Friday, January 15, 2010

Waist whittlers

eDiets recently sent out a post, naming five foods that will help anyone get flat abs. I have no idea how much science is behind this claim, but I do know that certain foods bloat me tremendously, while others do not.

Of course, the eDiets list is how we should be eating anyway; it just refines things a bit.

Today being Friday, my day to identify goals for next week, I decided to incorporate these foods into my diet next week and see what happens. So here's eDiet's list, including why these foods are waist whittlers:
  1. Orange Fruits and Veggies: A recent review from Copenhagen University Hospital suggests that replacing carbohydrates from sugar and refined grains (like white bread) with carbs from orange-hued fruits and vegetables will shrink your waist. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which keep you sated longer, and researchers believe the high levels of antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene fend off the belly fat. Get a good dose of beta-carotene from carrots, cantaloupe, squash and peaches; vitamin C from oranges and berries.
  2. Lean Protein Sources: 25 percent of your daily calories should come from lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, low-fat yogurt, and fat-free milk. Nuts are also high in protein, but can also be high in calories, so eat in moderation, about a handful a day. Protein also helps fill you up, boost energy, which helps you lose weight. If you're older than 40 (like me!), research from Skidmore College and Copenhagen University Hospital suggests protein is especially helpful for your weight-loss journey.
  3. Selenium: A recent survey of more than 8,000 Americans found that selenium, a cancer-fighting mineral, seemed to also lower rates of abdominal obesity. The recommended dose is 55 mcg per day and the best sources are nuts (especially Brazil nuts), whole grains, poultry, red meat and seafood. Foods rich in vitamin E, such as nuts and seeds, will increase the effectiveness of selenium in the body. Your best bet to get enough selenium is to eat a varied, balanced diet or try a supplement containing the mineral.
  4. Wine: Love this: Several studies suggest that light drinking -- one 4-ounce glass of wine daily -- compared to teetotaling, protects women against weight gain around the waistline. Unfortunately, having more than one glass will add inches to your waist.
  5. Fish: Eating good fats -- the monounsaturats and omega-3s found in fish, nuts, olive oil and avocado -- make it easier to stay slim, according to recent research. eDiets cites a six-year Wake Forest University study that found participants whose only source of fat was trans fats -- those bad-for-you no-nos found in butter and pre-packaged baked goods -- gained 30 percent more fat in their abdominal region and had early signs of diabetes.
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