Being overweight equates to bad health, or does it?
Truth be told, overweight is not an accurate marker of health. Many overweight people have great health while others within the normal weight band exhibit metabolic problems frequently seen in obese.
It is not the fat under the skin, but rather the fat around the abdominal region that one should be concerned with. Belly fat is a good indicator of a person’s health. That is why even if you are not bulky but yet have significant extra fat around the belly, you should take immediate steps to lose it.
We share with you some of the tips that will help you to shed the fats around your stomach area.
1 Say No To Sugar-Sweetened Drinks
Numerous studies have shown that sugar has several negative effects on our metabolic health. Sugar is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose, and the liver can metabolize the latter only so much.
Eating high quantities of refined sugar forces the liver to turn fructose into fat. This is proven by science. Many studies show that ingestion of high amounts of fructose is associated with greater fat accumulation around the abdominal region.
Many experts believe this is the reason why sugar is so detrimental to health: it leads to increased fat accumulation in the belly area and a greater amount of liver fat, which in turn causes insulin resistance and consequently several metabolic problems.
Sugared drinks, however, are even more harmful to our body because our brain does not register liquid calories derived from sugar-sweetened drinks the same way it registers solid sugar calories.
You may have experienced that even after a glass or two of sweetened beverages (which contains a significant amount of calories owing to its high sugar content), you still feel hungry enough to eat a complete meal. In other words, when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, your total calorie count for the day tends to be a lot higher than had you not drank them.
2 Eat More Protein
If there’s one dietary change that alone can help you lose significant amounts of extra weight, it is increasing your protein intake.
Protein is your best friend if your aim is to lose weight. Why?
Gram for gram, protein keeps you full longer than carbs. A protein-rich diet can help you eat as many as 441 fewer calories in a day.
It reduces craving by as much as 60 percent.
It boosts metabolism by no fewer than 80 to 100 calories every day.
This is not all. Two more important reasons, both science-based, are:
Studies show that it helps you avoid regaining weight in the event you quit your current weight-loss program.
A few studies have revealed that a higher intake of protein is linked with less fat around the belly. In one study, participants who consumed more quality protein had less fat around their belly.
3 Do Moderate To High-Intensity Aerobic Exercise
Regular exercise is great for health, what you may not know is that not all exercises have the same effect on belly fat.
Contrary to popular perception, training only the abdominal muscles through exercises like crunches do not lead to reduction in belly fat.
According to a study, participants trained their abdominal muscles for 6 weeks, but none recorded any reduction in the fat around the abdominal and the measurement of the waist of each was the same as before.
On the other hand, many studies have shown that aerobic exercise brings about a significant reduction in abdominal fat. Not only this, one study showed that participants who did aerobic exercise did not gain fat around the belly after losing weight. In other words, aerobic exercise is important for those whose focus is not only weight loss, but weight management for the long term.
4 Consume Fiber-Rich Foods, Especially Those High In Viscous Fiber
increasing the intake of fiber aids weight loss, but not all fiber types have the same effect. From the weight loss perspective, viscous fiber is the best because it binds water, forming a dense gel in the gut which slows the rate of digestion.
To put it simply, viscous fiber keeps you full for a longer time. As a result, you will consume fewer calories later on in the day.
In one study done, consuming an extra 14 grams of fiber a day is linked with 10 percent lesser consumption of calories and 2 kg weight loss over a period of two months!
In another study spanning 5 years, consumption of 10 grams of fiber every day was associated with a 3.7 percent reduction in abdominal fat.
5 Cut Down Intake Of Carbohydrates
When you eat lesser carbs, your appetite reduces and the end result is that you lose weight. This has been proven in many studies. Several randomized controlled trials reveal that those who are on a low-carb diet lose twice or thrice the weight lost by those eating a low-fat diet.
To begin, start to reduce your consumption of refined carbs, these are carbohydrates present in pasta, white breads, etc. If you are aiming to lose weight, you should limit your consumption of carbohydrates to not more than 50 grams in a day.
6 Track What You Eat
Maintain a food diary. It will help you identify unhealthy eating patterns and to adopt better, healthier eating habits. Another thing you should do is to read food labels.
Many a time, we assume a food to be something that it is actually not. For example, you may think of a particular food to be rich in protein, but its food label may say otherwise. Reading food labels will help you accurately know how many calories, protein, and fiber, etc you consume on a daily basis.
7 Enjoy An Egg-Based Breakfast
Eggs are a great food source to start your morning. According to a study, replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you lose more calories in a day. If you are not a fan of eggs, have any other food that is rich in protein for your breakfast. Remember, gram for gram, protein keeps hunger away for a longer period than carbs!