Monday, January 31, 2011

Eat More Carbs To Lose Your Muffin-Top Belly.

The dreaded term  "muffin top". Why is such a endearing name given to an unappealing look? I had the ghastly muffin top, being 40 lbs overweight. I was under stress, a single Mom, running a household, raising 2 boys and working full-time. I had my awakening 3 years ago, when I was placed on blood pressure medicine. I wanted to lower my blood pressure and wanted my awesome athletic body back. I started eating healthy and excercising again, and I became more toned and lost my muffin top in about 5 months.  Is my belly flat as it was when I was 20 y.o? No, but it looks pretty good for my age.

Change The Carbs That You Eat 

First, you have to change the type of carbohydrates ("carbs") that you eat. You don't have to give up all your carbs if you want to lose weight - you just need to know which carbs to eat - the good ones. There are 2 types of carbs, "simple" and "complex". You want to stick with the complex carbs, which have a low glycemic index (GI). GI is a a measure of how quickly foods break down and increase blood sugar. The slower the rise in blood sugar, the better. "Bad" simplex carbohydrates high-GI carbs create blood-sugar spikes that are quickly followed by sharp plunges, which make you hungry again. Over time, the blood-sugar roller coaster effect increases your risk of belly fat (muffin top), diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health problems.

So How Do I Get Rid of This Muffin Top Belly? 

Good carbs include three huge groups: 1) most fruits and veggies; 2) 100% whole-grain anything - cereals, breads, crackers; whole-wheat pasta and couscous; brown and wild rice; and 3) beans, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans and other legumes.
Eat whole grains and beans to melt off belly fat. Eat whole grains instead of refined and replace two daily grain servings with a couple of servings of beans - like lentils, chickpeas, or kidney beans. These changes will create a low-glycemic-index diet that will be satisfying, blood-sugar-balancing, and belly-fat blasting.

If you follow these steps,  along with aerobic exercise (at least 30 minutes daily, 4 or more days a week), your muffin top will be an image of the past!

One of my favorite healthy snacks are roasted chickpeas. Chickpeas have a low glycemic index (GI). It's quick and easy to make. I also fills your belly, so you won't have any food cravings afterwards.

Roasted Chickpeas Recipe
Yield: 4 servings

1 (12 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

2 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt (optional)

garlic salt (optional)

cayenne pepper (optional)


1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

2.Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 161
Total Fat: 7.7g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 434mg
Total Carbs: 19.3g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8g
Protein: 4.2g

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