Regardless of your age or whether you’re peri menopausal or experiencing menopause, there is not magic pill or gadget that will help you lose belly fat and get the flat belly or six pack you want. It requires proper diet and nutrition and a great workout program that includes a combination of weight training and cardio like Les Mills Pump, P90X , Rev Abs or ChaLEAN Extreme or high intensity interval training (HIIT) like Insanity or Turbo Fire.
Here are some foods that you should incorporate into your clean diet.
1. Nuts & Other Healthy Fats
Did you that including nuts or other healthy fats in your diet helps you to decrease your belly fat? Foods that contain mono and polysaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), avocados, nuts like almonds and walnuts and dark chocolate (yes, dark chocolate!) are fats that are less likely to be stored as belly fat. There are several studies that have shown the positive effects that these “good” fats have on helping you achieve a smaller waist. You can use EVOO for cooking or grilling your chicken or fish or mix it with balsamic vinegar and add it to your salad. Flaxseed oil is another healthy alternative you can also add to your diet. Add almonds and walnuts as one of your daily snacks. I love eating a handful of almonds with an apple for my late afternoon snack followed by a large glass of water. You still have to watch your portions so you should eat no more than an ounce of nuts per day and no more than two tablespoons of olive oil per serving.
2. Whole grains
I’m sure you’ve heard that adding whole grains to your diet helps you to lose weight. Did you know that it also helps flatten your belly as well? A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that its participants who consumed whole grains lost more weight from their abdominals than participants others who ate refined grains. According to the study, whole grains caused less fat storage and resulted in a lower increase insulin production. You have to read the labels and look for foods that have “whole” listed as the very first ingredient. You can eat foods like a bowl of whole grain cereal, plain popcorn, oats like steel cut oats and quinoa.
Did you know active women should eat at least 25 grams of fiber daily but on average Americans only eat 15 grams of fiber each day? Countless studies have shown that by increasing your fiber intake you will lose belly fat. Both soluble and insoluble types of fiber helps to improve your digestive systems by promoting regularity, helping you to feel fuller longer and by delaying the absorption of fat, sugar and cholesterol. A side effect of adding or increasing your fiber is an increase in gas. To avoid the gassy side effects of increased fiber is to slowly introduce it into your diet. Another alternative to improving your digestive system is drinking a glass of Shakeology daily.
4. Tofu is not just for vegetarians
Tofu is another food you can add to your diet to help reduce belly fat. There is an ingredient in tofu called soy isoflavones which has been shown to decrease belly fat. By consuming as little as 70mg of isoflavones can decrease your belly fat. If the thought of eating Tofu is not appealing you can substitute it in place of ricotta in Italian dishes. Tofu is not something you have to consume daily especially if you’re not a vegetarian but it does have belly fat reducing capabilities and is another great weapon to add to your arsenal of fat fighting and belly flattening foods. Also soy isoflavones is an ingredient that’s found in soy milk so you can always add it to your protein shakes or even make shakes consisting of soy protein as an alternative to tofu. A study of post-menopausal women who drank soy shakes that contained 160mg of isoflavones and 20 grams of soy protein saw a reduction in belly fat. There are plenty of options you can add to your diet to help you reduce your belly fat and get the flat belly you’ve always wanted.
5. Diet alone is only 80% of the battle to a flat belly
You must incorporate a fitness program that is designed to help you lose weight and burn belly fat. As women age and become peri-menopausal or reach menopause weight gain in the abdominal area is inevitable but you don’t have to let your age define you or your health. You HAVE to add muscle to your body because muscle burns fat and add HIIT training to your workout regimen to lose weight or keep from gaining weight especially belly fat. As a woman over 40, I have continued to defy Mother Nature by incorporating workouts into my regimen that includes resistance training like Les Mills Pump, P90X or ChaLEAN Extreme. The variety keeps me from getting bored and my body from plateauing. These programs are comprehensive fitness programs and have modifications for all fitness levels. By incorporating both diet and fitness into your daily routine, you’re sure to get the results you’re seeking and lose that unsightly and extremely unhealthy belly fat.
Click on the corresponding links to learn more about the fitness programs mentioned here!