Fat-Fighting Desserts - dummies

By Erin Palinski-Wade, Tara Gidus, Kristina LaRue

Does the word dessert used in the same sentence as fat-fighting seem like an oxymoron? Well, get ready to be surprised! You can eat desserts while losing weight and shrinking your waistline. That’s right — you shouldn’t cut desserts out of your meal plan when trying to fight belly fat. In fact, if you do cut them out, you may actually be making it more difficult for yourself to lose weight!

Desserts provide a sense of satisfaction, and you need that in order to stay on track with a weight loss plan. If you aren’t enjoying what you’re eating, chances are, you won’t stick with it. And you’ll fall right back into the old habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place. So, if you’re serious about losing weight, break out the fork and plate and sit down to a decadent dessert!

Now, before you get too carried away, not all desserts will help you lose unwanted belly fat. When choosing a fat-fighting dessert, you want to look for a few key ingredients:

  • Cinnamon: Research has found that this sweet tooth — satisfying spice contains an active compound in cinnamon, methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP), that can actually help to make your fat cells more receptive to insulin.

    This means that cinnamon can help to stabilize both blood sugar and insulin levels in your body. And because elevated levels of insulin in your bloodstream trigger the body to store more fat, specifically in your midsection, consuming cinnamon can help to protect against insulin-related fat storage, leading to a slimmer waistline and a healthier you.

  • Nuts: Nuts — especially walnuts and almonds — make terrific fat fighters. Walnuts, for instance, are packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, which not only are strong anti-inflammatory nutrients, but also help to regulate stress hormones such as cortisol, which when elevated, cause your body to store more fat (specifically, belly fat).

    Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent stress hormones from peaking — meaning less of these hormones are circulating in your body, so you start to store less belly fat. In addition, almonds are a fantastic source of monounsaturated fats. Diets rich in these healthy fats have been associated with increased fat loss around the waistline. So, pass the nuts!

  • Fruit: You can find the perfect combination of sweet and sour in any fruit you desire! Fruits alone can be a dessert, but they can also be incorporated into smoothies and pies and even placed on top of ice cream. The rich fiber content of fruit can help you to feel satisfied for hours, and the high antioxidant content can help to fight off fat-storing inflammation. In addition, many fruits are rich in vitamin C, which can help to regulate stress hormones in the body.