Most of us have a wobbly bit around our tummy. Some of us like to rub it during times of distress, while some of us have allowed our belly fat to dictate what clothes to hide in. The truth is visceral fat aka belly fat is dangerous for health. It could trigger cardiovascular diseases and metabolic problems. So, quit playing with your belly fat in front of the mirror. Here are a few diet tips to help you get a killer tummy.
1. Eat Leafy Greens
You have heard it a dozen times. But the truth is green. There have been several studies that prove leafy greens are important to get a flat tummy. Veggies, especially of the dark green variety, are loaded with vitamins A and C. These guys are important to decrease oxidative stress as well as reduce stress hormones so that fat doesn’t get stored in the body. Another reason to increase your green leaf intake is to increase your folic acid level. Folic acid helps to break down carbs and fat for energy.
If a bowl of greens aren’t your thing, experiment with it. Add spices, sauces, chicken, or tuna to your salad. Greens could range from spinach, collards, kale, to cabbage. Focus on building a diet with lean protein, beans, nuts, plain or Greek yogurt, fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber.
2. Avoid Processed And Junk Food
You could make better choices once you understand why processed food is bad for your waistline. Candy, fast food, soda, and refined grains are rich in calories. These foods are high in sugar, sodium, and high saturated fat. Sugar-rich foods trigger a rise in blood sugar level, which is then followed by an insulin increase. This action makes fat to get accumulated around your tummy. Also, high sodium is a culprit in the case of abdominal fat. It promotes you to retain water, resulting in a bloated tummy.
Also, try and limit alcohol consumption. One glass of beer contains 150 calories. So, you could imagine how many calories you would have added to your system after a night of binge drinking. And do you know where the fat gets stored first? Right in the center of your body.
Eat whole grains, reduce your sugar intake in all forms, and eat healthy fats like avocados, eggs, fatty fish, and nuts.1
3. Limit Your Sugar Intake
If you’re binging on chocolate bars and cupcakes to solve your problems, your stomach is going to revolt against you. There have been studies that linked high sugar intake with excess abdominal fat and obesity.2 This is because of their high fructose content. When sugar enters your body, it breaks down into glucose and fructose. When there is excess fructose, your liver converts it into fat, and gradually your liver becomes a fatty liver. If you want to lose weight, especially in the belly area, you need to reduce sugar in your diet. You don’t have to punish yourself by avoiding sugar like the plague. Swap refined sugar with honey, cinnamon or stevia.
4. Control Portion Sizes
Your portion size matters. The trick is to go beyond the regular three meals a day and concentrate on smaller portions. If you’re constantly having small healthy snacks between meals, it would stop any chance of binge eating. Stock up the house with healthy snacks like almonds, peanuts, berries, or yogurt.
5. Hydrate Yourself Regularly
The easiest thing way to get a killer waistline is drinking plenty of water. Replace your need to drink soda, alcohol, or other sugary drinks with a glass of water. Imagine all the calories you cut from your diet just by replacing all your drinks with water.
One study reveals when dieters drank 500ml of water before meals lost 44% more weight when compared to those who didn’t.3 If you think drinking plain water is boring, add a few slices of cucumber or lemon. Just drink up!
6. Make Smart Lifestyle Changes
- We know it’s hard but find the strength to resist a midnight snack. There should be at least 2 hours of gap between dinner and sleep. Even munching on a healthy snack right before bed curbs calorie burning.
- Get an adequate amount of 6-8 hours of sleep. When your body is constantly tired, it disturbs your metabolic rate, making it difficult for your body to burn fat.
Don’t stress out if you don’t see a difference soon. Getting rid of tummy fat is a slow process. It takes a balanced diet, exercise, and a lot of determination.
|↑1||Katcher, Heather I., Richard S. Legro, Allen R. Kunselman, Peter J. Gillies, Laurence M. Demers, Deborah M. Bagshaw, and Penny M. Kris-Etherton. “The effects of a whole grain–enriched hypocaloric diet on cardiovascular disease risk factors in men and women with metabolic syndrome.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 1 (2008): 79-90.|
|↑2||Stanhope, Kimber L., and Peter J. Havel. “Fructose consumption: considerations for future research on its effects on adipose distribution, lipid metabolism, and insulin sensitivity in humans.” The Journal of nutrition 139, no. 6 (2009): 1236S-1241S.|
|↑3||Dennis, Elizabeth A., Ana Laura Dengo, Dana L. Comber, Kyle D. Flack, Jyoti Savla, Kevin P. Davy, and Brenda M. Davy. “Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle‐aged and older adults.” Obesity 18, no. 2 (2010): 300-307.|