Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Dairy and Protein, Fewer Carbs Can Blast Belly Fat

There's no secret formula for a diet that melts away fat while keeping you lean, trim and healthy. Or is there? We know that diet higher in carbohydrates are associated with weight gain and higher rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, so one might intuitively scale back on those just a bit for better health. In their place, if we consume more lean protein and low-fat dairy products, new research published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that we should start to see our belly fat melt away and experience better health. Sounds like it's worth a try!

According to researchers at McMaster University, higher intakes of calcium and protein in our diets may help us achieve overall weight loss and ultimately burns more abdominal fat. The study participants were obese premenopausal women. In the study, they exercised every day, including aerobic (cardio) exercise and circuit weight training to strengthen their muscles.

On this routine, the group that consumed a low-protein diet lost muscle, the medium-protein group did not lose any, and the high-protein group gained over a pound of muscle. However, despite having gained there, which is actually very healthy, they lost twice as much belly fat as the low-protein group over four months.

Of all the types of fat and places we can store them, excess fat around our midsections is the most dangerous. This is because it is an indication of greater fat stores under the skin and muscle, actually surrounding our organs and increasing our risk of type 2 diabetes as well as other chronic diseases.

The good news is that overall weight loss (fat loss) of just 5% can reduce abdominal fat by 30%! That means that if you currently weigh 150 lbs, losing 7.5 lbs of fat over 6 months or a year can dramatically decrease your risk of illness. Now where's that Greek Yogurt?