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The Truth About Belly Fat

Orange Icon  The Truth About Belly Fat

Orange Icon  The Truth About Belly Fat

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I often get asked about belly fat...where it comes from, how to get rid of it, why it's there, you get the idea.

There are tons of books and diets that claim to reveal the magic food combinations that will give you great abs. The only problem with this is that there isn't any magic trick to get rid of your belly and wake up with great abs. But that certainly doesn't stop people from claiming to know one!

Three years ago, a book called The Belly Fat Cure captured the attention of diet experts and those hoping to lose weight alike, and it has been popular ever since. Why? Because most people want a quick fix that lets them eat whatever they want and still lose weight.

The book's author, Jorge Cruise, says that the way to lose your "sugar belly" or "bread belly" is simply to eat a limited amount of sugar and carbs in the correct ratio. He goes on to say that the correct ratio is no more than 15 grams of sugar and 6 servings of carbs per day.

Sounds like science, right? But get this...

Some of the allowed carbs on his diet include chocolate bars and Cheez-Its.

And, the diet severely limits fruit. No offense to Mr. Cruise or his book, but eating chocolate bars and cheese crackers - neither of which offers any nutritional value - while avoiding healthy foods like fruit won't help you lose weight. (But don't forget you can have up to 1/2 of a dark chocolate candy bar - dark chocolate made with 75% cacao and above is best - each week on Beyond Diet. The organic cacao bean is full of antioxidants and is actually not bad for you, in moderation!)

Now, on to a plan that makes a little more sense.

Awhile back, Dr. Oz had Brett Hoebel on his show. Hoebel is a fitness and weight-loss guru who has appeared on such shows as The Biggest Loser, the Today Show, and Good Morning America. Hoebel was on Dr. Oz's show to promote his "30-Day Flat Belly Plan," and I agree with a lot of what he had to say about nutrition. (However, I don't agree with his promise that you can safely get the flat belly you've always dreamed of in 30 days. It takes longer than that!)

For a flat belly, Hoebel recommends eating proteins like chicken and eggs, complex carbs such as spinach and asparagus, and simple carbs like apples and berries. He also suggests eating raw nuts and nut butters, which I agree with. Hoebel also suggests adding fiber to your diet to help prevent constipation, since constipation causes bloating. Many of my recipes contain fiber as well, especially in the form of organic, ground flax seeds. Though tiny, seeds can pack a ton of fiber and go great in smoothies, salads, and even soups.

Look, the bottom line is this: No matter how much we'd like to, we can't dictate to our bodies where we would like to lose weight. Eating the Beyond Diet way, which means eating the way our bodies intended for us to eat, you will naturally lose weight all over your body, and you will feel great.

That said, if you really want to lose belly fat, the fastest and healthiest way to get there is to stop eating and drinking sugar and processed foods. As a simple carbohydrate, sugar has four calories in each gram...and sugar gives you a big zero nutritional benefits. Plus, because sugar is addictive, we tend to eat or drink foods with sugar and then want even more. And when we eat or drink more calories than we burn, fat accumulates, including (and often especially) on our bellies.

There is no shortcut to getting flat abs or getting rid of your belly. Only by eating the natural foods I have laid out in the Beyond Diet plan will you be able to lose weight - including excess weight in your belly - and keep it off for good. Fad diets don't work. Beyond Diet does.