Alcohol is particularly bad for your weight because it’s a toxin. Your body mobilizes to burn off the calories in alcohol as quickly as possible—ignoring any other calories that might have come along with it. So whether it’s wine and cheese or beer and wings, the body metabolizes the drink while shoving more of the accompanying food calories into fat cells.
Chrissy Barth, RDN, a registered dietitian, yoga coach, and CEO of a nutrition consulting practice in Phoenix, urges clients not to harp on their family history too much. "If people go around thinking, 'My mother is overweight and I'm destined to be overweight, too,' that's depressing! And if you stress over it, it can cause cortisol to spike, and that will cause you to gain weight."
Focus on compound moves like deadlifts, squats, kettlebell swings, lunges, chest presses, shoulder presses — exercises that work your entire body rather than isolating muscles. Simply put, you cannot 'spot-reduce' fat, meaning that endless crunches will do little for getting rid of your belly. For best results split your sessions over different days.
So what can we do to reduce the fat around our belly, no matter the type? Dr. Charlie Seltzer, a physician who is board certified in obesity medicine, says it is quite simple. "To lose belly fat — or fat anywhere, for that matter — you need to eat fewer calories than you burn," Dr. Seltzer says. "It is really that simple. You cannot 'spot reduce.' Where the fat comes off first is largely based on your genes."
Yoga and breathing exercises can also be helpful. (Try this gentle yoga routine for weight loss.) "When you breathe deeply, you use your diaphragm. With yoga and breathing, you really work with your ab muscles, and then they'll strengthen and come back together over time," says Murphy. If all else fails, you may need an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) to repair the rift.
A delicious and refreshing beverage, peppermint tea has soothing and calming effects on your system, which help reduce stress and keep the body on track. Remember, stress can hamper your metabolism and disrupt your weight loss efforts. The strong aroma of peppermint tea can also help suppress appetite, which is vital for promoting fat loss. Since peppermint contains volatile compounds, such as menthol, menthone, hesperidin, luteolin, and eriocitrin, drinking this tea can help improve health in a number of ways.
And what I discovered—and what’s shared in my plan The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse—is a mountain of stunning evidence that tea can not only help strip away unwanted pounds and bring blood sugar under control but can ward off most of the worst diseases of our time, while helping to strip away stress and give us back control of our lives. Click ahead to see what happened during my first week.