Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Flat Belly Sabotage

If you are a person who carries extra weight around their middle, you have more to worry about than just tight waistbands and muffin-tops. The closer you carry excess weight to your heart, the higher your risk of heart disease (the number one killer of women) and other heart-associated problems. This is also referred to as being "apple shaped." People who are "pear shaped" may dislike their thicker backsides, hips and thighs, but they are genetically less predisposed than their apple counterparts. Ditch the following foods and replace them with alternatives to slim your waistline as well as your risk.

1. Diet Soda!!!!!!! - Carbonation and artificial sweeteners make your system BLOAT. Switch from Splenda in your coffee and ice tea and use Truvia instead. Drink three 8-ounce glasses of iced green tea a day and watch as the antioxidants boost your metabolism and burn more ab fat when combined with just three hours a week of moderate exercise.

2. Fat-Free Cheese - Not only are the fat-free kinds tasteless, they are missing the belly-flattening polyunsaturated fatty acids that full-fat or reduced-fat organic dairy products have. Replace them with organic 2% varieties.

3. Ground Turkey - All ground turkey is not created equal! You really have to pay attention to what kind of turkey you are buying. Make sure you are buying extra lean turkey and not regular ground turkey, which includes the skin and more saturated fat. There are lots of extra calories and fatty foods linger in your stomach longer which leads to bloating and gas (yuck!).

4. Creamy and Cheesy Dips - Ditch the dip for salsa and hot sauce instead. Hot chiles contain a lot of capsaicin which has been shown to boost metabolism. Hot sauce is also a great no-calorie way to add flavor. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper on any meal to give it a spicy bite without any flavor (I actually carry cayenne in my purse because I love spicy food so much!).

5. Sugar-Free Sweets - They contain sugar alcohols which are hard to digest, leading to BLOAT. If you think you are tough enough to have the real thing in your house without binging, do it but keep them out of sight. I personally don't let them come through my door.

6. White-Flour Bread and Pastas - Switch to whole-grain breads and pastas and stay away from highly processed, refined white-flour. If you have already made the switch, WATCH YOUR PORTIONS! One serving of pasta is about the size of a computer mouse. Get honest with yourself about portions.

7. Canned Vegetables - You may as well just skip the vegetables and eat a few tablespoons of salt instead! Not only are these vegetables loaded with sodium, but they are so over-processed that they are void of all vitamins and nutrients. Invest in fridge- and freezer-friendly containers. Chop all your fresh vegetables once a week and store in containers so they are ready to heat and eat in a flash.

Remember - Take responsibility for this one body and one life you have. Find resources, get honest and take control!

Coming tomorrow: Foods that Heal.

Good Evening and Good Health,