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.
Cleansing can help you to get a flatter stomach. However, it will not be easy, and cleansing alone will probably not lead to your long-term weight-loss goals. A good cleanse can get your body back to burning fat optimally, in order to jump-start your flat stomach diet. Combine a cleanse with fasting, physical exercise and a sensible eating plan, and you will be looking down at a flat stomach in no time.
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.
While the most exact way to measure visceral fat is by MRI or CT scan, an at-home approach is to calculate the waist-to-hip ratio by dividing the waist measurement by the hip measurement. For example, if the waist measures 56 inches and the hips measure 45 inches, dividing 45 into 56 gives a ratio of 1.2. A waist-to-hip ratio higher than 0.95 in men and 0.85 in women significantly increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Simply measure the waist to identify if there is a higher probability of excess visceral fat. In men, a waist measurement over 40 inches (and in women, a waist measurement over 35) indicates an unhealthy accumulation of visceral fat and an increased risk of health problems.
So what can we do about tubby tummies? A lot, it turns out. The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity — at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight. Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat. Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won't get at visceral fat.

Most detox teas contain caffeine, probably because this stimulant may suppress appetite, trigger your digestive system to let go of waste, and help you shed water weight. A caffeine-induced energy boost may also lead to working out a little longer or harder than usual. However, too much caffeine can also be risky (see above) and interfere with getting enough sleep–and catching too few zzzs may ultimately undo the tea's weight-loss effects. In fact, too little shuteye has been shown to trigger excessive eating and weight gain and even slow metabolism, which can make it easier to gain weight even if you don't eat extra calories. A good rule of thumb, regardless of where your caffeine is coming from, is to nix it at least six hours before bed. And if you're trying to shed pounds, commit to making adequate sleep a top priority.

Red tea, also known as rooibos, is a great choice for when you're struggling with midday stress. What makes rooibos particularly good for soothing your mind is the unique flavanoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
In men, adequate levels of testosterone are necessary to maintain a healthy fat distribution. However, research has shown that the presence of visceral fat can interfere with testosterone production, further exacerbating the storage of fat in the belly. Excess abdominal fat not only reduces testosterone production, but is also associated with a rise in the female hormone estradiol in men. It is unclear if testosterone decline associated with aging disrupts the production of testosterone, or if the accumulation of fat via weight gain leads to lower levels of testosterone. Either way, the reduction of visceral fat via lifestyle changes is beneficial for overall health in men.

So much of weight loss is just calorie restriction…great food suggestions! I’ve noticed that when I go to the gym I can burn a certain amount of calories per hour — but it’s so much easier to just skip those calories at a meal. Not that exercise isn’t important, I just know that weight loss itself is so much more about diet than exercise. The sculpting part is more about exercise though:) Great tips. I often ignore my core — no more!


You wake up slim, but go to bed with a bloat that grew throughout the day. This bloat is a sign of a poor diet. You could be dealing with food sensitivities or allergies in addition to too much of one food group (dairy, protein) and not enough of others (veggies). The bloat makes you want to unbutton your pants by 2 p.m. and you're probably feeling pretty sluggish at that point, too
There are two distinct types of fat in our bodies that differ by location and impact on overall health—subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is located under the skin and accounts for 90% of body fat. The remaining 10% is visceral fat, which is found deeper in the body, behind the abdominal muscles and around the intestines, liver, and other organs. Visceral fat is also known as intraabdominal fat because it collects in the abdominal cavity. It has long been known that body fat located in the abdominal cavity in the form of visceral fat poses serious risks to overall health.
The last point that she makes is that a hormonal imbalance can cause difficulties with appetite and sleep. Progesterone can calm the brain, while estrogen gives off a more exciting response. So, women who have high estrogen levels find it difficult to sleep at night, which disrupts leptin, the hormone responsible for your appetite. The more sleep deprived you are, the more hungry you may become, Attard says. To lower your estrogen levels, Livestrong recommends eating carrots. According to Natalie Ledesma, MS, RD, CSO, at the University of California, who spoke with Livestrong, carrots contain beta-carotene, which is effective in reducing the growth of estrogen receptor positive and negative.

Excess visceral fat is possibly more harmful because of its proximity to the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver. In the liver, they help produce blood lipids, leading to an increase in metabolic disturbances and risk factors.4
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