Have you been wanting to get rid of that extra pinch of an inch on your waist line? You don't have to do hundreds of crunches or go on an extreme diet to whittle your middle! Just follow these steps to start seeing a difference in your stomach!
There has been a lot of hype recently about certain foods that can help fight belly fat. Recent studies on stress, cortisol release and weight gain have suggested that high stress levels will release cortisol at higher levels increasing weight gain around the mid section.
What is cortisol? In its normal function, cortisol helps us meet these challenges by converting proteins into energy, releasing glycogen and counteracting inflammation. For a short time, that's fine, but at sustained high levels, cortisol gradually tears your body down.
Sustained high cortisol levels destroy healthy muscle and bone, slow down healing and normal cell regeneration, co-opt bio chemicals needed to make other vital hormones, impair digestion, metabolism and mental function, interfere with healthy endocrine function; and weaken your immune system.
So cortisol doesn't make you gain belly fat but high stress levels can lead to excess cortisol levels which can lead to the storage of body fat, particularly "visceral" abdominal body fat (also known as intra-abdominal fat). Visceral fat is stored deeper in the abdominal cavity and around the internal organs, whereas "regular" fat is stored below the skin (known as subcutaneous fat).
Do products that claim to reduce cortisol levels work to help reduce belly fat? In my opinion, no. The best way to reduce cortisol levels is to try and naturally reduce your stress levels. This can be done in a variety of ways; yoga, meditation, sports, exercise and breathing exercises.
Along with reducing your stress levels to keep your cortisol levels normal a lot of research has been done on eating Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA's) to help reduce belly fat. There are five categories of MUFA's:
Nuts and Seeds
Recent research has indicated that a MUFA rich diet can prevent central body fat distribution, can induce a significant loss of body weight and fat mass and can significantly higher ones fat-burning rate. What this means? This means eating food high in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids can help lower your belly fat! This is one EASY way to start on a healthier road to a happy more pure body! Below, Steps 3,4 and 5 will give you just 3 foods you can easily add to your diet daily to help reduce your belly fat!
Olive Oil & Flax Seed Oil: Flaxseed oil is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, which your body converts into Omega-3 fatty acids. Olive oil contains polyphenols, which can help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer and can reduce inflammation in the body. Add 1 Tablespoon of either Flaxseed or Olive Oil to two of your meals everyday, once in the am and once in the pm. (Example: add Flaxseed to my eggwhite-spinach omelette in the am and olive oil to one of my later meals in the day)
Almonds: These nuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid, which can accelerate your metabolism of fats. Eat a handful (no more than 12) of almonds everyday in the middle of the day for a quick energy pick me up!
Dark Chocolate: This yummy treat is high in flavanols which boost good HDL cholesterol levels. It also has natural substance that helps control insulin levels and relax blood vessels. Look for dark chocolate that is 65% coca or higher and does not have excess sugar added. A really good one that also has probiotics is the Attune Dark Chocolate Bar. This delicious treat boasts 68% dark chocolate, probiotics and is only 80 calories! Replace your candy bar craving with this bar and see belly shrinking results faster!
Tips & Warnings
- Remember to not exceed the recommended amount. To many calories in no matter how good for you will have you gaining weight.
- Eating a well balanced clean, whole, pure diet along with these tips will help speed up your belly fat loss.
- Moving daily is not only good for your heart but can help speed up your belly fat loss.
- If you have nut allergies speak to your doctor before adding almonds to your daily diet.
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