Turmeric first found its way onto my radar back when I was a nutrition student volunteering where I had the opportunity to shadow an integrative medicine doctor for six months in an HIV clinic. An infectious disease M.D., she incorporated complementary and alternative approaches into her patients’ care plans. The results were amazing, and the patients loved being able to turn to food to assist them with managing their conditions. What I learned there about real-life ways of working healing foods into the diet gave me a strong foundation for what I help my clients with now.
Physical activity helps burn abdominal fat. “One of the biggest benefits of exercise is that you get a lot of bang for your buck on body composition,” Stewart says. Exercise seems to work off belly fat in particular because it reduces circulating levels of insulin—which would otherwise signal the body to hang on to fat—and causes the liver to use up fatty acids, especially those nearby visceral fat deposits, he says.
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When your clothes don’t fit you right, you tend to go for slightly loose fitting, such as picking the medium over the small size. You become very conscious that your stomach might be visible. It’s also unhealthy. Belly fat (as oppose to just “fat”) has a high concentration of visceral fat which is associated with a wide range of health conditions. It’s not just about the way you look, your belly is literally working against your health and well-being.
Social conditions such as poverty, social isolation and inability to get or prepare preferred foods can cause unintentional weight loss, and this may be particularly common in older people. Nutrient intake can also be affected by culture, family and belief systems. Ill-fitting dentures and other dental or oral health problems can also affect adequacy of nutrition.
Beans are an excellent source of slow-release carbohydrates, as well as a good source of protein and fiber, which slow the digestive process to help you stay fuller, longer. “Research finds that eating just three-quarters of a cup of beans a day for six weeks can help you lose close to six pounds. And if you’re trying to lower your cholesterol, it’s a double win as the soluble fiber in beans helps whisk cholesterol out of your body,” says Ansel. She also says you don’t necessarily need to cook dry beans from scratch. Canned beans are one of the most underrated convenience foods, so keep a rotation of all kinds - like black, pinto, chickpea and cannellini - in your pantry. Try adding beans to your soups and salads, add them minced to meat dishes, enjoy a bean dip like hummus, or toss them in a salad.