“Are you going for a coconut at Starbucks as a post-workout treat? Because [you think] coconut milk is healthy?” Bedwell asks. Gah! Guilty as charged. What’s the problem, exactly? “Coconut milk is a plant-based option, but it is very high in fat and not so much in protein,” Bedwell continues. “The ideal post-workout snack has a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. This ratio helps to build muscle while burning fat. So you’d be better off with a mocha with regular low fat milk or a glass of chocolate milk, which is the post-workout choice of many professional athletes!”
“I recommend the DCBA approach: Diet first, Cardio second, Building muscle third, and Abs exercises last. Follow it and you can safely lose one to two pounds a week. Spend 60 minutes a day preparing healthier meals. Spend 20 minutes a day three to five times weekly doing cardio. Spend 15 minutes a day three times a week strength training. Finally, spend 5 minutes a day three times a week doing abs exercises.”
Once you’ve established a regular cardio routine, add two or three weight training sessions on nonconsecutive days to your weekly workouts; everyone naturally gains some fat as they age, but building muscle tone can significantly slow the production of belly fat. In a study conducted at the University of Minnesota, overweight women who did twice-weekly strength training routines that included eight to 10 exercises of major muscle groups, from biceps curls to leg presses, gained 67 percent less visceral fat over two years than women who didn’t do strength training regularly.
Beware the pre-packaged powders, containers, and other blender-marketed products. “Many ‘health’ juices and smoothies are filled with sugar,” says Dr. Taz. “Decreasing sugar intake is the single most effective step you can take to drop pounds. Sugar packs a lot of calories, throws your insulin levels out of whack, depresses your immune system and is highly addictive!” Instead, try her slimming smoothie recipe, the “Lean and Green Drink: Chop 1 large apple or pear, 2 stalks celery, 1 cup watercress or spinach and whip in a blender with 1 cup cold water and juice of 1/2 lemon.”
You are already doing good by resisting unnecessary food cravings but a mere treating won’t do any harm. Enjoy a cheat meal once a week, be it creamy pasta, chocolate fudge or anything delightful, it will actually help you speed up your metabolism.
Some people have a strange habit of chewing something or the other all day long. For meeting this craving of chewing, they often end up eating gums, which do no benefit to the body at all. An amazing swap is to try munching on dry fruits like almonds, which will actually be beneficial to your body and provide it with those necessary nutrients at the same time.
If you tend to pack the pounds around your middle rather than your hips and thighs, then you’re apple shaped. This genetic predisposition means ridding yourself of belly fat will be harder, Dr. Kashyap says, but not impossible.
Want to start eating healthier and lose weight now? These simple and tasty recipes that make up our Full 14 Day Flat Belly Healthy Eating Meal Plan, will help make the journey easy and delicious! You can try out the full plan or simply take some of your favourite recipes and incorporate them into the diet you have now. Enjoy!
Seaweed called wakame: If you haven’t heard of this seaweed native to Japan yet, you can bet you will soon. In a Japanese study at Hokkaido University led by researcher Kazuo Miyashita, PhD, fucoxanthin found in wakame was shown to promote fat burning within the fat cells in animals. Fucoxanthin fights fat in two ways; first, it encourages the action of protein, UCP1, that causes fat oxidation and is found in the type of fat that surrounds organs. Secondly, fucoxanthin promotes DHA production in the liver. Increased DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid type, can help with decreasing bad cholesterol or LDL.
The body doesn’t react to all fats in the same way. Research correlates high intake of saturated fat (the kind in meat and dairy) to increased visceral fat, says Patton. On the other hand, monounsaturated fats (the kind in olive oil and avocados) and specific types of polyunsaturated fats (mainly omega-3s, found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fatty fish like salmon) have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, and if eaten in proper portions may do your body good. But Patton warns that eating too much fat of any kind increases your calorie intake and could lead to weight gain, so enjoy healthy fats in moderation.