It’s impossible to target belly fat specifically when you diet. But losing weight overall will help shrink your waistline; more importantly, it will help reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat, a type of fat within the abdominal cavity that you can’t see but that heightens health risks, says Kerry Stewart, Ed.D., director of Clinical and Research Physiology at Johns Hopkins.
Out-of-whack hormones have all kinds of uncomfortable side effects and belly bloat is one of them. There’s a reason that bloating is one of the primary complaints women have during menopause! While you can’t turn back the clock and reclaim the hormone profile of your 20’s, you can make sure you’re within the normal range—something your doctor can check for you. In the meantime, eating right and exercising are natural ways to balance your hormones.
Test panelist Bryan Wilson, a 29-year-old accountant, lost 19 pounds and an astounding 6 inches from his waist in just six weeks on the program, and he attributes his success to Zero Belly Smoothies. Their vegan protein will give you the same fat-burning, hunger-squelching, muscle-building benefits of whey, without the bloat. “I love the shakes. I added them to my diet, and almost immediately I lost the bloat,” Bryan said. “I’m a sweet craver, and the shakes were an awesome alternative to bowls and bowls of ice cream I would have had.”
Real peanut butter is made with two ingredients: peanuts, and maybe some salt. You already know that peanuts give you belly-slimming monounsaturated fats, tummy-filling fiber, and metabolism-boosting protein. But peanuts have a hidden weapon in their weight-loss utility belt: Genistein, a compound that acts directly on the genes for obesity, helping to turn them down and reduce your body’s ability to store fat. (Beans and lentils have the same magic ingredient, albeit in slightly less delicious form.) But be careful of the brand you buy: if you see ingredients like sugar, palm oil, or anything you can’t pronounce, put it back. They’ll undermine any good the peanuts might do.
Black tea is the most processed of the true teas. The leaves are oxidized, resulting in the deep, rick black hue of the tea. There are tons of different types of black teas, but the most common are Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, and breakfast teas. Research shows that black tea is an effective weight loss aid due to the presence of flavones. These antioxidants help to prevent cardiovascular disease and can lower body mass index.
When it comes to sugar, white flour, white bread, and many other simple sugars, you’re better off without them. But you absolutely should be including in your meals vegetables, fruits, legumes, and even whole grains, which some fad diets wouldn’t recommend in a million years. Cutting out a whole tribe of foods just because a few members of the family are troublemakers makes no sense whatsoever.
The three major ingredients of a perfect Zero Belly Diet meal or snack are protein, fiber, and healthy fats, and all three can be found in abundance in a good trail mix. Sadly, most commercial mixes are made with extra oils, salt, and sugar. Mix up your own high-protein snacks from a selection of nuts, seeds, unsweetened dried fruit, and dark chocolate pieces. Make sure to include peanuts: they’re a top source of both genistein and resveratrol, two nutrients that help diminish the action of your fat-storage genes.
In that study, the researchers looked at the results of previous studies on green tea and weight loss. They found that while some earlier studies found green tea helped people lose about half a pound to 8 pounds more than those who didn't drink green tea, most of studies found no significant difference in weight loss. So while green tea deserves a place in your weight loss diet, simply drinking the tea won't burn fat.
For example, you might not realize just how much you eat when you go out to happy hour with friends. But if you take the split second to take a step back and make yourself aware of that fact, you’re more able to make a healthy decision. “The awareness and then planning and coming up with strategies for what else I can be doing—that might give me the same benefit of eating those comfort foods that make me feel better,” says Gagliardi.
A 2009 Chinese study examined the ability of oolong tea to increase energy and accelerate weight loss. The study consisted of 102 obese individuals who were examined over a 6-week period. Participants consumed four 8-ounce cups of oolong tea every day during the study. The results showed that 70% of participants lost a minimum of 2 pounds. Almost a quarter of participants lost more than 6 pounds.
Avocados are a double-whammy to belly fat. First, they’re packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that dim your hunger switches; a study in Nutrition Journal found that participants who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterwards. Second, healthy fats like the unsaturated fats found in avocados seem to prevent the storage of belly fat.
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.
According to Dr. William Davis, a Wisconsin-based “preventative cardiologist”, one food to avoid for the flattest abdomen is wheat. In fact, he attributes the obesity epidemic almost entirely to modern wheat products (they increase blood sugar more than any other food among other things). It’s a tough ask for some, but findings point to promising results. His book, “Wheat Belly,” details his work and how to go about eliminating the starchy culprit from your diet.
But that’s only part of the story. Because intense workouts burn more calories overall, you’ll still burn more fat in the same amount of time. As an example, Acosta points out that if 20 minutes of the fat-burning setting burns 100 calories (50 from carbs, 50 from fat) and the cardio setting burns 200 calories (140 from carbs, 60 from fat), the sweatier option is better for weight loss.
‘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.
Start each day by making a large pitcher of “spa water”—that’s detox water filled with sliced whole lemons, oranges or grapefruits—and make a point of sipping your way through at least 8 glasses before bedtime. Citrus fruits are rich in the antioxidant D-limonene, a powerful compound found in the peel that stimulates liver enzymes to help flush toxins from the body and gives sluggish bowels a kick.
"The Belly Fat Diet offers a quick and to the point approach to weight loss that will get you a flat belly and overall healthy body. The diet doesn't focus on counting calories, but instead focuses on eating quality foods throughout the day. Eliminating processed and refined carbohydrates is also a big part of the plan and you will see results quickly. The Belly Fat Diet offers a lifestyle plan that can be maintained for a lifetime and get you the flat belly and good health you've always wanted."
No matter how many crunches you do or how long you hold a plank, you can't spot-reduce belly fat. Sorry! It's one of those unfortunate universal truths, like how eating spicy foods won't speed up your metabolism and doing a juice cleanse won't "detox" your body. But you can make an effort to reduce belly fat if that's the area you are looking to lose weight from — you just have to be strategic about it.
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.
That ice-cold lemonade may hit the spot on a 90-degree day, but it’s not doing your waistline any favors. A 20-ounce Minute Maid Lemonade contains 250 calories and 68 g of sugar. Fortunately, there are plenty of refreshing summer drinks that you can drink without guilt—and they may actually help you lose weight. Here are six ways to quench your thirst without packing on pounds.
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.
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!
"Crash diets (dramatically cutting down how much you eat) might help you to lose a few pounds at first, but they’re hard to sustain and won’t help you keep the weight off. It might seem like a quick and easy option, but eating too few calories can actually do more harm than good. If your calorie intake dips too low, your body could go into starvation mode. This will slow down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to lose weight. Make sensible, healthy changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to and avoid the fad diets."