Tuesday, August 19, 2014

8 Tips to Lose Your Gut

Rock Man at Tamarack Lake, CA
Rather than show you an ugly picture of belly fat or the flat stomach of a twenty-year-old... I bring you Rock Man. He spouts wisdom to help you lose that gut you're tired of feeling around your middle. Maybe you're not interested in getting a rock-hard stomach (although it's easy to attain... right, Rock Man?), but you'd like to get rid of that roll. Read on.

Building muscle, losing fat, and improving overall health is dependent on one very important hormone—insulin. Follow these tips to control your insulin and lose that fat!

First, let me say that losing fat is less about cutting down on fat in your diet and more about cutting out sugar or foods that quickly turn to sugar like breads, pasta, rice and corn. In fact, healthy fats keep you satiated, which means you are less likely to be hungry soon after eating. So let me just say it... Fats don't make you fat, sugar does.

Now on to the tips:

1. Feed Your Belly-Zapping Hormone
Eat as close to zero grams of sugar as possible. Sugar turns to fat. Remember that every time you eat something with sugar. Read labels on food—almost everything has sugar added. Restricting sugar will keep your insulin levels low, and also keep your glucagon levels high. Glucagon, a hormone, helps keep your belly FLAT not FAT.

2. Chew On This
Chewing prevents bloating. Chew food until it is like applesauce in your mouth. Digestion begins in the mouth, and better-digested food means less gas and bloating.

3. Size Matters
Eating portion-controlled meals will reduce your abdominal flab. Serve reasonable portions of food on a plate—don't pile on and don't take extra helpings. Give your body a chance to let you know you're full.

4. Nix Refined Carbs
One of the primary reasons people develop diabetes is their overconsumption of refined carbs and sugars, which causes their pancreas to continually pump out more and more insulin. Refined carbs like bread and pastas turn to sugarCut out desserts and limit yourself to one slice of bread or handful of pasta one or two times a week. We eat pasta once a month on average and bread once a week—and always made from whole grain.

5. Eat At The Magic Hour
Have a snack that contains protein between 3 PM and 4 PM. It will boost your metabolism and balance your blood sugar. I find myself eating a snack at this time often (okay... everyday). I might choose a handful of nuts & seeds, a few veggies dipped in hummus, almond butter on a piece of celery, a stalk of purslane (remember eating weeds and loving it!) or a small piece of meat (you don't have to eat meat to get protein).

6. Eat Healthy Fats
Another way to balance your insulin is by optimizing the rate at which your body processes carbohydrates by eating plenty of healthy fats. Fats help keep your hunger down by sending a message to your brain. Examples of healthy fats are in the foods mentioned in Tip #5. Yay! That's right—you can tackle two tips with one food.

7. Stay Active All Day
Most people hit the gym regularly, but they succumb to long periods of inactivity during the rest of their day. This is asking for trouble. Don't sit at your computer for hours on end. Get up and take a walk. Better yet, go outside and take in nature. It gives your eyes a needed rest too.

8. Mom Says, "Eat Your Veggies"
Add more vegetables to your meals, cut them up and eat them raw, make salads and smoothies with lots of dark greens. You'll find a whole new experience in taste and melt off that belly bump, roll or inner tube that encircles you. The week I added more veggies to my diet I lost my belly bump. Combine Tip #4 with Tip #8 and you'll be surprised.

Which tips could you take on this week? Or which tips are you already doing? Scroll down and leave a comment.


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