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It’s a fresh new day. The sun is streaming in through your window, filling you with new hopes and dreams. But there’s one dream that remains unchanged day after day – the dream of waking up with a flat belly! The abdominal area is a problem area for a lot of women, especially after pregnancy and childbirth. What’s worse is that this fat is stubborn and doesn’t respond very well to dieting and exercise. Does that mean our dream of waking up to a flat belly will never come true? Well, wait until you read about these tricks that have got to be pure magic.
Reducing belly fat not only makes you feel better about yourself but it also protects you against a host of diseases. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, lipotoxicity… there’s so much you are at risk of if you have a lot of tummy fat! This makes it essential for you to do what you can to shed those extra kilos.
13 Tips to Lose Belly Fat
Before embarking on any weight loss program, it is important to remember that gradual weight loss is the best kind of weight loss. However, many of us lose patience and drop out of the race too early! Thankfully, for impatient souls like us, there actually are a few tricks that can speed up weight-loss. The following tips need to be followed throughout the day, so make them a part of your daily schedule.
1. Mix up this Magic Drink When you Wake Up
Your mission to lose belly fat starts right in the morning. Start each day by making a large glass of “spa water”. Just add sliced lemons, oranges and grapes to a glass of water and make sure you sip this through the day. Citrus fruits make great detox drinks and help decompose the excess fat in the belly. While you’re at it, why not consider starting these 5 detox habits as well? We promise they are easy to do!
2. Have this Delicious Breakfast
Who says breakfast cannot be both healthy and delicious? For a flat belly this is what you need to eat – cook some oats, add some chocolate (dark only!) shavings, put in some berries, nuts and cinnamon and voila! These ingredients work together with good bacteria to reduce inflammation in your body and make you lose weight.
3. Drink this Plant-Based Protein Smoothie
There’s one thing your breakfast is still missing out on. A protein drink! The key ingredients you need are seeds like flax, chia or hemp, some nuts, and protein-rich fruits and vegetables. To make things more interesting, you can use non-dairy milks like almond, coconut or soy. We recommend drinking this Banana Soy Smoothie for a filling yet effective drink.
4. Do this Real Quick Full-Body Exercise
No, no, don’t shy away from reading this because we mentioned exercise! All we are asking you to do is a very simple, 5-minute exercise routine you can do even if you have never worked out in your life. Doing this every day tightens your core, gets your heart pumping and helps you drop the kilos from your tummy. Here’s what you have to do: stand with your feet together, jump while spreading your arms and legs, and return to the original position. Keep doing this for 5 minutes.
5. Make Sure You do this at Lunch-Time
We are talking about controlling your portions. Eating smaller, balanced meals that include whole-grain foods and monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) is the fastest route to a flat belly. Also, remember to stay away from all kinds of processed foods – during lunch, and all other meals as well.
6. AVOID Eating these Between Meals
Do you like munching on dried fruits between meals? They can be a great source of nutrients and fibre. Sadly, they can also contribute to gas and affect the body’s ability to absorb natural sugar. Try out berries instead. They are safer, equally delicious options that also give you an antioxidant boost.
7. Crunch Some of these Nuts
Nuts are our favourite snack pick! Nuts like almonds and walnuts have a small portion of healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) that keep you full while also keeping you away from sugary, unhealthy foods! But the best part is that the MUFAs have been shown to boost abdominal fat loss. Just a tip – make sure you avoid roasted or salted almonds; raw is good! Make sure to keep your portion size small (one closed fist is usually recommended).
8. Evening Time ≠ Energy Bars!
Do you know what fitness experts actually call them? Calorie bars! If you have been resorting to energy bars every other evening, say on your way back from work or while travelling to pick your children from tuition classes, it’s time to change that. Processed foods only add on to tummy fat, even when the calories are equal to whole-grain foods!
9. It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Soya Sauce
A lot of mothers like to add a dash of soya sauce to their vegetables to give them a different flavourful twist. Soy sauce, however, causes instant bloating. So steer clear of it. As for adding a different unique flavour to your recipes, consider fresh tomato salsa, cayenne pepper or cinnamon – they all help you shed the extra kilos from your belly!
10. Fish Makes for a Great Dinner
This one has universal proponents – and we don’t only mean Bengalis! Lean protein like fish is a great way to fight belly fat and rev up your metabolism. We especially recommend salmon, a fish that is abundantly packed with omega 3 fatty acids. It’s also rich in vitamins (A, D and E) and minerals, apart from being easy to digest. A good substitute for salmon (in case you don’t like the taste or if it is unavailable) is king mackerel or surmayi. What if you are vegetarian? Try out tofu with stir-fried veggies – very similar to fish in nutritional composition.
11. Double Check your Chewing-Gums
What do your chewing-gums have to do with a flat belly? Quite a bit, as it turns out! It’s not just the sugary chewing gums that lead to weight gain, even sugarless gums may cause your belly to swell! This is because they are made of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that takes a long time to digest. And what does undigested sugar lead to? You know the answer.
12. Take a Cold Shower Before Bed
Finally, the day is about to end. You have a had a healthy, nutritious day and are closer to seeing your dream of a flat belly come true. Unwind by taking a cold shower before bed. This regulates your body’s temperature and helps you fall asleep faster. As a result, your body has lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol – which also happens to be a fat-storage hormone. Not just that, keeping your body cool also stimulates brown fat – a kind of fat that actually helps your body burn up to 275 calories in three hours!
13. Go off to Sleep, and Get Enough of it
This is the best weight loss technique, which is why we saved it for the last. Calm, plentiful sleep helps your body recharge its batteries, keep metabolism in check, and burn up those pesky fats around your middle! Make sure you do everything possible to get your beauty sleep; put your husband in charge of the kids for a while if required!
Magical Belly-Fat Burning Drinks
Key Takeaway: As explained in the above video by Faarah Dadachanji and Lamya Arsiwala, the following three drinks should be a part of your daily diet every single day!
- Start your mornings with warm water lemon and honey.
- Post a heavy meal, have tea made by steeping cumin-fennel-coriander seeds together.
- Before bedtime, have cucumber-parsley-ginger-lemon juice.
The Real Reason of Belly Fat
While we all know that every woman’s body is different, belly fat gain is one problem that almost every mom will complain of. There will be countless things people suggest you do to get rid of it. However, why is it that pregnancy leads specifically to the increase of belly fat?
Of the different reasons that lead to belly fat gain, the most common ones are ageing, sex hormones, and lack of physical exercise. Other causes for accumulation of belly fat include –
- consuming more calories than are being burnt off
- consuming a high amount of sugars (sucrose and fructose)
- consuming excess meat
- smoking (especially in women)
Most moms skip on their exercise routines once they become pregnant. While the reasons (which include body ache, loss of energy, motion sickness, and several others) may be completely legit, a sedentary pregnancy is the main culprit for gaining belly fat.
Mothers are also advised to ‘eat for two’ once they become pregnant. However, ‘eating for two’ does not mean you consume food suitable for two full-grown adults! This adage spells out the importance of guided and quality nutrition, of consuming food that will specifically promote proper growth and development of the foetus.
Belly Fat and Cancer – The Surprising Connection
Talk to any doctor or health expert and they will confirm that: of the two kinds of fat found in the human body (subcutaneous and visceral), it is the accumulation of excess visceral fat that we should watch out for… in other words, belly fat. Several studies point to the fact that it is not the total amount, but the distribution of fat that predisposes a person to certain diseases. Thin people with excess belly fat (i.e. skewed distribution of fat) are more at risk of developing a heart condition than overall fat people (i.e. an even distribution of fat).
However, a recent study conducted by Michigan State University has elicited a surprising and scary connection – excess belly fat increases the risk of cancer.
One of the proteins that are responsible for turning normal cells cancerous, is secreted by the visceral adipose tissue (the tissue that contains visceral fat stored in adipose cells). And so, more the visceral adipose tissue – i.e. more the amount of visceral fat – higher the blood circulation level of this cancer-promoting protein, and higher the risk of cancer.
Further, it has been discovered that cancer of visceral organs – such as liver, kidney, uterus, pancreas, etc. – is most likely linked to elevated visceral fat levels.
These factors further highlight the importance of losing that belly fat as fast as you can!
Feeling motivated yet? We bet these tips will help you fight bloating through the day and hence stop you from piling on the kilos. If you diligently follow these tips, your belly will start feeling more toned with every passing day!