What would you say if I could tell you three things that will automatically shrink your belly for you?
Would you do it? I mean, what wouldn’t you do, right?
Before I delve into the detail, let me first tell you about my battle with the belly bulge.
I have lean shapely legs but always carry weight around my belly. In fact, I was trying to remember a time that I had a flat belly and the only time I can remember is when I was 19.
Now, I still wore a bikini on the beach and even the occasional crop top (very occasional) but never did it confidently (not since I was 19).
I have always had a wobbly belly. Not really overweight (though I did balloon to a size 12 when I lived in France) so I understand your frustrations. Then I had a baby and now that area has excess skin too.
But I have a the flattest and most toned stomach I have had in years now at the age of 39 then I did even 5 years ago when training for a marathon.
So, now you are ready to hear the big secret, those three things…..
You need to give up bread and milk and lift weights.
In fact, all wheat flour products and dairy products.
And train with weights… resistance training, lifting, kettlebells… weights.
Now, what do you say?
Suddenly, you are like, no it can’t be that easy (and yet impossible) there is bound to be a sit up or drink I can drink that will do it.
Honestly, in my 39 years on this planet, soon to be 40 I might add, I have never achieved a fatter stomach that when I gave up these 2 things and now with regular strength training and lifting.
So, I guess you are going to want to hear the science behind this to truly believe me. And I am happy to provide it because not only it is irrefutable, I have seen it work TIME and TIME again with my clients to shrink unwanted and often unshiftable BELLY fat.
The two changes I have made to my diet that have resulted in the best results for my now emerging abs were to give up wheat and dairy.
And switching to a more plant based diet.
Why no Dairy?
I don’t often go all negative, and I don’t consider myself someone who says things just to shock or be evangelical on my own beliefs. However, when it comes to dairy, I consider it my duty to let you know about some pretty shocking schemes that have led you to believe that milk is not only necessary for good health, but also helps you lose weight.
Before I go all ‘conspiracy theory’, let me first tell you why, despite some suspicious research and misleading ads, cow’s milk really doesn’t do a body good.
Dairy is breast milk for calves. It is the perfect food, for baby cows. Just like human breast milk is perfect for human babies.
If that sounds shocking to you, it’s because very few people are willing to tell the truth about dairy. In fact, criticizing milk in a country with a large and powerful agricultural industry is like taking on talking about aliens, the spherical nature of the world or overcoming Parliament like Guy Fawkes.
But that’s just what I’m about to do.
Based on the research and my experience working with my clients, I typically advise most of my goddesses to avoid dairy products completely. I like cheese just as much as the next lady, but as a scientist and nutritional advisor I have to look honestly at what we know.
Mark Hyman, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of UltraMetabolism and The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days, discusses the many reasons to avoid dairy, both for health and for weight loss.
He goes on to note the power and influence of the dairy industry lobby whether that is in the UK or US and the impact it has on food guidelines, which recommend consuming dairy as a part of a healthy diet. Dr. Walter Willett, head of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, a critic of USDA food guidelines calls the Food Pyramid (recently replaced by “My Plate”) “udderly ridiculous.”
As for dairy, he outlines some reasons to avoid it. Importantly, approximately 75 percent of people are lactose intolerant, meaning they do not have the enzymes to digest dairy properly.
Rather than reducing fractures — as we have so often been told — according to data from the Nurses’ Health Study, dairy there may be a 50 percent increased risk of fractures.
Counter to claims about dairy being good for bones, those parts of the world with the lowest rates of osteoporosis — such as Asia and Africa — also consume the least amount of dairy.
According to research, a higher intake of dairy products — as well as calcium — is linked to a higher cancer risk, prostate cancer in particular. Consuming dairy causes a rise in the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), also linked to a higher cancer risk.
You can read a full transcript of the video above at Dr. Hyman’s blog: Why Dairy Products Are Not Health Foods.
Contrary to all the pervasive messages we receive, dairy is not a healthy food for consumption, let alone weight loss, as food allergies of all kind can cause weight gain or make weight loss more difficult. I know from personal experience; when I quit eating dairy several years ago not only did my IBS clear up permanently — I’d been plagued with it since I was in my late teens — but I also lost five pounds without even trying.
For an extensive, well-researched expose of both the dairy industry and the health risks of dairy products check out the book by Joseph Keon Ph.D., Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth about Cow’s Milk and Your Health. You can also find numerous articles on the dairy industry, health consequences of consuming dairy and an overall wealth of information at NotMilk.com.
As Yuri Elkaim discussed in his other book, The All-Day Energy Diet, the main issue with dairy is that it’s the most acid forming of all foods. Considering that too much acid in our bodies— a condition known as metabolic acidosis— has been shown, like inflammation, to be at the root of many health problems we now face, it’s a smart idea to minimize your intake of such foods. What’s the problem with too much acid, and how does it make losing weight more difficult, you ask? When you eat any food, it is eventually metabolized by your kidneys, where it leaves either an acid or alkaline “ash.” With continued consumption of acid-forming foods (dairy, grains, sugar, lots of animal products), we develop low-level acidosis, which must be buffered at the expense of alkaline reserves like bicarbonate and calcium. Instead of allowing excess acid to ruin your delicate blood vessels and organs, your body looks to store this acid to prevent further damage. And guess where it goes? That’s right— into your fat cells. Foods that contain more protein and phosphorus and fewer alkaline minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium are more acid forming, while those that have the opposite makeup are alkaline forming. Dairy products (especially cheese) are the most acid forming of all foods. This is due to the large amount of protein and phosphorus they contain. Even though dairy also contains a substantial amount of calcium, its phosphorus impairs calcium absorption and utilization in the body. When you look at bigger, unbiased studies, dairy’s true colors are revealed. Take, for instance, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which included more than 77,000 women. It found that women who drank three or more glasses of milk a day had no reduced risk of hip or arm fractures during a 12-year follow-up period when compared with women who drank little or no milk.
What’s interesting is that our Paleolithic ancestors didn’t drink milk, and yet osteoporosis was almost nonexistent in their time. Instead, they got plenty of natural sunlight, regular weight-bearing exercise, and lots of whole foods— the perfect recipe for strong bones. Yet, today, we continue to be misled by big-money lobby groups who want us to believe that milk is required for good bone health.
Why no gluten?
First, let’s be clear, what is gluten?
To answer the first question, gluten is a protein composite (gliadin and glutenin) found in wheat, barley, and rye.
It gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape, and often gives the final baked product a chewy texture. It’s kind of like glue, hence the name.
So what is gluten intolerance? It isn’t a food allergy. It’s a physical condition in your gut.
Basically, undigested gluten proteins (prevalent in wheat and other grains) hang out in your intestines and are treated by your body like a foreign invader, irritating your gut and flattening the microvilli along the small intestine wall. Without those microvilli, you have considerably less surface area with which to absorb the nutrients from your food.
This leads sufferers to experience symptoms of malabsorption, including chronic fatigue, neurological disorders, nutrient deficiencies, anemia, nausea, skin rashes, depression, and more.
If you remove gluten from the diet, the gut heals and the myriad of symptoms disappears. Depending on the level and degree of the intolerance (which can range anywhere from a gluten sensitivity to a full-blown celiac disease), it may be possible to eventually re-introduce properly prepared grains (sourdough that has fermented for up to a month, sprouted grains, etc) into the diet.
Is it really that bad for you?
As for the second question, the answer is simple: Yes, it’s really that bad for you. There’s a good reason why gluten-free products have become perhaps the hottest trend in food right now: Wheat products are some of the greatest contributors to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, depression, and so many other health problems. Who knew all of these problems could be caused by something as simple as a diet consisting of bread, cereal, and pasta?
Having had those foods as the staple of my diet for nearly 20 years, I can attest to the sneaky health-robbing powers they possess. My personal beef with gluten is based on years’ worth of research as well as my own personal suffering with my vertigo and painful joints; since wheat consumption has been shown to cause celiac-like inflammation of the skin, joints and can affect the brain, mood and energy.
I know that my life has changed since giving up gluten 3 years ago.
I know it’s hard to believe that wheat could wreak so much havoc on your health, especially when it’s touted as such an important staple of a healthy diet. However, you have to bear in mind that this is not the same wheat that your grandparents were eating.
What you eat today is drastically modified “Frankenwheat.” According to Yuri Elkaim in his book.
He goes on to note, “For this, you can “thank” Norman Borlaug— often referred to as “the Man Who Saved a Billion Lives.” 4 Borlaug was perhaps the most noted agronomist of the 20th century, and his effort in the 1960s to increase the global yield of wheat through hybridization techniques was born of noble intentions: His goal was to feed the drastically increasing numbers of starving people in the developing world. The resulting semidwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat strain fulfilled his mission and won him a Nobel Prize, but his invention has inadvertently made millions of people sick and fat. Modifications have continued over the past 50 years, using techniques that include hybridization and chemical, gamma-ray, and x-ray mutagenesis.
The latter has been used to develop a new “superstrain” of wheat, called Clearfield, that is herbicide resistant. These modern, mutant strains of wheat are a far cry from the wheat spoken of in any holy book. You would think that the litany of studies showing the health issues related to these modern wheat strains would spur a return to older varieties, but this hasn’t been the case. A big part of the problem is that massive money and power support big grain lobby groups like the Grain Foods Foundation and the Whole Grains Council. For decades, these groups have brainwashed us into believing that whole grains should be an essential part of our diets and that the fiber in their breads and cereals is good for lowering our cholesterol and improving other health markers. There’s a theme here that comes up time and time again when digging into the dirty laundry of the modern diet: When we start playing around with Mother Nature, we end up with far less predictable and less controllable outcomes. It’s kind of like Jurassic Park.”
Let’s now look at how this engineered wheat affects our bodies.
It contains amylopectin A— the most quickly digested and fattening form of starch. It contains a form of gluten that is superinflammatory. It is highly addictive, which makes you crave and eat more of it. Amylopectin A Amylopectin A is a superstarch found in modern wheat that makes our bread nice and fluffy. However, it’s also a big part of the reason why a single slice of whole wheat bread (yes, even more so than white bread) now raises your blood sugar more than if you had consumed 1 tablespoon of table sugar!
As you’ll discover in my book, the higher the blood sugar response after consumption of food, the greater the release of your fat-storing hormone— insulin— and the more fat that can potentially be stored in your body.
It’s hard to eat just one doughnut, slice of fluffy white bread or a biscuit, isn’t it? I’ll be very honest with you— pizza and pasta are my nemesis, and I know why.
At some level, I’m addicted to it, and that’s likely because I’ve eaten tons of it over the course of my life. I certainly don’t eat much of it now, but I scarfed so much of it in my childhood that a deep craving for it has probably embedded itself inside me. Even now, it returns from time to time, especially in moments of stress when my body just needs a comforting “fix.”
Wheat’s addictive properties are largely due to the fact that, upon digestion, its proteins are converted into shorter opioid-like proteins called gluten exorphins or gluteomorphins. They act in similar fashion to the endorphins you get from a runner’s high by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain. That process is also responsible for the high you get after taking an illegal drug, setting the stage for an addiction similar to but probably less intense than heroin addiction.
I hope by now you have a much better understanding of why wheat is terrible for your health and your ability to lose weight. It has no redeeming qualities, no matter what any dietitian, The Diabetes Association, or even the latest food pyramid may tell you.
Let me save you the hassle of going through all sorts of blood and genetic tests. Let’s just agree that wheat is not good for your body, okay? For that reason, none of the recipes in this plan— or any others that I ever create— will contain wheat or gluten. You don’t need it, and you certainly won’t miss it when you’re enjoying delicious meals that help you drop a few pounds in the space of a few days.
Why strength training?
Let me tell you about strength training
This is likely the answer you’ve been dreading the most. Ironically, it’s my favorite. I never fail to be surprised by how much misunderstanding and trepidation surround working out. People who have not yet committed to a regular exercise routine have the general perception that you have to kill yourself to get in shape.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In the 1970s, Jane Fonda popularized the phrase “No pain, no gain,” and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where all these misconceptions started.
What’s sad is that this perspective keeps so many away from regular exercise; given how daunting it all seems, is it any surprise that people turn to diets instead?
That’s unfortunate, because diets alone are quite useless. That may sound like an overstatement, but it’s not. We’ll explore why shortly. The truth is that regular exercise is essential to maintaining a trim and healthy physique. There is no way around it.
However, spending hours on end running on a treadmill, doing situps, or bench-pressing extraordinarily heavy weights doesn’t have to be part of the equation. In fact, it never should be. Make no mistake, exercise does take dedicated work on your part, but it doesn’t require you to sacrifice all of your time and energy.
My clients are always stunned at just how little they have to exercise to achieve real and lasting results. That’s the pleasant surprise I want you to experience.
According to a January 2015 story in U. S. News and World Report, nearly two-thirds of dieters regain the weight they’ve lost on a diet within the first year. 1 That’s a lot of people, especially when you consider that roughly 45 million people will try a new diet every year, according to figures from Boston Medical Center. That’s a lot of time and energy being wasted, but the diet industry just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
I’m telling you these statistics, though, because I don’t want to mislead you, and I want you to know that I won’t push any miracle pills or programs your way. I want to tell you the truth. That begins with telling you why dieting is pointless. Aside from the misery of it all, your body simply isn’t programmed to respond to a diet in the way you’ve been told it will. Let me explain. Your body is always using energy to perform all manner of external and internal functions, even when you’re sleeping. This rate of energy use is called your basal metabolic rate.
You gain energy from the food you eat in the form of calories, and this keeps your metabolic rate chugging along. If you eat more than you burn, your fat storage increases. Thus, the only way to make sure you’re expending more energy than you’re ingesting and storing is to increase your basal metabolic rate. The only way to increase your basal metabolic rate is to increase your lean muscle.
This is precisely why diets don’t work. When you diet, you deprive yourself of food and energy, and in the short term, this means that you lose weight. However, this also means that you gradually lower your basal metabolic rate. When you’ve achieved the weight-loss results you were aiming for and you start eating normally again, your food and energy intake will far exceed your lowered basal metabolic rate, and all the weight will start piling on again. It’s an ugly and pointless cycle.
Thus, the only way to truly lose weight and keep it off is to take a multitiered approach:
First, you have to incorporate healthier foods into your diet that promote hormonal balance and reduce inflammation inside your body.
Second, you have to change your daily lifestyle to reduce stress and support positive growth.
Finally, you have to exercise. That’s right, you have to exercise.
Through exercise, you will gain lean muscle, which will increase your basal metabolic rate. With this increase, you will gradually become a fat-burning machine, even when you’re not working out.
Mind you, I’m not suggesting that you become a bodybuilder. That degree of pumped-up muscle isn’t required to unlock the fat-burning properties of this program. I know this is especially a concern for women, most of whom want to avoid the muscled look. I assure you this is not what we’re going for. I simply want you to be fit and firm. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to hit the gym 7 days a week. What I’m about to share with you flies in the face of convention. I think you’ll find it to be a breath of fresh air.
The key here is to make sure you’re getting the right type and amount of exercise, and thankfully, utilizing Warrior Goddess Kettlebell Training method is the perfect way to do both.
This is why I love kettlebells.
A kettlebell is a type of dumbbell or free weight that is round with a flat base and an arced handle. It looks like a cannonball with a handle, or a teapot without the spout, hence the name “kettlebell” in English. In Russia it is called a “girya” (Russian: гиря.) Kettlebells are made of either cast iron or steel.
Unlike a dumbbell, a kettlebell’s center of mass extends beyond the hand. Kettlebells can be swung, thrown, juggled, pressed, held, moved and manipulated in hundreds of ways. They are small and portable and can be incorporated into all aspects of athletic and fitness training. Kettlebells are a highly efficient way to lose weight, tone your body, increase your cardio-vascular fitness and strength and maintain joint health, mobility and flexibility.
Kettlebell workouts can tighten and tone your whole body, but the dynamic all-muscles-on-deck movements also burn a heck of a lot of calories—on par with running a 6-minute mile, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin‚ La Crosse, who evaluated the energy output of a typical kettlebell session. In their tests, exercisers burned about 20 calories a minute, or 400 in a 20-minute session.
You can do this with one kettlebell at your own home.
And watch how your body changes in as little as 28 days.
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So you see, it’s not how little you eat but when and what
- you need to be eating more… but of the right things
- sugar is your enemy not fat
- cut out wheat and dairy and watch your belly melt away
- add strength training into your fitness plan and watch your whole body tighten and tone and just lean out including that midsection
Going gluten and dairy free is certainly a recommendation I’ve made for years to my clients and online audience. The reason is that these foods trigger inflammatory responses in your body that make losing weight and enjoying good health almost impossible. Not everyone is sensitive to them and not everyone will respond in exactly the same fashion, but I have yet to work with a human being on this planet whose health and waistline have not improved as a result of avoiding (or at least minimizing) these allergenic foods. Let’s look at each one more closely to see how it causes your body to hold on to fat.
Want some gluten free, dairy free, plant based recipe ideas?
Download the FREE 7 Day Guide to Becoming More Plant Based which are included in our Warrior Goddess Body Body Shape Change programmes. Just click on the image below for FREE Instant Access.