With summer around the corner and temperatures on the rise, it is the perfect season to wear chic and radiant outfits, but many people are conscious to wear them because of their belly fat. Belly fat not only makes your clothes feel snug but also affects your self-esteem.
Belly fat is the excessive weight that develops over time around the centre of the body and it is also called visceral fat. It can lead to heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and also cancer! Gaining weight can happen at a quick rate but curbing body fat requires a lot of dedication, regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Many eating plans are hard to stick to because they leave you hungry and unsatisfied. However, not all diets have this effect. Low carb diets, whole-food and low-calorie diets are effective for weight loss. You need to know the different diets to lose belly fat to ensure you stay on a healthy track.
Food To Avoid
Fried Food: Fried food is high in calories because it absorbs the fat of cooking oils. They are also loaded with trans fats – the worst kind of fats one can consume. Trans fats are tough for the body to break down and lead to harmful effects on health such as obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Aerated Drinks: Soda contains large amounts of sugar which not only add to the belly fat but also to liver fat which contributes to bad health. One study found that the weight circumference of people who consumed soda was nearly four times greater than non-consumers over a 10 year period.
Sugar: Consuming foods such as candy, baked goods, fruit juices and chocolates are the greatest belly fattening agents because they have processed sugar. They are high in empty calories and directly impact blood sugars and hormone levels. If you want to reduce the intake of added sugar in your diet to avoid gain in belly fat, try out a few simple tips listed further in the article.
Alcohol: Alcohol slows your metabolism by depressing the nervous system. It stops the body from burning fat, it’s high in calories and leads to greater hunger. You must have heard the phrase ‘Beer Belly’ this means the fat that’s accumulated around the belly because of excessive beer consumption. So if you want to lose your belly fat, it is important to cut down alcohol completely from your diet.
Excess Salt: Excess salt is one of the main causes of the accumulation of belly fat. Salt causes water retention in the body making you weigh more than you actually are. This kind of weight is called water weight. Interestingly, many celebrities before dancing to a hit song or modeling go off salt for a week to get the perfect figure.
Tip: There are healthier and safer alternatives to frying such as baking, oven-frying and air-frying. Opt for fruits especially berries to fight sugar cravings. Vegetable/ fruit juices, tea or coffee are healthier alternatives to alcohol and also aid in fighting belly fat. Replace salty snacks with nuts or dried fruit candies.
Food To Eat
Avocados: Avocados are not only a great source of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fibres, but also cause the body to burn calories. A study pertaining to eating avocado proved to lower waist circumference and BMI (Body Mass Index). They are monounsaturated (dietary fat) and contain oleic fatty acids (natural acids) that help reduce abdominal fat.
Apples: An apple a day keeps the belly fat away! Apples are low in calories and high in fibre which helps in shedding a few pounds. They are significantly filling which may aid weight loss by reducing overall calorie intake.
Yoghurt: Yoghurts are one of the best foods for losing belly fat because it is a protein rich-source and improves metabolism. Protein in yoghurt can promote the burning of calories while also regulating your appetite. In fact, researchers found that obese adults who ate yoghurt regularly lost 22 percent more weight and 61 percent more body fat than those who simply cut calories.
Whole Grains: Whole grains help lose more body fat from the abdominal region than in-taking refined products. They also reduce the risk of heart disease. Some sources of whole grains are whole, wheat, whole oats (oatmeal), popcorn, brown rice, wild, rice, quinoa and millets.
Berries: Replacing fattening snacks with berries is a brilliant way to cut the calories you get from your diet when trying to lose belly fat and flattening your stomach. Berries are low in calories but rich in dietary fibre, vitamin C and potassium. For instance, a single bowl of blueberries contains four grams of fibre and around 84 calories.
Green Tea: Green tea is said to be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet because it is loaded with antioxidants. It boosts metabolism and can mobilize fat from fat-burning cells. It also increases fat burning especially during exercises and it usually targets unhealthy abdominal fat. A study proved it decreases belly fat and waist circumference.
Nuts and Seeds: Nuts are counted as superfoods that contain antioxidants that help keep the body healthy. They are rich in fibre, protein, minerals that burn belly fat. Almonds, walnuts, pistachio and cashew nuts are the best for weight loss. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds are very nutritious and help to lose belly fat.
Quinoa: Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and has sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fibre, magnesium, Vitamin B, iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorus which provide many health benefits. It increases metabolism and reduces appetite significantly helping to lose belly fat.
Tip: Using these ingredients to make your meals will ensure you don’t feel hungry and are eating healthy, weight-loss-friendly food.
Diets You Can Follow
Ketogenic (Keto) Diet: The idea of a Ketogenic diet is to consume more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. The reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis which helps burn belly fat. It means mostly cutting back on sugar, soda, pastries and white bread. It is a very low-carb and high-fat diet.
Paleo Diet: Paleo diet is designed to resemble what human hunter-gatherer ancestors ate in the Paleolithic era. The diet includes meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. This diet can significantly help in the loss of belly fat (without calorie counting) and major health improvements.
Atkins Diet: Atkins Diet is the most trusted and common diet followed for losing belly fat. Its main aim is to control the levels of insulin in the body through a low-carbohydrate diet. It also helps people manage their weight and prevent related health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Vegan Diet: Veganism is more of a way of life than a diet. It is a type of vegetarian diet that abstains from the consumption of animal-derived ingredients including meats, egg and dairy products. A study found that vegetarian dieters lost more pounds than non-vegetarians after 18 weeks, and vegans saw the most weight loss because it avoids meats and dairy products which are high in carbs.
DASH Diet: DASH Diet is a flexible and balanced eating plan that creates a healthy eating style for life. It does not require any special foods, instead helps people lose weight by controlling their daily meals. It reduces blood pressure and cholesterol level, eventually helping in losing belly fat.
Tip: Before following any diet, you need to know if it is suitable for you or not. Consult a dietician, and understand everything about the diet before embarking on one.
Q. Is it possible to lose belly fat in a week?
A. Losing belly fat in a week is scientifically and physically impossible, although by following a proper and healthy diet plan and exercising regularly, you may be able to lose a great number of calories in a few weeks. You must lose around half a kilogram a week to lose around two kilos a month – this can be done by reducing 500 calories per day.
Q. What is the best veggie to put in a drink for a flat belly?
A. There is no single vegetable juice for losing belly fat. Many juices such as beetroot, carrot, amla, cucumber, bottle gourd and cabbage provide many health benefits and naturally help in losing belly fat. One vegetable/ fruit juice must be included in one meal daily that will aid in faster weight loss.
Q. What should be my daily calorie intake?
A. Ideal calorie intake depends on age, gender, metabolism and activity rate. Women are recommended to consume about 2000 calories a day and men are recommended to consume around 2500 calories a day. Men are required to intake more calories because they have a higher amount of muscle tissue. Although if you want to lose weight, you must decrease your calorie intake by 500 every day, regardless of your gender.