Battling fat around your tummy? There are a number of factors that cause and affect tummy fat – from your diet to the level of physical activity to the amount of sleep you get and the amount of stress you take. Generally speaking, you can monitor your weight with the help of a good diet and regular exercise. What if you haven’t been able to find time to workout at all? Is there a way to fight tummy fat or any factors that can help?
According to Bangalore-based dietitian, Dr. Anju Sood, “You cannot do with just one of them. You have to create a balance of a good diet and regular exercise lose your tummy fat. Basing your weight loss only on your diet is a like a half-baked approach towards attaining the goal. However, some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can definitely help in the weight loss journey and make it quicker.” Here are few things which can help you lose the extra pounds around your waist.
1. Get enough sleep
Health experts stress on 8 hours of quality sleep for a reason. Sleep deprivation may make you munch on more calories than you actually want to or should be having. According to a study led by researchers at King’s College London, sleep-deprived people consumed an average of 385 kilo calories per day extra, which is equivalent to the calories of about four and a half slices of bread. The co-author of the study Gerda Pot explained “partial sleep deprivation resulted in a large net increased energy intake of 385 kcal per day,” She added, “If long-term sleep deprivation continues to result in an increased calorie intake of this magnitude, it may contribute to weight gain.”
(Also read: 9 Reasons Why You Need to Relax and Get Good Sleep)
2. Check your sugar intake
Excess consumption of sugar puts an extra load on your liver and it can lead fat storage, and the first target is your tummy. Shilpa Arora, Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner, warns, “Don’t consume simple sugars like refined flour, bread, white rice cakes and biscuits after 5 p.m.” Dr. Anju Sood, Bangalore-based nutritionist, explains the physiology behind cutting down on sugar for weight loss, “Your primary aim should be to prevent food from being converted into unnecessary fat that remains in the body. For this, you need to cut down on complex carbs and High Glycemic Index foods. High GI foods generate a high quantum of sugar, and the excess of it gets converted into fat.”
(Also read:How to Control Diabetes: 10 Tips to Maintain Blood Sugar Level)
3. Drink a lot of water
This golden rule does much more than just quenching your thirst and keeping you hydrated. Starting your day with a glass of warm water cleanses the digestive system, and improves your metabolism. The custom of drinking water as the first thing in the morning is backed by Ayurveda too. Drinking water regularly prevents the consumption of extra calories. With regular intake we feel fuller and thus, don’t eat as much. So grab a water bottle, fill it as a ritual every morning and carry it wherever you go. Shilpa says, “Drink lots of water, hot or warm. This melts fat especially visceral fat.”
(Also read: 12 Amazing Healing Benefits of Drinking Water in a Copper Vessel)
4. Check your portion size
Food served on large plates deceive you into believing that you are having less food. In reality, your food is just scattered, and you end up gobbling more food than you what you need. Take smaller sized plates for your portions and eat only to the point of satiation.
6. Chew your food
You’ve heard your elders scold you to chew your food properly. There’s a very important reason behind it. If you eat quickly and just swallow your food without chewing properly, it takes more time to breakdown. Therefore, it hinders your digestion which may lead to weight gain. Also, it takes about 20 minutes for the satiety signals to reach the brain. So, take your time, eat your food slowly and give your brain time to send out the signals of being full.
Fibre take longer to digest and also gives you the fuller feeling and thus, prevents the mid-meal binging. According to Shilpa, “Eat lots of high-fibre foods like seasonal fruits and summer vegetables. Fibre keeps your body clean of toxins and prevents constipation.”
Fibre keeps you full for a longer time
8. Eat plenty of protein
Protein can do wonders to regulate your appetite. Protein tends to take longer to digest and thus, pushes your body to secrete the gut hormone – Peptide YY, which makes you feel full. According to Dr. Anju Sood, “The other way you can cut down your weight is by increasing your metabolic rate. Protein takes the longest to digest and hence help in maintaining your metabolism.” Shilpa suggests, “Eat proteins for dinner like eggs, sprouts, fish and dals. Proteins help build muscle and keep you satiated so you don’t over-eat.”
Proteins takes longer to digest, keep you satiated and prevent over-eating
While you can’t and shouldn’t completely do away with exercise if you want to lose weight, following these tips will definitely take you an inch closer to the svelte body you have been craving for.