As registered dietitians and personal trainers, one of our favorite things to share is simple ways that you can jumpstart your weight-loss resolutions! The easier the action steps are, the better for long-lasting results– and we’re proud to say that we’ve helped hundreds of clients not only meet their weight loss goals but also achieve long-lasting weight loss success!
We’re sharing some of the tips we share with them here (and/or in this video). If you’ve wondered whether or not you really can spot reduce and if certain foods really help you to lose belly fat, we get to the bottom of the research!
We also cover other weight loss hacks that our clients ask for, like foods you should eat for a weight loss boost, simple swaps to save calories, an easy and satisfying weight loss snack, which foods to eat to prevent overeating, and how to prevent binge eating.
Do you know what Lyssie is holding (above)? Hint: it contains a substance that inhibits the formation of fat cells.
If you can’t watch the video above, here is an abbreviated version of some of the things we share:
1. There’s interesting and fun new research about belly fat. Can you spot reduce? The answer used to always be no, but….
Although some research has shown that you can’t strictly spot-reduce, there are quite a few reasons to be encouraged! Reducing overall body fat will also reduce belly fat, also called visceral fat, so any healthy weight loss eating plan will help!
Visceral fat wraps around your organs and produces more inflammatory substances than subcutaneous fat, which is the fat that sits on top of your muscle, just beneath the skin such as the fat around your hips, buttocks, and thighs.
Visceral fat is linked to stroke, insulin resistance, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease, as well as chronic inflammation, which is the root of cancer and all disease.
There is some research to show that there are certain things you can do to help to reduce visceral (belly) fat
Ways to help shed overall fat, including visceral fat, are doing cardiovascular exercise to burn excess calories including:
- Adequate protein at meals to shut down your body’s hunger signals
- Decreasing added sugar and alcohol intake which add excess calories and contribute to weight gain, including belly fat
- Reducing your stress level to reduce cortisol, which is associated with belly fat
- Getting plenty of sleep since not getting enough sleep is linked to belly fat.1
Action steps to take:
Protein: aim for at least 20 grams per meal.
As mentioned above, protein can help to stave off hunger, which ultimately helps to jumpstart weight loss. Protein reduces your hunger hormone, ghrelin, and increases your satiety hormones. And research shows that getting enough good-quality protein throughout the day is linked to less visceral fat.2 So aim to get fish, eggs, chicken, tofu, or dairy at each meal.
Eat some fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt daily.
They contain certain probiotics that may help to reduce belly fat. These probiotic-rich foods have also been shown to increase a fullness hormone and help to reduce the amount of fat the body stores, and of course, this includes fat stores around the middle.3 They may be able to decrease the amount of fat you absorb and increase the amount you excrete.
Bump up your soluble fiber…
It may not sound sexy, but it’s easy and effective! Where do you find soluble fiber to jumpstart weight loss? Apples, citrus fruits, oats, oat bran, beans, rice bran, barley, flaxseeds, strawberries, peas, potatoes, and psyllium are all good sources of soluble fiber. One study found that upping soluble fiber by just 10 grams per day lessened the risk of visceral fat gain by 3.7%. Repeat then:
Apples, citrus fruits, oats, oat bran, beans, rice bran, barley, flaxseeds, strawberries, peas, potatoes and psyllium are all good sources of soluble fiber.
They are fermented in the gut into short-chain fatty acids which suppress appetite by increasing levels of fullness hormones and decreasing hunger hormones to help reduce visceral fat. One study found that increasing soluble fiber by just 10 grams per day decreased the risk of visceral fat gain by 3.7%. 4
Our Copycat Apple Pie, anyone? Try citrus fruits on salads or used to flavor water, add berries to smoothies.
2. If you want to jumpstart weight loss, one of the best things you can do is choose the best flavor enhancers.
For long-term weight loss, we see two mistakes.
Often, many people have the best intentions of choosing grilled chicken breast or plain fish. When their taste buds need a little boost they start choosing oily condiments, buttery sauces, or salty condiments. These all lead to bloat and inflammation–and weight gain.
The other mistake we see is that people choose healthy foods but overdo the fatty and salty condiments and dressings, not realizing it’s sabotaging them.
Fresh herbs and spices are the way to go instead. They’re calorie-free, so they’re a dream come true for a weight loss hopeful since they add so much flavor without negatively impacting waistlines. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that fight against the disease.
Take rosemary, for example, it’s approved in Germany for digestive ailments and has been used for years as a spice for its medicinal benefits.
It fights inflammation, boosts memory and cognitive function, and more). More recently, rosemary is thought to help ward off hunger and may aid with weight loss. Rosemary contains carnosic acid, a substance that seems to keep the pounds off by inhibiting the formation of fat cells.
It also helps muscles soak up glucose, which means it can help lower blood sugar levels and even moderate hunger. The research is consistent when ti comes to practically all fresh herbs: they fight inflammation and have a different mechanism that helps stave off the LBs. Try ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions, thyme, and any other herbs you like!
3. If you want to prevent overeating, get more magnesium.
Magnesium helps to relax your muscles, calm the nervous system, fight against anxiety and calm you down, and most of us don’t get enough.
This puts us in harm’s way when it comes to eating since many of us tend to overeat due to stress, anxiety, etc. Also, stress and anxiety cause us to miss out on important sleep, which in turn makes our cortisol rise. And remember cortisol rise links to an increase in belly fat.
Here’s what to do:
Include leafy greens at least once a day. Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and turnip greens– they’re all good sources of magnesium, as well as many other phytonutrients and vitamins. Leafy greens are a great way to get magnesium because they’re super low in calories, so they help with weight loss, not hinder it.
Add balsamic vinegar and lemon with a spritz of olive oil (you do want a little oil to help boost the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins) to keep the calories low. Other good sources of magnesium include nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains.
4. Snack time!
This is one of the snacks that satisfies our clients the most! Try this super-filling snack that our clients are loving because they help to jumpstart weight loss. It’s packed with antioxidants and takes the edge off hunger and fights inflammation.
Inflammatory markers are associated with disease, aging, diabetes, and being overweight, so any time we can get those down, it’s a major battle in the fight against body fat! This matcha tea with almond milk is frothy and shockingly filling.
Research shows that green tea has thermogenic properties that aren’t only from the tea’s caffeine content, but its’ potent catechin, a type of antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which increases brown fat, boosting metabolism.
EGCG combined with the tea’s caffeine have even more of an impact. Four to five cups of tea a day will do the trick! Teacups are smaller than a regular cup, so 4-5, 5-ounce servings of tea are all it takes.
5. Apply for 1:1 coaching with us.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, you don’t have to. We’re here to help!
Apply to our Transformation Jumpstart program! It is a super easy process to ensure that we can support you to the best of our abilities. Find out more and apply here.