A well-fitting pair of jeans that hugs you in all of the right places is one of the best confidence boosters for a woman’s body image. Feeling good and looking good work hand-in-hand when it comes to self-care. No matter what shape or size you are, you should embrace your body, flaws and all. However, having too much belly fat can be dangerous for your health.
What causes this in women? There are several factors that may be making it harder to button up your favorite jeans like menopause, too little exercise, too many calories, and age. The danger of having too much belly fat is that the fat is not just on outside (subcutaneous), it’s on the inside as well (visceral fat). Having too much fat on the inside can cause issues with your internal organs that lead to heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and breathing problems. Adding these 5 foods to your diet can help you care for your body from the inside out!
1. The Oh So Sweet, Sweet Potato!
I love everything about sweet potatoes! This bold, rustic, orange-colored root vegetable is packed with nutrients and is easy to prepare. Sweet potatoes have carotenoids that will help keep your blood sugar stabile, which is important for fighting diabetes. Sweet potatoes help with insulin resistance which has been linked to extra fat in the midsection.
Ways to Eat Sweet Potatoes
There are so many ways that you can add sweet potatoes into your meals. For a quick lunch, pop a sweet potato in the microwave, cut it open, and dash on some cinnamon. Instead of French fries for dinner, slice up some sweet potatoes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Place them in the oven at about 400 degrees for about 15 min or in the air fryer, sprinkle with sea salt, and dinner is served! Hold off on loading your sweet potato with butter because this can add unwanted fat.
2. Eggs are Egg-celent!
Eggs are packed with protein which is excellent for your building your muscles. And guess what? Your muscles use fat cells as a source of energy so, the more muscles you have, the more fat you burn! You may be concerned about the amount of cholesterol in eggs, BUT in 70% of people, eggs have been shown to not negatively impact blood cholesterol. In the others, eggs may mildly impact cholesterol levels.
How To Prepare Eggs
Boiled, scrambled, poached, sunny-side up, are just a few ways for an egg-celent breakfast. Eggs are just as easy to add to a crisp salad for lunch or tuna salad for dinner.
3. Go Greek With Yogurt!
Greek yogurt is very popular for those who want a high protein breakfast or snack on the go! Just one serving of Greek yogurt can have as much as 17 grams of protein! That’s the same as eating 3 large eggs! When the proteins in Greek yogurt are broken down, it helps to decrease your appetite which can help shrink your midsection.
How To Add Greek Yogurt in Your Diet
There are soooo many brands of Greek yogurt to choice from. So, take your pick, BUT make sure that the sugar content is low. You can use plain Greek yogurt as an ingredient for a healthy salad dressing or as a replacement for sour cream on Taco Tuesday.
4. Whole Grain or No Grain
What’s the big deal with whole grains? Why can’t you just eat the white bread you used to make your PB&Js when you were a kid? Well, whole grain breads and pastas use the WHOLE grain instead of a processed grain. A process grained is stripped of all of the nutrients that help get rid of belly fat. Whole grains provide you with fiber that keeps you feeling full for longer and helps to keep your digestive system working in tip top shape!
How to Add Whole Grains To Your Meals
For breakfast, try whole grain toast, cereal, bagels or oatmeal with fruit. Be sure to read the nutritional label to ensure that what you’re buying is truly whole grain. Just because the front label says it’s “multi-grain” doesn’t mean that it's whole grain. For lunch and dinner, try replacing white rice with quinoa, brown rice, or whole grain pasta. Air popped popcorn is a good choice for a whole grain snack while you watch your favorite show.
5. Get the Green with Spinach!
Spinach is a superfood that contains nutrients that help to promote the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system. This cuts down on the presence of bad bacteria that can cause bloating and belly fat.
How To Add Spinach In Your Meals
You can have spinach for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! How? Take a handful of spinach and toss it into a blender along with berries and Greek yogurt for a fat- blasting breakfast! For lunch or dinner, add spinach to your salad or as a side dish.
As it turns out, excess belly fat is more than skin deep. It’s a wonderful feeling to look good in your skinny jeans, but being well on the inside is what counts the most. Make the small investment to add these foods to your diets as you continue to practice self-care by giving your body good nutrition.