Even if you’re happy with your current weight, or finding success with your current diet plan, it can make sense to do a cleanse from time to time. Here’s why: Fast results help lead to long-term weight loss. Slow and steady is the best way to reach any personal goal, but sometimes the slow undermines the steady. A review of studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that those who realized rapid results were more likely to stick to their weight-loss program over time than those who saw results come more slowly. This 7-day cleanse can improve your chances of long-term adherence to a healthy weight-loss plan.
Before you head out to dinner, pour yourself a cup of green tea. The active ingredient in green tea, EGCG, boosts levels of cholecystokinin, or CCK, a hunger-quelling hormone. In a Swedish study that looked at green tea's effect on hunger, researchers divided up participants into two groups: One group sipped water with their meal and the other group drank green tea. Not only did tea-sippers report less of a desire to eat their favorite foods (even two hours after sipping the brew), they found those foods to be less satisfying.
These are just three of the reasons people tend to suffer weight gain and health crises when they're under pressure. In fact, it was shortly after the death of my father that my mom, a former nurse in Korea, suffered a dramatic increase in her diabetes symptoms—a health emergency that sent me in search of traditional Eastern remedies. What I learned in my research, and collected in my new book, The 7-Day Flat Belly Tea Cleanse, in which test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in just one week, was that different teas help our bodies manage stress in different ways—and that can make all the difference in our weight and our health.
But before trashing all your food and buying anything that says “whole grain” on the label, be warned that not all products labeled as whole grain are created equal. Many products may contain whole grain, but the percentage is small and not enough to make a difference in your lower belly fat. Long ingredient lists almost always contain a mix of chemical preservatives and additives, which may actually cause additional weight gain. Look for instead items that are 100% whole grain.
Another common problem for women experiencing the post-pregnancy belly bulge is that pregnancy acts to stimulate fat-storing hormones. To counter this, experts recommend taking fish oil supplements. To be specific, anywhere from three to five 1,000mg capsules per day—which help to activate fat-burning hormones, and de-activate fat-storing ones. A diet that is rich in nuts, oils and olives also helps to burn fat.
A recent study at Penn State found that people who react badly to stressful situations have increased levels of inflammation in their bodies—and inflammation is directly tied to obesity, as well as diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. When anxiety rides high, you're also at the mercy of stress hormones such as cortisol—known as "the belly fat hormone" for its ability to pull lipids from the bloodstream and store them in our fat cells. And a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when stress prevents people from sleeping well, they are more likely to make bad food choices, snack late at night, and choose high-carb snacks.
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.
Your lower belly fat may also be a result of sedentary behaviors. If you aren't burning the calories you consume, the excess accumulates in your belly. Getting more active, such as working up to 150 minutes -- or longer -- of moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity per week helps. You'll also benefit from being active all day long with small movements such as fidgeting and pacing.
When it comes to weight loss, this DIY detox water sets the gold standard for efficiency. The central ingredient is apple cider vinegar. An added bonus of this brew is the inadvertent generations of flawless skin. It treats acne problems and complexion issues automatically. Also, apples help people feel full for a longer period of time, which makes dieting a much easier feat. Similarly, cinnamon is also used to speed up metabolism and halt consumption cravings. By burning excess sugars, this spicy addition to the mix prevents fat storage from occurring. Lemons add fierce flair to this flavorful remedy!
Prioritise lean protein like beef, turkey, eggs, fish, chicken, and tofu. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, participants were either assigned a 12 per cent or 25 per cent protein diet. While the first group lost 11 pounds on average, the high-protein participants shedded around 20 pounds and ditched twice as much belly fat as the low-protein subjects.
I lost 4 pounds on this diet, which I followed for 7-out-of-8-days. Probably didn't lose more because my daily calorie intake was already relatively low, but this did push me out of a plateau and helped me loose those stubborn last few pounds. I don't know how much of an impact the tea had on my weight loss (I image sticking to around 1000 calories per day was the main factor), but it is what drew me to this book.
There’s a reason why Popeye always ate his spinach. Spinach is loaded with nutritious ingredients. Spinach’s high vitamin and mineral count support a healthy body, while the water and fiber in spinach help you feel full. Plus, research shows that spinach helps bust cravings. A professor of appetite regulation at Lund University in Sweden, Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, explored the effects of spinach extract on 15 participants. The extract was given each morning and participants reported that it became easier to fight off those between-meal temptations as the study progressed. He discovered that a key compound found in spinach, thylakoid, makes spinach digest slower and alleviates hunger pangs. (4)
Elisha is a clinical nutritionist who specialises in nutrition for weight loss, insulin resistance, digestive and mental health. Elisha has a huge amount of experience in complimentary health, particularly in helping to work through food related issues such as diabetes and obesity, and provide assistance to combat emotional eating. She has been part of the Healthy Mummy team of experts since 2012, writing informative blog posts, contributing to our recipe books and the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipes. Elisha loves working for The Healthy Mummy because “I love creating family friendly recipes, knowing that women all around the country are losing weight and gaining more confidence and changing their lives for the better.”