My flat belly envy went into overdrive on Oscar night. Yes, the actresses’ gowns were gorgeous, but I couldn’t help my eyes drifting (with envy) towards their oh-so flat middles. Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, and Gwyneth Paltrow all looked breathtaking in their skin-tight dresses and showed no signs of the slightest tummy bulge. Big sigh!
I know I can’t simply wish for a flat belly (Believe me I’ve tried!). Just like all lean-tummy seeking women, you have to work at - that means eating right and exercising. So, to help build a flat-abs eating plan, Healthy Hollywood turned to Dr. Travis Stork, author of “The Lean Belly Prescription.”
He’s also teamed up with General Mills to spread the word on the importance of whole grains, which is a key food to a leaner physique. Dr Stork adds, “switching from refined grains to whole grains is easy to do and has a great deal of potential health benefits including better weight and diabetes management, and even a possible reduction in the risk of heart disease and some cancers.”
Dr. Travis Stork’s Five Favorite Lean Belly Foods:
1) Water. Drink a glass of water before every meal and you may just consume 20% fewer calories. Make it ice water and you’ll burn a few extra calories to boot. Replacing sodas and sweetened beverages with water (or naturally flavored water) is one of the best ways to lose weight quickly because on average, we imbibe 450 excess calories a day from sweetened beverages. It’s so important that I even have a section teaching people how to “Kick the Soda Habit” in “The Lean Belly Prescription.”
2) Unsalted Nuts. Nuts can help you eliminate cravings between meals because they are a satisfying yet healthy snack on the go. Eating a handful a day can lower your heart disease risk, reduce your blood pressure, and if you replace a high calorie, high carb snack with a satisfying handful of nuts, they will help you slim down as well.
3) Eggs. Eating protein at breakfast will help you avoid overeating the rest of the day. Eggs are loaded with protein as well as other nutrients and are a great way to start the day. A study in the “International Journal of Obesity” showed that eating two eggs instead of a bagel allowed dieters to lose 65 percent more weight over 8 weeks.
4) Yogurt. Yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium and a perfect vehicle for getting some extra fruit in your diet. Can you say mixed berries? The trick is to buy yogurt or Greek yogurt without the added sugar and sweeten it with your favorite mixed fruit. Studies suggest that people who eat yogurt may burn off more belly fat.
5) Whole Grains. One of my ‘Pick 3 to Lean’ strategies in “The Lean Belly Prescription” is to learn to love the whole-grain versions of your favorite foods. I personally scan the list of ingredients on a package before I buy it to make sure the first ingredient is some type of whole grain. The reward: Penn State researchers say people who ate whole grains lost twice the belly fat of people who ate refined carbs. Need I say more?
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