Valerian is an herb that's long been valued as a mild sedative, and now research is showing what tea enthusiasts have known for centuries. In a study of women, researchers gave half the test subjects a valerian extract, and half a placebo. Thirty percent of those who received valerian reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep, versus just 4 percent of the control group. In a another study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, investigators gave 202 insomniacs valerian or a Valium-like tranquilizer. After six weeks, both treatments were equally effective. And in other studies, valerian root has been shown to increase the effectiveness of sleeping pills. While researchers have yet to identify the exact active ingredient, they suspect that receptors in the brain may be stimulated to hit "sleep mode" when coming in contact with valerian.

Fat accumulated in the lower body (the pear shape) is subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Where fat ends up is influenced by several factors, including heredity and hormones. As the evidence against abdominal fat mounts, researchers and clinicians are trying to measure it, correlate it with health risks, and monitor changes that occur with age and overall weight gain or loss.


The hop, a component in beer, is a sedative plant whose pharmacological activity is due primarily to the bitter resins in the leaves. Hops increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which soothes the central nervous system. Spanish researchers reported in a 2012 journal that the sedative activity of hops aids nocturnal sleep. Knocking out stress will also decrease your levels of cortisol, that stress hormone I mentioned earlier, which tells your body to store fat.
Lower belly fat also reveals poor sleep habits. Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine examined five years of sleep habits and visceral fat accumulation in adults younger than 40; they found that those who slept less than six hours per night or more than nine hours, on average, had higher amounts of belly fat. Their results, published in Sleep in 2010, suggest that getting a good night's sleep helps deter the development of lower belly fat.
If you’re a Snapple fan, you probably saw “Tea Cleanse” and thought, Great! But bottled teas aren’t necessarily the answer. First, once a tea is made and sits on a supermarket shelf for, oh, an entire NFL season, the nutrients have spent enough time exposed to light and air that they begin to break down. Plus, who knows what else has worked its way into that bottle? Snapple’s All Natural Green Tea packs 120 calories and 30 grams of sugar, while Ssips Green Tea with Honey & Ginseng is sweetened not so much with honey but with high fructose corn syrup.”
Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's Health's contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the New York Yankees MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Cynthia is a three time New York Times best selling author, and her brand new book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Get rid of that midsection in a jiffy by chugging down the best detox water ever put in a jar. By relying steadfastly on this brew, a tight little waist is just around the corner. The cucumber core creates residual moisture levels that add to the overall hydration capacity. It also aids in healthy pigment and glowing skin. On top of these benefits, the basil intrinsically curbs human appetites. It also lowers struggles with fluid retention. Finally, strawberries speed up digestion and add seductive sweetness levels. Remember, this beverage should be consumed extremely icy. The cold water burns more calories!

And that’s when everything changed. Tea will literally squelch your appetite and make staying slim utterly effortless. When you drink tea, you do more than nourish yourself. You join an international community of people around the world who are engaging in the very same rituals as you. Throughout Asia, tea is practically a national drink. In places like Morocco, you’ll never enter a home without being offered tea—it’s considered rude! From England to India, people plan their travel and work schedules around tea.

If you’re thinking that there may be a difference between men and women when losing love handles, you are somewhat right. After all, men and women store fat differently than each other. Women tend to store more fat than men. In fact, women on average store between 6 – 11 percent more body fat than men. This is true despite the fact that men typically have higher caloric needs than women. Scientists believe that women store more fat in preparation for child-bearing. It’s like an insurance plan that stores up extra fat so that women have plenty of nutrition to grow a baby, even if they’re not pregnant yet.
While eating too much of any food can cause weight gain, some foods are more likely to lead to the accumulation of belly fat than others. If you have a serious soda habit, you're more likely to have a large, hard belly. Sugar-sweetened drinks, including soda, fruit punch and energy drinks, contain numerous calories, encouraging weight gain. Drink water or unsweetened herbal tea instead of soda to help reduce calories and lose weight.

Lie on your back with your head and shoulders lifted off the floor and your hands behind your head if you need some support for your neck.  With both legs extended and toes pointed lift your right leg off the floor so that it is perpendicular with your upper body (keep your lifted leg as straight as you can) and raise your left leg just a few inches off the ground.


4. Hormonal Belly: According to Rachel Attard, a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, a hormonal imbalance can contribute to weight gain. She explains how estrogen and progesterone can cause weight gain. The first point she makes is that high estrogen levels can increase insulin, which can lead to sugar cravings. This is why you see many women eat chocolate during PMS. Another point she makes is that high levels of estrogen have the ability to cause more fatty tissue growth. In most cases, she states that the excess fat is usually around the stomach area because estrogen also dictates where the body will distribute fat.

Forget about the consequences of lemonade forever, and just enjoy the treat with this sugar-free version. With a perky infusion of strawberries and raspberries, hot summer days have never been better. If the ingredients sit in a chilled environment for two days, you will be greeted with pink lemonade that is out of this world. The lemons are always good for the stomach, but their healing properties have previously been counteracted by artificial sweeteners. Now, dieters can receive all the tasty benefits without enduring unnecessary bodily ramifications. Weight loss and enjoyment can co-exist, so feel free to drink up and have another!
If you do Zumba or CrossFit or power yoga or are in the midst of training for a marathon or the Miss Olympia contest, by all means continue. But whether you’re a couch surfer or an actual surfer, you’ll jump-start your weight loss if you add in a 10- minute walk outdoors. This easy a.m. ritual works on two levels. First, a recent study found that exposure to UV rays, even on a cloudy day, between the hours of 8 am and noon reduces your risk of weight gain. Researchers speculate that the morning light synchronizes your metabolism and undercuts your fat genes. And burning calories before you eat means you’re exercising in a fasted state. According to some studies, exercising in a fasted state can burn almost 20 percent more fat compared to exercising with fuel in the tank.
First one’s the Adrenal belly or Adrenal shape, caused by increased levels of cortisol. When going through stressful periods, the production of cortisol increases, and this favours the accumulation of fat around the waist, leading to a saggy abdomen. Both men and women are likely to gain weight around the waist if they are constantly exposed to high levels of stress, and besides the excess belly fat, they are also likely to experience fatigue, back pain, nervousness, poor memory and sleep problems.
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