Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of the beverage every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. That means that green tea can also help you recover faster after an intense workout. In another study—this one on people—participants who combined a daily habit of four to five cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute workout for 12 weeks lost an average of two more pounds than the non-tea-drinking exercisers.
Eat five or six smaller meals per day. According to "The Abs Diet," this diet strategy elevates your metabolic rate so that you burn more fat and store less of it. Include lean sources of protein, low-glycemic carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats, in every meal. These nutrient-dense foods not only cleanse our bodies, but also make us feel like we are eating more, with fewer calories than unhealthy alternatives.
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.
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.
I first learned about the weight-loss power of tea when my mother fell victim to diabetes. A former nurse back in Korea, she urged me to look into Eastern remedies when it became clear that Western science couldn’t help her. And time and again, as I pored through the studies, the same answer kept popping up: tea. 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 certain teas not only melt fat by boosting metabolism, but can actually prevent our bodies from forming new fat cells.
Unless you hit the genetic jackpot, the chances are that your tummy isn’t immune to showing its fat gains. Something interesting is that there are different kinds of belly fat, and they all require different techniques for shedding it. Belly fat isn’t merely an issue of appearance. Sure, it looks and feels nice to have a shredded tummy, but more important are the health implications.