By Nicolette M. Pace MS,RD,CDE,CDN,CFCS
We all recognize how unsightly a misshapen midsection can be and how it can dampen your hope of showing off trim abs and a slender waistline, but do you cover it up and hope it goes away? Or, do you fight the forces that push that muffin top-beer belly to a new level so you can avoid your worst health nightmare?
Fighting fat has never been easier when you know what it is that works!
Core clogging fat surrounds vital organs needed for metabolism, detoxification, nutrient absorption and gas exchange so if it takes over, major health problems that affect your liver, pancreas, digestive system and breathing occur. Sluggish internal machinery spits off toxic byproducts, gives inflammation room to grow and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, sleep apnea and asthma become real.
Its time to reverse the disruption and reset the body’s balance toward a healthy and happy body!
Work these 10 foods into your diet to help normalize a return to healthy glucose and fat metabolism, stabilize sugar swings, appetite and storage hormones and bust belly fat once and for all!
1) Citrus: These fruits are powerhouse of nutrients and fat fighting compounds that can help you trim that bulge. Each shares a unique set of vitamins and plant chemicals to help deliver antioxidants, fiber and work as a buffer to the high fat, high carb diet. Grapefruits in particular are being studied for their effect on fat metabolism as are oranges, lemons and all types of citrus. Plant chemicals like naringenin and lemonene may hold the key and be a useful addition to your fat burning diet.
2) Soy: If you are still soy shy, its time to revisit this rare and 100% complete plant protein. Not only can it help to moderate a too high animal protein diet but do so in an extremely versatile and recipe friendly way. This will leave you feeling full but without all the sluggishness that comes with high saturated fat meals. Soy’s secret weapon is a plant version of estrogen which can promote a diet induced balance in mood, stabilize inflammation from belly fat, improve insulin resistance, and age related changes in our metabolism.
3) Brewed Tea: These powerful potions can enhance your metabolism with numerous plant chemical compounds which give you an edge for healthier hydration without belly fat promoting sweetened beverages. In addition all types of tea (green, white, oolong) will work wonders and help you reduce fat by providing different ratios of antioxidants (polyphenols, flavinoids), as well as tannins, catechins and caffeine to raise metabolism. Brewed herbal teas like mint, chamomille, rose hips, ginger are also waistline friendly and work toward helping you to clean out toxins.
4) Probiotics:The latest research is uncovering another and great health reason to include probiotic foods in your diet. When bad bacteria in your gut takes over, increases in waist size and midsection fat can follow. Common digestive problems like reflux and diverticulosis march in and the battle lines are drawn. Put fat fighters into your system by looking for low fat fermented dairy products like kefir, yogurt, lebneh, buttermilk and some cheeses that carry the phrase contains live active cultures. Be sure to include other little known sources of probiotics from soy like miso and tempeh for a double duty fat fighting finish.
5) Aromatic Herbs: Herbal lore goes mainstream in the belly fat fighting arsenal and should be a staple in your whole foods kitchen. Garlic, onions, basil, mint, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are among nature’s remedies to level the metabolic playing field. Each contains volatile compounds for helping to regulate body fats by lowering cholesterol and fatty acid buildup so be sure to use them frequently to enhance your recipes.
6) Dark Leafy Greens: Give belly fat a dark and dismal bye-bye by eating richly colored lettuce and tender cooking greens daily. This shade of slender heaven is enjoyed with spinach, chard, beet tops,dandelions and all types of exotic lettuce including arugula and watercress. The very rich vitamin content and specialized plant chemicals are therapeutic and cleansing for midsection fat, tone the liver and improve digestion for the very best in metabolic health.
7) Cabbage Family: Look to enjoy an ample portion of super low calorie veggies in this family of cole crops that includes cabbage, brocolli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi and brussel sprouts among others. In additon to fiber, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium, these foods contain glucosinolates to revive your metabolism, encourage fat burning and reduce inflammation.
8) Whole Grains/Seeds: Switch out refined starches and improve your fat burning profile by using about 3 servings a day of whole grains like barley, oats, cracked wheat, quinoa, corn and limit other waistline widening starches to one per day during your belly fat burning project. These nutrient dense complex carbs will help to bring about reductions in your waist size from plant chemicals, inflammation fighting fats, fiber, vitamins and trace minerals.
9) Legumes: Beneficial beans and lipodissolving lentils are not only high on the antioxidant list to detox your belly fat but are an appetite fix providing you with starchy vegetarian protein instead of refined carbs and fatty meats. Plus the gooey fiber in these foods works like a club bouncer to escort your unwanted party guests out by helping to capture some fat digestion byproducts so they do not return back to your liver to do damage.
10) Detoxifying Veggies & Fruits: Aside from promoting water loss and digestive relief from fiber, there are a myraid of tasty and therapeutic plant foods that offer specialized skill to give you a super food fighting chance of burning out fat. Look to celery, artichokes, chili peppers, asparagus, eggplant, berries, apples and melon to stop free radical damage from unhealthy blood fats, cleanse your organs and give you the final say over your body, your belly fat and your health!