For some reason, our bodies love to hang fat around our mid-section. Or, maybe the fact is that fat just loves to hang around our mid-section. Regardless of which is the cause, the truth of the matter is that fat around the mid-section can be ugly, uncomfortable, and can cause a host of health problems that we could all do without.
Excess belly fat has been associated with heart disease, Type II Diabetes, and even breast cancer. Sometimes it seems that, no matter how diligently we diet and exercise, we still have that “spare tire” around the waistline that just hangs on, even when we effectively lose fat and inches from other parts of the body. The frustration can almost make one want to give up. Don’t Give Up! There Is Good News!
Researchers have discovered that it is actually possible to shrink belly fat with food – the right food, that is. Eating the right foods can turn your body into a fat-burning powerhouse to which even stubborn belly fat will have to surrender! Fiber – There are basically two types of fiber, and it is important to include plenty of both types in your diet:
1. Soluble Fiber is that which absorbs excess fluid and carries it from the body. It reduces the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, and is instrumental in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Soluble fiber has been shown to be a key preventative dietary element in preventing colon cancer. It also takes longer to digest soluble fiber, and this slowing of the process helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, and decrease the frequency of hunger between meals.
Good sources of soluble fiber include: Oatmeal or oat bran, Barley, Prunes, Pears, Citrus Fruits, Legumes, Seeds, Nuts, Chick Peas, Black-Eyed Peas
2. Insoluble Fiber is that which does not easily absorb fluid, but does bind itself to toxins and other substances such as excess estrogen which are known to be cancer-inducing.
Good sources of insoluble fiber include: Bran, Cocoa Powder, Beans (including pinto, great northern, red, kidney, etc.), Rye Bread, Green Leafy Vegetables.
Muscle, unlike fat, does not sit idly in your body. In fact, it takes energy, which burns calories, just to maintain muscle. This means that a person who has a healthy ratio of protein to fat, will burn fat and calories just by sitting at rest. Fat, which pretty much lies inert, will just be content to take up space and crowd your organs
This combination makes for a double-punch to help eliminate belly fat. One caveat though: when choosing beans, be careful as to how they are cooked. Some bean dishes, such as baked beans, are prepared with unhealthy levels of fat and sugar.
Just remember: Your beans must be lean and mean! Monounsaturated Fats We usually think of oils and fats as being something to avoid if we are trying to lose weight and/or eat healthy. The truth of the matter is that some oils are not only good for the body, healthy monounsaturated fats such as olive oil are actually vital for optimum health of organs.
Other good sources of monounsaturated fats are: Olive Oil, Avocados, Peanut Butter, Nuts, Olives.
So, an healthy and balanced diet with moderate exercise should be included in any weight-loss regimen, given the approval of one’s personal physician. But, incorporating a regimen of carefully planned foods such as those listed above will help your body to rid itself of that unsightly belly fat, and help you to enjoy a longer, healthier life!