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in this issue ASA BUTTERFIELD BY MITCHELL NGUYEN MCCORMACK

Health: Zero Belly Diet

ZERO BELLY IN ZERO TIME. Sometimes, A “the sooner the better” approach can work wonders … even if the goal is long-term weight loss. This is what the Zero Belly diet is all about.

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There are many approaches to losing weight, each based on different considerations ranging from dietary habits and daily activity levels to enzyme balance and genetics. In David Zinczenko’s Zero Belly Diet approach, however, time is a key factor. While doing research for a new book, the bestselling author and nutrition expert, discovered a study pointing out that rapid weight loss can lead to permanent weight loss. Zinczenko’s diet has so far been well received with plenty of encouraging success stories, some of which resulted in seven kilograms shaved off in just 14 days.

 

“Looking to stock up on healthy snack options? Then make a stop at the nut aisle”

 

As with other comprehensive diet programs, it’s highly recommended that those interested in the Zero Belly Diet invest in the actual book, along with the accompanying cookbook. In the meantime, there are plenty of easy steps that any of us can add to our daily routines and shopping habits right now.

AT HOME

  1. Start each day by preparing a large pitcher of “spa water.” This is basically water with sliced lemon, orange or grapefruit. Make sure that you use the whole fruit, as one of the main benefits we’re looking for from these citrus fruits, namely the antioxidant delimonene, is contained in the peel. Aim to consume at least eight glasses a day.
  2. Speaking of starting the day, let’s not forget the most important meal of the day. A hearty breakfast of quick oats with some shaved dark chocolate, berries, nuts and a sprinkling of cinnamon can help the bacteria living in your digestive tract produce butyrate. This helpful fatty acid can help reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, which leads to less bloating.
  3. Do you like to chew gum? Maybe you feel that it keeps you from snacking and you’re chewing on the sugarless variety anyway. But there are two problems here. First, most sugarless gums contain sorbitol, which can remain undigested for long periods and become a medium for microbial fermentation. Secondly, chewing on gum actually causes your brain to release hunger hormones. That’s not exactly the sensation you want to deal with while trying to lose weight, right?
  4. At the end of the day, before you go to bed, take a shower. Cooling down your body allows you to fall asleep faster, and better sleep leads to lower levels of cortisol. Now, besides being responsible for boosting your stress levels, cortisol also plays a major role in fat storage; so, we definitely want this one to be kept as low as possible.

WHILE OUT SHOPPING

  1. When it comes to lean protein to fight fat, nothing really beats fish. And when it comes to healthy, omega-3-packing fish, nothing really beats salmon. The kind you get at your local supermarket, however, might not exactly do you any good. Farmed salmon, which constitutes almost 90 percent of what’s on the market, contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which can be detrimental to your metabolism. So, while it might be a hassle, always go for wild salmon.
  2. Looking to stock up on healthy snack options? Then make a stop at the nut aisle. While nuts are high in fat, a moderate portion of monounsaturated fat (like the one contained in almonds) can help suppress your appetite for hours. The keyword is “moderate,” so a bit of calorie counting might be required.
  3. Fruit is also a great option for healthy snacks. Now, while many sources recommend dried fruit, which is often dubbed “nature’s candy,” these high-fructose bites can cause problems for people suffering from fructose malabsorption. This inability to efficiently absorb natural sugars can lead to gas, which then leads to bloating. Safer options include stone fruit (peaches, plums, cherries and nectarines), citrus and berries.
  4. On the flip side, energy bars are best avoided. First of all, multiple studies have shown that processed foods can trigger increased weight gain, even when compared to whole foods with the same calorific value. The whey and soy content of a typical energy bar can also lead to bloating in people with lactose issues.
  5. Yet another seemingly healthy foodstuff that’s best avoided is yoghurt. As a dairy product, yoghurt is naturally rich in lactose, which isn’t always easy to break down. Add to that the high sugar content in most commercial yoghurt products, you can end up feeding the bad bacteria in your gut.
  6. A great substitute for milk and dairy is almond milk, and you’ll often see recipes in the Zero Diet Cookbook calling for this particular ingredient. However, many brands of almond milk contain a thickening agent called carrageenan. Studies have linked this additive with stomach ulcers, inflammation and a host of other gastrointestinal maladies. So, as always, caveat emptor.

Once again, these steps are only part of the Zero Belly Diet, but they represent a good starting point toward a “zero belly” goal. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get a jump on things, no?

For more on the Zero Belly Diet, including recipes, meal ideas and exercise guides, go to zerobelly.com

Photography Haruns Maharbina
Styling Gabriela Batti
Model Krishna/Image Management
Grooming Seto Irawan

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