According to adult toy company Adam & Eve, 41 percent of American adults prefer to get busy in the dark. Although that stat isn't particularly shocking, it does say a lot about how comfortable we feel in our own skin.
Not only does focusing on negative feelings about your body make it more difficult to enjoy what's going on between the sheets, there's also nothing sexy about hitting the lights the second your shirt hits the floor. But, we get it: Not everyone has the confidence to bare it all in broad daylight—especially in front of a significant other or a ridiculously fit one-night stand. However, that's not to say that you can't get there! By adding a few easy-to-find foods to your diet, you can beat the bloat, trim your middle and start feeling more confidence in your birthday suit! Who knows, after a few weeks of smart eating, you may just want to leave the lights on!
You've been messaging back and forth for weeks with a hot guy you met on Tinder, and he's finally asked you out on a date. You couldn't be more stoked… or self-conscious about your ever-softening stomach. Don't panic, the solution is a simple one: Add some cinnamon to your diet. According to an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, the sweet spice helps reduce levels of the hormone, insulin, so less of the sugar you consume is stored as flubber. Sprinkle it in your coffee, in greek yogurt, or on apple slices, and start seeing results—stat! For more on the healthiest spices on the planet, don't miss these five favorites.
Avocado lovers, rejoice! There's yet another reason to add your favorite fruit to your plate: it can make you look and feel better in your skivvies. Penn State University researchers say consuming about three tablespoons of an oleic acid-rich fat—like avocado oil—can burn abdominal flab, fast—likely because of its satiating effects. After just four weeks, the U Penn study participants who consumed this type of oil decreased their belly fat by 1.6 percent! Those who consumed a flax-safflower oil blend didn't experience any abdominal fat loss. Avocado oil has a very high smoke point, so it's perfect for sautés and stir-frys. Head to the kitchen, throw on your apron and get cookin'! Want even better results? Pair avocado oil with spinach, it's just one of the 7 Food Pairings That Dial Up Your Weight Loss.
This evening marks date number three, and he's hinted that he wants tonight to be the night. You're game, but not feeling like your hottest self, which makes the prospect of stripping down less appealing. The fastest way to boost your body confidence? Eat asparagus—hear us out. The green veggie is rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps the body flush out water and sodium—two things that make you appear softer around the middle than you actually are. Just nix it from your menu the day of the big date. Before the big date, check out the 6 best vegetables for weight loss.
Pickle jars are filled with vinegar, which is super acidic. While that may be hard on some peoples' taste buds, it's great news for your waistline. Why? Studies show acidic foods help increase the rate at which the body burns off carbs by up to 40 percent! And the faster you burn off carbs, the sooner your body starts incinerating fat. Munch on pickles as a low-cal, fat-fighting snack, and you'll start feeling more confident in the nude in no time.
Congrats, stud. Your hot co-worker said yes to that date—and you know it's going to end with her coming back to your place. The only problem? Ever since you ate that yogurt this morning, you're rocking a bloated gut. Apparently you are lactose intolerant. There's no way you're going to bail on your date—you put in way too much work to get to this point. Luckily, you won't have to cancel. Get back to your cut, lean self by grabbing a bottle of kefir. Although this smoothie-like drink resides next to that same yogurt that made you sick, it can counteract the effects of the milk's stomach-irritating lactose. In fact, Ohio State University researchers found that drinking kefir can reduce bloating and gas brought on by lactose consumption by 70 percent! We like Lifeway's Veggie Kefir line. Each bottle has 110 calories, 15 grams of sugar and a full serving of veggies.
Apple Cider Vinegar
You just got out of a three-year relationship and packed on a bit of "love chub." You're eager to get back into the dating pool, but you're feeling less than confident about your not-so-solid bod. To melt away the flab, add your favorite spices and a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to your daily greens. A Japanese study found that obese study participants who did just that were leaner and had less visceral fat than the control group who didn't consume vinegar—after just eight weeks! How does it work? ACV produces proteins inside the body that burn fat. Click here to learn more about apple cider vinegar.
You've just moved in with your girlfriend, so you know you'll be stripping down now more than ever. Tighten up your bod and boost your confidence by adding some kimchi to your plate. The Korean fermented staple is filled with probiotics that improve digestive health and, over time, prevent bloat. Fair warning, don't turn to kimchi the night before a big date night. Although it can help banish bloat in the long run, it may cause stomach discomfort and gas the first few days you eat it.
We've finally discovered what Victoria's secret is to looking so amazing in those racey bedroom get-ups: ground pepper. Although we can't be 100 percent sure, it would certainly explain a lot. Piperine, the compound that gives pepper its distinct taste, stops the formation of new fat cells. Who would have thought? Sprinkle some of the spice on your morning omelet, into your afternoon soup or salad and into your dinner dishes for a fat-fighting punch of flavor. Pepper's not your only option, though. Stock your spice cabinet with all 5 Best Spcies for Fat Loss.
You exercise and eat right, but you can't seem to get rid of that stubborn bit of flab above your belt —and it's your biggest birthday suit insecurity. Since you're doing everything else right, the trouble may lie in your day-to-day stresses. If your job is really demanding and you're constantly super-stressed , your cortisol levels are likely sky-high, which encourages the body to store fat around your midsection. While you likely can't up and quit your job, you can add some vitamin C-rich foods to your diet. Mangos not only serve up just under a day's worth of the nutrient in every cup, but will also remind you of a relaxing tropical getaway, slashing stress and helping you slim down.
Speaking of stress, besides causing your body to store fat, constantly pulling your hair out can also increase your appetite—the exact opposite of what you want when you're trying to look better naked. Fight back against the bulge with a calming cup of rooibos tea. The brew is filled with a powerful flavonoid called aspalathin that reduces stress hormones that give you the munchies and cause your body to store stomach fat. It's hard to believe that a tiny little tea bag packs all that power, but you can't argue with science! So what are you waiting for? Take out your tea kettle and sip your way to a slimmer, more confident you! Don't care for red tea? Swap it out for any of these 5 Best Teas for Weight Loss.
You've got a very special surprise planned for your significant other's birthday—and it involves you in very little clothing. While you feel pretty good about your physique, you're a bit self-concious about a few of your "trouble zones." Here's your look-better-naked plan for success: Eat a quarter cup of almonds before you hit the gym. A study in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that the nut, rich in the amino acid L-arginine, can actually help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts. Other research has found that when combined with a calorie-restricted diet, consuming this size serving of nuts can decrease weight and waist circumference more than calorie restriction alone.
Your wedding is approaching quickly, and you want to tighten and tone everything so you'll look and feel amazing in, and out, of your dress. What's a bride to do? Cut your calories a bit and add some calcium-rich milk to your diet. Research shows that combining a reduced-calorie diet with more calcium rich foods, like milk, is more effective than calorie cutting alone. How's it work? Scientists say that the extra calcium helps the body burn more—and store less—fat. To get similar results at home, add milk to your morning coffee and oatmeal.