People are obsessed with health and fitness, but more than a third of American adults (78.6 million people), and just about a fifth of children between 2 and 19 years old (12.7 million), are overweight or obese, according to the Journal of American Medicine. Losing extra inches around the waist and thighs takes time, dedication, and consistency. But you have to start somewhere. The sooner you see results, the more motivated you are to continue your healthy journey. The good news is that you can do a lot to feel less puffy by the end of the day.
Drinking hot water has many important health benefits. One of them is better digestion. The body won’t use so much energy to break down the food you consumed, which makes it very easy for it to be digested and to smoothly pass through the intestines. Drinking cold water while you eat has the opposite effect. This is another reason why restaurants offer coffee or tea at the end of a meal.
You don’t have to go on a week-long diet of consuming only cleansing juices to detoxify your body, but you should get rid of the free radicals and harmful chemicals in your system. A drink recipe Dr. Gioffre recommends is an inch piece of turmeric, ginger, and a pinch of black pepper that you put in boiled water. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Add a lemon slice. You can drink it hot or put it in the fridge and save it for later as a delicious iced-tea, he adds.
When you eat too fast you don’t really chew your food. You swallow it along with the extra air in your mouth. That extra air is what will cause the bloating in a few minutes. A normal meal should last about half an hour. Studies have proven than eating slowly means eating less (which means weight loss).
Fiber is one of the most important nutrients the body needs to function properly. Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that moves throughout the body, helping promote digestion and prevent constipation, as well as potentially reducing cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber (whole-wheat, brown rice, legumes, and vegetables) is recommended to help treat digestive problems. Berries are a great source of fiber as well.
“There are two parts to nutrition science: What and how much,” Joey Gochnour, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer at Nutrition and Fitness Professional, says. The body needs to support itself and is running 24/7, so having some food throughout the day is probably a better strategy than having it all at once, he adds. The smaller meals approach is the best way to keep blood sugar levels constant, keeping you energized and focused.
Have some asparagus
It’s an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The green vegetable is a great source of folate, a vitamin that can treat certain types of anemia. Folate plays an important role in the production of dopamine and serotonin, the “happiness hormones.” Asparagus is also the best source of glutathione, an antioxidant that protects against cancer.
“Dairy foods are highly acidic and they need to be avoided,” Dr. Daryl Gioffre, Founder of Alkamind and celebrity nutritionist, says. “Despite marketing claims, milk doesn’t have any health benefits beyond human breast milk in infancy.” While yogurt is a good source of probiotics, most, if not all, are loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, harmful fillers, and yeast which are three things you need to avoid like the plague, he adds. “They are all very congestive to your digestive system, and because of their acidic nature, your body will hold onto fat to neutralize the acid they produce in your body.”
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Dehydration can lead to eating more. Thirst can masquerade as hunger and the body doesn’t know the difference. Avoid the confusion by drinking water before it's mealtime. You’ll also feel fuller so you won’t end up eating a lot of food. Dehydration also leads to poor digestion – lack of water, calcium, and magnesium can cause ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux because the stomach doesn’t have enough H2O to produce digestive acid. Also, if the body is dehydrated, the large intestine will soak up whatever water it can from the food you consumed, making it too hard to pass, causing pain and constipation.
This is healthy bacteria that your body needs, Dr. Gioffre says. People who are looking to support their immune and digestive health or have recently taken antibiotics should consider a probiotic supplement. It helps balance the good and bad bacteria in the body. The ratio is a critical factor in determining your overall health. Probiotics are not all alike. Get a multi probiotic because it contains several vital live bacteria that are not often found in the intestines, Dr. Gioffre adds
Certain ingredients in chocolate can help boost a person’s metabolism, making the body work harder to burn off fat, according to research. Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often. Cocoa is good because of fermentation by gut bacteria, creating anti-inflammatory compounds that improve blood vessel function, according to research. Beneficial bacteria that reside toward the end of the digestive tract ferment both the antioxidants and the fiber in cocoa.
Get more sleep
“By sleeping less, you are programming your body to eat more,” Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, says. Lack of sleep causes weight gain in several ways. Sleep deprivation affects the brain in a way that makes you want to eat more and not process food efficiently. It sparks a vicious cycle where you are left feeling tired, slowing your metabolism and playing tricks with your hormones.
Here is some good news for people who don’t like to work out. You’re doing it every time you walk. Nobody thinks of this aerobic activity as an exercise because more than 7 billion people do it daily and it’s not hard. A study followed different athletes who ran in different styles while measuring their oxygen levels at all times. The result was that walking – not running – was the most efficient way to stay in shape and lose weight while being easiest on your body.
Forget about chewing gum
Chewing gum causes you to swallow extra air which leads to abdominal bloating. Also, chewing gum makes your body think that food is coming in. It starts to produce the enzymes necessary to break it down. But when there is no food to process, bloating occurs because now you have too much stomach acid in your belly. Have some popcorn – it will help you lose weight – or a healthy snack next time you feel like chewing gum.
Alcohol is fat-sparing, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The body will burn the calories from booze first before it burns any fat. Some studies have shown that alcohol decreases fat burn in the stomach. That’s why nutritionists say that the fastest way to lose belly fat is by not drinking booze, a.k.a. “empty calories.”
Add cilantro to your salads
“Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs to add to my summer salads and dishes,” Angela Martindale, a celebrity nutritionist, says. “It is packed with phytonutrients, which can lower blood sugar, decrease bad cholesterol levels, and is rich in magnesium and iron, along with being a detoxifying addition to your diet.” Cilantro has a lot of fiber, which supports normal digestive function, alleviating an “overactive” gut.