You may have been eating all wrong tomatoes. The fact is most of us have been robbed of the amazing taste and abundant nutrients that tomatoes offer. Most of us have been buying hybrid tomatoes or genetically modified tomatoes that don’t come close to the greatness of heirloom tomatoes. The truth is commercial fruits and vegetables are mostly grown for high profits and not for their exceptional taste or nutrient content.
Overweight does not necessarily equal unhealthy. There are actually plenty of overweight people who are in excellent health (1). Conversely, many normal weight people have the metabolic problems associated with obesity (2). 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 cavity, the belly fat, that causes the biggest issues (3). 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 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
When you eat a lot of refined sugar, the liver gets flooded with fructose, and is forced to turn it all into fat (6).
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 (9, 10).
Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children… per each daily serving (11).
Make a decision to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, and consider completely eliminating sugary drinks.
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
If weight loss is your goal, then adding protein to your diet is perhaps the single most effective change you can do.
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 (19).
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 (20).
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.
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.
If you’re a vegetarian, check out this article on how to increase your protein intake.
Bottom Line: Eating enough protein is a very effective way to lose weight. Some studies suggest that protein is particularly effective against belly fat accumulation.
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 (23).
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.
What this means is that a particularly high proportion of the fat lost on a low-carb diet is 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.
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 (31).
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 (32).
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 (33).
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 (34).
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.
Bottom Line: There is some evidence that soluble dietary fiber may lead to reduced amounts of belly fat, which should cause major improvements in metabolic health.
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 (40).
That being said, other types of exercise can be very effective.
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 (43).
Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation, blood sugar levels and all the other metabolic abnormalities that are associated with central obesity (44).
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 actually don’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.
Check out this article here for a calorie calculator and a list of free online tools to track what you are eating.
I personally do this every few months… I weigh and measure everything I eat to see what my current diet is looking like.
Then I know exactly where to make adjustments in order to get closer to my goals.
There’s been much controversy surrounding the question of whether or not you need to take supplements. Critics claim that vitamin supplements are a waste of money, as you can get all the nutrients you need from your diet. They also claim that most people are not, in fact, nutritionally deficient, thanks to all the fortified foods on the market.
Alas, there are a number of problems with such assertions. First of all, I believe we have to acknowledge that there is a problem with our food supply—it’s simply NOT providing you with the same nutrition as it did in generations past.
This is largely related to industrial based modern methods, which include reliance on synthetic fertilizers that radically decreases nutrient density, including valuable micronutrients that have long ago largely vanished from most of these soils.
There are lots of reasons to admire the Nordic Nations. For example, the magnificent landscapes, stunning architecture and most importantly – their health. According to Forbes, Nordic regions such as Sweden are among the world’s healthiest top ranked countries. Sweden is the largest of the Scandinavian countries. It not only has some of the cleanest air in the world but it can also boast about their low rates of health issues. Statistically, in Sweden, only 3 children are stillborn out of every 1000 births. And for every 100,000 people, there are only about 4 cases of tuberculosis. Their life expectancy is one of the highest in the world. So what are they doing that we are not?
Bone broth has a long history of medicinal use. It’s known to be warm, soothing, and nourishing for body, mind, and soul…19
Physicians harkening as far back as Hippocrates have associated bone broth with gut healing. And while the importance of gut health is just now starting to fill our medical journals, this knowledge is far from new.
In fact, you could say modern medicine is just now rediscovering how the gut influences health and disease.
By Dr. Mercola
Proteins are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your body tissues such as your skin, internal organs and muscles. They are also the major components of your immune system and hormones.
Proteins are found in all types of food, but only foods from animal sources, such as meat and eggs contain complete proteins, meaning they provide the eight essential amino acids.
Eggs, as well as the chickens they come from, are both healthful sources of protein but ONLY if raised the way nature intended… Unfortunately, as illustrated in the video above, today’s agricultural model of factory farming has complicated what used to be a simple affair.
People feel strongly about veganism – both for and against. I have never preached to people about veganism and rarely brought it up myself. But I remember the time when I had gone out for a Christmas lunch with some Mums from a local baby group, and I was being served a vegan meal by the waiter. The girl opposite me started shouting at me, telling me I was completely wrong, that the cows needed to be milked so I was actually being cruel to cows by being a vegan! I don’t like to get into arguments with people so it’s hard for me to have a label like this.
It may be easy to reach for one of these foods when your child is hungry, but have you ever really thought about what’s inside those processed convenience foods targeted at kids? Flip those colorful cartooned packages over and you’ll find almost as many artificial colors lurking in the ingredients. That list of ingredients is a long and confusing jumble of chemicals and carcinogens, like what you’ll find in these 10 cancer causing foods. Let’s take a closer look at what effect these foods are having on your child’s health, along with alternative choices you can make to safeguard their future.
Disclosure: Bookieboo LLC has an affiliate relationship with Thrive Market, and works with a large number of brands in the organic and natural foods sector, including Stonyfield, Organic Valley, Nature’s Path, and Applegate.
Did your grandparents have food allergies? Mine sure didn’t. A stark comparison to the growing epidemic of food allergies, worsening with every generation. So why didn’t your grandparents have food allergies? It’s really quite simple…
You might be pooping wrong! Moreover, Western civilization has been pooping wrong for generations. According to scientists at the Stanford University Pelvic Floor Clinic, our bodies are designed for squatting and not sitting. If you look at the history of bathroom habits, it all makes sense.
Did you know that appendicitis, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, hernias, diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids all may be caused by improper fecal elimination.
All may be caused by improper fecal elimination!