In preparation to write this article, I decided to try fasting for myself. I encountered countless research, articles, and podcasts proclaiming the health benefits of fasting. Not only for fat loss, but for it’s anti-aging, anti-cancer, and mentally stimulating effects. Additionally, if I am recommending something to my patients, I like to have first-hand experience with it in order to better guide them.
Made from pulverized green tea leaves, you stir matcha into hot water. Therefore, you consume the whole tea leaf. For that reason, you get a bigger dose of ECGC. One study from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs compared the two and found that drinking matcha delivered 137 times the metabolism-revving ECGC compared to traditional green tea. One tip: if you find matcha to be too bitter on its own, foam it into milk and stir with honey for a delicious matcha latte. (If you need some more convincing, here’s some more information on how incredible matcha is as a weight-loss tea.)
Regardless of the drink or recipe you use, just be sure to stick to unprocessed ingredients. The best detox for weight loss will always require nothing more than what’s found abundantly in nature. The same holds true if you decide to use a detox supplement like Digestive Refresh. These detox drinks alone won’t give you six-pack abs, but they’ll certainly help you achieve your ideal body weight.
You may feel trendy with a bottle of vitamin-enhanced water in your hand, but that brightly-hued liquid probably isn’t improving your health. Most vitamin-infused H20 is just colored sugar water with some vitamins tossed in—bad news when you consider that Americans take in about 355 calories of added sugar every day. If you want vitamins, get them from vitamin supplements or, better yet, from whole foods (wild salmon, for example, is loaded with energy-boosting vitamin B-12). And if you want water, get it from, well, water. Nature’s beverage is calorie-free, cost-free and will take care of all your hydration needs.
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.
In a recent Eat This, Not That! taste test, we rounded up all of the light beers we could find that ranked among the top 20 most purchased beers in America. we managed to track down all but Busch Light and Michelob Ultra and filled in the rest of the list with light beers we felt would be missed if they weren’t included. You know, the household names that don’t have the really big advertising bucks behind them. We ended up with a solid list of 13 brews. Of the 13, Sam Adams Light ranked numero uno. It was lauded for its discernable nutty flavor and relatively full body. One tester even noted that it “tasted like something I might find in a nice beer garden!” To find out which other tasty beers topped our list, check out the full report on the Best Light Beers in America.
Petey’s Bing Beverage serves up an extra boost of energy from taurine (1000mg), an amino acid you’ll find in many of the sporty energy drinks due to its ability to improve athletic performance. A recent study in the Journal of Cardiology found participants who supplemented with 500 mg of taurine three times daily for two weeks, were able to significantly increase exercise distance. In addition to the 1000mg taurine, you’ll get a healthy dose of polyphenols from the bing cherries, which research suggests can reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health. A month-long clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition saw a 21 percent reduction in inflammation markers among men and women who supplemented their diets with bing cherries. (By the way, taurine is probably fine in small doses, but chug too much and the picture becomes less clear.)
Case in point: A just-released animal study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that, by lowering levels of obesity-promoting bacteria in the gut while also increasing the number of lean mass-supporting bacteria, black tea may promote healthy weight loss. “Some black tea components stay in the intestines and serve as fuel [or prebiotics] for ‘friendly’ bacteria in the gut," explains Jennifer McDaniel, R.D.N, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who was not involved in the study. "These changes in the gut bacteria positively influence energy metabolism and may be what is responsible for modest weight loss.”
Also known as branch chain amino acids. BCAAs are three amino acids known as Leucine, Valine and Iso-Leucine. They help prevent muscle breakdown and can be bought as yummy flavoured powders to use in place as sports drinks. Drink them during your workout instead of water as they will help you tone up as you lose that belly and may even help in the formation of abdominal muscle.
Why try a plan with a high dropout rate and hours of hunger? Beyond the health benefits, some people actually like it—and find it the easiest way to control their weight. Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging, has studied intermittent fasting since the 1990s and himself been on a plan for years. "Once you get used to it, it's not a big deal," he says. "You adapt." Other fans? Reportedly, trendsters from Beyonce to Silicon Valley techies; and Jimmy Kimmel has said he lost 25 pounds fasting too. So... should you experiment?
Other intermittent fasting diets take a different approach. The 5:2 method, for example, requires you to eat as you normally would for five days a week, but on two nonconsecutive days, you eat just one meal a day. Wright says she spent five months conditioning her body to the 16:8 method. At that point, she says, she switched to the 20:4 method. According to this method, you fast for 20 hours and have a 4-hour eating window.
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.
How does fasting produce these benefits? Professor Valter Longo of USC, one of the leading researchers on fasting and longevity, hypothesizes that fasting forces your body to recycle many of its immune cells, particularly white blood cells. Then your body works hard to replenish its white blood cells, essentially re-setting parts of your immune system. Longo is also the inventor of the fast-mimicking diet, where you eat a special diet for 5 days every month, one that makes your body think you're fasting even though you're getting adequate calories and nutrients. (See Alice Walton's story in Forbes for more about that.)
"However, that doesn't mean the relationship is cause and effect," she told POPSUGAR. "It has been observed in the literature that people who fast for 13 or more hours nightly tend to be less likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, large waist circumference, obesity, and elevated blood lipids." She added that these benefits aren't observed in fasting windows of 12 hours or less.
This shake is a surprisingly good option–especially considering the low quality of some of Special K’s cereals. Whereas some of their cereal boxes are loaded with plain sugar, the sugar counts on these bottles include natural lactose from the nonfat milk base. Grab the malted chocolate flavor for a classic dessert-inspired treat that will fill you up instead of leaving you with a sugar crash.
A lifelong dependency on 7Up and Sprite can finally come to an end with this carbonated detox blend. All it takes is 1 lemon, 3 limes and a sparkling spritzer. Fake sugars can finally be discarded, and their disappearance will be joined by the vanishing of several pounds. This is a great brew for getting slimmer and trimmer. It is a delicacy worthy of cherished sipping. Each taste singes the tongue with zesty ferocity, and your belly will thank you for freeing it from soda once and for all. This drink will replace the former waste with an actual waist!
Suprisingly, though, fasting may be a good idea. A recent review by Stephen Anton and colleagues, in the journal Obesity, found that intermittent fasting may come with a variety of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving the ratio of lean tissue to fat, improving cognitive function, preventing type 2 diabetes, and possibly even prolonging life span.
David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., professor at Harvard Medical School and author of Always Hungry?, says that the sugar in juice is digested super fast because there are no other nutrients (like fat or protein) to slow it down. That leads to a giant blood-sugar spike and subsequent crash that leaves you craving sugar and carbs, says Ludwig. And since we drink juice even when we’re not hungry, all those calories go straight to storage, he says.
Your morning snack and lunch will consist of a Zero Belly Drink. Each delivers the three core nutrients (protein, fiber, and fat), and is based on plant protein, which reduces both sugar and bloating that you often get from whey-based proteins. Vega Sport and Sun Warrior are two of my favorite brands. Since the drinks average about 230 calories each, this step alone will cut about 500 to 1,000 calories out of your daily intake, which may take several additional pounds off your body in just seven days. The drink recipes at right pack such a nutritional punch that you’ll know you’re getting the vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats you need. Before each meal or snack, ask these three questions: Where’s my protein? Where’s my fiber? Where’s my healthy fat? Check out our picks for the 4 Best Zero Belly Smoothies for Weight Loss.