Let's face it, we like quick fixes. And we're susceptible to the lures of advertisements for weight-loss products. Fight the flab by taking a pill before meal time, or eat a special cookie to increase your metabolism. It sounds rational until we notice a bulge in our waistline as we reach for the remote.
If magic pills were the answer, obesity would virtually disappear. Unfortunately, there are no quick ways to lose stomach fat. However, one uncommon critical nutrient may be missing from your diet and contributing to your bulge.
Missing Link: Medium-Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs)
Medium-chain fatty acids are a branch of fatty acids found in foods such as coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Unlike long-chain fatty acids (often found in unsaturated vegetable oils), MCFA's are burned more readily by the body for energy, because the stomach's bile salts are not required to digest them. Instead of being stored as fat after consumption, they're transported immediately to the portal system for direct use. (See Athletic Performance Properties of Coconut Oil.)
MCFA's comprise 66 to 70% of the total fat content in coconut oil, making it one of nature's highest sources. Once considered a villain due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil now seems to be making a comeback due to the type of saturated fat it contains (MCFA's).
The School of Dietetics and Nutrition at McGill University recently reported that MCFA or medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil supplementation can increase the body's overall metabolic rate. This can aid in reducing body fat, especially in the abdominal region.
They are other ways to get MCFAs besides consuming coconut oil. They are found in other coconut products like coconut milk, dried unsweetened coconut and coconut water. Other sources include palm kernel oil and fresh, natural butter. Limit your intake of butter, however, because it does contain less MCFA's than coconut and palm kernel oil. (For additional healthy fats, read The Healthiest Oils You've Never Heard Of.)
Other Natural Ways to Lose Stomach Fat
In addition to MCT or MCFA oil, other foods can help you lose stomach fat once and for all.
Oolong, Green, and White Tea
Of all the teas available from the camellia saneness plant, the top ones for dealing with fat loss are oolong, green, and white tea. Although green and white tea receive more publicity, many studies show oolong tea is a metabolic boosting, fat-oxidizing tea. Try sipping it daily to receive its maximum benefits.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds derive the majority of their calories from fat and protein, two macronutrients that are incredibly effective at stopping hunger in its tracks. When consumed in excess, the calories not used for energy are stored in adipose tissue (fat tissue) for later use. (Sounds nutty, huh? For the entire breakdown, see 16 Nuts and Seeds You Should Be Eating.)
Fiber improves regularity when consumed with plenty of water. It can help reduce the bloated feeling we often get from overindulging, the result of a sluggish digestive system. Fiber also provides bulk and a feeling of fullness, helping us lower our caloric consumption, thus reducing our overall body weight.
Sleep is not considered a "nutrient" from a nutritional standpoint, but it is natural. Sleep is a valuable and important aspect of our lives. Optimal sleep can help balance blood sugar levels after meals, resulting in reduced hunger and proper energy utilization. In fact, many studies indicate that individuals who have a less-than optimal sleep routine are more likely to accumulate fat around the stomach area, increasing their risk for Type 2 diabetes.