If antioxidants are the good guys of gut health, trans fats are the supervillains. These sneaky fats actively contribute to your wobbly waist – not just by adding new fat, but by moving fat from other areas of your body to your belly. During a six-year study at Wake Forest University, monkeys that were fed an 8 per cent trans fat diet had 33 per cent more belly fat than monkeys that were fed an 8 per cent monounsaturated fat diet.

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.
She woke up to the sounds of strange music to find herself in a hut with a Tribal Shaman, and being handed a goblet of some type of liquid to drink. She thought about if she should accept the drink or not. Liz remembered being bitten by a rattle snake and collapsing to the ground. She reasoned that if she was still alive, it must have been with the help of this Shaman, so she took the drink. As she took a sip, she noticed other people in the hut. Village elders and other Shaman types sitting around the thatched-roof hut. She was excited and apprehensive at the same time. Liz knew she was feeling better as the hours passed. If she could learn the secret of this drink that looked like some kind of red tea liquid, she could help thousands of people back home in the USA. Liz quickly discovered that she was feeling more energetic than she had been in years, and was not hungry or depressed either.

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I have to admit I am really dubious about “targeting” fat loss. Yes you can tone certain parts of your body with specific types of exercise, but fat loss is a completely different thing. As far as my experience goes, if you eat healthily for fat loss, the fat comes off in its own order… not exactly where you want. It’s just where ever your body naturally decides. Eventually of course it will come off your tummy and love handles, you may be lucky and they are the first things to go. It you might have to be patient and wait…
Some of the core workouts you can try include plank positions, leg lifts, and various types of crunches that work out the entire abdominal wall. Any workout routine should include a variety of exercises that target different parts of your core. In particular, you want to focus on your abs. That way, when you start to lose the weight through cardio exercises and better diet, you will have a toned midsection to show off.

Here's the funny thing about chamomile: While it's the most popular tea for bedtime, there's actually no evidence that it improves the length or quality of sleep. But there's a lot of evidence that it does something even more mysterious: It reduces the stress that comes with insomnia. One German study found that chamomile tea significantly improved the physical symptoms related to a lack of sleep, and even helped reduced levels of depression in the chronically sleep-deprived. Another study found that it improved daytime wakefulness in people who suffered from a lack of sleep. To maximize its effects, look for a chamomile/lavender blend. In a study of postpartum women, those who drank lavender tea for 2 weeks showed improvement in postpartum depression and reduced fatigue. They also reported being able to better bond with their infant!
Put aside the butter and olive oil: coconut oil should be your new go-to medium for frying and basting. The reason is that it can withstand much higher heats, so it's less carcinogenic than other oils. Studies show that the medium-chain fats in coconut oil boost metabolism and decrease the amount of fat you store in response to high calorie intake.
Check your diet. People often mistake higher calorie diets as the only food-related culprit. The more you eat, the more you gain. But the truth is, even smaller portion sizes that are full of the wrong high fat or sugary foods can be devastating to your lower belly. If you eat foods or drinks high in sugar and fat, you are doing yourself no favors in reducing your fat around your midsection.

Hormonal changes also make belly fat develop. Women, in child-bearing years, tend to gain fat in their hips, thighs and buttocks to supply a reserve of energy during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As their levels of estrogen drop during menopause, fat migrates more to the belly. Men always have a tendency to develop belly fat, but there's no known physiological reason why. Once hormone levels of testosterone start to reduce in men after age 40, belly fat gain expedites.
You probably already know that chamomile tea can help induce sleep (there’s even a brand called Sleepy Time). But science is showing that teas actually work on a hormonal level to lower our agita and bring peace and slumber. Studies have found that herbal teas like valerian and hops contain compounds that can actually reduce levels of stress hormones in our bodies, bringing on sleep — and reducing the body’s ability to store fat!
Perform a resistance training workout every 48 hours. According to "The Abs Diet," resistance training targets abdominal fat and causes the body to burn fat for up to 48 hours after each workout. Repairing the muscle damage from even moderate resistance training requires a lot of extra calories. Three days a week should suffice for most individuals, but feel free to increase to 5 or 6 days according to your own personal fitness goals. Our muscles are constantly burning calories, even at rest, so it makes sense to build muscle as part of a stomach-flattening and cleansing diet.
Most of the bacteria that dwell in your gut are pretty useful. They produce hormones, regulate your immune system, digest food, extract nutrients, control your mood, manage your appetite, and much more besides. That obese people tend to have higher numbers of Firmicutes bacteria is no coincidence – according to research published in the online journal Nature, these bacteria increase the number of calories your body absorbs from food.
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.”
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