Eating to Burn Belly Fat
I read a shocking statistic the other day about belly fat. It said that stroke risk is 4 times higher in women whose waists were larger than 35 inches and men whose waists were larger than 40 inches than those with normal waists.
This is personal for me because my grandmother died of a stroke when she was only 47 years old. And in my “before” picture, I looked very much like she did – short woman, big belly.
Not only does waist size increase your risk of stroke, but also your risk of developing diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
So women, if your waist is above 35 inches and men, if your waist is above 40 inches, make it your top priority to get your waist out of the danger zone. I did because I did not want anything keeping me from living out my God-given purpose.
To measure your waist size, use the smallest point with your stomach relaxed; if you lack a waist, then measure around your navel. I use a Myotape (you can find one on Amazon.com) to make it easier to get an accurate measurement.
What are some things you can do to reduce belly fat? First, eat mostly real foods the way God made them. Decrease fake food – foods processed and packaged by man. I’ve come to learn that big bellies mostly come from eating a diet high in sugar, white flour products (white pasta, cookies, crackers, bread) and other processed foods.
When you eat sugar and simple carbohydrates like most breads, pastas, fruit juices, and sugared drinks, your body breaks them down very quickly into glucose, flooding your bloodstream. Your body then releases insulin to try to restore balance. Insulin not only moves the excess glucose into the cells but it is also a fat-storing hormone.
So if you are trying to lose belly fat and still eating a diet high in sugar and other processed foods, then it is like trying to start a fire with damp wood! Eating sugar and simple carbohydrates also can increase food cravings. The more you eat, the more you want. But eating real food gives your body the nourishment it needs.
Turn up your fat burning furnace by swapping sugar and simple carbohydrates for increased fibrous vegetables, especially the green ones like Turnip greens, Mustard greens, Collards, Cabbage, Broccoli, Spinach, Watercress, Kale, Bok Choy and all types of salad greens (go easy on the salad dressing because many varieties are loaded with calories), high fiber fruit like apples, pears, and oranges, and lean protein like fish, chicken, turkey, beef, and eggs. These keep your blood glucose stable – no insulin overloads!
Drink water or herbal teas, especially green tea. You can sweeten with Stevia if you like (a natural sweetening herb). Don’t substitute fruit juice…you need the whole fruit. The fiber in the whole fruit satisfies your sweet tooth and because the sweetness is naturally packaged with fiber (God is so smart), it does not cause the sharp spike in glucose like the fruit juice does.
Foods and drinks with high fructose corn syrup will also make your belly size increase. Soft drinks are loaded with it. Eliminate those from your diet. In addition, go through your refrigerator and cabinet and eliminate products with high fructose corn syrup. When I did this, I was shocked at how many products contain it – products like salad dressings, ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, meat marinade, and others. You can always substitute brands without it.
If you want to know more about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup, then this video will blow you away: Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It’s long and the doctor’s language is colorful at times, but it is great information.
Remember, experts say that waist size is now the best indicator of your risk of disease. So eat real food in reasonable amounts – vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and limited amount of whole grain products – and your waist will love you for it!