by Lexi Petronis, Glamour
Yep, there it is: "Christmas cookie" in a headline. We are officially headed into holiday season. But I have a new plan I'm going to try out this year: I'm going to focus on my midsection now, instead of January 1. And I'm definitely turning to this book for help.
One of my very favorite dietitians, Erin Palinski, R.D., has just published a new book: The Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. It's filled with all kinds of good-for-your gut tips and recipes, and even includes a doable, reasonable 14-day plan to cut the pounds from your stomach area that I am totally into--I've been keeping the book on my kitchen counter for quick reference, honestly. Here, Erin was kind enough to share some of the words of belly fat-busting wisdom:
1. Get spicy with belly-burning seasonings
"Seasonings like cayenne pepper contain thermogenic properties that boost your metabolism, helping you to shed body fat. Animal studies have also indicated that capsaicin may decrease insulin resistance, helping to improve blood sugar control as well.
Sweeten up foods by adding cinnamon. Research has found that the active compound methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP) in cinnamon makes fat cells more receptive to insulin. When cells are more receptive to insulin, they allow the insulin to transport sugar into the cells for energy, thus keeping insulin levels in the bloodstream low. High insulin levels trigger the body to store more fat, especially in your midsection. So consuming a seasoning like cinnamon that helps maintain healthy levels of insulin is a great way to combat belly fat. Try sprinkling cinnamon on everything from oatmeal to apples, and even popcorn!"
See more: 10 Things Girls Always Do in Movies and Never Do in Real Life
2. Eat fat to get slim
"Both monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be powerful belly fat fighters. Both help fight off inflammation, which can be damaging to your overall health and trigger your body to store more belly fat. By helping to decrease chronic inflammation in your body, these fats can help decrease internal stressors that can pack on the pounds.
Omega-3-rich foods have also shown that they keep the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from peaking, helping to prevent damage to your body from chronic stress and also helping prevent increased fat storage caused by elevated cortisol levels. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds are all terrific sources.
Healthy fats also take longer to digest. This extended digestion helps your feel full longer, helping to prevent cravings and overeating."
3. Warm up and slim down by sipping green tea
"The main polyphenol in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been shown to have thermogenic properties and to help increase fat oxidation. In fact, one study found that when overweight individuals consumed the same amount of calories and performed the same amount of exercise, those drinking green tea lost more weight, especially weight from the abdomen. Green tea is also loaded with powerful antioxidants, which help decrease inflammation (another belly fat contributor) and fight off disease and infection. Aim for brewed green tea over powders and supplements."
See more: 11 Fall Hair and Makeup Looks You'll Love
4. Don't underestimate dairy
"Dairy products such as lowfat yogurt and milk are great sources of calcium, which has been shown to help reduce overall body fat and belly fat. One study found individuals who ate a diet rich in dairy lost almost twice the amount of fat and weight--with the majority of the fat loss coming from the midsection. This may be due to dairy being rich in both the amino acid arginine and the fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which have been shown in studies have shown help decrease body fat.
The added protein in dairy products such as yogurt, especially Greek yogurt (which contains twice the amount of protein) helps to slow digestion, keeping hunger away."
5. Burn up stress and belly fat by eating more vitamin C rich-foods
"When the stress hormone cortisol is chronically elevated in the body, you can experience increased fat storage in the abdominal area. However, research has shown that vitamin C helps reduce stress levels and return the stress hormone cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation. This reduction in cortisol may help to prevent increased belly fat storage. Aim to consume at least two foods rich in vitamin C each day. Options include oranges, kiwis, and bell peppers."
What do you think? Are you in?
More from Glamour:
How to Ace the Most Stressful Job Ever
11 Movies Every Woman Should Watch
10 Hot Date-Night Outfits (According to Guys)
10 Perfectly Legitimate Reasons to Go Shopping
by Lexi Petronis, Glamour