As summer approaches we all start to think about what we can do to look our best when we’re out in the sun, on vacation, or hitting the beach. This time of year I get lots of questions about how to lose weight quickly.
Most diets promise to help you get rid of your belly fat…right?
Well, that’s perfect if trimming your waistline is your only focus. But I hear from women and men all the time who want to specifically target other areas of their body, like their hips or thighs.
We call this “spot reduction” – targeting the stubborn fat that seems to stick to those problem regions of the body. In the past, conventional wisdom has always been that spot reduction is a myth.
Now, I’m not referring to fad diets that claim they can give you miracle results like “blasting your belly fat overnight.” Those diets are exactly what they sound like – too good to be true. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to go after the most difficult and stubborn areas of fat on your body.
In fact, there is some sound scientific evidence to show that specific changes to your diet can have a spot-reducing effect.
This is something I get into detail about in my 17 Day Diet Breakthrough Edition book and my Body Breakthrough program, because in recent years, specific foods have been identified and scientifically proven to change the shape of your body.
And if you know what they are, you CAN contour specific parts of your body and target the areas that you want to slenderize. Essentially, understanding what these foods are and how they work, puts YOU in control of your body shape.
Certain foods will “target” specific parts of the body, including those common problem areas identified above. I call them “contour foods” because along with a consistent exercise routine they can be used to shape your body, and they play an essential role in each of the four cycles of my best-selling 17 Day Diet.
Here’s a quick rundown of what the contour foods are, and how they work to help you shed pounds where you want to see results the most.
Contour Foods for a Flatter Belly
Belly fat is notorious for being easy to put on and difficult to get rid of. For most people, it’s the first place they gain, and that means it’s the last pouch of fat to go away when they start to shed pounds.
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That also means it’s the area of fat that people tend to be the most eager to get rid of. So it’s no surprise that most of my patients are interested in any edge they can get to shed those pesky pounds around the midsection.
And fortunately, there are a few specific foods that can do just that! So why not take advantage of what science can teach us?
Monounsaturated fats, often called “good fats,” are one of the most effective ways to target fat around your midsection. Some foods that are high in monounsaturated fats are nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil and canola oil.
Keep in mind: these are “good fats,” but there are also bad fats – avoid foods high in saturated fat like cheese, butter, cream and fatty meats that can slow down your metabolism and undo the benefits of a healthy diet.
Probiotics can help you burn fat and have the added benefit of being high in calcium. When calcium levels are low your body produces calcitriol, which causes the body to store fat – calcium-rich foods reverse that process.
Probiotics are the beneficial bugs in your body that increase the efficiency of your digestive system, so increasing your intake of probiotics is a great way to boost weight loss. Probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, and sauerkraut. Make sure you get two full servings per day.
Whole grains are a healthy option to add starch to a meal. These include oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice, barley, and whole-wheat bread or pasta. Science isn’t conclusive as to how or why these foods function to promote weight loss, but research shows that in moderation they can reduce belly fat and slim your waistline.
Contour Foods to Target Your Thighs and Hips and Reduce Cellulite
Next, to their midsection, the lower-body is the region that I hear most people looking to slim down. It’s a challenge, but just like with your belly there are some foods that will target the hard-to-lose fat on your thighs and hips.
To shed pounds on your thighs and hips, the key is to increase the amount of healthy fiber in your diet. You should aim for at least 26 grams of fiber per day. That’s within the daily recommended range for adults, but the fact is most people aren’t getting enough.
Focus on eating the following foods to make sure you’re getting enough fiber: Beans, peas, lentils, rice, oats, barley, corn, wheat bran, pears, apples, oranges, berries, carrots, potatoes, squash, seeds, nuts, whole grain bread, and cereals, green beans, broccoli, spinach, and tomatoes.
You may have noticed some of these are the same foods you can use to target belly fat, including certain monounsaturated fats and whole grains – those foods are essential parts of an effective weight-loss plan.
Increasing the fiber in your diet can have other health benefits, too. You’re probably aware that a high-fiber diet can help regulate digestion. High-fiber foods also tend to be more filling, which means you’ll eat less to feel full.
Fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and, while the science is still inconclusive, there is some evidence that it can also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
So remember to incorporate plenty of the healthy fiber-rich foods listed above into your diet. Not only will you get the awesome slimming “contour effect” to your hips and thighs, but you’ll experience other great health benefits, too!
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Remember: Exercise is Always Essential
Now that I’ve filled you in on some of the contour foods that you can take advantage of to target your problem areas, I want to remind you that a consistent, regular exercise routine plays an important role in achieving success.
While these foods can help, there’s no question that to see the full results you need to set aside time every day to be active.
Not only is it essential to losing weight, but a solid workout routine allows you to sculpt your body to enhance the “contouring” effect that your new diet will have. Making it a habit will also increase your confidence and motivate you to remain focused on a healthier lifestyle.
So don’t forget to stay active.
In my Body Breakthrough Digital Diet program, I added contour foods in each one of the cycles as well as prescriptions for how to incorporate them into your diet and exercise plan so you can change and improve your shape even faster.
Here’s to a healthier, slimmer you – just in time for summer!
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