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Some top tips for healthier eating and reducing body fat

By Terri Brown

With the warm summer months soon to be upon us, those comfy, multi-layered, baggy winter clothes are once again destined for the back of the wardrobe and you suddenly notice you’ve become a bit tubby in the tummy when you weren’t looking.

Looks are not everything but don’t ignore it — looking great in a bikini this summer is the least of your worries.

Excess belly fat is associated with increased risk of heart attacks, as well as certain types of cancer, so it’s time to start the battle of the bulge.

Maximise your waist training this summer by eating slowly so you don’t swallow too much air which can cause bloating, relaxing after food to ease digestion-disrupting stress, limiting your sodium intake to fewer than 1.5 mg per day and choosing your foods wisely to help those belly-blasting efforts.

MUFAs (pronounced moo-fah) are monounsaturated fatty acids and they are your friends.  These plant-based fats are found in some of the world’s most delicious foods and the latest research shows that these dietary superstars may even target fat where it’s hardest to lose—in your belly

Greens

Fill your bowl with romaine, arugula, or spinach and broccoli loaded with fibre and very few calories. Try an avoid Iceberg lettuce as this has almost no fibre and won’t fill you up at all.

Beans

Kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans etc. contain a compound called resistant starch, a type of fibre that curbs cravings, promotes muscle mass, and makes you feel fuller, longer.  They are also low-cal and packed with protein.

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil nuts, natural peanut butter, dry-roasted cashews, dry-roasted peanuts, dry-roasted sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts – Go nuts! They slim your tummy by keeping it full and are full of protein, fibre and vitamin E. Even natural Peanut Butter contains the antioxidant vitamin E, bone-building magnesium, muscle-friendly potassium, and immunity-boosting vitamin B6.

They slim your tummy by keeping it full and are full of protein, fibre and vitamin E. Even natural peanut butter contains the antioxidant vitamin E, bone-building magnesium, muscle-friendly potassium, and immunity-boosting vitamin B6.

Avocado

Avocados contain more of the cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol and potassium than any other fruit. While sodium can cause water retention, potassium has the opposite effect, helping you appear slimmer.

Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Chocolate or, more specifically, cocoa powder made from ground, defatted cocoa beans is loaded with antioxidants and rates low on the glycemic food index which means it stabilises blood sugar levels, thereby suppressing appetite by promoting a fuller feeling, faster.

Oils

Everyone needs a little fat — it controls hunger. Go for monounsaturated fats like Canola oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, peanut oil, pesto sauce, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil or walnut oil. The greener the oil, the more antioxidants, so go for extra-virgin. They will help keep your cholesterol under control and satisfy cravings.

Whole Wheat Tortilla

Insoluble fibre, the kind found in most whole grains, like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat bread, as well as fruits and veggies, acts like a broom in your digestive tract, sweeping the contents through and keeping everything working smoothly. Strive for 25 grammes of fibre a day—increase intake gradually.

 Yogurt

The probiotics in yoghurt help reduce swelling and inflammation and improve digestion. Stick with an unsweetened, low-fat Greek-style yoghurt, which offers more protein and fewer refined carbs

Fennel

Along with peppermint tea and ginger, fennel is a superstar when it comes to aiding digestion. It soothes the smooth muscles of the bowel, minimising swelling. Fennel is rich in potassium and a phytonutrient called anethole, which may also reduce inflammation in the stomach and elsewhere in the body.

Melon

When you’re dehydrated, your body retains fluids, causing you to look like you’ve gained a few pounds. Drinking unsweetened, no-calorie liquids, like water and tea, is beneficial, as is eating water-packed, low-acid fruits and vegetables. Melons, cucumbers, and lettuces are all high in water and low in acid and trick your body into releasing some of its stored fluid.

Berries and Plums

Dried plums and plum juice (100% pure) are naturally rich in potassium and sorbitol, a digestive stimulant that draws water into the large intestine and berries stuff a lot of filling fibre into a tiny package: Just one cup of raspberries has six grammes. This helps promote bowel regularity.

 

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