Busting Belly Fat
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on January 6, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Belly fat is something that naturally and unfortunately occurs as we start to age. For most of us it is the first place on our bodies we begin to see the signs of our metabolism slowing down. Belly fat can wreak havoc on our self esteem making us feel ugly, old, and unworthy.
Belly fat can be an indicator of such health problems as heart disease and diabetes. There are some easy natural changes you can make to your diet to help stop gaining belly fat and rid of what is already there. These natural changes are simple and can help you without leaving you feeling like you’re going to have a total diet melt down, and go running for sweets or a bag of potato chips.
1. Try cutting out processed foods. Generally processed foods contain a high amount of fructose corn syrup, and that equals a lot of sugar in your diet. You are better to stick with fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Although fruit is still higher in sugar it is a natural sugar that also has additional nutrients. Look for the words “Fructose” and “Fructose corn syrup” on food labels
2. Eat a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Proteins such as poultry, fish, and beef with a low fat content can help build muscles, and burn calories. Reduce foods that are rich in carbohydrates such as pastas, bread, and rice. They are great mood foods, but not great for burning undesired fat.
3. Cut out milk products that are considered to be whole/homogenized, this variety of milk contains a minimum fat content of 3.5% -4%. If you are drinking milk by the glass or adding it to food and drink, try using a low fat or no fat milk such as skim, semi skim milk, or 1% milk. Semi skimmed milk contains a maximum fat content of 1.7% fat. 1% milk is exactly as it is labeled, 1% fat or less, and skim milk has a fat content between 0.1% – 0.3%. Just about all the fat as been removed from skim milk.
4. Reduce your stress levels. Stress is one BIG reason we can’t seem to let go of a lot that unwanted belly fat. When we are stressed we produce a hormone called Cortisol throughout our systems. High Cortisol levels can result in unwanted fat, especially around the waistline. Try taking some meditation classes such as yoga to help reduce your stress levels.
5. Drink lots of water, and start moving around. A lot us have jobs where we sit all day, and our bodies don’t get nearly enough activity. Sitting for long periods of time can sometimes cause us to have lower belly fat, and other health issues such as constipation, and low stamina. If you find yourself in the seated position most of the day, make sure you are cutting out added salts in your foods, and drinking plenty of water to help with the digestion process.
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan