Looking for a healthy diet to lose belly fat?
Revitalize your life with a healthy diet to lose belly fat and you might just find yourself fighting off admirers, playing tag with your grandkids, living longer, enjoying life more, and saving money on health care.
If you want to bust belly fat, a healthy diet is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal.
First, though, let's get rid of the popular notion of "going on a diet" with the intent to going back to eating "normal" once your diet is over. That's a waste of time and simply doesn't work.
When I say "diet", I'm talking about adopting a new way of eating and thinking about food and making that your new normal. This will help you lose your belly fat and keep it off for life.
Unfortunately, choosing a healthy diet can be confusing and overwhelming. So many differing and contradicting opinions. Even "scientific studies" seem to contradict each other.
The problem with most supposedly healthy diets promoted these days is that they're not actually healthy. Many of the foods suggested as healthy options actually cause you to pack on the fat.
I've found the best strategy is to just use common sense.
The most common sense and effective healthy diet to lose belly fat and improve your health is the whole food diet. On a whole food diet, you cut out processed foods and eat only real foods in their natural form.
Whole foods (also called real foods, natural foods, and traditional foods) are foods that either grow from the earth or at one time had a mother: fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds; and meats, seafood, and poultry.
A diet to lose belly fat can include steak dinners, a whole food meal.
Whole foods are foods that are given to us by nature, not foods that are really a science experiment cooked up in someone's laboratory.
When you adopt this type of diet to lose belly fat, all the complicated silliness that accompanies most diet programs, like counting calories, keeping track of points, measuring portion sizes, and eating only at certain times of the day, becomes unnecessary. You basically just focus on eating whole foods.
... like people did before the multi-billion dollar diet industry was around.
Before processed foods became popular, nobody needed the diet industry to tell them what to eat. People just ate what came out of their gardens and off their farms.
The take-home lesson here is that, as a general rule, processed foods make your body store fat, and natural, unprocessed foods make you burn fat.
One book I found invaluable when I was learning how to eat this way, and that I still refer to to this day, is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Sally and Mary explain in depth the logic behind a whole food diet and provide lots of recipes and wisdom to help you get going.
I got started with the whole food diet in my early 30s, and within just a few months I started feeling better than I had all through my entire 20s. The energy I should have had in my 20s came back, and then some.
Whenever I get lazy and start going back to some of my old eating habits, I can tell the difference within a week. My allergies start acting up immediately, I start getting migraines again, and my energy level plummets, which is how I felt all through my 20s before I discovered the whole food diet.
That gets tiring real quick, but as soon as I cut it out and get back to my traditional foods again, all those aggravating symptoms disappear. It amazes me how it's almost like a light switch I can turn on and off.
If you want to boost your results even more, you could try a raw food diet to lose belly fat. A raw food diet is, by definition, a whole food diet, but you don't eat any cooked food.
A raw food diet magnifies the health benefits of a whole food diet even more dramatically:
You don't have to commit to a raw food diet for life. You could just try it out for 30 days, and see what you think. When I notice previous bad eating habits sneaking back into my life and the sugar sirens singing my name, I'll do a month of raw food only to break the sugar addiction and reset my normal back to where I want it to be.
Even if you don't become a raw foodist (someone who eats only raw foods), I still encourage you to increase the amount of raw foods in your whole food diet.
Yuri Elkaim wrote an excellent book to help you incorporate more raw foods into your day called Eating for Energy. He goes into detail about the logic behind, and benefits of, eating more raw foods and how to get started. He even provides over 100 recipes for you to try and a 12-week eating plan to guide you while you're getting used to this way of eating.
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Check your Attitude:
Think about your current diet, and answer truthfully: Is your current diet helping you reach your health goals?
Is it a diet to lose belly fat or gain belly fat? Does it help you get a flat belly or is it making you overweight, tired, and sick? Do you eat a lot of processed foods?
If your diet no longer serves you in creating the life you want, it's time for a change. As you cultivate your health mindset, you will automatically want to choose healthy foods.
Apply your Brain Power:
As you read this, do you find yourself thinking things like, "I could never go without pasta!"
How do you know?
Have you ever tried it?
This is just your brain trying to convince you to keep things the same as they already are. Do you want things to stay the same, or do you want things to change? If you want things to change, you have to make a conscious decision to ignore those contrary messages and install new beliefs that serve your new goals better.
When you sincerely believe that you can adopt a diet to lose belly fat, your brain will look for ways to make that happen, instead of finding all the excuses why you can't do it.
How do you install those new beliefs?
One way is to just get started. Then, your subconscious will see that this change isn't so scary afterall.
What can you do today to change your diet?
You could go cold turkey and cut out all processed foods all at one time. I just did this recently after I had been slacking off on my diet for a while and letting bad habits creep back in. (Hey! It happens to me, too!)
This tactic produces the quickest, most dramatic change in your health. Whenever I do this, I notice improvements in my energy, sleep quality, mental clarity, and general allergy symptoms within a few days.
The cold turkey strategy works well if you want results now or for anyone in an emergency type health situation where they need a dramatic change immediately.
Another option is to make small changes a little at a time. This strategy works well if you're still learning about the whole food diet and if you have less-than-willing family members in your home.
My husband is squarely in the less-than-willing category. He likes his lifestyle the way it is, and he doesn't want anything changing.
A few years ago when I was really digging in to this healthy diet to lose belly fat, I ordered an amazing raw food recipe book called Raw Food Made Easy.
When it arrived in the mail, the first thing my husband said was, "I'm not eating any of that crap!"
Not suprised in the least by his reluctance (this is par for the course for him), I just smiled and responded, "I didn't get it for you."
I went about trying the recipes myself. I didn't say anything to him about it. Didn't try to get him to try things. Didn't even mention when I was trying out the recipes. I just did it. I didn't hide it from him, but I didn't involve him in it, either.
Without even knowing it, he'd ask to try some of the raw food recipes from this book. One time, when I was mixing up ingredients for Walnut Pate (on page 71), he was washing his hands in the sink next to me, leaned over my cutting board, took a big whif, and said, "Mmmm ... that smells good. Let me try some." And he actually liked it! (No surprise to me, of course.)
His excitement died down a bit when he asked me what it was, but after this happened with a few different recipes, he finally realized that it's all (what he would call) "normal" food but put together in ways he's just not used to.
The moral of the story: If you're having a hard time making changes to your diet because your spouse or others in your household don't want to go along with it, don't worry. Don't try to force it on them. Just do your thing, and you may start seeing them dip their toe in the water here and there.
Remember, you've spent time reading and researching to find a healthy diet to lose belly fat. You've had that time to get used to the idea of doing things differently. They probably haven't. Give them time to come around to the idea for themselves.
They might not. My husband is still pretty resistant to a lot of things. But they may just surprise you.
Start with easy, obvious baby steps first:
If you eat out at restaurants a lot, start making your meals at home more often. Once a week add a new whole food recipe to your repertoire. You can look recipes up online or use some from Nourishing Traditions or Eating for Energy.
As you learn new recipes, remove your old, unhealthy recipes from your menu. Over time, your diet will improve, and you will notice your stomach getting flatter and your health improving.
Engage your Spirit:
When you first get started with this healthy diet to lose belly fat, it can be hard to resist your junk food favorites. As with all new behaviors, the more you practice eating this way, the easier it becomes. Stick with it until it becomes habit.
Remember: The search for your ideal healthy diet to lose belly fat is never over. A whole food diet makes for a good starting point. As you continue to learn more, you can adjust your diet to try out different ideas.
Experiment, have fun, and discover what works best FOR YOU!
For a complete plan to lose belly fat, get a flat stomach, and create real, true, amazing health, check out my How to Lose Belly Fat guide.
~ ABS Lady
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