Oh stubborn belly fat. I’m not about to sugar coat it: I despise everything about you. Even as I sit here to write this blog post, I can feel you gently rolling over the waist of my pants, distracting me from my diligent research on how to eliminate you.
I’m sure many of you share similar feelings. Maybe they’re not as extreme as mine, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree: we want our stomachs to look good this summer.
So let’s do what we do when it comes to Fact or Fiction. I’ll take to the Internet, do some research, and break it down right here on What’s Up, USANA? (Full disclosure: much of this information was pulled from this awesome Huffington Post article. It’s written by a doctor who is also a professional author, so I trusted the content. Thanks, Dr. Teta!)
Stop it at the Source
We need to talk about over-consuming starches and sugars, because these guys are the enemies in the war on belly fat. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80 percent of the average American diet consists of carbohydrates and fats. So the enemy is easily winning the war at this point.
You might be asking why starchy, carb-rich, and sweet foods are considered the enemy. Well, this is because of insulin. When you consume high amounts of these types of food, insulin levels increase, and this can create a hormonal reaction that’s detrimental to fat loss. This is especially true when high insulin levels are combined with excess calories and cortisol, which is a hormone that’s directly related to your level of stress.
Here’s how Dr. Teta explains it all:
“Insulin activity shuts down any fat releasing activity of other hormones like cortisol, and therefore accentuates the negative fat storing effects. Adding cortisol to insulin is like pouring gasoline on a fire. The two together—with excess calories—are the real culprits in fat gain around the middle.”
Building a Better Belly
Now that you know the importance of limiting both starchy and sugary foods, let’s discuss what foods you should focus on. Because it’s really all about a macronutrient strategy when it comes to beating the belly fat.
It’s important to focus on replacing some of your starches and sugars with fiber, protein, and beneficial fats. The easiest way to do this is increasing your intake of veggies and foods high in protein. At first, it’s hard to let go of that giant bowl of delicious pasta, but then you discover ways to lower your intake of empty calories and carbohydrates with healthy alternatives.
I’ll give you a couple examples.
I just purchased this veggie noodle maker, and it has totally upped my cooking game. It turns healthy veggies into spaghetti-shaped deliciousness, balancing out the macro levels of my spaghetti—especially when I pump up the amount of protein with some lean ground turkey.
My second tip comes with a fun video. (You’re welcome.)
I made a healthier version of fried rice last week, and it actually turned out great and was super easy to make. All that cauliflower helps me increase my veggie intake, and you can throw in small cuts of chicken breast to get your protein in.
Check out our line of USANA MySmart™Foods. The tagline says it all: The Macronutrient Solution. Packed with beneficial fat from from coconut oil and offering low amounts of sugar, these yummy shakes and bars are a great way to control your ratio of macronutrients.
Fact or Fiction?
Is a glistening six pack really made in the kitchen and not the gym? The answer is yes…and no.
Building strong abs requires both the kitchen and the gym, but your time in the kitchen has a much greater impact on your results.
You could work out three hours every day, but if your diet game is lacking, you can forget that toned six pack. You might still get it, but it will be hiding under what’s called subcutaneous fat. This is the fat that’s above the abdominal muscles—the stuff you can actually pinch and move around (unfortunately).
That being said, the gym is still a key player in the war on belly fat. Just remember that high-intensity training is most effective at eliminating fat.
“For exercise, make your dominant form of activity fast-paced, metabolically-demanding weight training. Weight training done the right way is better at burning fat, balancing hormones, and is great for your heart.”
Okay, it’s time to wrap this blog post up. The key to eliminating belly fat and building strong abs comes from maintaining a healthy, strict diet consisting of lean proteins, beneficial fats, and nutrient-rich carbohydrates. Yes, this is the key factor, but hitting the gym on a regular basis for some high-intensity workouts is the supporting factor you definitely shouldn’t ignore if you’re looking to impress this swimsuit season. Oh, and last, but definitely not least, make sure you’re getting a full night’s rest every night.
|*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.|
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