Dr. Travis Stork: In my new book, The Lose Your Belly Diet, I emphasize the importance of building a diverse population of beneficial gut microbes (I refer to them as our Little Buddies); they play such a crucial role in our health that it’s kind of amazing that it’s taken so long for us to start giving them the attention they deserve. Research is emerging about the connections between our gut microbes and chronic disease and taking better care of our gut microbes may help us lose unwanted weight while also lowering our risk of developing the top three chronic health conditions in the U.S. – cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. The more microbial diversity and greater number of beneficial gut bacteria one has, the better the chances for living the longest, healthiest, and most vibrant life possible.
Researchers at the University of Illinois Medical School examined the science behind this discovery. The scientists examined 3193 overweight volunteers with an average weight of 217 pounds. The participants were given inhalers that contained peppermint and were instructed to use it every two hours over a 6-month period.  The participants who consistently used the inhalers lost and average of 2% body weight each month.

Whether salty foods or alcohol are to blame for your blimp-like belly, lemon tea can help fight the bloat thanks to its d-limonene content. The compound, which is found in citrus rind oil, has been used for its diuretic effects since ancient times. But until recently, there were no scientific findings to back the claims. An animal study published in the Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan confirmed D-Limonene can indeed banish bloat due to water retention.

It’s true that egg yolks contain a fair amount of cholesterol, but mounting research suggests eating cholesterol doesn’t necessarily raise your body’s cholesterol levels. Eggs are also good sources of protein, several B vitamins, choline, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Depending on how the chickens who laid them are fed, eggs can also be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and lutein, which helps with eye health.

"Protein is great for fat loss. It helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue and can increase the amount of calories you burn. It’s also a great source of energy that helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to snack. Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, eggs, milk and chickpeas. And if you’re finding it difficult to avoid snacks that are high in carbohydrates, try substituting them for protein shakes or bars. Remember also to opt for the lean sources of protein because some sources can be high in saturated fat."
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