Here are the seven simple steps to shed belly fat and weight loss easily.
Thin or fat, belly fat can give sleepless nights to all. Men with a waistline more than 38-40 inches and women with more than 35 inches should be on an alert! There are different types of body and one gains weight on different body parts as per the body type. For example: If someone has an apple shaped body he or she will lose or gain weight first on the stomach.
Gaining weight on thighs or arms is very stubborn and usually governed by our hormones especially in women. Though it is very difficult to lose this weight, it does not circulate in our blood and thus is not a threat to our heart. On the contrary, people who have belly fat usually have higher blood cholesterol levels. This is the main reason why losing weight on your belly is most important for optimum health. Here are some simple diet remedies to knock off your belly fat.
- Grab some fibre- Including 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables are the best way to reduce inches on your stomach and weight loss. Eating fresh seasonal and raw vegetables can simply regulate our bowl movements. Nevertheless, ensure to use the high fibre vegetables like radish, carrots, beans, lotus stem, broccoli, ladyfinger, jackfruit, onions and all the green leafy vegetable. Commonly people eat very small servings of vegetables and are satisfied with their fibre intake. For example on an average an Indian meal thali would have
1 small cup of vegetable+ 1 small cup of dal and 2 chapattis.
On the contrary, it should consist of
2 cups of vegetables + 1 to 2 cups of dal (depending on the body weight) and 1 chapatti.
Every meal should include some form of vegetable be it in the form of salads, cooked vegetables, smoothies, soups and broth. Clear soup have even less than 1 gram of fibre whereas the ideal intake is 25 to 30 grams a day.( 1 , 2 , 3 )
A salad plate of just cucumber and tomatoes is not enough, as these vegetables are 90% water. Include kakri, capsicum and radish in it to increase fibre intake.
The dalia salad recipe is rich in fiber .
So increase your fibre intake to get a perfect body.
- Include vitamin C- Constipation is one of the main reasons of an enlarged stomach. It causes bloating and forces the stomach to swell up. Regular intake of vitamin C helps to regulate our bowl movement. The best natural sources of vitamin C are limes, lemons, oranges, guavas, amla and all types of fresh berries.
Skipping fruits in diet fearing a sour throat whereas on the contrary they help to boost our immunity and protect us from any kind of infections.
As vitamin C is not heat resistant, so on exposure to heat and air it destroys. Drinking orange juice or lemon water left open for a few minutes can of no nutritional use to our body. A common malpractice in our kitchen is to keep half cut lemons in the fridge for future use. These lemons oxidize on exposure to oxygen and turn bitter. Using juice from these, lemons cause acidity and have no vitamin C. (3 , 4 )
The take home message to increase your vitamin C intake is as follows:-
- Start your day with a glass of lemon water or amla.
- Include at least 1 citrus fruit daily.
- Replace your aerated drink with fresh lassi, fruit or vegetable juice.
- Adding lemon to your salad or drinking fresh lemon shots before meals aid food digestion.
Regular intake of vitamin C will help to reduce body fat especially on your tummy
- Drink health drinks!
Including 2 to 3 health drinks made of natural ingredients like spices and herbs are very essential. All our spices like
fennel, cinnamon, cardamom etc. Aid proper digestion of food, reduce toxins and regulate our hormones.
For example, a health drink made of cinnamon and tulsi leaves controls insulin production and thus helps to burn body fat.
Traditionally all these spices and herbs were regularly used in Indian cooking but have somehow they have vanished from our modern kitchen. Most of these spices have medicinal properties and cure many diseases.
The second advantage of health drinks is that they increase our fluid intake too.
How to make your health drink-
1 litre water+ 1 tsp. spice+ 7 leaves of fresh herb+2 slices of fresh fruit.
Choose Herbs and spices wisely according to the season.
Just soak the ingredients for 1 hour and start drinking. In winters, you can use warm water and in summers cool water. Avoid drinking it in case of fermentation due to over soaking. Make a fresh one!
Some good recipes for burning belly fat are-
- Water+sauf+ curry leaves
- Water+ dhania seeds+ginger slice
- Water+ lemon slice + ginger + ½ tsp. honey
- Water + big elaichi + tulsi leaves.
Health drink=digestion of food=removes toxins=fat burn!
- Choose healthy fats like fish oils.
Fats are a source of essential fatty acids like omega 3 and 6. A deficiency of these fatty acids disturbs the body balance of the hormones. This results in accumulation of stored fat in the body.
Usually the first step on a dieters list is to go fat free. This puts the human body in a state of malnutrition and shock and as a result, the body starts storing excessive fats in the form of adipose tissue. Eating healthy fresh raw fats can help the body to burn more body fat. These fats even help to regulate the assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Some good examples are-
- Fresh whole nuts and seeds-Manufactures rob the healthy oil of most of the nuts or seeds available in the open market. It is best to buy whole nuts and deseed them at home. However, it is an added effort but one can be sure of the nutritive contents. Secondly, they should be stored in airtight containers in a cool dry place. If they turn rancid (smell sour), they are not worth eating. Traditional methods of soaking and grinding for example, Homemade Thandai enhance the absorption.( 5 )
- Cold pressed oils – Oils like coconut, mustard, peanuts or olive are not easily available as they are expensive. Read the labels well before buying your oil. Stale oils are usually repacked and sold in cheap offers to misguide the consumers. Check the date of manufacturing of oils and buy only the amount that you can consume in a period of two months.( 6 )
- Homemade ghee or butter– We also call it clarified butter. A few years back ghee was the first ingredient slashed out from a heart patient’s diet by the cardiologist. However, according to latest research eating limited amounts of raw ghee is the best way to cut down on body fat.( 7 , 8)
- Fish live oil easily available in the form of capsules– Commonly advised to heart patients with high levels of cholesterol. It is the richest source of vitamin D too. Regular intake will show a mark difference on your skin, hair eyes and your belly fat. A lot of vegetarians avoid it due to religious belief.( 9 , 10, )
Eating healthy fresh raw fats can help the body to burn more body fat.
- Cut the sugar
The main reason of rising childhood obesity and lifestyle diseases in India is the increasing consumption of refined sugars and sweet drinks. The RDA for sugar advised by the health council is less than 20 grams for an adult but on an average, we are consuming more than 40 grams sugar per day. We consume a lot of hidden sugar in the form of sauces, jams, drinks and chocolate snacks and drinks.
We can simple reduce inches on our stomach by just reducing sugar from our diet. As sugar is addictive, we need to push ourselves harder to quit the habits. Going on a 2-week sugar detox or sugar free diet can drastically cut down on sugar cravings.( 11 , 12 , 13 )
Some suggestions are
- Eat a 9-10 raisons when you get the erg to eat something sweet
- Avoid any market food
- Switch sugars with sweet fruits as they have a higher Glycaemic Load and prevent high secretions of insulin.
- Use natural honey instead of sugar to sweeten your drinks.
Sugar= insulin spike= fat is prevented from getting burned=belly fat
- Fight indigestion
Our stomach is a small boneless organ prone to bloating and stretching in case of acidity and bloating due to indigestion. Regular bouts of acidity force your stomach to swell and give you a bloated look on your abdomen. Secondly, acidity leads to accumulation of toxins, which is the root cause of water retention. High levels of water retention prevent the fat burning of the adipose tissue.
The best way to reduce indigestion is-
- Chew your food well-Eating one meal should at least take 20 minutes. Chewing mixes the first enzyme the saliva in food, which further leads to secretion of other digestive juices. Secondly, the gastric acids help the food to digest, so the smaller the food particle the easier it is to mix with these acids. Big chunks of food are expelled from our body without being digested and can even lead to overproduction of pepsin (a gastric enzyme). So chew your food well.
- Eat simpler meals– The more complicated our meal; our digestive tract has to work harder to secrete more enzymes. Every food group needs a different enzyme for it assimilation. There has been a rise in abdominal obesity in the upper middle class in the past few years. With the availability of gadgets like the refrigerator and the freezer, meals are becoming more fancy and elaborate. It is even promoting consumption of non-seasonal fruits and vegetables. Try to eat simple meals to lose weight.
- Skip the readymade masalas– An important part of modern cooking is one of the main reasons for acidity. Traditionally we use many Indian spices in our kitchen as they aided digestion of heavy food. Sadly, readymade mixes of various masalas have replaced them. These mixes are often laden with chemicals and salts. As original spices are very expensive, they are replaced with artificial flavours.
Indigestion= acidity=bloated stomach=increased inches on stomach
- Exercise to reduce belly fat
The best combination to reduce inches on your stomach is to eat healthy to reduce body fat along with some exercise to tighten the loose skin. 70-80% of belly fat is reduced due to a healthy diet and the rest is taken care of with exercise. Though some people think that an overdose of exercise is the only solution for a leaner abdomen; it is a myth.
One need not spend hours in the gym to reduce your stomach. Simple stretching exercises done on empty stomach for 15-20 minutes is enough. Our stomach is only made of skin tissues and muscles. Our muscles have a tendency to become lose and inactive if not regularly used. Exercise helps to pull in the stomach muscles and hold our stomach in. Regular exercise is very important, as there is no permanent tightening of the stomach.
Avoid being lured to try out any kind of quick methods like those that tummy tucks or machines used to tighten your stomach. These machines artificially tighten your muscles using mild electric currents. Used over a long period they disturb the normal functioning of muscles and can even lead to neurological disorders. Prolonged use of vibrating machines could damage our muscles.
Belly fat=high visceral fat= high cholesterol= lifestyle diseases.
There is no short cut to success. As commonly said ‘no gain without pain’. This definitely does not mean that one has to suffer a lot of pain but being patiently on the right track is the key to healthy inch loss on your abdomen. The sooner one gets conscious the easier it gets. For example post pregnant women should start working on reducing belly fat right after 45 days of pregnancy. The longer you have a belly the longer will it take to reduce it!( 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 18)
It is not that we need to reduce our potbelly to just look glamorous it also effects are health. Abdominal obesity is the gate to lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Age could be a contributor to increased body fat due to loss of muscle mass. Nevertheless, starting early on your fat loss journey could prevent this. Balancing your diet along with exercise can help to fight your way to a slimmer and fitter you!