A diet that’s low in fat and carbohydrates can improve artery function, according to a 2012 study by Johns Hopkins researchers. After six months, those on the low-carb diet had lost more weight, and at a faster pace. But in both groups, when weight was lost—and especially when belly fat shrank—the arteries were able to expand better, allowing blood to travel more freely. The study shows that you don’t have to cut out all dietary fat to shrink belly fat. For heart health, simply losing weight and exercising seems to be key.
Further, by building muscle - and thus permanently increasing our metabolic rate - we become walking furnaces, burning fat even while at rest. Given that muscle is a metabolically active tissue, it requires a continual turnover of energy to maintain, a degree of output that steadily targets our fat cells for fuel. The dilemma we face, then, lies in determining just how much cardio and weight training should be done to maximize the fat burning effect. One common theme that has emerged in reviewing the results of the many people I have trained over the years is the profound effect weight training has had on their weight loss success.
Say cheese! Adding some extra calcium to your diet could be the key to getting that flat stomach you’ve been dreaming about. Over just 12 months, researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that obese female study subjects who upped their calcium intake shed 11 pounds of body fat without other major dietary modifications. To keep your calcium choices healthy, try mixing it up between dairy sources, calcium-rich leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
But in today's unenlightened "believe everything you hear" age this most effective and proven approach, for some strange reason, does not seem to attract much interest. This is no more obvious when one witnesses the "technological" revolution that is happening within the fitness industry, where a newer even more ridiculous gadget compared to the one that preceded it promises to build you the body of your dreams, with little effort on your part, "in 30 days or your money back"; where a machine that does most of the work for you is touted as a suitable replacement for actually applying a modicum of effort.
When we say "small opportunities," we mean things like dancing while you're doing the dishes. Doing yoga while you watch TV. Planking during commercials. Cleaning your room instead of Facebooking. Scrubbing the floor. Washing the car by hand. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Parking at the far end of the parking lot....Is your mind churning with ideas yet?
One study from the University of Adelaide in Australia suggests you may lose more weight when you work out towards the end of your menstrual cycle, as opposed to right when a new one begins. That’s because the hormones estrogen and progesterone tell your body to use fat as an energy source. "Women burned about 30 percent more fat for the two weeks following ovulation to about two days before menstruation," study author Leanne Redman says.
High-fiber foods are good for your health and weight loss. Fiber-rich foods might help boost weight loss by helping you to feel fuller after you eat. But most of us eat only about half as much fiber as we should. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less "energy dense", which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food. So the best way to add more fiber to your diet is by starting your day with a fiber-packed breakfast in the form of oats, whole wheat flakes & muesli. You can also include fruit with every meal, and start your meal with a bowl of fresh, seasonal salad.
"Refined grains like white bread, crackers, and chips, as well as refined sugars in sweetened drinks and desserts increase inflammation in our bodies," says Patton. "Belly fat is associated with inflammation, so eating too many processed foods will hinder your ability to lose belly fat." Natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are full of antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may therefore actually prevent belly fat, Patton says.
“Research has shown that [drinking caffeine] before exercise can enhance athletic performance,” Jim White, RD, ACSM, dietitian, personal trainer, and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios tells us in What to Drink Before a Workout for Optimal Fat Loss. Plus, a study published in the journal Sports Medicine reveals that the natural energy source can help you train stronger for longer in workouts ranging from 60 seconds to even two hours. Just remember to skip the added sugar and creamer in your coffee to avoid packing pounds onto your frame.
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