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Surprising Flat-Belly Foods

​EGGS: If you want to lose some fat around the middle, eggs are a great way to start your day. Eggs are packed with protein, and eating them for breakfast provides staying power. A study published in Nutrition Research found that people who eat eggs for breakfast were less likely to overeat the rest of the day. Eggs also provide a myriad other nutrients to help keep your tummy trim. For example, they're a good source of vitamin B12, a nutrient that helps your body break down fat cells. Eggs also provide the power nutrient, vitamin D. Insufficient blood levels of vitamin D have been linked...
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Surprising Flat-Belly Foods

SALMON: Salmon packs a double punch when it comes to battling belly fat because it contains both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D, with wild salmon providing about four times the amount of vitamin D as farmed salmon. Insufficient blood levels of vitamin D have been linked to obesity, including abdominal obesity. Scientists are not sure if the reason for this is that vitamin D gets trapped in the fat cells of obese people or if obese people don't consume enough vitamin D. Either way, getting adequate vitamin D is essential for good health. The o...
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Surprising Flat-Belly Foods

​FENNEL SEEDS: Fennel is a pleasant-smelling herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. The name comes from the Roman word meaning "fragrant hay," and it has a faint anise or licorice flavor and aroma. Dried fennel seeds are very nutritious, containing fiber, magnesium, calcium and iron, and they have long been used as a digestive aid. "Fennel helps to relax the GI [gastrointestinal] muscles, which helps trapped gas pass to alleviate bloating," says Cynthia Sass, RDN, author of "S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches." Sass recommends people chew on half ...
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Surprising Flat-Belly Foods

​Looking to go from a FAT belly to a FLAT belly? Abdominal bloating and/or carrying unwanted weight around your midsection can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. To differentiate between the two, bloating is temporary abdominal distention that can be caused by a reaction to certain foods, lifestyle factors or a medical condition, such as liver or heart disease. Belly bloat is really intestinal gas, not excess fat. However, if you are overweight and want to flatten your belly for the long term, the only solution is to lose weight. Whether it's gas or excess weight causing you tummy trouble, wha...
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Tips for keeping fit and healthy

​The right diet! If you have excess body fat it's because you're eating/drinking more than you need or you have done in the past. Diet is for weight control, exercise is for fitness. Book regular exercise sessions into your diary. It's far more likely that you will be consistent this way. Carry out a varied workout. Weights and strength should make up as much if not more of your regime than cardio. Be consistent. Exercise is a way of life. It's not something you pick up and put down when you're feeling in or out of shape. Find someone to train with. Whether it's a friend, family member, work c...
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Top exercise tips for disabled people

​Cardio doesn't mean just running! Anything which gets your heart rate up is a cardiovascular exercise. It can be done with weights, arms, abs, legs or a combination of all of those. It just needs to be consistent or repetitive. The higher the heart rate, the more fuel you will burn. Focus on strength exercises 50% of the time and cardio 50%. Often people either focus on purely cardiovascular fitness such as running, hand bike etc, or the other extreme and just do weight training without a cardiovascular aspect. Your health will benefit more if you do both strength and cardio. Cardio keeps you...
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The Effects of exercise on cancer, neurological disorders and other health conditions

​Studies have shown that regular exercise, particularly walking, helps reduce one's risk for memory loss. Epidemiologic studies have found an association between increased exercise and slower rate of functional decline in older adults. To date, there are no clear explanations for this apparent benefit. Aerobic exercise has been linked to improved reaction time in people of all ages. Exercise seems to improve the physical and emotional well-being of patients who already have Alzheimer's disease. The patients exercised moderately for as little as 60 minutes each week. Doctors noted patients who ...
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Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

​GRAPEFRUIT DIET: Dating as far back as the 1930s, this fad diet still retains some level of popularity. The premise is simple: If you eat a grapefruit before eating anything else, drink lots of water, cut out carbs and eat lean protein, you'll burn more fat. Fans of this diet say if you do it for around 10 days, you can lose up to 10 pounds. There may be a kernel of truth to this one, says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD. "It's been suggested that eating grapefruit can help to slim the waistline and lower body weight, most likely due to the diuretic properties of grapefruit helping to shed water ...
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Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

​CABBAGE SOUP DIET: This age-old fad diet took simplicity to the extreme, pairing down what you could eat to a few food groups to total less than 1,000 calories a day. Limiting your diet so dramatically isn't a good idea, says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of "Belly Fat Diet for Dummies." "Living off of cabbage soup and a few specific foods over a period of time is not a healthy way to lose weight," says Palinski-Wade. "Vegetables are high in volume while low in calories. Not only is the calorie range so low that it may slow your metabolism, but this restrictive diet may promote nut...
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Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

​SLEEPING-BEAUTY DIET: We've all heard of sleeping off a hangover or a cold, right? What if you were to sedate yourself into skipping a bunch of meals? Made popular after an honorable mention in the popular '60s novel "Valley of the Dolls" and Elvis Presley's rumored participation, this is by far the laziest fad diet of them all. All you have to do is drug yourself unconscious until you wake up thinner days later. Basically, it's starvation with a side of muscle atrophy, says registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade. "Not only can not eating or drinking for days lead to a slower metabolism...
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Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

​MASTER CLEANSE, AKA THE LEMONADE DIET: Based on the book "The Master Cleanser" by Stanley Burroughs, the Master Cleanse, or lemonade diet, has been around for a while and name-dropped by plenty of the Beyoncés of the world because it's a fast and easy…fast. As this miraculous elixir consists only of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup, you'll lose some water weight -- but not for long, says Los Angeles-based nutritionist Alyse Levine M.S., RD. "The likelihood is that you'll gain all the weight back and more once you go back to eating solid food," says Levine. "You may also...
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Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

​WEREWOLF DIET: The concept behind this diet is that water weight ebbs and flows like the tide. Because humans are also made of water, the Moon Connection website claims fasting during either a full or new moon can cleanse your body of water weight and toxins at a more accelerated pace -- up to six pounds in a single day. There's a quickie version and a more prolonged version. Fasting for short periods of time here and there might not be so bad for us, but weight loss shouldn't be the motivation, says Levine. "There's no scientific evidence that our bodies need a detox diet or cleanse," a...
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Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

​K-E DIET, AKA THE FEEDING-TUBE DIET: Talk about extreme! This doctor-affiliated/monitored recent fad diet has you eating via a feeding tube. Yes, a feeding tube. A "very low-calorie, protein- and fat-rich" solution with no carbs whatsoever is pumped through a tube the size of a strand of spaghetti that is inserted through your nose and into your stomach where it empties. Your body goes into ketosis, burning your own fat at a faster pace. "The fact that one would resort to a feeding tube to lose weight is appalling," says Levine. "This very low-calorie restricted plan is no more effective...
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​How to Get Pumped to Work Out

1. Pick the soundtrack first. I used to listen to the same "workout" playlist every time I went to the gym, and it got old pretty quickly. I'd skip past half the songs and suffer through many more. But when a song that still got me pumped came on, my workout felt easier, my pace increased, and my endorphins surged. If you make a playlist or find a radio station where every song is one of those songs, your workout becomes much more fun, believe me. I've started listening to the workout playlists on the Spotify app, and they are a game changer. Is this a gym or a dance party?! 2. Splurge fo...
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Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

​BABY FOOD DIET: Reportedly, celebrity fitness guru Tracy Anderson touted this fad diet to her ultra-famous clientele. The idea is to replace breakfast and lunch with tiny jarred rations of puréed food and then to eat a low-calorie dinner. Sure, babies subsist just fine on tiny, jarred rations of puréed food, and if you're a grown-up and choose to eat nothing but tiny jars of puréed food, you'll likely lose the same amount of weight you would if you ate tiny portions of any food. This leaves ease of portion control and the convenience of jarred, prepared food as this regimen's sole sellin...
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Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

​HOLLYWOOD DIET: Jamie and Larry, creators of the Hollywood Diet, have long claimed their products and regimens will help you miraculously lose weight while you're treated, as their website promises, "like a star." Their small selection of shakes and cookies for sale, on which you are to subside for 24 hours or more, will reportedly lead to a weight loss of two to nine pounds. Extreme low-calorie diets like this can be dangerous, especially when followed for more than a couple of days, warns Los Angeles-based nutritionist Alyse Levine M.S., RD. "This diet puts your body into starvation mo...
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Unhealthy, Even Dangerous Weight-Loss Diets

​TAPEWORM DIET: Not for the squeamish, this fad has reportedly been around since the dawn of the 20th century. Brave souls would swallow tapeworm cyst pills, so tapeworms would grow and mature inside their intestines, eating all food products until the dieter's goal weight is reached. Said tapeworm is then excreted with the aid of an anti-parasite pill. Mind you, tapeworms can get pretty damn huge -- as long as 30 feet -- and can cause a whole mess of health issues, like diarrhea, vomiting, headaches and even epilepsy. Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, says this is in no way a viable weight-loss op...
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Stability: ball planks

​Spiderman Plank. A great way to hit your core from every angle. It's a forearm plank on the ball where you slowly alternate bringing a knee in toward your elbow, while keeping your hips level and in line with your head and shoulders. Now your upper back, shoulders and upper abs are stabilizing you while your lower abs and obliques are working. Multitasking at its finest!
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Stability: ball planks

​Stir the Pot. Of course you could just do a forearm plank on the stability ball but why not make it a little more interesting and really challenge your core? Separate your feet about hip-width (or even shoulder-width) distance in your plank with your forearms on the ball. Imagine that you have a big mixing spoon between your clasped hands and create a circular motion with your forearms similar to stirring a big pot. Keep the movement in your upper body only, using your core to stabilize you. Be sure to stir the pot in both directions. Whew! This is a toughie for sure.
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Stability: ball planks

​Jackknife. Start in a plank with the tops of your feet flat on the stability ball. Keeping your shoulders and wrists stacked, pull from your core and press your hips high up into the air (aiming to get your hips right over your shoulders). Work to keep your legs straight but don't lock your knees. Balance the weight evenly over the palms of your hands. Then, slowly lower your hips down and come back into a legs-elevated plank — but don't let your hips sag — before rolling back up again. This is also fabulous prep for working into a handstand.
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