Fight the Fat: 4 foods you should know about!

Do you feel like despite your best efforts to work out regularly and eat properly that you still have that extra fat hanging around your belly? If so, you are not alone! Belly fat is some of the hardest fat to eliminate as it is so closely tied weight loss imageinto our hormones. Stress, poor sleep and digestion, insulin spikes and drops (and more), all can play a role in hormonal imbalance and ultimately our ability (or inability) to banish that belly fat for good.

Consider these four healthy foods that will help to balance hormones and beat that bulge!

1. Fish eggs and turkey (lean protein) eggs_metal_basket
*Select the organic/wild option, or hormone free
*Protein creates a thermogenic effect, which means it naturally heats the body causing a metabolic fat burning effect
*Helps slow the release of sugars in the blood. In doing this you avoid blood sugar spikes, which is a common reason why
we store fat
*Lean protein helps us to put on metabolically active tissue (muscle), in turn burning calories while we are at rest

2. Green Tea
*Hot or cold is fine! Brew, cool down and add fruit for more flavour.
*Green tea contains a chemical called EGCG that promotes fat metabolism
*Research indicates that a mere 2 cups each day can be extremely beneficial
*Benefits include anti cancer, anti inflammatory, and helps lower LDL (your bad cholesterol)

turmeric3. Turmeric
*Curcumin, which has powerful antioxidant (protects cells from damage) and anti-inflammatory properties, is the most active
constituent of turmeric.
*Some research has shown that turmeric acts as a mild painkiller in people suffering from arthritic symptoms by lowering
inflammation
*Add to chicken, fish rubs, salad dressing to create a healthy, well rounded meal

4. Cruciferous Vegetables
*Examples include broccoli, kale, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and bok choi and more!
*These vegetables contain a chemical compound called indol 3 Cabinol, which helps to draw unwanted hormones from the system – for
example, extra estrogen
*If you have a hormonal imbalance, you will store fat in those unwanted spots like your belly and thighs so the recommendation is
1 cup per day, raw or lightly steamed

Thanksgiving 911! Sugar Craving: control these in 3 simple steps

Cravings refer to the desire to eat something specific, even if you are NOT hungry. Our cravings tend to be for sweet items, such as chocolate and ice cream and or for salty foods like chips and crackers. There are many different reasons why we crave, fatigue is one common trigger. When we are tired, simple sugars in processed foods (like the aforementioned) will temporarily elevate our energy levels, causing people to gravitate towards these. Low serotonin is another explanation why we might crave. Serotonin is our “happy chemical”, if this is too low (often due to hormonal imbalances) we might feel moody or slightly depressed. Sugar helps to raise our serotonin levels (although again, only temporarily). As a result, unconsciously we will want to consume carbohydrates (sugars) to raise our level of contentment. Going forward we will want replicate that feeling, and therefore crave that food (sugar). Control-Sugar-Cravings-300x207

Whatever the reason for the craving, identifying this issue and addressing it immediately will help prevent that unwanted fat gain around the belly and hips. Doing so will put you in control of your life, not the sugar!

Follow these 3 easy steps to help manage and reduce sugar cravings!

Step # 1: Cold Turkey
This tends to be the most effective method I think. Although it is difficult for the first few days while your body is going through a withdrawal, you will pass through this phase and crave much less. Have you ever noticed after a holiday like Easter, where you have consumed more than your fair share of chocolate, you seem to crave it more than usual? This is extremely common and happens to many people. Eliminating that food for 3-7 days will most likely allow your body to forget about that craving, so be strong and avoid the temptation. It will get easier within the week!

Step #2: Starvation Station
You know that feeling when you are REALLY hungry; jittery, weak, irritable. When you have gone too long without food, blood sugars typically have dropped or have started to. Once you get to this point your body will crave simple carbohydrates (sugars), in order to bring the blood sugars up quickly (making you feel better for the short term). This creates a vicious cycle. Once you spike your blood sugars by consuming high glycemic foods aka simple carbs (breads, crackers, candy), they will eventually drop out, creating that same craving. This cycle perpetuates fat storage and fluctuating energy levels.

Tip: Eat every 2.5-4 hours to avoid this cycle that many people fall victim to.

Step#3: Pick your poison
It’s true that going ‘cold turkey’ is the best way to rid yourself of those pesky craving, but we need to be realistic as well. One-two weeks without sugar is do-able, but we still need to be able to indulge once in awhile on those special occasions. Once you no longer NEED sugar, introducing treats (a few per week only) is acceptable. Remember, whatever you choose, make it your favourite. Do not just have something because it is in front of you, pick your poison! If you over-indulge, the cravings mentioned before will come right back. Moderation and mindfulness is key when treating yourself!