Keys to a Flat Stomach: Flatten your Belly to Look and Feel Better in just days

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Flat Stomach

When it comes to weight gain, FAT is not the evil we all were TAUGHT to believe. There is another “evil” ingredient that is contributing to the obesity epidemic in a very real way.

By: Joe Palumbo, IFBB

What if I told you that it’s possible to balance hormones, avoid weight gain, crush cravings, and “put the brakes” on aging with a deletion of one ingredient in your diet?

Before I reveal the answer, (and >poof< you stop reading) you must understand the science.  On May 20, 2016, the FDA announced the new “Nutrition Facts” label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific information. This information suggested the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. 

OK… Let’s take a moment and go back in time.

In 1966, the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) began planning a targeted research program to identify interventions to eradicate caries (dental tooth decay) within a decade.  In 1971, the NIDR launched the National Caries Program (NCP).  The NCP turned out to be a missed opportunity to develop a scientific understanding of how and why to restrict sugar in the diet to prevent tooth decay.  A key factor of the missed opportunity was the alignment of research agendas between the NIDR and the sugar industry.  This historical example illustrates how industry may attempt to protect itself from potentially damaging research. The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to down-play the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead.

Sugar

Five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been shaped by the sugar industry.  Because of this influence, it took 52 years for the FDA to finally correct the record, and add sugar.  The new label reflects updated information about nutritional science.  “Added sugars,” listed in grams and as a percentage of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), will be included on the new label. Manufacturers will be required to use the new label by July 26, 2018.

Before you shrug it off by saying, “I don’t eat much sugar”, you probably consume more than you think!  It is more than simply giving up cakes & candy and eating carrots.  The sugar industry did an excellent job of hiding sugar in your everyday foods. Such an excellent job that you fell for it! Remember the “Fat Free” foods that added inches to your waist line?  For decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake.  This led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

For all you “non-sugar eaters” who choose chicken because you know it’s “healthy”:

Fridays Restaurant offers authentic American food and exciting drinks in an atmosphere that provides an energizing “Friday Feeling” any day of the week. However, it does not list sugar on the nutritional information.

Sugar is showing up in enormous quantities in other unexpected places. Sonic Restaurant’s family- size onion rings have 51 grams of sugar.  P.F. Chang’s Sesame Chicken has 76 grams of sugar. Even juicy, beefy burgers can have surprising amounts of sugar in them.  A Five Guys single cheeseburger has 8.5 grams.  Sugar seems to be everywhere.  It’s being added to food you might not suspect.  Pizzas, pasta sauces, and even oatmeal have insidious sugar added to keep our taste buds tempted, excited, and addicted.

Fast-Food

The government’s most recent figures show that Americans consume an average of 32 teaspoons of added sugar every day!  Even though you skipped the cake, there’s a good chance you are consuming more sugar then you realize.  Is sugar really so harmful that 40 minutes on the treadmill can’t make up for it? NO and here is why:

Fructose is a component of table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.  Fructose triggers your liver to store fat more efficiently, and in weird places. Over time, a diet high in fructose could lead to globules of fat building up around your liver.  This is a precursor to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, something rarely seen before 1980.   Fructose and high fructose corn syrup are not the same thing.  Fructose is metabolized very differently from glucose.  In fact, fructose is metabolized more like alcohol. Fruit is regarded as a health food. However, to avoid sugar and excess carbohydrates many people are hesitant, even afraid, to eat fruit.  It is mistakenly seen as a source of sugar that should be consumed in strict moderation.  Thinking that “sugar is sugar” is a mistake. Added sweeteners and natural fruit have very different metabolic effects. There’s no evidence that we should avoid whole fruit simply because it contains fructose.  Far from being a health hazard, studies suggest that eating whole, fresh fruit may actually decrease the risk of obesity and diabetes.

Sugar can cause insulin resistance which is a step towards Metabolic Syndrome and diabetes. Sugar not only provides major highs and lows in mood and energy, it can also disrupt insulin, one of the most powerful hormones in the body.  Insulin is intimately connected to all the other hormones in your body. The most important of these hormones are estrogen and testosterone. Insulin is an important hormone in the body.  Insulin blocks production of leptin, the “hunger hormone” that tells your brain that you’re full.  The higher your insulin levels, the hungrier you will feel (even if you’ve just eaten!).  In such a simulated “starvation” mode, your brain directs your body to start storing glucose as belly fat.  Sugar is empty calories and is quickly digested.  Minerals are also pulled from the body during the process of digestion.  Sugar creates a hormone cascade that starts a feedback loop in the body encouraging more consumption.

Here is an example…

Two people are trying to slim down by staying well within the accepted calorie range to lose weight.  From a caloric perspective, it may seem that they are eating almost identical diets.  Only one is eating in a way that stabilizes blood sugar with no associated insulin spikes.  They are also healing the digestive system while allowing the body to shed belly fat.  Here’s why:

Person A Calories Sugar BREAKFAST

Oatmeal 160 cal 11 g sugar

1oz of dried fruit 102 cal 16 g sugar

LUNCH

Organic Creamy Tomato Soup 100 cal 12 g sugar

DINNER

Applebee’s Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken 580 cal 15 g sugar

TOTAL 840 cal 54 g sugar

 

Person B Calories Sugar BREAKFAST

Ham Egg and Cheese on English Muffin 290 cal 3 g sugar

LUNCH

2 cups of Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup 220 cal 2 g sugar

DINNER

Shrimp & Broccoli Cavatappi 550 cal 4 g sugar

TOTAL 1060 cal 9 g sugar

Essentially, Person A sabotaged their dietary efforts because of the added sugar.  They consumed nearly 2 times as much as the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization, and the USDA recommend. The dietary choices may appear to be healthy and low in calories, but the added sugar caused insulin levels to spike, wreaking havoc on the body.  Unfortunately, the result is stored fat.  In other words, trying to lose weight by simply reducing calories does not work.  There are too many factors in play.  In 2015, scientists estimated that replacing low-calorie foods with two servings of fatty, high-calorie nuts filled with fiber each week could save ninety thousand lives in the US every year.

The deceptive problem with the food label is with added sugars, not the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables.  Most diets will support consuming as much fruit and vegetables you want. Unfortunately, Americans have come to love (overly) processed foods. 

A few facts about sugar – Adding sugar to processed foods makes them more appetizing to the American palette.  Sugar may be disguised and goes by many different names, depending on the source and how it was made.  This can also make it difficult to identify added sugars, even when scrutinizing ingredient lists and food labels. Even foods that are typically considered “healthy” can contain surprising amounts of added sugar, typically in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  A “healthy” fruit flavored yogurt contains about 19 grams of sugar, 12 grams of which is added.  Another problem with sugar, and processed fructose in particular, is that your liver has a limited capacity to metabolize it.  The excess added sugar is metabolized into body fat.  This contributes to many of the chronic metabolic diseases we struggle with.  These include, but not limited to:

• Type 2 diabetes

• Cardiovascular disease

• Hypertension (high blood pressure)

• Dementia

• Cancer (Cells need glucose to thrive.

  Carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body. 

  To starve cancer cells, you must eliminate the

  primary food source, sugars.)

According to a study published this year, people who consumed 21 percent or more of their daily calories in the form of sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who consumed 7 percent or less.

Many people have tried low-carb/low fat diets and still see no changes in their moods, weight, or energy levels.  They add artificial sweeteners, attempting to keep the calories down.

It’s normal to be cranky for a while if you ditch sugar. (After all, it’s the foods you have relied upon for comfort and a quick hit of energy!)  However, once you’re over your “sugar fix”, you’ll feel better than ever.

hey do not realize that artificial sweeteners could raise blood sugar levels more than natural sugar-sweetened sodas and desserts.  You might believe that you are “eating less sugar and fat”, but you are still not losing weight.  Insulin spikes are actually higher and more damaging even though the calorie-count is lower.  Bloat: The body does not completely digest low-cal, artificial sweeteners.  Bacteria in the large intestine ferments them, causing gas and gastric distress.  Stevia or Luo Han could be used instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Precisely what you will experience when you ditch the sugar depends on the size of your habit. Those on the high end of the sugar-consumption scale typically display “addict-like” withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, restlessness, and depression.

Within a few weeks, you might expect to see a 10% decrease in LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol and a 20 to 30% decrease in triglycerides.   Your blood pressure should also head in the right direction.

Lose stubborn belly fat

Skin looks better no more inflammation and fewer breakouts,

Lower the risk of diabetes

Improved sleep habits

No more highs & lows causing “crashes”

A 2015 study at Columbia University found women that ate a diet high in added sugars and refined grains were more likely to experience anxiety, irritability, and mood swings.  The body regulates its own sugar requirements.   The body converts fats, protein, and amino acids into glucose as needed.   Any disruption in this intricate system is going to initiate hormonal protection, and an imbalance will result.  Therefore, no one requires additional processed sugar.  Once you rid yourself from the granular evil, your life, and hormones, will change for the better.