Wouldn’t it be great to have a magic bean, pill or potion that you could eat to reduce belly fat?
Don’t let anyone sell you any of the above, but if I were asked what the BEST food to eat to reduce belly fat, I’d have the answer so fast it would make your head spin.
Hands down, the answer is PROTEIN.
Now, I may offend any vegetarians in the crowd, I apologize in advance. This may not be a politically correct answer by vegetarian standards, but protein is the ONE food that, when eaten regularly at the correct times, will help you drop belly fat.
Here are a few of the benefits that help protein do it’s magic:
Research shows that when you increase protein intake, you reduce metabolic slow down over time. Metabolic slow down naturally happens as we age. If we continue to burn calories at the rate we did when we were younger, we won’t be prone to the dreaded ‘menopause belly’ or love handles.
Protein helps regulate the hormone ghrelin which stimulates hunger. When you have less of this ‘hunger’ hormone circulating in your body, you’ll be less prone to eat the kitchen sink before bed or at other times that snacking is a problem.
Protein helps to keep your blood sugar stable so you don’t have energy surges and crashes. When you eat carbohydrates in particular, your blood sugar increases. In response, your body releases insulin to lower blood sugar. When you include protein, the whole process is slowed down so there isn’t a big elevation in blood sugar and corresponding surge of insulin. It should also be noted that it’s darn near impossible to use fat as an energy source (in other words, lose fat) when you have a lot of insulin present. Your goal then is to keep insulin levels moderate and protein helps do just that.
Encourages Muscle Tone
Eating protein helps your body build and repair muscle which is naturally broken down from every day use and exercise. Constant dieting puts your lean muscle tone at risk since the body often uses protein as an energy source. This is another reason to avoid dieting and increase protein in your diet.
Increases Calorie Burn
Your body burns more calories digesting protein than other macro nutrients like carbs and fat. This is called the ‘thermic effect’
What are Good Protein Sources?
Many are confused as to what good protein sources actually are. Don’t be confused with things like peanut butter or yogurts. These actually have more fat and sugar than actual protein. Make sure to read labels or use an app like ‘My Fitness Pal’ to help you determine the actual protein content in foods.
Here are some of my favorite protein ideas for snacks in particular.
• Greek yogurt (plain) + berries
• Hard boiled eggs or eggs of any sort cooked any style
• Beef/turkey jerky (look for low sugar)
• Cottage cheese
• Quinoa (higher in carbs but 8 grams protein per cup)
• Broccoli and brussel sprouts – who knew? 5 grams protein per cup
• Hemp seeds
• Chia seeds
• Protein bars (use sparingly)
• Protein powder (mostly in smoothies with veggies and other good stuff)
• Canned tuna/salmon (I can’t stomach sardines, but those too)
Of course there are straight up animal protein choices like left over flank steak or chicken breast, but those are more obvious choices….
If you want to really look and feel your best, then you need specifics about what to eat, when to eat it and the RIGHT type of exercise for women 40+.
This is the sure fire ‘magic potion’ to lose your menopause belly for good.
I’ve got the solution for you here.