A hardworking food service director and father of seven, Bob McMicken knows stress. The 51-year-old Lancaster, California, resident was toting around 229 pounds, much of it balanced dangerously along his waistline, and he knew his health was a major concern. Sick of feeling bloated and emotionally drained, Bob made a commitment to take control of his health and signed up for the Zero Belly Test Panel. Within days of following the easy menu, Bob’s bloat seemed to disappear.
In fact, in just two weeks, Bob lost a stunning 16.3 pounds. And in less than six weeks, he lost 24 pounds and saw his waist size dropped from 39 inches to 33 inches. “I found my favorite shirt finally covered my belly again!”
“Before Zero Belly I felt bloated, fat, and depressed,” he says. “Now I feel better, have more energy, and am smiling!” How did he do it? Here are four critical secrets you can use to duplicate McMicken’s success.
Slim-Down Secret #1: Focus on Plant Protein
In recent studies, people who ate moderately high levels of protein were twice as likely to lose weight and keep it off than those who didn’t. That’s why protein is an important part of every Zero Belly meal, snack and drink. But plant-based protein is the secret: In a 2015 study in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation, researchers discovered that patients who ingested higher amounts of vegetable protein were far less susceptible to metabolic syndrome (a combination of high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and obesity) than those who ate animal protein. A second study in Nutrition Journal found that “plant protein intakes may play a role in preventing obesity.” Including plant protein in Zero Belly Drinks was a critical part of McMicken’s success…”and the drinks were tasty!” he says. Check out our recipes for the 4 Best Zero Belly Smoothies for Weight Loss.
Slim-Down Secret #2: Add Resistant Starch
Once it’s in your body, resistant starch does just what its name suggests—it resists digestion. The means it hits both ends of the metabolism spectrum, slowing down your digestive process (thereby controlling blood sugar) while also forcing your body to burn more calories as it absorbs the food. But resistant starch has another awesome weight-loss property: it feeds your “good” belly bacteria. According to a 2015 study in the Journal of Functional Foods, when you eat resistant starch, your gut biome gets stronger—healthy bacteria literally get a workout digesting the healthy starch, becoming more dominant and leading to a healthier gut. For more ways to balance your belly bugs, see these strategies on how to win The Battle Inside Your Belly.
Slim-Down Secret #3: Prep Some Power Foods for Zero Stress
You already know how hard it is to manage dinner. Now imagine managing it for a family of nine. Now imagine managing it for a family of nine when your day job is managing it for hundreds of other people. It’s hard to get excited about standing over a stove—especially when your whole life is about pleasing others with food. That’s the challenge Bob faced, but with a clear, spelled-out plan like Zero Belly, that stress disappeared.
“I liked that there was a menu already done and easy to follow. The plan was spelled out—and I didn’t even need to participate in exercise!” says Bob. The key is to identify a handful of foods that will form the base of your evening recipes. To make sure there’s always something healthy to eat, prep these foods on Sunday night and keep them in your fridge for quick reheating:
Frozen bananas (just peel the skins off and toss them in a freezer bag; they’ll form the basis of many a delicious smoothie)
Zero Belly Vinaigrette
To make a vinaigrette you’ll never regret, mix ⅓ cup raw apple cider vinegar, ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 1 ½ tsp honey, and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper. Combine in a mason jar and shake vigorously.
Slim-Down Secret #4: Add Fat to Lose Fat
A study published in Nutrition Journal found that participants who ate foods high in monounsaturated fats for lunch (in this case, half an avocado) reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward. Monounsaturated fats from sources like olive oil, nuts and avocados can reduce cholesterol, promote weight loss, even boost memory. They're just some of the 8 Best Fats for Weight Loss.