Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A really weird diet

I've always been an apple shape, with a middle that makes me look a tad pregnant. So when eDiets promises me that if I ate certain foods my middle will disappear, how tempted do you think I am? And when one of those food groups is wine, I figure how bad can it be?

According to eDiets, it's not the calorie count that's making my middle look like a tire -- it's the foods I'm eating.

“All things being equal, if your daily caloric intake is set at 1,400 calories, a diet of nutrient-rich foods is going to keep you fuller longer, reducing your cravings and giving you more energy, compared to the same number of calories of less nutritious food, which will help you on your road to a better body,” says registered dietitian Tracey Ryan in the eDiet post..

So here goes:

1. Orange Fruits and Veggies: According to a recent review from Copenhagen University Hospital, the best way to whittle down your waist is to replace carbohydrates from sugar and refined grains (like white bread) with carbs from fruits and vegetables. Orange-hued foods were found to be the most effective substitutes.

Fruits and veggies are also high in fiber, so you'll feel full longer. And researches thing the high levels of antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene -- found in orange edibles -- keep off the belly fat. Get a good dose of beta-carotene from carrots, cantaloupe, squash and peaches. You can get your vitamin C from oranges and berries. But eat your fruits and veggies -- do not drink them.

2. Lean Protein: You should be getting about 25 percent of your daily calories from protein, Ryan says, but you should make sure to choose lean sources like poultry, fish, low-fat yogurt, and fat-free milk to keep calories down.

Protein - just like fiber -- keeps you feeling full and boosts your energy. According to research from Skidmore College and Copenhagen University Hospital, eating additional protein is especially helpful for those older than 40 in reducing abdominal fat.

3. Nuts: A recent survey of more than 8,000 Americans found that selenium, a cancer-fighting mineral, seemed to also lower rates of abdominal obesity, reporting that those with lower levels of selenium had larger waistlines.

Several foods contain selenium, so it’s hard to know if you’re getting your recommended 55 mcg per day. 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. But if you eat nuts, eat only a handful since they are so calorie-dense.

4. Wine: Several studies suggest that light drinking, compared to no drinking, protects women from adding bulk around the waist. The National Center for Health Statistics says one 4-ounce glass of wine a day, which means less is more. I don't know about you, but having a few glasses of wine whittles away my willpower not my waist.

5. Mono, poly and omega-#s: “The healthy fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are found in fish, nuts, olive oil and avocado, while the bad fats, like saturated and trans are found in butter, shortening, pre-packaged cakes and cookies,” Ryan says. The first group is what keeps us slim.

A Wake Forest University study found that over a 6-year period, participants whose only source of fat was trans fats gained 30 percent more fat in their abdominal region and had early signs of diabetes.

I feel a change coming on!

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