Belly fat can be a nuisance, not just because of not fitting into your clothes but it can be harmful to your body as the fat, also known as visceral fat, can lead to major diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, heart conditions and other serious ailments. Losing fat from the belly is most difficult, however, you can follow some simple at home tips that will make the process easy and you won’t have to go through gruelling exercises or give up on your favourite foods.
1. Never skip your meals
It is important to eat small meals every three to four hours and never skip breakfast, as per the advice of health experts. It is also the most important meal of the day, as you will experience a rise in hunger-related hormones later in the day if you skip breakfast. Try to eat snacks that include fibre filled carbs and protein which keep you feeling full throughout the day and help you burn calories faster
2. Portion controlling is very important
You can keep a check on your food intake by controlling the portion size on your plate. When your favorite delicacies are around you tend to overeat, which can lead to calorie and weight gain. By portioning your meals, you not only can lose weight, but keep excess calories intake at bay.
3. Do not consume too much alcohol
Alcohol can be consumed in appropriate amounts but too much may cause harm to the body and make you gain body fat. Heavy alcohol consumption can especially lead to increase in fat gain around the waistline; so, its important to keep a check on your alcohol intake.
4. Consume a high protein diet
Protein is considered to be important for managing weight. It releases the fullness hormone PPY which decreases appetite and promotes fullness. It also helps retain muscle loss during major weight loss. Sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans among other foods.
5. Manage your stress levels
High stress levels can activate the adrenal glands to produce cortisol which is also called the stress hormone. With increased cortisol levels, appetite increases. As well, women who have a larger waistline tend to produce more cortisol levels in response to the stress. Increased cortisol level leads to fat gain the center of the abdomen. Resorting to certain methods and practices like meditation can reduce stress levels.
6. Do not consume sugary foods
Sugar contains fructose, which takes time to dissolve leading to several diseases when taken in extreme amount such as fatty liver, heart disease, type 1 and 2 diabetes and others. There is a noted relationship between sugar intake and fat gain.
7. Replace cooking oils with coconut oil
Coconut oil is known to be the best and the least fat including oil among others. It has medium chain fats which increase the metabolism and helps digest food faster. In a study, people who cooked their food with coconut oil showed an average of around 3 cm lost without changing their diets or exercising.
8. Don’t lose your sleep
Sleep is an important factor for a sound body and mind. According to studies, not getting the appropriate hours of sleep can lead to fat or weight gain. Certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are known to increase visceral fat in the body. Thus getting the required hours of sleep is a must to produce a healthy body and mind.
9. Add Apple Cider vinegar to the diet
Apple cider vinegar has proved to be benefit to your body including lowering your blood sugar levels. The acetic acid in it also helps reduce stored abdominal fat. 1-2 spoons diluted with water can lead to a modest fat loss
10. Tracking your food intake and exercise regimen
There are various methods to tracking you food intake and your exercise regimen. Keeping a daily record whether manually or through different fitness apps available on you mobile phone helps in understanding your requirements on how to keep your body it and taking food accordingly.
Ultimately changing your lifestyle and eating a balanced diet is the key to losing belly fat and staying fit. When one follows healthy eating habits, fat loss is a natural reaction.
(The author is Meenakshi Mohanty, Fitness Expert, Consultant Psychologist, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV)
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any fitness regime or medical advice.