Bye-bye, hibernation pounds! After seven long months of low-fat dieting, I’ve managed to drop 25 pounds, but I’m still toting a truck-size spare tire around my middle. It’s really humiliating. I’ve been wanting to buy a pair of those low-rise jeans, but every time I try them on, my belly pours out over the waistband! How can I get my body into proportion?
Actually, the key to getting rid of abdominal fat is eating more fat—specifically, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which fuel brainpower and prevent the body from becoming physiologically stressed. Without enough MUFAs, levels of the stress hormone cortisol spike, and new research has linked excess cortisol with fat accumulation in the abdomen. MUFAs are found in avocados, olives, fish and peanuts, as well as vegetable oils (canola, sesame and sunflower oils), so try to work at least two servings of these foods into your daily diet. Another important fat, conjugated linoleic acid (found in grass-fed beef and low-fat or full-fat dairy products), has also been shown to provide slimming benefits.