Want to lose that belly fat fast? In your dreams! Seriously, though: a good night's sleep is one of the best ways to get rid of that extra fat around your waist for good. Among the 60,000 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study, those who snoozed for fewer than five hours a night were at the greatest risk of becoming obese and gaining 30 or more pounds over the course of the 16-year study period when compared to those who slept for seven or more hours.
Try a protein heavy meal like a bean tortilla with gazpacho. Warm up a two-ounce wheat tortilla in the microwave or on the stove and fill it with ½ cup cooked black beans, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, two tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and half an avocado, sliced. Serve it with one cup of ready-made gazpacho or salsa. Finish with a one-ounce piece of dark chocolate for dessert.
Keep stocked in your refrigerator or freezer a box of veggie burgers (look for low-sodium varieties). Veggie burgers are a much better choice for your waistline and heart than ground meat. Veggie patties have only about half the calories of regular red meat patties, and zero heart-hurting saturated fat. Plus, they’re so easy to cook – just one or two minutes in the microwave. While toasting your whole-wheat bun, take from your pantry a jar of roasted red bell peppers and top your veggie patty with a couple of luscious slices. Smear your bun with a little low-sodium Dijon mustard.