By Aayushi Lakhapati
Living with the coronavirus has impacted both our mental and physical health. What felt like a vacation in the beginning, has now turned into a break we are all waiting to end.
With remote working, fear of stepping out, gyms and outdoor activities closed, binge eating at home, etc. – our lifestyle has drastically changed making our bellies bigger each day. Staying healthy and keeping the immune system strong is the only way out of the COVID19 pandemic and we must all be willing to take the effort required.
There is no magic pill to burn the stubborn belly fat but there certainly are ways to get rid of it, only if you are willing to change things. Here are some scientifically proven tips for belly fat reduction.
Cut down on sugar
Sugar, specially refined, is extremely bad for health. Excess consumption of sugar is linked to chronic diseases like Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, High Cholesterol, etc. Sugar contains fructose and high amounts of fructose lead to building up fat around the abdomen and liver.
This impacts the body’s metabolism causing insulin resistance eventually leading to weight gain.
Have plenty of soluble fiber in your meals
Soluble fiber absorbs water and assumes high volume inside your gut. It slows down the digestion process and helps you feel full for a longer period of time. Thus, your calorie intake reduces naturally, which helps in fat loss. Some of the best sources of soluble fiber are green leafy vegetables, flax seeds, legumes, berries, etc.
Drink 2.5 – 3 liters of water daily
Water is a zero-calorie liquid that helps to reduce your appetite naturally. Moreover, it is required for the breakdown of carbohydrates as well as stored fat in your body. It also helps in the proper movement of muscles and connective tissues during the workout and helps you burn more calories during the workout. Hence, consuming at least 2.5-3 liters of water daily will work wonders in reducing your belly fat.
Consume healthy fats
Reduce the intake of unhealthy fat by keeping a check on your processed food intake. Replace your cooking oil with coconut oil or MCT oil. These oils are easier to digest, and they do not add to the stored fat in your body.
Add more protein to your diet
Protein helps build muscle mass in the body, and it does not add to your body’s stored fat. The higher the muscle mass, the higher is the energy expenditure of your body. This helps in pacing up your fat-burning process. Some of the good sources of protein that you can add to your diet are chicken, eggs, legumes, pulses, nuts, and oilseeds, etc.
Add fat burning ingredients to your diet
Food ingredients like ginger, black pepper, and apple cider vinegar help in accelerating the fat burning process. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid and adds probiotics to your gut. These probiotics help to reduce inflammation and secrete metabolites that help in the fat-burning process. The piperine in black pepper is also known to burn the body fat faster.
Add green tea to your diet
Green tea is an excellent source of metabolism-boosting antioxidants like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Combining green tea with exercise will give better results if you’re aiming to reduce belly fat.
Choose whole fruit over fruit juices
Whole fruits are rich in fiber and phytochemicals that prevent simple carbohydrates to directly enter the bloodstream and initiate glycogen production. Contrary to this, fruit juices are packed with simple carbohydrates that are directly absorbed by the body. As a result, the body’s glycogen stores will increase, which leads to slower fat-burning action.
Burn your fat with cardio exercises
Cardio workout can include different forms of exercises like aerobics, running, skipping, cycling, etc. These exercises increase your cardio output that results in the rapid circulation of blood, and the heat generated during this process helps in burning body fat efficiently.
Follow a healthy lifestyle
Eat healthy, fresh, and natural food to boost your body’s metabolism. Reduce your stress by inculcating the habit of breathing exercises, yoga or meditation. Sleep for at least 7 hours at night. Align your lifestyle with the circadian rhythm of your body. A healthy lifestyle, when combined with exercise and a proper diet, can surely help you get rid of your belly fat.
The Bottom Line
Belly fat is a nuisance. Not only does it affect your aesthetic appearance, it invites rampant health concerns. Moreover, it also leads to increased inflammation in the body that might further suppress the immune system that fights against infections and cancerous cells. It is hence paramount to burn that belly fat and stay fit.
Remember… there are no shortcuts to fitness. So stay determined to work on yourself!
Aayushi Lakhapati is co-founder, nutritionist and the Chief Health Officer at 23BMI, a healthcare venture.