health Publications. But you may have an easier time losing excess belly fat through a healthy diet and exercise plan than fat you carry around your hips, says Harvard.
Losing weight doesn't have to be a horrible experience. Drinking tea is a great way to make the process more enjoyable. Brew with hot water and consume either piping hot or refreshingly cold as an iced tea. Each of these weight loss teas offers unique flavor and aroma profiles so you can pick the ones that taste best to you. You'll stick to your weight loss regimen more easily when you enjoy the beverages you drink. Pour yourself a big teacup and sip to your health.
Mate tea is known for its powerful thermogenic effects—meaning it turns up your body’s calorie burning mechanism—and can also promote weight loss by improving insulin sensitivity. In a recent study, participants were divided into two groups. One group took a placebo 60 minutes prior to exercising, while the other group ingested 1000 mg capsule of yerba maté. Researchers found that those who consumed the herb increased the beneficial effects their workout had on their metabolism without the workout. Plus, this brew is like green tea on steroids, with up to 90 percent more powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, a cache of B vitamins, and plenty of chromium, which helps stabilize blood-sugar levels.
Watching that extra junk around your trunk turn your body into a full-blown Buddha belly puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and early death. Luckily, losing the weight doesn’t have to take forever; with these 22 belly fat-fighting tips, you can shave two inches off your waistline in as little as two weeks. Think your age will stand in the way of your weight loss? The 20 Ways to Lose Your Belly When You’re Older will help folks of any age get on track to their best body ever.
Dr. Travis Stork: Food plays the most important role for most of us in the battle against belly fat and contrary to popular belief; one cannot single out belly fat with a particular exercise. But the good news is that any activity when combined with an improved diet will target belly fat as a whole. And let’s not forget that exercise is great for our overall health – it can help prevent heart disease, some kinds of cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, and anxiety to name a few.

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This red, naturally sweet tea made from the leaves of the Rooibos bush are powerful fat-melters. According to South African researchers, polyphenols and flavonoids found in the plant inhibits adipogenesis—the formation of new fat cells—by as much as 22 percent. The chemicals also aid fat metabolism. Sip this brew to help burn that stubborn bit of chub clinging to your middle, no diet necessary.
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.
Instead of subjecting yourself to another endless workout, crank up the intensity and you’ll see results faster than you ever thought possible. The results of a study conducted at McMaster University in Ontario reveal that adult male study subjects who exercised intensely for a single minute had equivalent respiratory and metabolic changes to those who worked out at a slower pace for close to an hour, so if you want to burn through that belly fat, say so long to slow and steady.
This antioxidant-rich traditional Chinese drink not only helps keep cholesterol levels in check and aids digestion, it can also help rev up your metabolism. Like green tea, oolong is also packed with catechins, which boost weight loss efforts by improving the body’s ability to metabolise fat. A six-week Chinese study found that participants who regularly sipped the brew lost a pound a week! And burn, baby, burn with the essential 6 quick ways to boost your metabolism.
Before a workout, turbocharge the fat-blasting effects by sipping a cup of green tea. In a recent 12-week study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4-5 cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute sweat session lost an average of two more pounds than the non tea-drinking exercisers. Thank the compounds in green tea called catechins, belly-fat crusaders that blast adipose tissue by triggering the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly), and then speeding up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.
Make sure to program your cardio exercise in with your weight training the right way, though — a 2017 study found that performing cardio and weight training workouts on alternate days was far more effective for burning belly fat than stacking the workouts on top of each other in the same session. Put the two together, and watch that unhealthy midsection shrink.

Say cheese! Adding some extra calcium to your diet could be the key to getting that flat stomach you’ve been dreaming about. Over just 12 months, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that obese female study subjects who upped their calcium intake shed 11 pounds of body fat without other major dietary modifications. To keep your calcium choices healthy, try mixing it up between dairy sources, calcium-rich leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.


Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.
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.
Remember that it takes a 3500-calorie deficit to lose one pound of fat. That is, you have to either burn off 3500 calories through exercise or eat 3500 calories less than you burn in a week. Break this up into daily limits. To burn 3500 calories a week, you should aim to have a 500 calorie deficit every day. For example, you can exercise to burn 250 calories and cut 250 calories from your diet.

Dr. Travis Stork: If I can impart one tip, it would be my guiding principle for some time now: let food be your medicine, not your poison. Make better choices and eat high-quality foods that nourish you, make you feel full and satisfied, and ingest fewer of the low-quality foods that lead to excess weight gain and fat accumulation. The reason I wrote “The Lose Your Belly Diet” is because I love food and know that you can eat healthily and feel full, satisfied AND lose excess pounds – increasing your quality of life and life span along the way!


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.
While white tea may help in your weight-loss efforts, the authors of the review article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition noted that it may be more beneficial when combined with a weight-loss diet by helping to prevent a drop in metabolism when dieting. To lose weight, and most notably belly fat, Harvard Health Publications recommends you try to get at least 30 minutes of regular exercise most days of the week. It's also important to make changes to your diet, including decreasing portion size and eating more low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein.
Ultimately, you need to pick a healthy eating plan you can stick to, Stewart says. The benefit of a low-carb approach is that it simply involves learning better food choices—no calorie-counting is necessary. In general, a low-carb way of eating shifts your intake away from problem foods—those high in carbs and sugar and without much fiber, like bread, bagels and sodas—and toward high-fiber or high-protein choices, like vegetables, beans and healthy meats.
If you want to shrink your gut, get enough protein in your diet. In this case, about 25 percent of calories. Why? For starters, protein makes you feel full and helps you build muscle (which increases metabolism, thereby making it easier to lose weight). Just as important, high-protein diets have been shown to be the best way of attacking belly fat. In one study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, Danish researchers put 65 people on either a 12 percent protein diet or a 25 percent protein diet. The low-protein dieters lost an average of 11 pounds, which isn't bad. But the high-protein subjects lost an average of 20 pounds--including twice as much abdominal fat as the low-protein group.
Do you even lift, bro? If you’re serious about getting rid of that belly fat fast, resistance training might just be the key. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that adding weight training to adult male test subjects’ workouts significantly reduced their risk of abdominal obesity over a multi-year study period, although doing the same amount of cardio had no such effect. Research from the University of Maryland even found that just 16 weeks of weight training boosted study participants’ metabolic rates by a whopping 7.7 percent, making it easier to ditch those extra inches around your middle.
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