Most of us have a wobbly bit around our tummy. Some of us like to rub it during times of distress. While some of us have allowed our belly fat to dictate what clothes to hide in. And there are a few of us who have found other uses for belly fat.
The truth is visceral fat aka belly fat is dangerous for health. It could trigger cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic problems.
Quit playing with your belly fat in front of the mirror. Here are a few diet tips to help you get a killer tummy.
1. Load up on the right food
You have heard it a dozen times, already. But the truth is green. There have been several studies that prove leafy greens are important to get a flat tummy. Veggies, especially of the dark green variety, are loaded with vitamins A and C. These guys are important to decrease oxidative stress as well as reduce stress hormones so that fat doesn’t get stored in the body. Another reason to increase your green leaf intake is because of its folic acid content. Folic acid helps to break down carbs and fat for energy.
If a bowl of greens aren’t your thing, experiment with it. Add spices, sauces, chicken, or tuna to your salad. Greens could range from spinach, collards, kale, to cabbage.
Focus on building a diet with lean protein, beans, nuts, plain or Greek yogurt, fruits and vegetables rich in fiber.
Imagine getting a supply of all these ninja vitamins and minerals, and showing off a slim and hard waist. That’s the dream.
2. Be strong and avoid unhealthy food
Sigh. How many times have we made a ‘foods to avoid’ list? Everybody knows the rules. Stay off processed and junk food, reduce alcohol intake, don’t have sugary drinks, stop binge eating, blah blah. But it’s extremely difficult to let go of things we love. Especially when you’re surrounded by people who love the same type of food.
You could make better choices once you understand why it’s bad for your waistline. Candy, fast food, soda, refined grains, alcohol are rich in calories and low in any sort of value. Except the value it adds to your mood. These foods are high in sugar, sodium, and high saturated fat. Sugar-rich foods trigger a rise in blood sugar level, which is then followed by an insulin increase. This action makes fat to get accumulated around your tummy. Also high sodium is a culprit in the case of abdominal fat. It promotes you to retain water, resulting in a bloated tummy.
One glass of beer could contain 150 calories. So, you could imagine how many calories you would have added to your system after an epic night of boozing.
And do you know where the fat gets stored first? Right in the center of your body, for the world to know.
Switch to whole grain1 reduce your sugar intake in all forms, and eat healthy fats like avocados, eggs, fatty fish and nuts.
3. Be cautious with sugar
If you’re binging on chocolate bars and cupcakes to solve your problems, your stomach is going to revolt against you. There have been studies that linked high sugar intake with excess abdominal fat and obesity.2 This is owe to their high fructose content and their potential to make you their slave.
When sugar enters your body, it breaks down into glucose and fructose. When there is excess fructose, your liver converts it into fat, and gradually your liver becomes a fatty liver. If you want to lose weight, especially in the belly area, you need to be strong, and reduce sugar in your diet.
You don’t have to punish yourself by avoiding sugar like the plague. There are several sugar-free recipes for you to try out.
4. It’s all in the portion and frequency of meals
Some of us skip breakfast or lunch, and go all out on dinner. While some of us feel three meals aren’t enough for the amount of drama we deal with. But we can agree on our need for munch.
The trick is to go beyond the regular three meals a day and concentrate on smaller portions. If you’re constantly having small healthy snacks between meals, it would stop any chance of binge eating.
This doesn’t mean you reach out to a hot dog for a snack. Snacking on sugary foods can give you few minutes of immense happiness but it spells disaster for your tummy. Stock up the house with healthy snacks like almonds, peanuts, berries, or yogurt.
5. Drink, drink, and keep drinking water
The easiest thing to do to get a killer waistline is keeping yourself hydrated all the time. Replace your need to drink soda, alcohol, or other sugary drinks with a glass of water. Imagine all the calories you are cutting from your diet just by replacing all your drinks with water.
One study reveals when dieters drank 500ml of water before meals lost 44% more weight when compared to those who didn’t.3
If you think drinking plain water is boring, add a few slices of cucumber or lemon. Just drink up!
6. Make tiny changes to your lifestyle
- We know it’s hard but find the strength to resist a midnight snack. There should be at least 2 hours of gap between dinner and sleep. Even munching on a sort of healthy snack right before bed curbs calorie burning.
- Get an adequate amount of 6-8 hours of sleep. When your body is constantly tired, it disturbs your metabolic rate, making it difficult for your body to burn fat.
- Don’t stress out if you don’t see a difference. Getting rid of tummy fat is a slow process. It takes diet, exercise, and a lot of determination.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Katcher, Heather I., Richard S. Legro, Allen R. Kunselman, Peter J. Gillies, Laurence M. Demers, Deborah M. Bagshaw, and Penny M. Kris-Etherton. “The effects of a whole grain–enriched hypocaloric diet on cardiovascular disease risk factors in men and women with metabolic syndrome.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 1 (2008): 79-90.|
|2.||↑||Stanhope, Kimber L., and Peter J. Havel. “Fructose consumption: considerations for future research on its effects on adipose distribution, lipid metabolism, and insulin sensitivity in humans.” The Journal of nutrition 139, no. 6 (2009): 1236S-1241S.|
|3.||↑||Dennis, Elizabeth A., Ana Laura Dengo, Dana L. Comber, Kyle D. Flack, Jyoti Savla, Kevin P. Davy, and Brenda M. Davy. “Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle‐aged and older adults.” Obesity 18, no. 2 (2010): 300-307.|