“Flavonoids found in chamomile tea may promote relaxation and help individuals fall asleep faster,” McDaniel says. “It’s well known that sleep deprivation hinders weight-loss progress. So if individuals can rack up more Zzz’s by drinking chamomile tea before bed, it may indirectly help them lose weight.” When it comes to sleep, it's all about routine—make that cup of chamomile part of your nightly bedtime ritual.
Kiwi detox water belongs to a league of its own. This exotic fruit is blessed with tons of dietary fiber, which helps it remove extra sodium from the system. Girls who consume too much salt may discover a lot of assistance through these tropical treats. Huge vitamin C reserves make this special water a formidable detox agent. Strawberries fight free radicals with antioxidants of their own. This is a quick fix for potassium deficiencies. These brews are notably easy to prepare, and the ensuing metamorphosis is disproportionately positive when compared to the amount of effort required. Get ready to go clothes shopping for smaller sizes!
Red ginseng tea—part of The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse—belongs to the botanical family panax, which translates from Greek to mean “all heal.” Sounds promising already, right? A study in the journal Food & Function found that participants who sipped on a red ginseng drink saw a significant reduction of plasma alcohol levels and hangover severity (from whiskey—ouch!), in comparison to the placebo group. If you had one too many to help deal with the family bickering, slip out to the store; you can find ginseng tea in most supermarkets.
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Keep in mind that the initial weight lost on a fast is primarily fluid or "water weight," not fat. And when you go back to eating, any lost weight usually gets a return ticket back. Not only do most people regain weight lost on a fast, they tend to add a few extra pounds because a slower metabolism makes it easier to gain weight. Worse, the weight that is regained is likely to be all fat -- lost muscle has to be added back at the gym.
This easy a.m. ritual works on two levels. First, a recent study found that exposure to UV rays, even on a cloudy day, between the hours of 8 am and noon reduces your risk of weight gain regardless of activity level, caloric intake, or age. Researchers speculate that the morning light synchronizes your metabolism and undercuts your fat genes. And burning calories before you eat means you’re exercising in a fasted state—the energy you burn comes right from your fat stores instead of the glucose still in your system. According to some studies, exercising in a fasted state can burn almost 20 percent more fat compared to exercising with fuel in the tank.
If you need to shed some water weight, dandelion tea may help. That's because components in the tea work to increase urine output, says McDaniel. “Dandelion tea could be helpful when feeling bloated from a high-sodium meal, since the diuretic properties may help the body from retaining water and salt.” You will see the scale inch down as you lose water weight, says Mendez, “but the effects are short-term and don’t reflect true weight or fat loss.”
“Tea does contain compounds such as polyphenols and caffeine, which [may slightly increase] metabolism, but this boost isn’t enough to have a meaningful impact on body weight,” she says. “If it did, these tea manufacturers would be raking in millions and millions of dollars.” Plus, so-called weight-loss teas often contain added ingredients that don't have the health-promoting benefits of pure tea and may not be safe, like various stimulants.
Why it Works: Studies show apples have an appetite-suppressing effect. The pectin fiber in apples contribute to delayed gastric emptying. Essentially, this prolongs the time the food remains in the stomach, thus maintaining the feeling of being full and satiated. As for cinnamon, we know for a fact the spice is a proven blood-sugar reducer. New studies also show that cinnamaldehyde, a compound in cinnamon, may induce fat-cell autonomous thermogenesis.
Ditch the sodas and juice and replace them with water to help you lose weight. If you think water tastes boring, add a slice of lemon. A glass of water with lemon is a recipe for successful weight loss because the pectin in lemons helps reduce food cravings. Think water doesn’t really help with weight loss? Give up those sugary drinks for just a few weeks and see the difference.
There are many ups and downs (thankfully, more downs than ups, all told), but from my point of view, other than at point A, where I started trying to lose weight, and point D, where I started intermittent fasting, the changes in direction are not due to changes in my effort: there’s been no giving up or even easing up. From point A to point D, I kept up my efforts, the only changes being in little increases in them (increasing exercise, decreasing eating). From A to C, I was mostly losing weight at a pretty good clip — except for a very frustrating period at B. Then at C, what I was doing no longer worked, my weight shot up a bit, and then I wrestled it up and down. Then at D, I started intermittent fasting, and that worked very well — for a while. A year ago, I was thinking I could just ride intermittent fasting to my goal (below 190 lbs.), and then could ease up to maybe 2 fasting days per week to keep my weight where I wanted it. But then, right around my goal, intermittent fasting stopped working, at least in lowering my weight further: it seemed needed just to keep it from shooting back up further than it did. I’ve basically had to keep fasting 3 days per week just to maintain, and still, the last couple of months it shot up in an alarming way, despite everything. The last week or so, there are signs that it may be turning around to head down again. So I do have some hope that maybe I’ll be breaking through a floor of sorts, my weight will go back down, get below 190, and allow me to perhaps go down to 2 fast days per week. But that’s just a hope. There’s also cause for concern: this could also just be a pause before it starts going up again.
Also some research shows that the human body is primed to consume most of its calories during daylight hours. But the lifestyle is problematic for many: Because family meals and dinners with friends often are scheduled for after sunset, “people who try to stop eating after 7pm can’t do it every day for the rest of their lives,” says Dr. Seltzer, who supports an alternative strategy: Eating a hearty meal at your regular dinnertime.
In fact, stop eating at 7 pm, if possible. By ending your eating by 7 pm, you’ll set yourself up to begin burning fat first thing in the morning. Not just burning calories—burning fat. As you go through the Zero Belly Cleanse, you’ll experience a sense of control over your diet, your body and your health. One of the reasons so many cultures impose periods of cleansing on their people is that it helps to bring a sense of order to life.
Today, most commercial detox diets tout an unhealthy formula of minimal calories and nutrients along with some key—usually foul-tasting—ingredient that has supposed fat-melting power, like cayenne pepper or vinegar. But no science backs the idea that following a specific diet for a week or eating only one food will get rid of "toxins." Your body has the power to do that all on its own: That's why you have a liver, kidneys, and a digestive system.
The Drinking Detox. If you're not ready to change what you eat, you might start by changing what you drink. Many experts (and smart dieters) will tell you that the easiest way to lose weight is to give up alcohol either permanently or for a short time. Booze provides no significant nutritional benefits, it's full of calories and it may cause you to eat more junk food. For many dieters, simply saying no to alcohol is the best way to detox the body, sleep better at night, boost energy levels, and slim down.