No amount of crash dieting or juice cleanses will give you a flat stomach that lasts more than just a few miserables and hungy days. so we’re taking slimming notes from emerging celebrity nutritionist and author of body love, kelly leveque, who is crushing the wellness scene with her star-studded client list including Molly Simms, Emma Rossum, and Jessica Alba. Learn how to nourish, transform, and sustain your best body yet through a balanced diet and these expert tips.
Upgrade Your Smoothie
Shut down junk food cravings with a protein-, fat-, fiber- and green-focused #fab4smoothie.”The Fab 4 supports blood sugar balance by slowing the absorption rate of glucose and elongating your blood sugar curve,” notes Leveque. Cookie cravings will have met their match.
Nobody wants to look or feel bloated. To curb it, Leveque recommends keeping a chlorophyll dropper in your purse (yes, you read that right!) to help control hunger, cravings, and body odor.
Hold the Creamer
You don’t have to ditch coffee, but you should pump the breaks on a sugary dairy creamer. Swap it out with 1 tbsp. of coconut oil or MCT oil. Leveque says, “Skim milk and sugary creamers cause spikes in blood sugar that trigger your hunger hormone that it’s time to eat again–in less than a few hours.” MCT oil (one of the key ingredients in the trendy Bulletproof coffee) stands for medium chain triglyceride oil. “It’s all the rage because it will kick sugar cravings, decrease gut inflammation, aid in weight loss, and make your skin glow,” says Leveque.
Ditch Processed Snacks
If you’re going to snack, make it count. “Stop snacking on processed food,” cautions Leveque. In the chance you need what she calls a “bridge snack” between meals, reach for protein- or fat-based options like raw vegetables with dressing, avocado, nuts, or a hard-boiled egg.
Say “No” to Liquid Sugar
Don’t get us wrong, we all love a mimosa every once in a while, but be mindful of sugar-loaded beverages that will spike blood sugar and leave you feeling drained and even more ravenous later. “When your blood sugar rises after drinking a sugary drink, insulin is released to allow your cells to take in blood sugar for energy or storage and prevents fat cells from being broken down,” advises Leveque. Swap a soda with seltzer and lime.
Late Night Snack Attacks
Sure, a late-night slice of pizza every now and then isn’t going to kill you. However, if you want to tighten up your nutrition, you should know about the 12-hour window rule. “The first 6-8 hours after eating dinner, your body is focused on digestion, however, the last four hours are dedicated to fat-burning,” explains Leveque. If we indulge right before we hit the sheets, the leptin (an energy hormone) in our body signals the brain that no energy is required, and thus, you won’t burn any fat while you sleep.
Should you or shouldn’t you eat before a morning workout session? “I am a fan of a fasted workout,” Kelly says.”Especially a morning HIIT or cardio burst because it can increase human growth hormones that will help preserve muscle tissue and cause lipolysis, or fat breakdown.”
Go To Bed
People who sleep more happen to weigh less—and you’ll just feel better, too. “Lack of sleep literally has your hunger hormones screaming at you to eat and your satiety hormones short-circuiting,” claims Leveque. “Even worse,” she continues, “Lack of sleep causes us to crave starchy carbohydrates, which isn’t great for our waistline.”
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drink water slowly throughout the day to effectively utilize and optimize H2O rather than just, well, relieving it. “The benefits are obvious,” says Leveque, “Water supports detoxification, weight loss, fights fatigue, prevents headaches, improves skin, prevents cramps, and more.” The Mayo Clinic recommends11 cups for women and 15 cups for men per day.
You knew we were going to address your beloved bagel habit sooner or later, right? “Foods high on the glycemic index (bread, pasta, and dried fruit) can lead to insulin resistance, and cause you to overeat and gain weight,” says Leveque. Sugar-rich foods have the same crashing and craving effects on your body as sweet drinks. “Eating or drinking these foods can cause insulin, the storage hormone, to last six to eight hours in your blood stream, leading to cravings, weight gain and hormonal hunger,” she cautions. Consider these types of carbs a treat—not an everyday food group.