Dairy products contain varying amounts of lactose (milk sugar), which slows down weight loss. What’s more, part of the protein in milk generates a significant insulin response, which can have the same effect. Consequently, cutting back on dairy products may accelerate weight loss. This applies especially to dairy products typically lacking in fat, such as regular milk and various yogurts, but be careful with full-fat dairy such as cream and cheese all the same. And don’t forget whey protein powder, which is pure milk protein.
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Seaweed called wakame: If you haven’t heard of this seaweed native to Japan yet, you can bet you will soon. In a Japanese study at Hokkaido University led by researcher Kazuo Miyashita, PhD, fucoxanthin found in wakame was shown to promote fat burning within the fat cells in animals. Fucoxanthin fights fat in two ways; first, it encourages the action of protein, UCP1, that causes fat oxidation and is found in the type of fat that surrounds organs. Secondly, fucoxanthin promotes DHA production in the liver. Increased DHA, an omega 3 fatty acid type, can help with decreasing bad cholesterol or LDL.
It’s impossible to target belly fat specifically when you diet. But losing weight overall will help shrink your waistline; more importantly, it will help reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat, a type of fat within the abdominal cavity that you can’t see but that heightens health risks, says Kerry Stewart, Ed.D., director of Clinical and Research Physiology at Johns Hopkins.
Choose Liquid Calories Wisely. Sweetened drinks pile on the calories, but don't reduce hunger like solid foods do. Satisfy your thirst with water, sparkling water with citrus, skim or low-fat milk, or small portions of 100% fruit juice. Try a glass of nutritious and low-calorie vegetable juice to hold you over if you get hungry between meals. Be careful of alcohol calories, which add up quickly. If you tend to drink a glass or two of wine or a cocktail on most days, limiting alcohol to the weekends can be a huge calorie saver.