Being healthy doesn’t mean being rail thin. In fact, your curvy figure-eight can be a perfect 10 when it comes to your health. Here, Dr. Oz reveals how to show off your best assets while getting rid of harmful fat. The great news is there are only two simple rules to staying both fit and fabulous when you’re curvy.
The first rule is to “whittle your middle” by getting rid of belly fat. That unhealthy fat that collects around your waistline is often referred to as visceral fat, because it collects around the "viscera," or vital organs such as the liver, intestines, and kidneys. Left untreated, belly fat increases your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. To make things worse, the fat itself can actually squeeze you like a vice, crushing your internal organs. By whittling your middle, not only will you dramatically improve your health, but you’ll be left with a beautiful, hourglass shape. Here’s how:
Whittle Your Middle: L-arginine Supplement
Studies show that people with excess belly fat actually have less growth hormone, without which they can’t properly distribute and break down fat. L-arginine is a super supplement that naturally boosts growth hormone levels, and is available at drugstores for $9 dollars a bottle. Take two 1000 mg tablets 3 times a day with meals and blast that visceral fat away.
Whittle Your Middle: No Simple Carbs at Dinner
If you don’t exercise after eating simple carbohydrates, they’ll go straight to your belly. That’s why it’s important you eat carb-heavy foods (think pasta, bread, potatoes, etc.) early in the day, so you can burn them off. At dinner, get your carbs from vegetables. Here are three delicious recipes that will leave you totally satisfied, without packing on the extra pounds.
5-Minute Rice-Free Risotto
This rice-free risotto made with cauliflower, Portobello mushrooms and Greek yogurt has a wonderfully creamy texture. Click here for the complete recipe.
Carb-Cutter's Chicken Cordon Bleu
This chicken cordon bleu tastes like it’s got the traditional breading, but is actually made with low-carb wheat germ and pistachios. Click here for the complete recipe.
Steak and Mozzarella Kabobs
These kabobs are packed with flavor and protein, with absolutely zero bad carbs. Click here for the complete recipe.
Whittle Your Middle: Black Tea
If not kept under control, the stress hormone cortisol can lead to excess glucose production, which your body then converts into fat. Studies have shown that, in addition to enhancing positive moods, black tea reduces cortisol levels. So stop belly fat before it starts by drinking four cups of black tea daily. If you’re worried about your caffeine levels, you can drink decaf tea instead. Additionally, you can seek out tea infused with rhodiola, an herb that further reduces stress hormones. Getting rid of belly fat and stress? Now that’s a winning combination.
The second rule to being fit and fabulous is to “stabilize your curves.” You want to keep your curves exactly where they are today to prevent your butt, hips and thighs from sagging tomorrow. Here’s how you can do it:
Stabilize Your Curves: Soy
By eating soy at every meal, your body can actually direct fat to be stored in your curves, rather than your belly. Soy contains phytoestrogens, which help regulate estrogen activity and distribute fat in a way that will leave you curvaceous rather than rotund. These days, you’ll find soy in a variety of different forms. Stick to the most natural, least processed version you can find, such as soy nuts or low-sodium miso soup.
Stabilize Your Curves: Low-Fat Milk
As with soy, low-fat dairy helps mobilize fat to the areas you want – your hips, thighs and butt. As long as you aren’t lactose intolerant, try adding an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk to every meal. You might have a cup in your morning cereal, a glass to accompany your lunch, and some delicious, dark chocolate milk after dinner for dessert.
Stabilize Your Curves: Sculpt Power Move
Want to challenge your core muscles from every angle while toning your thighs and boosting your behind? Try this sculpt power move! Stand with your legs apart and your hands behind your head. Then twist, lifting your right knee toward your left shoulder. Release your leg and squat. Then lift up, this time bringing your left knee toward your right shoulder. As you repeat this motion, you’ll burn calories and build muscle in your thighs and buttocks, highlighting your curves while contributing to a lifetime of wellbeing. Do three sets of 20 to start and work up to more.