Abdominal fat around our midriff, also called belly fat, is one of most common annoyances for people. Apart from making you feel uncomfortable about your looks, a bulging belly is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high BP amongst other health issues. As you gain weight, you start putting on pounds in the belly region. But as easily the visceral fat gets accumulated, as difficult it is to shed. Before approaching OneFiplus, Mallika (32) had tried several quick fixes that promised to melt away the belly fat. She was desperate to fit into her old clothes and feel fit. But she failed to achieve any lasting result and the stubborn belly fat refused to budge, At OneFitplus, she was explained how certain lifestyle changes that incorporate a balanced diet and exercise, and not short term methods, can actually make a difference.
“It took some time, but I not just understood the importance of healthy habits, but made them my new lifestyle. The belly fat is gone and I feel lighter than ever before”, said Mallika
Unhealthy eating patterns, a sedentary life, some hormonal changes amongst other factors lead to an increased belly. A patient and gradual approach involving the following steps can melt the belly fat and also keep it away.
Avoid junk and processed food: It’s tough to maintain a distance from chips, cakes, instant noodles, burgers, pizza etc. due to their easy availability and attractive advertising. However, most processed and refined food items contain artificial additives, preservatives, unhealthy fats, excess sugar/salt to increase their shelf life and taste. They lack nutritional value- being devoid of essential fiber vitamins and minerals. A diet high in processed foods could lead to serious health conditions like obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes. To lose belly fat, you should eliminate all processed food from your diet and move towards a balanced diet comprising whole grains, legumes, essential fats, fruits and vegetables.
Avoid Alcohol: Excessive drinking raises the level of blood sugar in our body, impairs brain and liver function and interferes in the quality of our sleep. Our body tends to set aside all other metabolic processes while it’s trying to metabolize alcohol. Alcohol, having just empty calories, also leaves an impact on our hormones and makes us overeat. Hence, a regular drinking habit leaves you overweight, with significant addition in the belly area. The doctors at OneFitplus firmly believe that alcohol leaves an effect on every organ of our body and since there is no safe limit to how many drinks a person can have; they advise that we should limit its consumption for rare occasions.
Have a high protein diet: Its proven beyond doubt that high protein foods keep us full for a long time, preventing us from binging on the wrong kind of stuff. Protein boosts our metabolism that means an elevated calorie burning rate. Also. protein rich food helps in preserving our muscle mass, which is crucial for burning calories at rest and eventual weight loss. Good sources of protein are dairy, legumes, nuts, meat and eggs. Incorporate protein in your regular diet to shed the extra pounds off your belly.
Exercise Regularly: Physical inactivity is the key contributor to weight gain and several lifestyle related diseases. Instead of spending hours sitting at your desk or couch, you should stay active and keep moving. Try walking to your local market, take stairs whenever possible or just stand after every half an hour to burn more calories. For better results at losing the bulging belly, commit to a regular exercise regime that includes a mix of both cardio (walking, running, cycling, swimming) and strength training (to gain the all-important muscles). If you like yoga, there are several asanas that effectively target the belly region.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking water on a consistent basis can boost sluggish metabolism and enhance the body’s ability to burn calories. Consuming water raises our body’s calorie burning rate even when we are at rest. In a dehydrated body, water molecules cannot interact with the fats to make glycerol and other fatty acids. As a result, fat remains stored in the belly region and other areas. You are also unlikely to over eat if you have water before a meal. OneFitplus dietitians advise the customers to limit the consumption of tea, coffee, soda and alcohol as they dehydrate our body. Instead, we may consume fluids in the form of soups, broths, fruit infused water, fresh fruit juice, milk etc. and water rich fruits and vegetables.
Sleep Well: Less sleep and weight loss do not go together. A sleep backlog will always be a deterrent in your weight loss goals. Due to a lack of sleep, we are unable to metabolize food properly and instead experience a rise in insulin levels. Also, there is an increase in the levels of appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin and decrease in the levels of satiety inducing hormone leptin in your body. This makes you hungrier and crave for foods rich in fat and carbohydrates, putting our weight loss efforts up for a toss. Eat smartly, avoid caffeine late at night and exercise daily in order to improve the quality of your sleep.
In addition to the above factors, incorporate soluble fiber in your diet such as legumes and flax seeds to cut down the belly fat and keep a tab on your stress levels as they give rise to the hormone cortisol in the body which aids storage of fat in the abdominal region. A good idea will be to invest in a tracking device (like the fitness band from OneFitplus) that can keep a log of your daily calorie consumed and burnt, in addition to various other parameters like sleep, water intake, BP, step count etc.