Sure, ketchup is tasty, but it’s also a serious saboteur when it comes your weight loss efforts. Ketchup is loaded with sugar — up to four grams per tablespoon — and bears little nutritional resemblance to the fruit from which it’s derived. Luckily, swapping out your ketchup for salsa can help you shave off that belly fat fast. Fresh tomatoes, like those used in salsa, are loaded with lycopene, which a study conducted at China Medical University in Taiwan links to reductions in both overall fat and waist circumference. If you like your salsa spicy, all the better; the capsaicin in hot peppers, like jalapeños and chipotles, can boost your metabolism, too.
Nuts have a very high satiety power—meaning they make you feel fuller after eating than many other foods. And even though they’re high in calories, those calories appear to be processed differently in the body. University of Michigan researchers found that men who added 500 calories’ worth of peanuts a day to their diet gained no excess weight at all.
DO IT: Assume a pushup position with your hands below your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. This is the starting position. Lifting your right foot off of the floor, drive your right knee towards your chest. Tap the floor with your right foot and then return to the starting position. Alternate legs with each repetition.
Yes, you read it right: The vast majority of the fat we eat — or that comes from our storage rooms (adipose tissue) — is converted into CO2 and lost in the air! The leftover weight is lost in the form of water via sweat, tears, urine, etc. In fact, almost everything we eat exits the body via CO2 and water — it’s only fiber that remains undigested and makes its way out your backend.
Those trans fats on your menu are hiding out in plain sight and sabotaging your lean belly plans every time you eat them. If a food product says it contains partially hydrogenated oils, you’re eating trans fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and obesity with every bite. In fact, research conducted at Wake Forest University reveals that monkeys whose diets contained eight percent trans fat upped their body fat by 7.2 percent over a six-year study, while those who ate monounsaturated fat gained just a fraction of that amount. Instead of letting harmful trans fat take up space on your menu, fill up with the 20 Healthy Fats to Make You Thin.
A daily run or Spin class is great for your heart, but cardio workouts alone won't do much for your waist. "You need to do a combination of weights and cardiovascular training," says Sangeeta Kashyap, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. Strength training increases muscle mass, which sets your body up to burn more fat. "Muscle burns more calories than fat, and therefore you naturally burn more calories throughout the day by having more muscle," says Kate Patton, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic. Patton recommends 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 125 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week.
If you’re looking to get lean, working out before you sit down to sunny-side-up eggs and toast may be your best bet. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that doing cardio on an empty stomach results in significantly higher fat oxidation, or fat loss, than exercise performed after you’ve eaten. Try hitting the elliptical or Stairmaster before breakfast, and make sure to bring a small snack with you to the gym to keep your blood sugar in check. To follow up your workout, check out these 16 Post-Workout Snacks Fitness Experts Swear By.
The scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight or BMI are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (calorie counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscles etc. Starting weight training and gaining muscle can also hide your fat loss.
"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.
If you’ve got weight to lose and you want it gone fast, try swapping out your usual proteins in favor of fish. Not only is fish lower in calories than an equivalent amount of beef or chicken, a study published in Obesity reveals study subjects who added omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish, to their diets shed more weight and had an easier time keeping it off than those who skipped them.
Sometimes, to whip your body into shape, you have to get a little nutty. While nuts are high in fat, it’s that very fat that makes them such powerful weapons in the war against a ballooning belly. In fact, research from Reina Sofia University Hospital reveals that study participants who consumed a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, like those in nuts, over a 28-day period gained less belly fat than their saturated fat-consuming counterparts while improving their insulin sensitivity.
If you’re logging just a few hours of sleep a night, you may actually find yourself gaining weight. Researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center found that subjects who slept just four hours had a harder time processing carbs. "When you're exhausted, your body lacks the energy to do its normal day-to-day functions, which includes burning calories efficiently," says Talbott.
Remembering that the eight or so hours we are asleep are essentially a fasting period - a time where the body will do anything to maintain its fat stores lest its survival is threatened - those wanting to continue the fat burning process, even while sleeping, would be wise to top up with protein. Good sources include a quality casein supplement (due to its slower digestibility), low fat cottage cheese, lean chicken breast and fish. Thirty grams would be sufficient. Just remember not to add carbohydrates to the menu at this time.
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDHGaU_jGrQ