Top 5 Ways to Get a Flat Belly After 40

Turning 40 is a milestone for many people:  it signifies reaching a level of maturity and professionalism and perhaps even balance in life that most of us recognize as an important checkpoint.  But it also marks a lot of changes in the body.  You might still be operating under the habits that worked for you best when you were in your 20s or 30s, so it’s important to recognize that you can have great health, high energy, and even a flat belly after 40, it just takes a different set of knowledge than what you used to use!

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Love your workouts.

The first commandment of having a flat belly after 40 is to love your workout.  Why?  Well, by the time you get to 40, you’re in full-on career mode and it’s likely that you also have a family.  Add in social events and other responsibilities and your schedule is crazy full, right?  Everybody has used the ”too busy” excuse at some point or another to avoid working out, but here’s the thing:  If you don’t really enjoy your workout, you’re always going to use that excuse.

Find a workout that you enjoy– hiking or climbing, swimming, zumba, hot yoga, boxing… the list is almost infinite!  You might have to try a few different workouts to get to one that you really like, but have patience and keep an open mind, because once you’ve found a workout that you really enjoy, you’ve done half the hard work of actually working out!

 

Drink way more water.

We all know that drinking water is important to our overall health, but staying completely hydrated is one of the best things you can do when working toward a flat belly.  Besides drinking plenty of water throughout the day, try drinking a glass of water any time you want a snack.  Give it 15 minutes after you’ve finished the glass of water, and if you’re still hungry, go get that (healthy) snack.  Often we’re bored or thirsty, and we’re confusing the signals that our brain sends us with the hunger signal.  Drinking an extra glass of water never hurt a soul, and it might just solve your problem before you go off in search of more calories!

 

Sugar isn’t bad for you.

AHEM: sugar from fruit isn’t bad for you.  Added sugar is definitely not good, but you shouldn’t be skipping out on fruits because you’re trying to avoid sugar.  Added sugar and natural sugar work differently in the body, and when you’re getting sugar from fruits, you’re also getting a ton of other good stuff that justifies that sugar.  Bananas are filled with potassium and can help flatten your belly.  Apples are great sources of fiber, and we know that fiber is a must for flat bellies!

 

Watch your protein intake.

You read that right– it’s totally possible (and fairly common) to consume too much protein.  And what happens when we consume too much protein?  Well, your body can turn some of that protein into stored fat, and that’s what we’re definitely trying to avoid!  Make sure you’re getting the daily recommended amount of protein, and make sure you’re being smart about it– Having a protein shake for breakfast isn’t the best use of your protein allowance if you’re going to work out at 5 pm.  It’s important to have a bit of protein at each meal or snack to help you feel full, but save your big protein attack for after working out!

 

Cut back your salt intake.

Eating salt can dull our body’s reactions to fatty foods, making us require more of said foods in order to feel full.  Besides other health problems that salt can cause, too much of it can definitely trick us into packing on extra body fat.  Skip the salt (or use it sparingly) and turn to other spices that are full of flavor!  Make sure the pepper you’re using is freshly ground, as it contains a compound that burns fat!  Finally, if cutting back salt is tough for you, at the bare minimum, only use it while you’re actually cooking, and take it off the table when you serve the food.  Many people cook with salt AND add salt to the top of their food after serving it.  Don’t double dose yourself!

 

Exercise an hour each day.

This sounds like more than the recommended daily amount, right?  It is.  30 minutes per day is a nice recommendation for exercise, but that’s meant for people who are maintaining their healthy shape.  For those of us that want to lose weight, we need around an hour each day of moderate activity– think that if you could hold a conversation with the person next to you, but you’d still be breathing a bit harder than normal, that’s moderate.  This includes walking or jogging with the dog, dancing, and plenty other activities.  The important thing is to work that hour in.  Maybe it’s a 30 minute walk in the mornings and a 30 minute bike ride after work, maybe it’s one full hour in salsa class or at the gym– find what works for you and make it part of your daily routine!

 

What other tips do you follow to get a flat belly after 40?

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5 Ways to Lose Weight With Lemons

Lemons are often seen as a garnish, or something to squirt on salads, but did you know that lemons can help you lose weight?  There are plenty of ways to use lemons to lose weight, but I’ve chosen the top five ways to work into your daily habits! Keep reading to see how you can use something as simple as a lemon to lose weight!

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Season Veggies and Other Food with Lemon

Vegetables are must in any healthy diet, so try seasoning them with lemon juice after roasting, steaming, or stirfrying.  This will boost the flavor as well as the vitamin C content!  You can do the same trick with fish or chicken as well!

 

Add Lemon to Green Tea

We already know that 4-5 cups of green tea per day can help you burn more fat, but did you know that by adding slices of lemon to your tea, you preserve the natural polyphenols that exist in lemons, helping your body take full advantage of their fat burning properties!

Make a Homemade Salad Dressing

Ditch the store-bought dressings that are packed with sugar, fat, and sodium (yes, even the diet and low-fat ones).  Make your own by squeezing lemons and adding other healthy ingredients like olive oil or avocado oil, lemons zest, honey, salt and pepper, and any other spices you like to cook with!

Make Healthier Cocktails

Cocktails are famous for being packed with sugar, but you can make them healthier with lemons!  Lemon juice, club soda, and vodka or gin make for a great cocktail that you don’t have to feel guilty about later– the lemon will keep your taste buds happy without overdosing you on sugar!

 

Make Infused Water

If you’re having trouble getting enough water each day, try infused water!  Staying hydrated is an important aspect of your health, especially if you’re trying to lose weight!  You can make infused water very easily– gather the ingredients you want to use– Lemon, obviously, but maybe you’d like to add mint or basil, rosemary, or other fruits (think strawberries, kiwis, etc.) Adding a bit of flavor to your water will make it more tempting to drink, but the good news is it’s got just a bit of juice and sugar from the things you’ve put in it, and no mystery ingredients that you sometimes get from fancy coffee drinks or energy drinks!

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Top 10 Foods to Get You Bikini Ready!

So it’s almost swimsuit season and you’ve been hitting the gym and working your diet since January, right?  Great.  Now see what foods to add to your diet to make sure you’re ready to show off your new bikini this summer!  Keep reading to find out which foods are the best to help you get ready for swimsuit season!

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Beets

Find out which foods you should be including in your diet to improve brain function!

Did you know that beets work as a natural detoxifier?  Skip the juice cleanse and avoid going hungry while still filtering out all the nasty stuff that accumulates in our bodies over time.  Beets are relatively cheap, easy to repair, and great for tossing in salads or smoothies!

 

Eggs

With a complete amino acid profile, eggs make for the perfect lean protein dose at any time of day.  They’re great in the morning, post workout, at lunch, or as a snack!  On top of that, they’re one of the best sources of choline, which will help your body burn more fat!

 

Green Tea

It sounds like a lot, but it’s definitely do-able:  4-5 cups of green tea each day will give you the needed catechins (fat-blasting antioxidants) to clear the fat out of your fat cells– especially in the tummy region!  Try replacing your coffee habit with green tea.  Drink it hot or cold, just make sure you’re adding this to your bikini diet!

 

Mustard

If you are going to have a sandwich or a burger, leave off the other condiments (mayonnaise and ketchup can be packed with fat or sugar) and opt for mustard.  Why? The capsacin contained in mustard can boost your body’s fat-burning function for hours after you consume it!

Dark Chocolate

You may have given up high calorie desserts in your quest for a bikini body, but you don’t have to give up chocolate!  Dark chocolate (think 70% cacao or greater) is important for a healthy gut, and it’s great at reducing inflammation!  Keep some in your fridge and make sure you eat a few small squares each day- use it as dessert or a treat after having gone to the gym!

 

Cilantro

Get ready to hear something wild:  the unique blend of oils found in cilantro can help push heavy metals from our bodies that often get stored in our fat cells.  That’s not so wild, right?  WRONG!  Having these heavy metals stored in our fat cells often contributes to our muscles and other tissues not healing or maintaining themselves correctly, and this aggravates the appearance of cellulite. So adding cilantro to your dishes can help you to purge those heavy metals out of your cells, which will help your tissues to repair themselves properly and thus lessen the appearance of cellulite!

 

Lentils

These little guys are a cheap and versatile way to get tons of protein in while keeping fat calories to a bare minimum!  A cup of lentils has three times the protein of a single egg, and only one gram of fat!  Try a lentil soup, lentil burgers, or lentils as a side dish.  Toss them on salads or in chili, too!

 

Raspberries

Besides being delicious, these little guys are great at reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to your muscles, which helps them in the repair process after an intense workout!  Toss them in smoothies or in yogurt or just eat them plain!

Freshly Ground Pepper

It sounds too simple to be true, but it is!  Freshly ground pepper (not that powdery stuff– get a grinder!) contains piperine, which is a compound that helps stop the formation of new fat cells.  Sprinkle this stuff on everything!

 

Bananas

This fruit is packed with Potassium, which helps the body flush out excess water and sodium- two common culprits of a bloated appearance.  Keep your potassium levels high to keep your tummy looking flat!

 

What are your go-to foods when you’re trying to get bikini-ready?

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10 Best Protein Food Sources

We all know that protein is a key part of our diets, but do you know the best places to find protein?  Meat comes to mind of course, and it definitely makes this top 10 list, but there are many other great protein sources that might surprise you!  See what other protein sources make this list and try working them into your diet!

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Eggs

These babies have 6 grams of protein each, and they come with a healthy dose of choline and the most perfect amino acid profile we could ever ask for!  Not to mention that on the protein scale, they’re fairly cheap (and very versatile)– Eggs should definitely be on your list of protein sources for a healthy diet!

 

Spinach

Popeye wasn’t lying, guys.  Spinach is a great source of protein– A cup of spinach has half the calories of a boiled egg and almost the same amount of protein!  Whether you like it cooked or fresh, spinach can definitely find a place on your plate, as it’s versatile, easy to pair with other meals, and not nearly as expensive or difficult to find as some other trendy greens.

Peas

Wanna get even more protein in a cup of greens? Go with green peas!  One cup of these has almost 9 times more protein than the amount of protein in a cup of spinach!  Can you believe it?  Great as a side dish or tossed into a salad, these guys need to make an appearance every now and then in your protein-packed diet.

 

Beans

Let’s take a moment and be thankful that there’s such a variety of beans out there, because it’s a food we should be trying to eat every day!  A great source of fiber and protein, beans help us to feel fuller for longer, so eat them as a main dish or toss them into beans, soups, rice, or wraps and salads whenever you can!

 

Lentils

Get ready for this:  One cup of lentils has more protein than 3 eggs, and only 1 gram of fat.  Whaaat?  Lentils are great additions to soups and chilis, and stand alone as a great stew or side dish, too.  Not only that, they can also be used to make veggie meatballs or burgers.  Cheap? Yes. Versatile? Very.  Put these on your grocery list!

 

Halibut

A super lean fish that cooks up firm, this whitefish has all the benefits that come with eating fish (healthy fats, choline, etc.) and includes a hefty dose of protein.  Give yourself a break from salmon and tuna and try some halibut filets!

 

Pork

Did you know that pork and beef are head-to-head for the amount of protein they contain?  It’s easy to believe the false information that red meat has the most protein per serving, but it’s simply not true!  Not only that, but pork has some great benefits as well– pig farms are less damaging to the environment, and white meat poses a lower risk of breast cancer for women.  Try a tenderloin cut if you like your pork to have the texture of beef steaks!

Turkey Breast

Lean and packed with protein, turkey breast is a versatile ingredient to toss into salads or wraps, use in sandwiches, or eat all by itself!  Turkey actually packs more protein than chicken, so consider that when grocery shopping prior to your weekly meal prepping session!

 

Greek Yogurt

Specifically the 2% variety– 7 ounces contains 20 grams of protein!  Isn’t that wild?  It’s great for a snack, post-workout fuel or for getting your day started at breakfast time!

 

Low Fat Cottage Cheese

A diet food of the past, cottage cheese deserves a comeback.  At 15 grams for a half-cup, this is a great source of protein.  Eat it at breakfast with fruit or at lunch on top of a salad to get a great dose of protein!

 

What are your go-to foods for protein?

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Top 7 Foods that Age You

Aging is a process most of us are trying to put off for as long as possible.  Staying out the sun and not smoking can help tons, but the most important factor will always be what you eat!  You know all about superfoods to include in your diet, but do you know the worst foods that cause aging? Keep reading below to find out!

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Bakery Items

Don’t go in there!  Muffins, donuts, and other pastries are packed with sugar and fat, leading to weight gain!  That weight adds up quite a bit over time, too.  Take your breakfast or snacking opportunities to the healthy side by eating more fruit, yogurt, or chocolate when you’re feeling tempted!

 

Processed Meat

Ham, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, and other processed meats go through quite a process indeed before they reach your plate.  The preservatives they contain produce free radicals, which at worst can lead to cancer.  Best case scenario, they’re damaging your skin!

 

Sugar

We know it’s bad and all that, but did you know specifically that sugar can damage collagen and elastin?  Too much sugar will definitely age your skin faster than you’d probably like, so try to cut your sugar intake to a bare minimum!

Trans Fats

These things are everywhere– microwave popcorn, fried food, donuts, and margarine, just to name a few common traitors.  What’s so bad about them?  Besides being terrible for your heart, they’re also inflammatory and can make us more vulnerable to UV damage (i.e. skin damage!) so make sure you’re limiting your intake of this unhealthy fat as much as possible!

 

Alcohol

While moderate consumption won’t do you much damage (and can even come with some health benefits if you’re consuming craft beer or red wine), too much consumption, or consumption of cocktails with lots of sugar, will produce free radicals that damage your collagen, and they’ll dehydrate you!  Most people are already chronically dehyrdrated, so imagine what 5-10 cocktails per week could be doing to them!  Drink in moderation, with water between servings, and cut your consumption in general if you’re consuming more than one serving each day of alcohol!

High Fructose Corn Syrup

The bad news?  This stuff is in almost everything that’s processed. The good news?  You can cut it out of your diet with clean eating!  Why do you want to do that? It’s believed to be the worst type of sweetener for your skin, as it damages collagen and elastin.

 

TV Dinners

These frozen meals can be tempting as a convenient fix to healthy eating, but beware– many of them are sodium bombs!  You generally want to avoid lots of salt because it’s inflammatory and will cause you to look puffy.  Not only that but excessive sodium intake can damage your heart and make you dehydrated.

 

What other foods do you cut out of your diet to slow the aging process?

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10 Healthiest Foods on the Planet

There’s healthy food, and there’s SUPER healthy food.  We know that it’s important to cut out unhealthy foods from our diets, but recent research shows that it’s even MORE important to incorporate healthy foods into our diets.  Check out this Top 10 Healthiest Foods list before you make your next grocery list!

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Spinach

This super food contains antioxidants, proteins, and vitamins A and C.  Throw it into a salad, pasta, or anywhere where you might normally use lettuce (think sandwiches and wraps, tacos, and more).  It IS a member of the dirty dozen, though, so make sure you’re buying organic spinach!

 

Broccoli

Proven to prevent breast, lung, and prostate cancer, this cruciferous veggie also packs in Vitamin C and fights the storage of new fat.  Add it to salads, cook it in soup, or roast it with other veggies as a side dish!

 

Berries

Packed with polyphenols, most berries have the power to fight fat and they all come with a huge dose of antioxidants!  Easy to add to breakfast dishes, smoothies, and snacks, berries are a great way to boost your diet’s nutrient profile!

 

Wild Salmon

Make sure your salmon is wild (Atlantic salmon is NOT wild) because farmed salmon is actually terrible for you!  Wild salmon, though, has a great dose of healthy fats that will help your body burn fat more efficiently!

 

Eggs

They’re fairly cheap and have the perfect amino acid profile, so eggs should definitely be in your diet.  They’re a great source of protein and choline!  Add them to salads or sandwiches, make omelettes, and hard boil them for a quick snack!

 

Lentils

Guess what?  One cup of lentils gets you the protein equivalent of 3 whole eggs, but with only a single gram of fat!  They’re also high in fiber, meaning you’ll stay fuller for longer after eating them!

 

Olive Oil

Loaded with antioxidants that can help fight off osteoporosis, cancer, and brain deterioration, Extra Virgin Olive Oil can also boost serotonin levels in the blood, which can help you feel fuller after eating!

 

Tumeric

This humble spice has been shown to help combat brain disease and fight inflammation.  Whether you try it in golden milk, a curry, or a stirfry, make sure you’re including this super food in your diet!

 

Onions

Working on a heart-healthy diet?  You need to eat onions!  They help to regulate glucose levels and burn fat, and they’re easy to throw into just about everything!

 

English Peas

With almost 8 times the amount of protein of spinach, and with an entire day’s worth of Vitamin C, a cup of English peas is a simple superfood to incorporate into your salads or eat as a side dish!

 

What other super foods do you like to incorporate into your diet?

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10 ”Health” Foods to Stop Eating

It’s easy to be tempted into buying health food, especially when it looks like a more wholesome version of foods we love but have to avoid for dietary reasons.  But many of the foods that come with some type of healthy classification AREN’T really healthy!  Find out which 10 ”Health” Foods to mark off your shopping list below!

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Granola

“Noooo, not granola!” you say, but it’s true– granola looks like a fancy health food and it’s not!  One cup of granola can have around 500 calories in it!  Not to mention it’s usually packed with sugar and fat.  Opt for oatmeal instead and save yourself some calories!

100-Calorie Snack Packs

These are tricky little guys because 100 calories sounds like a great tradeoff for a few moments of sweet bliss, chocolate chips, and the convenience of having it already packaged for you.  But the truth?  It’s all processed food that contains sugars, fats, and sodium that you don’t need.  Make your own pack-ahead snacks to save yourself the money, the frustration, and the yucky ingredients.

 

Gluten-Free Products

While some people legitimately cannot eat gluten, most of us can.  But somewhere over the last few years, gluten became a huge villain, and otherwise healthy people started kicking it out of their diets left and right!  That’s how the gluten-free industry which was born, and for Celiac’s sufferers, it’s been great.  But it’s important to know that just because something is labeled gluten-free doesn’t automatically make it healthy, organic, or low in fats.  Read up on how to understand food labels to help make better decisions when cruising the supermarket!

 

“Healthy” Frozen Dinners

The frozen dinner aisle runs the gamut from healthy to disastrous in terms of marketing, but all of it is unhealthy.  Even if it’s low-fat, it’s probably packed with sodium and sugar to improve the taste.  Your best bet is to meal prep each week to always have something convenient to eat at home.  Even if you’re not into meal prepping, just making double the batch of foods that you do like will give you some healthy leftovers to save for the week or freeze for later.

 

Fruit Cocktail Preserves

 

Whether in a can or a box, fruit cocktail should really just be called “fruit in high fructose corn syrup” because that’s what it really is.  Gross.  Opt for frozen or fresh fruits and make a fruit salad in your own kitchen!

 

Rice Cakes (and other rice-based snacks)

These were all the rage for dieters 20 years ago, but times have changed, friends.  Rice cakes rank pretty high in the glycemic index, meaning that while they’re low in calories and perfect for adding toppings to, they don’t have any lasting power in your body (you’ll be hungry soon after eating them), and on top of that, they spike your blood pressure!  Not ideal at all.

Salads from Fast Food Joints

While not technically on the health food aisle, they are marketed as a health food.  The thing is that in some cases, you’re better off getting the burger than the salad in terms of calorie counts and protein content.  If you really need a burger, go for it (sans combo, of course) and get back to healthy eating at the next meal.  Don’t get a daily salad at a fast food joint and fall for the idea that you’re doing yourself a favor, though!

Canned Soup

Not all soup is bad, but canned soups (which are often sold as healthy diet options) are sodium bombs!  Not only that but many of them are highly processed with lots of preservatives.  Make big batches of your favorite soups and freeze servings for later instead of relying on these canned soups– they’re often packed with salt and sugar to make  up for the taste.

Baked Vegetable Chips

The truth is that even though they sound pretty healthy, they’re usually still high in fats, oil, and salt.  Opt for chopped veggies instead– dip them in hummus or guacamole for more flavor if you miss the flavors from chips.

Most ”Light” and ”Low-Fat” Options

It feels good to know you’re buying a product with fewer calories or fat grams, but the truth is that you’re often paying it back in sodium or sugars to make up for the taste.  Don’t fall for the trap that you can eat more mayonnaise or salad dressing or coffee creamer or what have you simply because it says ”low-fat”.  It might indeed be low fat but it’s probably high in sugar or salt, and that doesn’t do you any good, either.

 

Did any of the foods on this list surprise you?  The marketing tactics to get them to sell aim them specifically at those of us trying to be healthy, which is especially dirty!  Make sure you’re prepared to read labels next time you go shopping!

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10 Habits that Make you Sick and Fat

Habits can be good or bad, but no matter what, they affect our everyday lives.  The good news is that habits can be formed and changed, so it’s never too late to form good habits and it’s always possible to change the bad ones!  Find out which 10 habits are making you sick and fat, and how to make positive changes!

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You’re Still Drinking Soda

It’s easy to be addicted to sodas– the sugar and caffeine rush is nice, to say the least, and weaning yourself off brings on a few days of irritability and sluggishness, so the easiest thing to do is to just keep drinking it!  But did you know that sodas can contain things like flame retardant chemicals, BPA can-linings that contain synthetic estrogen, and caramel coloring which has been proven to cause cancer?  When you think of soda like that, it sounds disgusting.  Break your soda habit cold-turkey and power through a few days of grumpiness to get to the other side.  To make it easier, pack fruit infused water and tea with you each day so you always have something interesting to drink and won’t feel tempted by the vending machine!

 

Your House is Void of Healthy Snacks

Even if your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are healthy, snacking on unhealthy foods can totally undo any progress you’ve made in  your diet.  Cut the cookies, chips, and candy from your shopping list and take a few minutes each week to chop celery and carrots, cut cheese cubes, bake kale chips, air pop popcorn, etc. to make sure you always have healthy snacks on hand!

You Love Empty Calorie Traps

To be fair, everyone loves empty calorie traps, but it’s important to avoid them! Any trip to a restaurant is full of empty carb traps– bread, chips, happy hour cocktail specials, etc.  They’re also to be found in the snack aisle at your supermarket!  Go on the offensive and decide that you aren’t eating carbs unless there’s vitamins, protein, or a little healthy fat involved in the mix, too!

 

You Watch TV All Evening

Watching TV, besides the obvious effects on our brains, usually means sitting down.  And on top of that, it usually means eating while sitting down!  Why is that bad?  Most of us sit all day at work, which we already know is bad for our health.  If you’re doing it when you get home, that’s just adding fuel to the health fire.  Now imagine the mindless munching that we’ve all partaken in now and again from being hypnotizes in front of the television.  We’re not burning any calories, we’re consuming even more of them, and we’re missing out on prime time opportunities to get out and move, go to the gym, or socialize with friends!  Try limiting your TV time and take a walk each evening, take the dog for an extra walk to the park, or even just clean around the house– the important thing is to make sure you get a bit more movement in each day.

 

You don’t Get Enough Quality Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for regulating our metabolisms and emotions, but many of us don’t get the recommended amount of hours each night.  7-8 hours is the ideal amount of sleep, and it needs to be quality sleep!  That means making your room as dark as possible, lowering the ambient temperature a bit, and avoiding the blue light of television or telephone screens at least 30 minutes before going to bed.

 

You don’t Release Stress Well

Life today is stressful, it’s a known fact.  Work, family, finances– the list goes on when it comes to sources of stress.  It’s going to happen, but how we deal with that stress plays a big role in our health.  Make sure you’re not stewing in stress.  Find your best self care strategies for stress relief and use them every day!  Whether it’s a yoga or kickboxing class, a run around the block, a good chat with your mom, a hot bath– do it!  Stress raises your cortisol level which, among other terrible things, contributes to fat accumulation, so make sure you’re managing your stress properly!

 

You Order Combo Meals at Lunch

Studies show that you could be adding hundreds of calories more to your meals by ordering the combo meal instead of just the main portion.  It’s likely that you’d otherwise be full with just that sandwich, but with more food looking you in the face, you’re likely to keep eating even after you’re not hungry.

You Always Clean Your Plate

Many of us were made to clean our plates as children, but now you’re an adult, so stop it! The truth is that often we’re well on our way to being full before our plate is empty, but while the food is there, we’ll just keep eating.  Stop eating when you’re about 75-80% full, and just sip your drink.  After about ten to fifteen minutes, you’ll probably realize that you’re now totally full (and if you’re not,you can opt for a healthy snack later).

 

You Don’t Lift Weights.

If you want to burn more fat, you need to add muscle to your body.  The best way to do that is by lifting weights.  It’ll also boost your body’s testosterone production, which is one of the hormones you can activate in your body to burn more fat! Hit the weights section up 2-3 times per week and then follow up with a healthy meal afterwards!

 

You Eat Too Quickly

Everybody is on a tight schedule these days, but it’s still important to take your time when eating.  This will help  you to swallow less air, which will help with  gas and bloating.  Plus, it will help you to really focus on what you’re eating and to recognize when you’re full, which will help you to avoid overeating!

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Top 4 Teas that Melt Fat

 

Did you know that there are teas that will help you burn fat?  That’s right!  Exercise and a balanced diet are important tools in melting fat, but there are teas that can help you get the job done, too! Keep reading  below to find out which four teas will melt fat and get you even closer to your fitness goals!

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Pu-Erh Tea

Never heard of it?  That’s ok! Originally from China, this fermented tea can shrink fat cells and lowers triglyceride concentrations, which are dangerous fat accumulations in the blood.  Have a glass or two of this tea each day to reap the benefits!

 

Barberry Tea

Barberry is a shrub, and the stems, roots, and leaves can all be used to make tea!  They contain berberine, a fat-burning compound.  Studies show that they can also reduce the surface area of fat receptors, meaning that even when  you do consume high-fat foods, this tea could keep your body from absorbing it and adding more body fat!

 

White Tea

White tea has the amazing ability to block fat cells’ formation while simultaneously boosting lipolysis, the body’s natural process of breaking up fats that are already stored.  On top of that, white tea is high in catechins, which are antioxidants that signal for the release of fat in cells.  Even better, white tea can make your liver more efficient at converting fat into energy!

 

Rooibos Tea

This South African tea is a natural fat melter! The compounds contained in this tea can help to inhibit the formation of new fat cells, and they also help boost the metabolism of fat.  Processing existing fat more quickly and blocking new fat from forming?  Yes, please!

Try to replace your coffee habit with a tea habit (or at least one cup a day!) and remember that you can do a lot with a cup of tea! Try adding fresh herbs, lemon or orange slices, and other interesting flavors, but watch out for adding too much sugar.  If you aren’t a fan of hot beverages, try brewing them and drinking them cold!

Try a combination of at least 2 of these teas each day, combined with your healthy diet and exercise routines, and see  how much fat you melt in a month!

 

What’s your favorite way to drink tea?

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The Top 10 Most Unhealthy Foods

There are plenty of unhealthy foods filling the aisles of our supermarkets, but some of them are worse than others. Find out which foods make my Top 10 Most Unhealthy Foods list!

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#1- Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn is packed with transfats, which are bad for your heart!  On top of that, when they come with butter flavor, that flavoring usually includes Diacetyl, a chemical that can break down the layer of cells that protects out brains!

The good news is that you don’t have to give up popcorn completely.  Make it at home on the stove top with olive oil, or popped in an air popper– you can add your own toppings for flavor while knowing exactly what ingredients are going into your body!

 

#2- Chicken Nuggets

Even those made with organic or hormone-free chicken aren’t free from dangerous ingredients.  Diglycerides, Carrageenan, and the colorant red #40 are all common ingredients in chicken nuggets, even those that you buy from the deli counter at your supermarket!  They help to preserve the nuggets and to give them the right color.  Not good.

Instead, try making your own chicken nuggets at home!  Use organic chicken breast dipped in egg and flour with seasonings.  Bake them in the oven and you’re done! It’s an easy meal to make in batches (you can freeze them!) so consider prepping several servings ahead of time to make it easier to eat this healthy version!

 

#3- Cereal

Specifically we’re talking about the sugar-packed cereals that so many of us adored as kids.   Besides just the refined carbs and huge amounts of unhealthy sugar present in these cereals, many of the biggest and most popular brands contain even more dangerout ingredients:  BHT and BHA, which are illegal in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and most of Europe.

Make sure you’re checking the labels of any cereal you buy carefully, or alternatively, give up cereal altogether for more healthy options like oatmeal!

 

#4- Processed Meats

Ham, lunch meat, processed bacon, hotdogs– These are common food items in most families, but they probably shouldn’t be.  Many processed meats contain nitrates, which block the body’s ability to process sugar properly (which is a risk factor for diabetes).  Most processed meats are also extremely high in sodium, which is an area that most of us already need to make some cuts.

When shopping for meat items, especially lunch meats, look for items that are nitrate-free or low sodium.  Additionally, try buying larger cuts of meat that can be prepped in a slow cooker for use in the place of sandwich or breakfast meats.

 

#5- Energy Drinks

These guys pack huge doses of caffeine, and are also notorious for containing large amounts of sucrose and glucose.  These drinks have been proven to be 11% more corrosive to your teeth than a regular soda!  Some energy drinks are even packaged to be healthy, but it’s important to note that they’re often even worse in sugar and chemical content than most sodas.

Opt for an organic juice, tea, or coffee if you’ve got a craving for a perky drink!

 

#6- Farmed Salmon

You know that salmon is a superfood that brings tons of health benefits to the table, but it’s a very specific kind of salmon that you want to eat– farmed salmon is NOT the one you’re looking for.  Farmed salmon comes from the Atlantic (there are no wild salmon in the atlantic so don’t let labels fool you!) and is packed full of Omega 6s, which cause inflammation.  Farmed salmon are usually dyed pink and can also contain large amounts of cancer-causing PCBs, and they’re low in vitamin D, compared to their wild-caught cousins.

 

#7- Canned Soup

While soup can seem innocent enough, and appeal to anyone on a budget, canned soups often contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), which increases your appetite while you eat and also can cause migraines!  On top of that, most canned soups are actually sodium bombs, which is something we all need to avoid.

Try making a big batch of soup and freezing it into small portions.  Do this with a few types of soup that you like and soon enough you’ll be able to go to the freezer for a single serving of whatever soup you like without all of the prep work!

#8- Macaroni and Cheese

In theory, eating pasta with cheese is fine, but you need to make it yourself.  The color of the cheese mix in the boxed mac and cheese from the supermarket aren’t naturally ocurring colors– they’re from yellow 5 and 6 dyes!  These dyes are suspected of causing attention deficit issues in children (the biggest fans ever of mac and cheese, right?), and they’ve been found to cause cancer in animals.  Many of those dyes are used for heavy industrial purposes too, such as coating floors or in lice-killing shampoo.  Not something we want to consume, right?

Instead, buy an organic brand that doesn’t includ any colorants, or make it yourself from your own pasta and cheese at home!

 

#9- Soy Veggie Burgers

You might think you’re being healthy by skipping the meat and eating a soy product, but NOPE.  Most soy burgers are made of genetically modified soy produced in China, and they’re treated with an explosive chemical called hexane.  No thanks.

Instead, try making your own burgers out of quinoa, black beans, or other grains or veggies.  There are tons of options out there to suit whatever ingredient calls your name.

 

#10- Cheetos

While plenty of chips qualify for this list, cheetos are a special type of villain in the chip world.  Besides containt artificial coloring and MSG, they are literally engineered to make you overeat!  The satisfying crunch they produce while being eaten has been proven to have a psychological effect on our brains that causes us to find them more delicious than they actually are.  The texture they have that tends to melt in your mouth also plays a trick on our brains– it makes us think we haven’t eaten as much as we really have.  Cheetos are a recipe for diet disaster and should be avoided.

Instead, have some cheese with crackers– you’ll get the cheese flavor AND a satisfying crunch, if those are the things you’re craving!

 

Are any of these unhealthy foods on your shopping list?

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