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.

Staying hydrated is important when you’re trying to lose weight. Drinking plenty of water helps your body maintain proper fluid balance, stops water retention (a big cause of bloated bellies), and even increases the feeling of fullness so you eat less overall. But if plain water bores you, spruce it up with fresh herbs, citrus fruits, and other low-cal flavor enhancers (sliced cucumbers work well too) to encourage you to drink up. Try our Sassy Water recipe from the Flat Belly Diet!


Tea is an incredible beverage that can improve overall health in myriad ways. This beverage is also particularly suited to increasing weight loss. Chemical compounds including flavones, catechins, and polyphenols all help to boost metabolism and help you feel full longer. Tea is also a naturally calorie-free beverage so you can drink several cups each day without feeling guilty.
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.
What can I eat on a no-carb diet? Many people reduce carbohydrate intake to help them lose weight. Carbohydrates are important macronutrients, but cutting them can help people to lose weight by making it possible to reduce calories and improve feelings of fullness. Alternatives to carbs can make it easier to stick to a low-carb diet. Learn more here. Read now
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.”
A 2014 Korean study examined the direct link between drinking rooibos tea and stress-induced weight gain. The researchers found that aspalathin inhibits the release of the stress hormone known as cortisol. High levels of cortisol result in feelings of hunger and increased fat storage. The fact that rooibos blocks this chemical means you can drink this tea when you're stressed out to prevent binge eating.

Spanx are maybe no one’s idea of a good time, but sometimes you just need a little extra (firm) help to flatten your tummy to wear your favorite dress or for a special evening out. And there’s nothing wrong with turning to technology to help you get there. Body shaping undergarments have come a long way in the past few years with more breathable fabrics and styles for both men and women.

The stem, fruit and root bark of the barberry shrub contains berberine–a powerful, naturally occurring, fat-frying chemical. A study conducted by Chinese researchers revealed that berberine can prevent weight gain and the development of insulin resistance in rats consuming a high-fat diet. Previous studies have also found that consuming the plant can boost energy expenditure and help decrease the number of receptors on the surface of fat cells, making them less apt to absorb incoming sources of flubber. Pair it with this definitive plan of 14 ways to turn on your get-lean genes to slim down fast.

When people peddling fad diets say the word “carbohydrate,” they tend to get a sour look on their faces, as if they’ve just bitten into a very tart lemon. The problem with this very black-and-white thinking—that carbs are bad and staying away from them is good—is that it represents an old way of thinking that has been debunked by the scientific community.

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.”
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.
As for celebrity fad diets, Stork says he's suspicious. “I'm wary of all celebrity fad diets. I think when we started hosting 'The Doctors' is when the maple syrup diet came out, and it was all about, 'Oh pour a little maple syrup with lemon,' and I was like, 'No, no, that's not going to cure you of all that ails you. I think people need to be careful with celebrities because we always forget … celebrities have a lot of money and access to a lot of things that most normal people don't."
Bottom line: Whether saturated fat is a better choice really comes down to what you’re comparing it to. When people replace saturated fat with healthier unsaturated fats (found in fish, nuts, olive oil, avocado, and the like) it benefits their heart health. But if they replace them with simple carbohydrates, trans fats, and other unhealthful foods, it’s harmful. Think of it this way: you’re better off eating salmon (rich in unsaturated fat) than steak (which contains saturated fat). But you’re better off eating steak than fried chicken that’s breaded and cooked in shortening full of trans fats. Here are 12 more little weight-loss tricks only nutritionists know.
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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.
High-volume, low-calorie greens will fill you up, without filling you out. Test panelist Kyle Cambridge says regular salads turbocharged his success: “My wife Stacie and I decided to add salad to each meal, and the pounds started melting off.” Kyle lost 25 pounds and four inches in just six weeks on the program. “I even had to buy a new belt!” he said. “But the best was when Stacie came up to me in the kitchen, and gave me a hug. She laughed and smiled and said ‘I can wrap my hands around you again.'”
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In 1958, a now-famous study crunched some numbers and concluded that cutting 3,500 calories was the equivalent of shedding one pound. But that study came out 50 years ago, and suffice to say, we’ve learned a lot since then. Studies now show that the body will adjust to your new diet, says Laura Acosta, RDN, registered dietitian and dietetics lecturer at the University of Florida. The thinner you get, the harder it is to keep the weight-loss momentum going.

The meals shown here are "templates" that you can vary any number of ways to please your tastebuds and avoid eating the same old thing every day. Follow them and you'll get between 2,400 and 2,800 calories per day. That should provide plenty of calories for all but the most severely obese, while allowing most guys to lose fat around their middles at a steady pace. (Don't worry about hitting the numbers on the nose every time. If you exceed your fat quota during lunch, for instance, just cut back a little during dinner.)
Leafy greens like collard greens, watercress, kale, and arugula may not be on your everyday list, but they all contain a compound called sulforaphane. This nutrient has been shown to act directly on the genes that determine “adipocyte differentiation”—basically, turning a stem cell into a fat cell. A healthier intake of the compound means a healthier body weight for you. And just a scant teaspoon of vinaigrette will help your body absorb the fat-soluble nutrients.
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.
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.
Jessica Rose yes the author considers coffee to be a good belly microbe, and is therefore okay in a diet as long as it is less than 32 oz daily. He also added that…moreyes the author considers coffee to be a good belly microbe, and is therefore okay in a diet as long as it is less than 32 oz daily. He also added that tea and wine are acceptable in moderation since they are plant derivatives. (less)
But at the end of the day, Jim reiterated that losing belly fat and maintaining that fat loss is all determined by the amount of calories lost versus what is consumed. Unfortunately, calorie intake isn't a one-size-fits-all equation; it depends on age, weight, height, sex, and activity level. To calculate how many calories you need to lose weight, use this formula.
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.
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.

Visceral fat, commonly known as belly fat, is the layer of fat below the muscles of your abdomen. Due to its crucial location surrounding many of your vital organs, belly fat supplies a constant source of energy but also exposes the body to harmful toxins and hormones. When you have too many fat cells or your fat cells get too large, they can overproduce toxins that increase your risk for chronic inflammation, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is why belly fat can be more dangerous than subcutaneous fat—or the outer layer of fat that you can pinch with your fingers. That said, the reason you're having trouble buttoning your pants may not be visceral fat: what we're calling "belly fat" these days could be bloating or water retention rather than a fat buildup. Read on for steps you can take to beat the bulge.

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?


You’ll find lean, satiating protein in every single bite you take on Zero Belly Diet. The muscle-building macronutrient is fundamental to the plan, and eggs happen to be one of the easiest and most versatile delivery systems in the universe. Not only that, they’re also the number-one dietary source of a nutrient called choline. Choline, which is found also in lean meats, seafood and collard greens, attacks the gene mechanism that triggers your body to store fat around your liver. One Zero Belly Diet recipe—a breakfast hash with sweet potatoes and fresh farm eggs—became test panelist Morgan Minor’s go-to breakfast, and after just 3 weeks on the program, the female firefighter lost 11 pounds and 4 inches from her waist! The more eggs you eat, the less egg-shaped you get.
Mint tea wards off the munchies. 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 Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month. Although tea is relatively low in caffeine—about 25% of what a cup of coffee delivers—decaffeinated varieties are great to have on hand for a soothing bedtime treat that will keep you out of the cabinets!
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.
"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."
You’ll find lean, satiating protein in every single bite you take on Zero Belly Diet. The muscle-building macronutrient is fundamental to the plan, and eggs happen to be one of the easiest and most versatile delivery systems in the universe. Not only that, they’re also the number-one dietary source of a nutrient called choline. Choline, which is found also in lean meats, seafood and collard greens, attacks the gene mechanism that triggers your body to store fat around your liver. One Zero Belly Diet recipe—a breakfast hash with sweet potatoes and fresh farm eggs—became test panelist Morgan Minor’s go-to breakfast, and after just 3 weeks on the program, the female firefighter lost 11 pounds and 4 inches from her waist! The more eggs you eat, the less egg-shaped you get.

A 2014 Taiwanese study analyzed the effect of hibiscus tea extract in increasing weight loss. Researchers examined 26 individuals over a 12-week period. The results showed that participants who took hibiscus tea extract lost more weight than control groups. The hibiscus ingredients also reduced serum free fatty acid (FFA), demonstrating the tea's ability to reduce fat storage.
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.
“Shockingly, maybe the most effective exercise of all is just getting off the couch and walking. There's all this great data that sitting is bad for us and all this wonderful data that just moving is good for you … If you could start a program of 30 minutes of walking a day, combined with healthy eating — maybe it's not the ultimate goal, but that's enough."
A little garlic in your meals could mean a lot less weight around your middle. The results of a Korean study found that mice given a high-fat diet supplemented with garlic lost significantly more weight and abdominal fat than those who just ate fatty foods. Even better, they also improved their liver health, making it easier to stay healthy and burn off that excess fat in the long term. For more flavorful ways to make your food more enjoyable, turn to the 20 Spicy Recipes That Fire Up Your Metabolism and watch those pounds melt away.
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