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Stubborn Belly Fat: 10 Things You Need To Keep In Mind

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The flab bulging around the belly is a definite no no. As unattractive as it may
seem, it is potentially dangerous too. Beyond the cosmetic lack of appeal, it can
have serious health consequences. Belly fat is the first place where women pile up
those glutton indulgences. Also, the most difficult place to burn fat from.
Despite a regular workout and healthy diet, this stubborn belly fat is a tough nut
to crack. Today, we know that exercise alone is not enough to keep us in shape.

10 things you need to know to burn the fat:

1. Healthy Eating:

A well-balanced diet is imperative to maintain  good shape, develop stamina, and lose weight. Adequate nourishment is paramount at all stages of life. As difficult as it may sound, but it really is not that difficult. Just eat some, avoid some.

Remove white bread and processed foods from your diet. Include whole grain breads and chapattis coupled with loads of fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to limit the number of times you eat outside and opt for healthy home-cooked meals instead. Why burn a hole in your own pocket, instead burn calories.

2. Eat Mindfully

Eating mindfully simply means eating with complete consciousness. Be aware of the process of eating, biting, chewing, and swallowing. Be aware of the different flavours and textures of food, how they develop and combine in the mouth and most importantly enjoy your meals. Chew slowly and thoroughly to digest food properly.  Also, if you invest so much thought while eating, we are sure you won’t binge eat!

3. Exercise regularly:

There is no one simple trick to burn belly fat. In fact, research has indicated that abdominal exercise training alone is not enough to reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat aka belly fat.

Losing fat from all over the  body ensures that you lose fat from the stomach as well. The key to losing belly fat is lower your overall body fat percentage to around 20%.

A combination of cardio and weight training exercises helps reduce overall body fat and gain muscle mass. One simple trick to ensure maximum impact on the muscles of the stomach is to engage the core muscles. This means to consciously tighten and use abdominal muscles when you run, walk, climb, jump or even do the plank. Whatever fitness regime you follow, engaging your core muscles helps to develop abdominal muscles. Gaining muscles while reducing body fat will give you a well-toned abdomen.

4. Sleep Well:

May sound crazy but sleep does play a role in weight loss. Lack of adequate sleep can be a reason why you cannot to lose weight. According to a study, sleeping for less than 5 hours a day leads to an increase in abdominal fat as compared to people who slept for 6 or 7 hours a day. So, it is a beauty sleep in the end! *sigh*

5. Self Image:

A healthy self-image is important to lose weight. Studies have shown that depressed people are at a greater risk of developing obesity as compared to non-depressed people. Do not fret over those tyres, they will come and go. Accepting and loving your skin is the key!

6. PCOS:

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition characterized by hormonal imbalance, which causes irregularities in periods and difficulties in achieving pregnancy. If you cannot lose an inch of weight no matter what, then PCOS may be the cause.

University of California reports that 41% of women suffering from PCOS are couch potatoes. Thus it is very important to get serious about your exercise regime. Consult a gynaecologist and start appropriate treatment at your earliest if you are diagnosed with PCOS.

7. Menopause:

As women transition from pre-menopause to menopause, their body fat is redistributed. This means that the fat from the hips and thighs moves to the abdomen. Our metabolism also slows down as we age, making it more difficult to lose this belly fat. A consistent and regular exercise regime that helps maintain and build muscle mass is important to stay in shape.

8. Thyroid disorders:

Menopausal women are also likely to develop thyroid problems like hypothyroidism. When left untreated, hypothyroidism may lead to a number of problems including weight gain. It is important for menopausal women to get their thyroid levels checked and consult a doctor if required.

9. Protein:

Drop the carbs and load up on proteins. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition states that women who consume a high protein diet experience greater weight loss, particularly in the hard to lose areas.

So ensure that your meals contain good amounts of proteins from sources like curds, legumes, pulses, lentils, and beans. Stock up on gram or channa to munch on in the late afternoons to satiate yourself when hunger pangs tend to strike.

10. Stress:

Stress can be the reason why you are gaining weight in the belly and losing hair! Excessive stress releases cortisol- a hormone responsible for weight gain in the abdominal region. Cortisol also leads to cravings for salty and fatty foods that contribute to weight gain and is hugely responsible for throwing our diet plans for a toss.

Following these simple tips can go a long way in helping you stay fit, losing the stubborn bulge and achieving your desired waistline.

References

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21804427
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831422/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18987092
  5. http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com/weight-loss-tips.html
  6. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/13697137.2012.707385
  7. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/13697137.2012.707385 
  8. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/141/9/1626.full#sec-12

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