That’s why we have spell-check, password retrieval systems, and “Are you sure you want to delete?” prompts. The reinforcements, though they sometimes complicate our lives (wrong again, smartphone autocorrect!), help protect us when we’re vulnerable.
In your diet, then, it also makes sense to have backups—a support system—that can help in your quest toward achieving your healthy body goals. So here are some of the supplemental allies that will enhance the effects of your smart-eating plan. Why not wash ’em down with a cup of tea? Make the most of the benefits from tea with The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in one week!
This muscle relaxer helps you keep calm and promotes peaceful sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium is needed for more than 300 chemical reactions in the body, including keeping the heart rhythm steady, regulating blood sugar levels and helping lower blood pressure. Besides those health benefits, magnesium can also aid in weight loss and body shaping. A 2013 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that higher magnesium intake was associated with lower levels of fasting glucose and insulin (markers related to fat and weight gain), and one study from England found that a magnesium supplement may have some beneficial effects on reducing fluid retention during the menstrual cycle, suggesting that it might help alleviate undesirable tummy bloat.
Where to Get It: The recommend amount of magnesium for women under 30 is 310 milligrams, and 320 for women over 30. You’ll find magnesium in many foods, including leafy green vegetables, beans, and nuts. Supplements in pill or powder form are also widely available at health food stores. Drinking warm water with a tablespoon of magnesium powder every night before bed is also an option that may help you sleep soundly and stay regular, reducing bloat and discomfort.
Vitamin D has many benefits, yet most of us are deficient in it. (In fact, if you live north of Atlanta or Phoenix, studies
show you’re almost certain to be D-deficient most of the year.) Studies suggest that vitamin D aids in increasing muscle strength and can boost your workout, while having low levels of it is linked to such things as heart disease and cancer. Some research shows that people with low levels of vitamin D catch more colds or the flu than those with the highest amounts. That’s a benefit itself, but think about the trickle effect, too: The more you get sick, the less you feel like exercising and the more susceptible you are to reaching for so-called feel-good foods.
But in terms of weight loss specifically, vitamin D may also play a promising role. Vitamin D helps regulate hunger and appetite. A 2012 Iranian study in Nutrition Journal found that supplementation with vitamin D was associated with a 7 percent decrease in fat, and a small study from the University of Minnesota found a relationship between higher levels of D and fat loss, especially in the belly area. Of course, that doesn’t mean that taking vitamin D is a one-pill-cures-all. But to supplement your good exercise and eating habits, make sure you get the recommended amount every day through diet, sunlight (get at least 15 minutes outdoors, especially during winter months), and supplementation if necessary.
Where to Get It: You can get vitamin D in a variety of foods, such as fish, eggs, and fortified dairy products; the daily recommended intake is 600 IU. Research from the Cleveland Clinic shows you’ll get better absorption of a vitamin D supplement if you take it with your largest meal.
Bilberry and Probiotics
There are a million different supplements out there. Some folks believe they’re magic bullets; others think the local vitamin store is nothing but a sham. But there are two more that stand out as having true potential. Bilberry (related to the blueberry), for example, may provide beneficial effects due to its antioxidant properties. One 2011 study from the journal Diabeteologia found that a diet high in bilberry (as well as fatty fish and whole grains) improved function of the circulatory system (including improved blood pressure and other circulatory issues that are associated with being overweight). Mounting research is drawing a connection between gut-health aids like probiotics—the healthy bacteria that live in our intestines or gut—and weight control.
Where to Get It: The ingestion of probiotics, either from foods like yogurt or supplements, has been shown to be effective at everything from boosting the immune system and reducing gastrointestinal problems to treating cancer. Research from the Washington University School of Medicine has linked obesity to a lack of gut flora diversity. Look for probiotic supplements with at least 5 billion active cells.
Courtesy of The Biniki Body Diet