If your nutrition and exercise plans have been taken over by busy schedules or you just generally feel you are in the need of a slim down then these tips might help you achieve success! As you know, any diet program starts in the kitchen before it can even progress to the gym. However, there are a few key everyday nutrients that are easy to overlook en route to a smaller waistline. Here are six that you should incorporate more often to lose your love handles. You will notice there are many food items that are mentioned A LOT below. Stock up on these and enjoy a mostly plant-based high protein diet combined with exercise to keep feeling good and slimming down!

1. Make Room for Magnesium

This power-nutrient plays an important role in how (and how much) insulin is released. A magnesium-rich diet abundant can substantially reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a report from Harvard University.

Researchers followed 85,000 women and 42,000 men for 18 and 12 years respectively, during which time 5,400 participants developed type 2 diabetes. Those with the highest levels of dietary magnesium intake reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 34 percent — even when their weight, physical activity and lifestyle habits weren’t anything to brag about.

Go shopping: Add these magnesium foods to your list – dark chocolate, avocado, nuts (especially almonds, cashews, brazil nuts), legumes (lentils, black beans, chick peas, peas and soy beans), tofu, seeds (pumpkin, flax, chia), fatty fish (salmon, mackerel and halibut), whole grains (wheat, oats and barley, buckwheat and quinoa) leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens), banana

Bottom line: Reach for magnesium-rich foods like raw spinach, three cups of it boasts 72 mg. Adding half a cup of nuts and seeds can render more than 600 mg of magnesium, a cup of cooked beans or lentils can give you almost 150 mg while a six ounce serving of fish brings 91 mg. I recommend taking 200-800 mg of magnesium bis-glycinate to bowel tolerance daily.

2. Master Your Metabolism with Iodine

Chances are you’ve heard of iodine in connection with the master of your metabolism, your thyroid. However, it also plays a role in helping you lose your love handles, by improving insulin levels.

Research published in the Ukrainian journal Lik Sprava suggests iodine insufficiency plays a major role in type 2 diabetes and insulin control. Another study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology (2009) found a link between metabolic syndrome and iodine deficiency.

Go shopping: Add these iodine-rich foods to your shopping list – seaweed, cod, dairy (cottage cheese, plain yogurt, cheddar cheese), shrimp, tuna, eggs, prunes, lima beans. Fans of cottage cheese may want to try Good Culture cottage cheese pots in a variety of flavors; high in protein, low in sugar – what’s not to love?

Bottom line: These studies show why it’s a great idea to top your salads with dried seaweed flakes (1/4 ounce has 4.5 mg of iodine), lima beans (1/2 cup gives you 8 mcg) or cottage cheese (1 cup for 65 mcg). A dosage of 150 to 200 mcg per day has also been found to reduce the amount of insulin a diabetic patient may require

3. Reveal A Flatter Stomach With Zinc

While you may associate this nutrient with flu season, it can also protect you against diabetes. When zinc-concentration levels drop, so does your level of insulin sensitivity which leaves more glucose in your bloodstream, causing high blood sugar and eventually fat gain.

A study of Spanish schoolchildren discovered a direct relationship between low zinc levels, increased body fat, and insulin resistance. Children who were zinc deficient had poor insulin sensitivity and increased glucose intolerance.

Go shopping: Add these foods to your shopping list – red meat, shellfish, legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans), seeds (hemp, squash, pumpkin and sesame), nuts (cashews), dairy (milk and cheese if you can tolerate), eggs, whole grains, vegetables (potato, green beans), dark chocolate

Bottom line: To add hemp, flax, pumpkin or squash seeds into your diet, you can try adding them to salads, soups, yogurts or other foods. I also recommend supplementing with Clear Zinc – take at bedtime daily.

4. See Yourself Skinny With Vitamin C

You may be surprised to learn that vitamin C has a similar chemical structure to glucose, which means that spending too much time at the donut counter will reduce your body’s levels of vitamin C — as glucose goes up, vitamin C goes down.

A study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (2007) looked at 84 patients with type 2 diabetes who randomly received either 500 mg or 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily for six weeks. The researchers discovered that the group supplementing with 1,000 mg of vitamin C experienced a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol (LDL) and insulin levels. For more on how vitamin C can help slim your waistline click here.

Go Shopping: Add the following Vitamin C rich foods to your list – persimmons, papayas, lemon, strawberries, kiwi, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, parsley, thyme, chili peppers, sweet yellow peppers, black currants, chili peppers

Bottom line: Know that you don’t have to load up on oranges alone. The Kakadu plum which is a superfood fruit from Australia packs the most vitamin C known – a shocking 100 times more C than oranges! Surprisingly, fresh herbs like thyme, parsley and red and green hot chili peppers pack a serious-C punch. I also recommend adding 1000-2000 mg in supplemental form daily.

5. Pack in the Potassium

Potassium, an important electrolyte, helps maintain the balance between the contents of a cell and the fluid surrounding it, which is why it can help you shed excess water weight. However, it also has a clinically important effect on your waistline because high blood sugar can use up our stores of potassium and magnesium. Essentially, high insulin can lower potassium levels in the blood and leave you feeling like the Pillsbury doughboy.

Go Shopping: Add these foods to your shopping list – avocado, potatoes and sweet potatoes, spinach, swiss chard, watermelon, coconut water, white beans, pomegranate, beets, dried apricots, black beans, edamame, tomato paste, butternut squash.

Bottom line: While everyone thinks of bananas as being high in potassium, they’re also high in sugar, so not always the best choice to boost levels. My favourite way to boost potassium is simply a cup of unsweetened coconut water. Incorporating dark leafy greens and a three-ounce serving of salmon are also great sources. If preferred you can add a high-quality potassium supplement.

6. Lose More With Calcium

Got milk? Get slimmer. A two-year study completed at Purdue University found that adequate amounts of calcium slowed weight gain, possibly by accelerating the burning of fat for energy. The researchers found that the women who consumed at least 780 mg of calcium either had no increase in body fat or lost body fat over the two-year period. Researchers found that the high-calcium group showed decreased insulin levels and a significant increase in insulin sensitivity. Studies have also found that the majority of people are not meeting their calcium needs through their diet.

Go Shopping: Add these foods to your shopping list to up your calcium – seeds (poppy, sesame, chia), cheese, yogurt, sardines, canned salmon, beans, lentils, almonds, whey protein, rhubarb, figs, collard greens, kale, spinach.

Bottom line: If you’re lactose intolerant, you can still enjoy high-calcium foods. Try a cup of collard greens, spinach or kale, which are all high in calcium. Harder cheeses have more calcium and lower in lactose so better for people that might be lactose intolerant! Greek yogurt has more protein but less calcium than regular yogurt so if you are looking for more calcium then stick to regular plain yogurt. If you prefer a calcium supplement there are many to choose from. Remember that your intestines can only absorb about 500-600 mg of calcium at a time, the total calcium intake should be divided over the course of a day.

These Chocolate Coconut Fibre Bars help with sugar cravings, add fibre to your diet and taste great! Pick up some at the clinic or online!

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