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Portion control is more than just an important part of meal planning, it’s also essential to losing weight. In order to lose weight you must create a calorie deficit, meaning that you must burn more calories than you consume. Learning what is the correct amount or knowing how much to consume is easier when food has a label that indicates serving sizes, and has nutrition information. But what can you do to measure out the proper portions when you don’t have a label? Here are some easy tricks you can use to help you achieve your weight loss goals without any labels.

Estimate- Serving sizes can be eye-balled using common household items like a deck of playing cards (3 oz of meat, 1 serving), or a tennis ball (1 cup). Measure out one cup of dry ingredients like flour, and find something around the same size so you can estimate your portions on-the-go. Try a to-go coffee cup lid, a cup holder or egg carton.

Find Portion Controlled Containers- Grabbing an extra cup at the gas station to keep in the car is a great way to keep your hand out of a bag of munchies like chips or crackers. Limit yourself to one cup of these foods, to stay on the path to weight loss.

Half Your Plate- When eating out split a meal with your companion or have the waiter divide your portion and place the other half in a to-go box for later. Sip on water after your meal and allow your body time to realize that you’re full. Portions at most restaurants are generally oversized and it can be too easy to overeat with the entire plate in front of you.

Pre-Meal Munch- Instead of bread or having a creamy appetizer like dips, and spreads go for a plate of low-calorie vegetables to snack on while you wait for your meal. Limit the amount of dressing you use, and always go for a healthy option like a light vinaigrette on the side, over something high in fat like ranch or blue cheese. Eating before a meal can offer a fuller feeling before you eat without adding many calories.

 

Follow these general guidelines for measuring foods:

Hand Measuring Tools

  • 1 baked potato = fist
  • 1 ounce of chips or pretzels = 2 handfuls
  • 1 ounce of nuts = thumb
  • 1 serving of fat (butter) = thumb
  • 3 ounces of meat (one serving) = palm
  • 1 serving of vegetable = 1 handful

Visual Measuring Tools

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter = ping pong ball
  • 3 ounces of cooked meat = deck of cards
  • 1 piece of cornbread = bar of soap
  • 1 serving of bread = one slice
  • ½ cup cooked broccoli = scoop of ice cream
  • 1½ ounces of cheese = 3 dominoes
  • Medium piece of fruit = baseball
  • 1 ounce of cheese = 4 dice
  • ½ bagel = hockey puck

 

BPA FREE PORTION CONTAINERS are available at Optimal Weight Control. Visit us at 8585 Knott Ave., Suite 200 Buena Park, CA 90620.

  • ★ STACKABLE FOR DAILY MEAL PREP – Prepare your meals in advance and stack them in your fridge! Our BPA free food containers are safe for long term food storage in the fridge, freezer and even your gym bag. They make the perfect lunch box containers for you and your family. They’re great for children or adults. Eat smart, save money and get healthy!
  • ★ AMAZING FOR PORTION CONTROL – Each container is perfectly portioned for your daily meals. Stay lean and train mean!
  • ★ REUSABLE, MICROWAVE & DISHWASHER SAFE (Top Rack) – Heat them up or cool them down. Our square food meal containers are built to withstand the microwave and dish washing machine (top rack) so you can save time and reuse them.
  • ★ KEEP YOUR MEALS IN TACT – Keep your food fresh and safe from contamination with the bento box dividers / lunch containers. Each compartment container keeps food contained to prevent sogginess and keep food long term. Capacity as follows: 8 oz, 8 oz & 16 oz, 32 oz total!

 

References: http://www.commonhealth.virginia.gov/documents/PortionControlFactSheet.pdf


What is Negative or Distorted Body Image?

Body image refers to how people see themselves. Distorted body image (also called negative body image) refers to an unrealistic view of how someone sees their body.  Like eating disorders, it is seen most commonly in women, but many men also suffer from the disorder. You begin forming your perceptions of your body’s attractiveness, health, acceptability and functionality in early childhood.  This body image continues to form as you age and receive feedback from peers, family member, coaches, etc.  Personality traits such as perfectionism and self criticism can also influence the development of a negative internalized image of your body.

Signs & Symptoms of Negative Body Image

Symptoms of unhealthy or negative body image may include:

  • obsessive self scrutiny in mirrors
  • thinking disparaging comments about your body and frequent comparison of your own shape and size to other people
  • envy or a friend’s body, or just as commonly: the body of a celebrity or someone else in the media.

Causes of Negative Body Image

Sometimes body image is negatively impacted by one or more significant events.  For example, a gymnast who is continually chided by her coach and fellow athletes to lose a little weight, may develop a deeply ingrained and long standing dissatisfaction with her body, no matter how thin she becomes.

If  you are concerned about your body image, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is my perception of beauty distorted from years of media exposure that glorifies a very thin ideal that is unrealistic for most people to obtain in a health manner?
  • Do I find myself regularly criticizing my own appearance?

Relationship Between Weight & Body Image

A normally healthy weight range for an individual can be perceived as overweight by someone with a distorted body image.  An anorexic young woman may look at herself in a mirror and see a reflection that is greater than her actual size.  Conversely, it is not uncommon for obese individuals to report that they did not realize they were as large as they are and had perceived their body as much smaller until an occasion arises where they see a photograph, video or window reflection that strikes a nerve and causes them to come to terms with their actual image.

Relationship Between An Eating Disorder & Body Image

Body image concerns and eating disorders go hand in hand.  Often, it is the early dissatisfaction with a young person’s appearance that leads them to conclude that losing weight would enhance their appearance, and make them feel better about themselves and their bodies.  Thus, restrictive eating and over exercising are often next, frequently leading to patterns of disordered eating and weight obsession that can develop into anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, compulsive overeating or binge eating disorder.

 

Treatment For Negative Body Image

Getting treatment for distorted body image is a critical step to recovery. The problem won’t just go away by itself.   Recognizing and acknowledging your feelings and accompanying body sensations will help you become more comfortable in your body and lessens the tendency to suppress feelings and revert to unhealthy, negative inner diatribes to escape uncomfortable feelings.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an approach where irrational thoughts are recognized, analyzed and restructured to more rational self talk, is frequently used. Additionally, dance and movement therapy are often employed to develop a greater trust and appreciation of  one’s body based upon creating internal experiences, rather than simply evaluated one’s body aesthetically.

Many centers for eating disorder treatment specialize in body image awareness. Click Here to Schedule your Free Consultation.

 

Article Source: Eating Disorder Hope


A fad diet is a weight loss plan or aid that promises dramatic results. These diets typically don’t result in long-term weight loss and they are usually not very healthy. In fact, some of these diets have proven to be dangerous to your health. The Eat-Clean Diet encourages a lifestyle approach of exercise and a diet plan of unprocessed, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and void of artificial ingredients, preservatives, “chemically charged foods,” sugars, saturated fat, and trans fat.

Not only will you lose about 3 pounds a week, you will see also see dramatic changes in the way you look and feel, Reno says. (Tosca Reno, author of The Eat-Clean Diet series.)

How clean eating helps you shift weight

The writers claim dieting isn’t as simple as ‘calories in, calories out’. “The answer is not to limit calories but to eat more high quality foods,” say the Hemsley girls. For this reason the sisters encourage dieters to steer clear of low-fat and sugar-free processed foods that often contain ingredients you don’t recognise.

“Think of these as fake foods that cause stress to the body,” they argue. The sisters’ recipe for a balanced diet is simple: “Cook and eat meals that are so delicious you’ll forget you’re eating ‘healthy’ food.”

This theory is backed up by the latest food science, according to nutritionist Linda Foster. She says: “Fresh, natural foods tend to be more satisfying and rich in nutrients such as protein and fibre than processed ones. These slow the breakdown of sugar into the bloodstream, keeping you fuller for longer and stopping those hunger pangs that leave you needing to snack.”

There’s also evidence to suggest that we need to consume a certain quantity of food each day to feel satisfied – regardless of the food type or calories it contains.

For example, to eat 100 calories we could munch through two apples (200g of food) or gobble one third of a Mars bar (around 20g in weight). Almost certainly, the apples would leave you feeling fuller, as you’ve eaten a much greater quantity of food.

Choosing the Mars bar would leave most of us eating the rest of it, with the inevitable result that we take in more calories overall.

In other words, the magic trick to consuming fewer calories is simply to choose more filling foods.

Eating clean does mean cooking more of our own meals, as we did 50 to 60 years ago, rather than relying on processed convenience foods.

US food expert Michael Pollan blames our ever-expanding waistlines on us no longer cooking real food – pointing out that the decline in home cooking “closely parallels the rise in obesity”.

Multiple studies have also shown diets rich in whole foods like wholegrain carbs, nuts, fruit and veg – and low in the likes of ready meals, biscuits and fast food – can reduce your risk of life-threatening conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers.

There is also evidence that a real food diet can even benefit your looks – by leaving skin clear and glowing, and hair strong and shiny.

Your five clean food rules

Only eat ‘real’ foods: Put simply, this means buying recognisable ingredients to prepare at home and avoiding processed and packaged foods.

For instance, you would use whole oats and blueberries to make porridge topped with berries but you must skip the shop-bought blueberry muffin.

When you do eat packaged foods, only buy brands that contain real food ingredients with names you recognise and would use if you were making a similar recipe from scratch in your own kitchen.

Keep meals simple: Delicious, healthy food doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. Keep your ingredients to a minimum. Just be sure to include a source of whole grains, lean protein and healthy fat at each meal.

For example, chicken and red pepper stir-fried with a little soy sauce and served with brown rice takes the same, or less, time to cook than a Chinese ready meal takes to heat up. And certainly less time than a takeaway takes to arrive!

Slow your eating speed: Studies show that the faster we eat, the more calories we consume. So chew slowly, rest your cutlery on the plate between bites to reduce your pace and really savour the flavour of your food.

Eat regular meals: Don’t let more than four hours go by between meals or snacks. This will help regulate blood sugar, which will keep you energised and help curb your appetite.

Listen to your body: Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full – meaning satisfied, not over-stuffed.

Unlike nearly all diets, the recipes here don’t include precise amounts – that’s because clean eating is all about getting used to relying on your natural hunger and fullness cues to tell you when to eat and when to stop.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Your meal planner

Pick one dish from each of the following three meals a day, using sensible portion sizes, plus two items from the snacks list. You could lose up to a stone in six weeks.

Breakfast

  • Porridge, made with oats, semi-skimmed milk and handful of berries
  • Spinach and pepper two-egg omelette
  • Pot of full-fat Greek yoghurt with sliced banana and handful of almonds
  • Pancakes made with wholemeal flour, milk and one egg, drizzled with maple syrup and raspberries
  • Banana and almond smoothie made with banana, semi-skimmed milk, teaspoon almond butter (or peanut butter), teaspoon of cinnamon

Lunch

  • Spinach and rocket leaves salad with one can of rinsed cannellini beans, handful of cherry tomatoes, half an avocado, sliced, and balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing
  • Tuna and salad wholemeal wrap with half a chopped red pepper
  • Lentil and vegetable soup with a granary roll
  • Salad of hard-boiled egg slices, asparagus, steamed new potatoes and two teaspoons of melted butter
  • Baked sweet potato with homemade veggie or beef chilli topping

Dinner

  • Chicken and mixed veg stir-fry with organic soy sauce and wholegrain noodles
  • Prawns cooked with mango slices, coconut milk, grated ginger and three chopped spring onions, served with brown basmati rice
  • Shepherd’s pie made with minced lamb, veg and topped with sweet potato mash
  • Grilled steak with grilled mushroom and tomatoes, plus side salad
  • Spaghetti bolognese, served with wholemeal pasta or courgette ribbons.

Snack

  • Small handful of any unsalted nuts
  • Piece of any fruit
  • Full-fat fruit yoghurt with no additives
  • Hummus with carrot sticks
  • Apple slices with peanut butter

Enjoy ‘clean’ unprocessed foods including:

  • All fresh fruits and vegetables (including frozen)
  • Beans and pulses, such as lentils
  • Meat – the more free range or organic the better
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Unrefined grains, like wholemeal bread and pasta, popcorn, oats and brown rice
  • Dairy – cheese, milk, butter, all organic if possible
  • Olive oil

Avoid ‘dirty’ processed foods including:

  • Ready meals
  • Shop-bought cakes and biscuits
  • Jars and packets of sauce
  • Margarines
  • Sausages, ham and bacon
  • Sausage rolls and pastries
  • Crisps
  • Fizzy drinks

Make your own healthy crisps

Vegetable crisps are healthy ‘clean’ alternatives to normal crisps. They can be expensive to buy ready-made, but are actually pretty easy to make yourself.

Simply slice veg – such as parsnips, sweet potatoes and beetroots – as thinly as possible, brush with a little olive or coconut oil, spread on a baking tray and cook for 20 minutes at 200°C/gas mark 6, turning once halfway through.

Season with a little salt – and try spices such as chilli or cumin.

An even easier way to make veggie crisps is to invest in one of the latest must-have kitchen gadgets – a dehydrator.

They slowly dry food at a very low temperature so none of the nutrients are destroyed, meaning even healthier crisps with no added fat.

A good one to try is the Stockli Dehydrator (from £89, from ukjuicers.com).

You can also use them to make large portions of delicious apple, pineapple and banana ‘crisps’ so you always have healthy snacks on hand for you and the kids.

Banana ice cream.. without the cream!

Even kids will love this yummy recipe with no added sugar.

Simply freeze two or three very ripe, sliced bananas overnight. Then, using a blender or food processor on pulse, mix to a creamy consistency.

You can mash with a fork instead, but this will take longer and you’ll need to wait until the banana has melted a little.

Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence for extra flavour, or a teaspoon of cocoa powder for a chocolate banana flavour.

 

Article Reference: WebMD.com, Mirror.co.uk


According to Dr. Kharrazian, in the immune system model, there are 4 main reasons for stubborn weight gain.

They are:

* The mix of bacteria in your gut

* Intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut)

* Low grade inflammation

* Immune reactive dietary proteins

Let’s explore each one of these in more detail.

The Mixture of Bacteria in Your Gut Matters

An important thing to understand is that your body is an ecosystem, or really, a lot of interconnected ecosystems. And the digestive tract is one of the most complex and dynamic of them all.

Each one of us has their own unique mix of bacteria and other organisms that live in our guts. This mix is determined by our genetic profile, our diets, what medications we have taken and our environment.

There are an estimated 100 trillion different cells and over 1,000 different species of bacteria. 90% of these species belong to 2 families: Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes.

The Balance of Bacteria Can Make You Unable To Lose Weight

New research has shown that the balance of these 2 bacterial species matters for whether or not you are able to lose weight.

In obese and overweight people, there is more Firmicutes than Bacteriodetes. The balance between these 2 species of bacteria generates certain signals to specific genes in the intestines that produce more fat cells.

It is also interesting to note that, according to the research, Lactobacillus bacteria (the most common species sold in over the counter probiotics) actually increases body weight. Both dairy and non-dairy sources.

What that means is that while probiotics may be beneficial for the ecosystem of your gut they are not that helpful in helping you shed the pounds.

Increase Bacteriodetes and Lose Weight

Firmicutes really like junk food. To feed them and gain weight, eat like your average American. To starve them and lose weight, read on.

The more important question is: how do you increase the Bacteriodetes? It seems these little critters really like plants. And the best way to increase their number is to increase the amount of plant based foods and fiber in your diet.

Especially oligosaccharides (found in Jerulsalem artichokes, and onions, leeks, garlic asparagus and jicama, etc.) and monosaccharides (found in pears, grapes, peaches, apples, pineapples, apricots, bananas, yams, carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes). And other plant based fibers that come from green leafy vegetables, green tea, etc.

These get fermented in the colon by the good guys and help you to become a mean, lean weight loss machine! But, just so you know, this is not something you can change in 5 minutes or 5 days. It may take a few months to alter this environment.

Leaky Gut Leads to a Bigger Gut

While it is true that people with Hashimoto’s often suffer from intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome, new research shows that this can also lead to fat around the organs.

In leaky gut, the intestines lose their ability to keep tiny particles of all sorts of stuff out of the bloodstream. It turns out that there may be a connection between a fatty liver and the breakdown of the gut barrier system.

In addition, zonulin, a protein that is used by the intestines to bind tight junctions, leaks into the blood stream when people have a breakdown of this barrier. It is also increased with obesity associated insulin resistance.

Finally, the toxins that are produced by bacteria known as lipopolysaccharides have also been linked to obesity and the onset of diabetes.

Bottom line: If you want a smaller gut, you need to heal your leaky gut.

Low Grade Inflammation: The Chicken or The Egg?

Autoimmune disease is a disease that is closely linked to inflammation. So is type 2 diabetes, so is eating a lousy diet and eating too much sugar, salt and fat.

What research is now showing us, is that obesity is also an inflammatory condition. It is becoming less clear which came first. One thing we now know is that adipose tissue (fat tissue) produces inflammation in the body all by itself.

So you have the creation of this destructive cycle of abnormal gut bacteria and leaky gut leading to a process (insulin and leptin resistance) which makes glucose not able to enter cells. When glucose can’t enter cells it gets converted into fat in the liver (triglycerides). These fat cells start the whole process all over again.

Leptin and Insulin Resistance Are Similar

Leptin is one of the main hormones involved in hunger, metabolism and the control of how energy from carbs and fats get stored and used. It comes from the Greek word ‘leptos’ meaning thin.

The amount of leptin produced directly correlates with weight loss or weight gain. (Women have significantly higher circulating leptin than men).

Leptin resistance is very similar to insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, long term elevated levels of insulin make your muscle and fat cells more resistance to the action of insulin.

Chronic elevated levels of leptin end up making you eat way too much. And abnormal gut bacteria and leaky gut feed this process as well (pun intended ;)).

Its A Vicious Cycle That Makes It Harder to Lose Weight

This whole process creates more fat tissue which causes more inflammation, and on and on it goes, snow balling and making it harder and harder to lose weight.

So you can see, while this is kind of complicated, it is hugely important to do everything you can to reduce inflammation that is the root cause of everything that we have just examined.

Immune Reactive Dietary Proteins

Certain proteins can also add gasoline to the flames of inflammation.

Everything that is living in our world is made of proteins. With autoimmune disease the immune system confuses our own proteins with that of an invader like a virus or a food we are allergic to.

There are some proteins in our diet that can cause an immune response that can also lead to inflammation and add more insult to injury.

These proteins are found in gluten, dairy and soy and in some other foods called cross reactors.

These need to be eliminated from the diet if you want to lose weight because this will begin to unwind the vicious cycle of inflammation at the root of the immune system’s influence on weight gain.

 

Article Source: www.hashimotoshealing.com


 

 

Watermelon Salsa

Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 20 mins
Start to Finish: 20 mins
Carb Grams Per Serving: 7

Ingredients

  • 3 cups finely diced seedless watermelon, (about 2 1/4 pounds with the rind) (see Tip)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (see Ingredient note)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion, (about 1/2 small)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Directions

  1. Place watermelon, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and onion in a medium bowl; stir well to combine. Season with salt. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
  2. Tips: Tip: Melon selection & storage: Look for symmetrical unblemished melons, without flat sides, that have a creamy yellow spot on the bottom indicating ripeness. At 92% water, this fruit should feel heavy when you heft it. Precut melon flesh should be dense, firm and appear moist. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or keep in a cool, dark spot. Cover the cut surface of melon with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  3. Ingredient Note: The seeds and surrounding membrane are the spiciest part of the chile pepper. To increase the heat of the salsa, use some or all of the seeds, depending on your preference, along with the flesh of the pepper.
  4. MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Nutrition Information

Servings Per Recipe: 4
PER SERVING: 26 cal., 75 mg sodium, 7 g carb. (1 g fiber), 1 g pro.

 

Fresh Squash Chips

Ingredients

2 yellow squash
2 zucchini
4 cups cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Cut yellow squash and zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Combine squash, zucchini, cold water, and salt in a large bowl. Cover and chill 30 minutes; drain and pat dry with paper towels. Serve with your favorite dip as an alternative to potato chips.
Calories 21 Fat 0.2 g  Sodium 86 mg Protein 1.6 g Carbohydrate 4.4 g Fiber 1.4 g Iron 0.5 mg

Quick Pickles

These way-better-than-store-bought pickles are ready in under an hour — and will last in your fridge for up to 10 days. Makes: 4 servingsPrep: 10 minsStart to Finish: 45 minsCarb Grams Per Serving: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 pounds pickling cucumbers, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup slivered onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed

Directions

  1. Place cucumber slices in a colander set in the sink. Sprinkle with salt; stir to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse, drain and transfer to a large heatproof bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, combine cider vinegar, white vinegar, brown sugar, onion, garlic, dill and mustard seed in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers; stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to bring to room temperature.
  3. Tip: MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.
 Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4
PER SERVING: 10 cal., 2 g carb. (1 g fiber), 1 g pro.

Overweight does not necessarily equal unhealthy. There are actually plenty of overweight people who are in excellent health.

Conversely, many normal weight people have the metabolic problems associated with obesity. That’s because the fat under the skin is actually not that big of a problem (at least not from a health standpoint… it’s more of a cosmetic problem).

It’s the fat in the abdominal area, the belly fat, that causes the biggest issues. If you have a lot of excess fat around your waistline, even if you’re not very heavy, then you should take some steps to get rid of it.

Belly fat also know as the Visceral fat is usually estimated by measuring the circumference around your waist. This can easily be done at home with a simple tape measure.

Anything above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women, is known as abdominal obesity. There are actually a few proven strategies that have been shown to target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body.

Here are 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.

 

1. Don’t Eat Sugar… and Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Like The Plague

 

Added sugar is extremely unhealthy.

Studies show that it has uniquely harmful effects on metabolic health.

Sugar is half glucose, half fructose… and fructose can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amount.

When you eat a lot of refined sugar, the liver gets flooded with fructose, and is forced to turn it all into fat.

Numerous studies have shown that excess sugar, mostly due to the large amounts of fructose, can lead to increased accumulation of fat in the belly.

Some believe that this is the primary mechanism behind sugar’s harmful effects on health… it increases belly fat and liver fat, which leads to insulin resistance and a host of metabolic problems.

Liquid sugar is even worse in this regard. Liquid calories don’t get “registered” by the brain in the same way as solid calories, so when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you end up eating more total calories.

Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children… per each daily serving.

Make a decision to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, and considercompletely eliminating sugary drinks.

This includes sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, various sports drinks, as well as coffees and teas with sugar added to them.

Keep in mind that none of this applies to whole fruit, which are extremely healthy and have plenty of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose.

The amount of fructose you get from fruit is negligible compared to what you get from a diet high in refined sugar.

Btw… if you want to cut back on refined sugar, then you must start reading labels. Even foods marketed as health foods can contain huge amounts of sugar.

Bottom Line: Excess sugar consumption may be the primary driver of belly fat accumulation, especially sugary beverages like soft drinks and fruit juices.

 

2. Eating More Protein May be The Best Long-Term Strategy to Reduce Belly Fat

Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to losing weight.

It has been shown to reduce cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.

If weight loss is your goal, then adding protein to your diet is perhaps the single most effective change you can do.

Not only will it help you lose… it can also help you avoid re-gaining weight if you ever decide to abandon your weight loss efforts.

There is also some evidence that protein is particularly effective against belly fat.

One study showed that the amount and quality of protein consumed was inversely related to fat in the belly. That is, people who ate more and better protein had much less belly fat.

Another study in Denmark showed that protein, especially animal protein, was linked to significantly reduced risk of belly fat gain over a period of 5 years.

This study also showed that refined carbs and vegetable oils were linked to increased amounts of belly fat, but fruits and vegetables linked to reduced amounts.

Many of the studies showing protein to be effective had protein at 25-30% of calories. That’s what you should aim for.

So… make an effort to increase your intake of unprocessed eggs, fish, seafood,meats, poultry and dairy products. These are the best protein sources in the diet.

If you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, then a quality protein supplement (like whey protein) is a healthy and convenient way to boost your total intake.

 

 

3. Cut Carbs From Your Diet

Carb restriction is a very effective way to lose fat.

This is supported by numerous studies… when people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight.

 

Over 20 randomized controlled trials have now shown that low-carb diets lead to 2-3 times more weight loss than low-fat diets.

This is true even when the low-carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while the low-fat groups are calorie restricted and hungry.

Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which gives people near instant results… a major difference on the scale is often seen within a few days.

There are also studies comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, showing that low-carb diets specifically target the fat in the belly, and around the organs and liver.

What this means is that a particularly high proportion of the fat lost on a low-carb dietis the dangerous and disease promoting abdominal fat.

Just avoiding the refined carbs (white breads, pastas, etc) should be sufficient, especially if you keep your protein high.

However… if you need to lose weight fast, then consider dropping your carbs down to 50 grams per day. This will put your body into ketosis, killing your appetite and making your body start burning primarily fats for fuel.

Of course, low-carb diets have many other health benefits besides just weight loss. They can have life-saving effects in type 2 diabetics, for example

Bottom Line: Studies have shown that low-carb diets are particularly effective at getting rid of the fat in the belly area, around the organs and in the liver.

 

4. Eat Foods Rich in Fiber… Especially Viscous Fiber

 

Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter. It is often claimed that eating plenty of fiber can help with weight loss.

This is true… but it’s important to keep in mind that not all fiber is created equal. It seems to be mostly the viscous fibers that can have an effect on your weight.

These are fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that “sits” in the gut.

This gel can dramatically slow the movement of food through your stomach and small bowel, and slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The end result is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.

One review study found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day were linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of 2 kg (4.5 lbs) over 4 months.

In one 5-year study, eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was linked to a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity, but it had no effect on the amount of fat under the skin.

What this implies, is that soluble fiber may be particularly effective at reducing the harmful belly fat.

The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals like oats.

Then you could also try taking a fiber supplement like glucomannan. This is one of the most viscous dietary fibers in existence, and has been shown to cause weight loss in many studies.

 

5. Aerobic Exercise is Very Effective at Reducing Belly Fat

Exercise is important for various reasons.

It is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long, healthy life and avoid disease.

Getting into all of the amazing health benefits of exercise is beyond the scope of this article, but exercise does appears to be effective at reducing belly fat.

However… keep in mind that I’m not talking about abdominal exercises here. Spot reduction (losing fat in one spot) is not possible, and doing endless amounts of crunches will not make you lose fat from the belly.

In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.

That being said, other types of exercise can be very effective.

Aerobic exercise (like walking, running, swimming, etc) has been shown to cause major reductions in belly fat in numerous studies.

Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from re-gaining abdominal fat after weight loss, implying that exercise is particularly important during weight maintenance.

Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation, blood sugar levels and all the other metabolic abnormalities that are associated with central obesity.

Bottom Line: Exercise can be very effective if you are trying to lose belly fat. Exercise also has a number of other health benefits.

 

6. Track Your Foods and Figure Out Exactly What and How Much You Are Eating

What you eat is important. Pretty much everyone knows this.

However… surprisingly, most people actuallydon’t have a clue what they are really eating.

People think they’re eating “high protein,” “low-carb” or whatever… but tend to drastically over- or underestimate.

I think that for anyone who truly wants to optimize their diet, tracking things for a while is absolutely essential.

It doesn’t mean you need to weigh and measure everything for the rest of your life, but doing it every now and then for a few days in a row can help you realize where you need to make changes.

If you want to boost your protein intake to 25-30% of calories, as recommended above, just eating more protein rich foods won’t cut it. You need to actually measure and fine tune in order to reach that goal.

 

Article Source: http://authoritynutrition.com/


Losing weight doesn’t always have to be a chore. It’s possible to become healthier and have a good time getting to your ideal weight. Here are tips to jazz up your routine and get back in shape.

1. GO FOOD TASTING

This might sound like an odd option for those on a diet, but eating different foods will help you feel less deprived, and a lot of choices are surprisingly low calorie! For example, there are only 83 calories in 3oz of lobster, and 60 calories in 12 large shrimp. Food tasting is always brilliant fun, too.

 

2. PLAN A PEDOMETER CONTEST

Buy a pedometer, and see who can record the most steps. You’d be surprised how motivating having healthy competition can be, and anything that gets you walking instead of jumping in the lift is always a benefit!

 

3. CLEAN YOUR CLOSET

Take out all of your ‘fat’ clothes, and give them to friends or charity. The idea of having to buy a whole new wardrobe if you gain weight should be enough to put you off that last biscuit, and clothes swapping is always a laugh.

 

4. DANCE!

Turn up the stereo and dance around the room. Not only is this a brilliant way to learn new dance moves and hear your friends favourite songs, you’ll also burn calories too! If you’re too embarrassed to dance at home, plan a night out to hit the dance floor.

 

5. WATCH A FUNNY FILM

Laughing is another excellent way to burn calories, so grab some comedy DVDs and cheer yourself up while making yourself slim!

 

6. GO TO THE PARK

Play tag, run around after your children, play football with your husband, throw sticks for your dog…as well as feeling much more healthy, you’ll burn loads of calories too!

 

7. GO BOWLING

This will distract you from food, boredom and loneliness, which can all make you eat, will burn calories and tone you at the same time. And if you go off peak, it can be very cheap too!

 

8. DO SOME HOUSEWORK

Wash the car, do some gardening or shovel the snow while having a gossip. You won’t feel the workout while you are hearing what your next door neighbor has been up too, but you’ll be burning calories and toning too.

 

9. JOIN A SWIMMING CLUB

Meet once or twice a week outside the pool, and do a few laps. You are less likely to give up if you are doing it with a friend, and swimming is one of the best ways of toning up and looking great.

 

10. DO SOME KISSING 🙂

Have a romantic night in with your partner. While he isn’t strictly speaking a friend, passionate kissing can burn hundreds of calories alone, and having your heart beat faster burns even more…

 

Article By: Kati Blake (All Womens Talk)


As the days draw in and temperatures drop, you may be tempted to hang up your exercise gear and hibernate. Don’t! Stay active throughout autumn and winter to beat those seasonal blues and feel on top of the world.

Exercising during winter is as important as exercising during summer. Exercising outdoors is not only possible, but will leave you feeling invigorated, pumped with energy, and wanting more! If you’ve not done much for a while, these exercises are easy, gentle to follow and can also be done indoors.

 

More energy

Regular exercise will make you feel more energetic, which should make it a little easier to get out of your warm bed on cold, dark mornings.

Your body’s defences will also benefit. There is some limited research suggesting that moderate exercise can strengthen the immune system, thereby reducing the risk of coughs and colds. However, more research is needed in this area.

If the shorter days are affecting your mood, being active can improve your sense of wellbeing.

You may be tempted to eat more during the colder months. Exercising will help you manage your weight better and keep your body in shape.

Get tips on eating a healthy balanced diet and taking regular exercise to maintain a healthy body weight.

Warm up

If you’re starting a new exercise regime, don’t overdo it. Slowly build the amount of exercise you do. If you can’t manage 30 minutes in one go, break it up into 10-minute chunks.

Always warm-up for up to 10 minutes before you start. Walk at a brisk pace, or jog in order to warm your muscles.

Make sure you’re warm if you’re going outside. Wear several layers to keep the heat in. A lot of heat escapes through your head, so consider wearing a hat as well.

Stay safe

If you’re exercising after dark, keep to well-lit areas and wear bright and reflective clothing. Ideally, exercise with a friend, but always tell someone where you’re going.

Avoid listening to music while running outdoors. Not hearing what’s going on around you can make you vulnerable.

If rain or ice is making exercise dangerous, do it another day. The weather might be better tomorrow, but an injury could take weeks to heal.

If you have a cold

Colds are more common in winter, but you don’t necessarily have to stop exercising if you’re feeling under the weather. According to Dr Keith Hopcroft, a GP from Basildon in Essex, use common sense and listen to your body.

“If your symptoms are not severe and you generally feel OK, then you can exercise. If you feel absolutely rotten, then it’s best not to go.”

However, it’s important not to exercise if you have a fever. A fever is when your body’s temperature is 38°C (100.4°F) or above and is rarely a symptom of a cold. “If you exercise with a fever,” says Dr Hopcroft, “it’ll make you feel worse. In very rare cases, exercising with a fever can lead to the virus affecting your heart, which can be dangerous.”

If you have asthma, take extra care when exercising in winter as cold air can trigger symptoms. Dr Hopcroft recommends using your inhaler before you exercise and taking it with you during your activity.

Something you enjoy

Choose an activity that you enjoy. Now might be the time to try something new that you can do indoors, such as:

  • archery
  • badminton
  • bowls
  • cycling
  • dancing
  • curling
  • fencing
  • fitness classes
  • five-a-side football
  • judo
  • pilates
  • squash
  • swimming
  • table tennis
  • tai chi
  • yoga

 

You don’t even have to stop doing outdoor activities.

If you enjoy running, don’t let cold weather put you off. Get tips on running outdoors in winter.

You could take a long walk at the weekend or go for a bike ride. Just wrap up warm and be careful if it’s wet or icy. Get tips on walking for health.

If being outside when it’s windy, raining or snowing doesn’t appeal, rent a fitness video and try doing some exercise at home.

 

Article Source: NHS Choices & Web MD