A flat tummy makes us look slimmer, more proportionate, taller and ultimately more attractive. And the clothes fit better too!As we grow older, our metabolism dips and more fat begins to accumulate around our waistline, giving us that ‘spare tyre’! But getting rid of belly fat is not just about appearances but belly fat is also dangerous as our overall health is concerned.
Here are some diet guidelines that can greatly help in preventing and reducing belly fat
Avoid Processed Food and Added Sugar
Choose whole fresh fruits over canned juices and water over soft drinks. Avoid bakery staples like cakes and cookies. Canned and packaged foods contain a lot of sodium and very less fiber and nutrients. Excess sodium retains more water, puffing up your belly. Stay away from sugar substitutes as well, they are only partially digested by your body.
Control Alcohol Intake
Alcohol makes your body burn 36% less fat than it normally would, thus hurting your metabolism further. When you drink, the liver works overtime to burn alcohol instead of fat, giving rise to terms like ‘Beer Belly’ or ‘Beer Gut’.
Go for Abs-Friendly Foods
Abs-friendly foods deal with the causes of belly fat, like balancing your gut bacteria, reducing gas, preventing constipation and containing healthy fats. Whole grains, lean protein, eggs, leafy vegetables, almonds, yogurt and green tea are toppers in this list. Get your dose of Omega 3 fatty acids from fatty fish or capsules. Green tea contains catechins which are antioxidants that claim to reduce belly fat.
Eat at the Right Time
The trick is to never stuff your tummy, or to starve. Eat something within half an hour of waking up and then a breakfast full of wholegrain and protein. Go for a filling lunch and a light dinner at least three hours before bedtime. Eat two snacks , one mid-morning and one at tea time. Small, balanced meals do not lead to tummy bulge and keep your metabolism up and running. Best part is that your body never goes into starvation mode, which is when it feels the need to store everything as fat.
Space out Foods that Cause Bloating
Do not eat multiple servings of gassy foods in a single day, since it might lead to bloating and belly bulge. Common foods in this list are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, dried beans and lentils. These are very healthy and have good fiber, so do not omit them, just space them out across your meals throughout the week.
Practice some Tummy Twister
Moving on to exercise, experts agree that good, intense cardio is essential in burning belly fat. As the body loses overall fat, it helps the belly to slim down as well. Focus on core exercises to tone your muscle, which will make you look slimmer. Start activities on a regular basis, such as walking, running or cycling, it’s also recommended to target the specific area of the belly to tone the muscles and give the area a better definition and shape.