The majority of individual’s work on or desire to create a body image they love. How often do we hear, “I love everything about my body, but the one thing I would change is ….my stomach, my butt, my thighs, my arms…..you name it. Plastic surgeons are not at a loss for patients who desire is to lift up, plump up, flatten out, contour, and reduce.
Well, if your beer belly, apron stomach, protruding tummy is your pet peeve, I am here to offer some sweet solutions in addition to your work out and dietary regimen. Some of these suggestion might make you say “What????, no way!!” But bear with me, because even though there is tons of nutrition information available, you can also agree there is lots of confusion and misinformation that has led to many of us becoming cynical.
1. Super Dark Chocolate – This healthy treat is rich in antioxidants (cancer fighters). The catch? This is not your typical Hershey milk chocolate bar. This chocolate has to have at least 72% cacao content or higher. This food item is also “calorie dense”, meaning its high in calories, but relatively low in sugar. The advantage is that the higher fat content will make you feel fuller longer, and your blood sugar will not be significantly affected, which is what happens when you eat other candy and leading to weight gain. This is important if you have diabetes, and it can also reduce cravings set up by eating processed foods. It takes some getting used to if you love sugar (it is not as sweet), but this can satisfy a sweet tooth by limiting yourself to 1 to 2 squares for 30 to 40 calories compared to the 500 calories in a sliver of chocolate cake.
2. Coconut Milk or Oil – This tropical nut is rich in antioxidants, and is one of the earth’s wonder foods with multiple health benefits such as being rich in lauric acid, which is a powerful nutrient for your immune system. Have you checked out the number of people impacted by this flu season? Your immune system is challenged everyday. Coconut stabilizes the blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, hydrates the body, can replace blood plasma in emergency, and the body uses the medium chain triglycerides very readily for energy, so that less is stored in our cells. This is not the case with other fats. Unsaturated fats found in canola, corn, and other vegetable oils and margarine can suppress your metabolism, and this makes it harder to lose weight.
3. Whole Eggs – I am talking about yolk and all! Eggs are among the highest quality protein – a fact our body builders can attest to, plus it’s CHEAP!! The yolk is the healthiest part of the egg, because that is where almost all the vitamins, minerals (90% calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, thiamine, folate, panthothenic acid, vitamins A,D, E, & K. This is also where all essential fatty acids, and antioxidants (such as lutein) are found. Here is the ask though: Your better choice of eggs are going to be those from hens that are allowed to roam free outside (free-range). The reason being, these chickens eat a more natural diet which yields a more nutrient-rich egg, than from chickens which are fed soy and corn, and are crowded in chicken factories all day long. I am just saying….you are what you eat!
4. Avocados – This fruit (yes, it is a fruit) is a treasure trove of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and antioxidants. Topped on salads, on any type of sandwiches, or added as yummy guacamole is delightful to the palate. The quality of fats, fiber, and micronutrients that we get from avocado helps your body to maintain proper hormone levels that promote weight fat loss and muscle building. Also, just like the dark chocolate, the fat content in this fruit helps to keep you fuller longer by reducing cravings and your appetite hours after your meal, and increase fat burning.
5. Go Nuts! Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, Brazil Nuts, Macadamias – all can help to burn belly fat. Although nuts are high in fat (75-90% of the total calories), they are also full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and micronutrients. Nuts are a good source of protein and fiber, which plays an important role in blood sugar control and aid in fat loss. Nuts also help to maintain good levels of fat burning hormones, and are great for appetite control and reducing cravings. The one caveat is choosing raw nuts instead of roasted nuts, especially those covered with salt and sugar. Any of these nuts in the form of butter (peanut butter, almond butter etc.) is excellent in your diet plan. A handful of nuts 20 minutes before meals is a great way to limit the calories eaten and suppress your appetite. Go Nuts!
Eat smart, Live fully, Love without limit!
Dr. Carly.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.