Beer belly. Love handles. Fat.
Whatever you want to call it, excess weight around your middle can be the most difficult weight on your body to lose.
It is also more dangerous to your health than those extra pounds that accumulate on your hips or thighs.
The fat around your belly is an outward sign of deep, internal fat surrounding your organs. Fat in this area causes an increase of hormones that raise blood pressure and increase bad cholesterol, putting you at risk for heart disease, stroke, and premature death.
Belly fat has also been associated with an increased risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, and metabolic syndrome.
What’s to blame for belly fat? Stress, age, poor lifestyle choices, and genetics play a role—but so does your diet.
Here’s what not to eat and what to eat if you want to banish belly fat.
Recipe for a Fat Belly
It is fair to say that weight gain around your waistline and anywhere else on your body is caused by consumption of too many calories. That being said, there do seem to be certain foods and drinks especially associated with an increase of fat cells in the abdominal area.
While you may use it playfully, the phrase “beer belly” is an accurate description of what goes on when you down too much alcohol. Drinking too much may make it difficult to fasten your jeans. Why does this happen? When you drink alcohol, your liver goes into overdrive to burn it off instead of working to burn off the high fat content. Alcohol can also make you hungrier, causing you to consume more calories than normal.
Foods containing trans fat are another contributing factor for a large waist. Trans fat is a manmade fat created with partially hydrogenated oil. This unnatural fat leads to belly fat and moves fat from other parts of the body to the abdominal area. Where can you find trans fat in your diet? Cookies, crackers, pastries, potato chips, margarine, fried foods, and packaged foods all have this unwanted intruder.
Sugar-sweetened beverages and sodas are another possible culprit for belly fat. The empty calories and high amount of high-fructose corn syrup (a manmade sweetener) cause abnormal weight gain in the midsection. High-fructose corn syrup is also found in foods such as ketchup, mayonnaise, jam, canned fruits, yogurt, bread, and even fruit juice.
Finally, refined, low-fiber grains are also responsible for belly fat. To avoid these, skip foods such as white rice, white bread, and sugary cereals.
Recipe for a Flat Belly
Whittling your waistline starts with a low-calorie, well-balanced diet and regular exercise. A recipe for a flat belly starts with a diet rich in fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meat. Moving toward a slimmer waistline also requires you to move away from the fatty foods and drinks listed above.
A truly flat belly comes from a combination of a consistent, challenging exercise routine coupled with clean eating.
I’m here to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals.
Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will have your belly flatter than ever.
You may also be interested to know there’s a beverage that may help reduce belly fat. That beverage is green tea.
An ingredient in green tea called catechins stimulates the burning of calories and speeds the loss of belly fat. So pour yourself a glass and drink your way to a slimmer you.
Be sure that your green tea is unsweetened and calorie free.
Here’s a recipe that tastes like comfort food, but without the guilt. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, filled with calcium, and numerous vitamins and minerals.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups kale, chopped
- dash of salt and pepper
- Pinch of each, dried: thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and parsley
- 4 links nitrate-free, chicken sausage, sliced into half moons
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish with olive oil. Place a large pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, dried herbs and chicken sausage. Mix well, and then add kale. Cover for about 3 minutes, until kale gets bright green and wilted, then remove cover. Sauté for an additional 3 minutes until everything is tender. Set aside.
- Place the cauliflower florets in the pot of boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat, drain, and return cauliflower to pot.
- Add the kale mixture to the pot as well as the chicken broth, lemon juice, ricotta cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese. Mix will over medium heat until all has been incorporated.
- Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 238 calories, 10g fat, 584mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 18g protein
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