When trying to get in shape, belly fat can be a real show-stopper. With exercise your rhomboids and deltoids become strong, your arms start to look more toned, squatting shapes those quads and hamstrings, but belly fat- it just won’t go!
You can kill yourself on the treadmill or crunch yourself to exhaustion but the belly fat will not budge an inch. So, what do you do to banish belly fat for good? Read on…
The first thing you must know about losing body fat is that there is no way to target certain sections. Isolated fat reduction is not realistic and does not happen naturally. When trying to get in shape you need to, therefore, focus on your entire body.
1. Have small but frequent meals
Our stomach is like a balloon – the more you fill it, the bigger it gets. Eating small meals will shrink the size of your stomach. Eating frequent meals will prevent your metabolism from slowing down. However, a lot of people tend to eat frequent meals that are not small enough, thereby ending up eating more than they were when they began. It is important to listen to your body in this case. It takes twenty minutes for the brain to understand that your body is full. Therefore, chew slow.
2. Eat fat to lose fat
Unlike carbohydrates which are found in everything we consume, fats have specific sources. There are certain essential fatty acids that our body cannot produce but are critical to our being. So when you stop having fats completely, your body thinks that it won’t be getting fat anytime soon and, therefore, starts storing carbs as fats. But when you have fats from certain healthy sources, you’re not only giving your body the essentials it needs but you’re also telling it to use up its reserves by all means as you’ll keep them coming. Walnuts, peanuts, cheese, fish, yoghurt, avocado are great sources of healthy fat.
3. Ditch white carbs
Carbohydrates are our major source of energy. White carbs or refined carbs are stripped of their nutritious qualities. Most of our comfort foods, baked goodies, and desserts are made of white carbs which due to their high glycemic index spike the insulin level in our blood within moments of consumption. The sudden rise subjects our body to stress and triggers retention of belly fat. So to rid yourself of that muffin top, switch to smart carbs that keep you full for longer and are rich in fiber. Think vegetables, oats and brown rice.
4. Eat whole grains
Another smart way to include good carbs in your diet is through whole grains. Unlike refined grains that only contain the endosperm, whole grains have the germ and bran retained thereby increasing the nutritious value and fiber content considerably.
5. Don’t count calories, count nutrition
So you like cheesy raviolis and you think a small helping will not have much calories and, therefore, you can indulge in it. But in reality you are giving your body a whole lot of cheese, white flour and butter – i.e. all fats and white carbs. Instead of counting calories, it is much easier if you deconstruct the ingredients in your head and think about the nutrition they are adding to your system.
6. Drink plenty of water
Water is pretty much your miracle drink when it comes to weight loss. It flushes out toxins from your system, helps you understand the difference between boredom and hunger and keeps you full for long!