In your endless quest for a flat belly, you’ve probably done hundreds of crunches and stood in a plank pose for hours, and you still don’t have flat abs, right? There’s more to trimming the tummy than just exercising. You need to eat right and ditch the habits that can widen your waistline. Here are some basic rules.
1. Stop watch on alcohol Don’t call them beer bellies for nothing. Binge drinkers (people who consume four or plus drinks in a sitting) have more belly fat. If you are trying to lose body fat, why tank up on high calorie beverages? Instead, eat a lot of high water-containing foods such as fruits, vegetables and low sodium soups; half the volume of these foods can be counted as water. Plus, you get the benefit of filling up with fewer calories!
2. Skip sugarless gum Two major causes of intestinal gas are swallowing air when you eat and drink and using some artificial sweeteners. If belly bloating is a problem, spit out the gum.
3. Mono-unsaturated fatty acid “MUFA” is majorly responsible for a flat belly. So, it only makes sense to fit in some of the MUFA rich foods into your diet. Olive oil, flaxseed oil, almonds, dry roasted sunflower seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, and black and green olives are good sources of MUFA.
4. Reduce the consumption of Carbs Consuming too many carbs promotes fat abs. For flatter abs, make 45-65 % of your total daily calories carbs. Balance is the key here, so don’t go below 45 percent (You NEED at least 120 grams daily for brain functioning as carbs are the only fuel your brain uses) or above 65 percent which can lead to water retention, bloating and temporary weight gain in your middle. Avoid high-carb/empty calorie foods like fast foods, snack cakes, cookies, chips, crackers, candy, bakery items etc. Instead, tank up on fruits and vegetables: these are the least bloat-promoting carb foods as they contain plenty of water and fewer carbs and calories as per their volume. They are also rich sources of fibre.
5. Balance out the muscle building food group: Protein Eating the right amount of protein, distributing it strategically through the day, and before and after work-outs, is essential for not only effective weight loss, but also for minimizing muscle loss and maximizing fat loss. You won't find a more perfect protein source than Egg whites –they are highly respected by dietitians because of their balance of essential amino acids. Go for seafood, poultry lean cuts, skimmed milk, low fat yoghurt, lentils and pulses.
Remember, if you really want a sleek, sexy midriff, you've got to tweak your diet. So go on and work around your plate before you work out on the machines.
ARE CARBOHYDRATE-FREE DIETS SAFE?
Diets that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates are becoming increasingly popular. These diets typically tell you to stay off all kinds of bread, rice and chapattis. But are they really safe? Recent research shows that these diets could have long-term health risks like heart disease, certain kinds of cancers, and increased blood cholesterol levels. Short-term effects could include nausea and light-headedness. So remember, don't just blindly follow any diet fad.
TOMATOES FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Ready to try anything to lose weight? This one is easy. Tomatoes are considered to be highly beneficial in the treatment of weight loss and even obesity. A couple of ripe tomatoes, first thing in the morning - and nothing else - is considered to be a healthy way to lose weight. What's more, tomatoes are rich in calcium, so that's good for you too.
CURB APPETITE WITH MILK, NUTS AND WALKING
When your body does not get enough protein and carbohydrate you could land up feeling hungry too often. Start your day with a glass of milk and a couple of almonds to turn on the ignition of your body with the right dose of energy. Coupling this with a 5-10 minute brisk walk either in the morning or evening will help break excess fat and converting it to carbohydrates. Build up the time you walk gradually, day by day.
CRASH DIETS CAN LEAD TO RAPID WEIGHT GAINS LATER
What happens when you go on crash diets? Sure you lose weight in the short term. But because your body is not adequately nourished, rather than losing only fat your body starts breaking down the muscles. The result is that your body creates more space for fat storage in the future. Which is why, soon after crash diets, though you aren't even eating, as much as you did before, you seem to be becoming fatter faster. When going on a diet, make sure that it is balanced. Your diet should include a certain amount of fat too. The best way to go about a diet is to consult a qualified dietician. And whatever you do make sure you are coupling the diet with enough exercise. In fact just walking for half an hour a day will help. Remember, no matter what you do, you cannot escape exercise if you want to maintain the weight loss in the long run.