Eat right to beat the belly fat
Are you noticing more fat around your middle with each passing year? Now some of this fat around your midsection may be dictated by the genes you inherit. But how you live and changes that your body goes through as you age also have a major role to play.
Too much stress, too little sleep and eating the wrong foods can also contribute to belly bulge. Your level of activity also affects your shape; more active people are more likely to be leaner all over, including their bellies.
Whilst there is no shortage of advice available on weight loss and dieting, the facts are that most people put weight back on very quickly once they stop. Most weight loss diets fail because it is hard to stay enthusiastic when we are bored and hungry. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to change your diet for the long term. This may sound scary but rest assured you will still have a wide choice of foods available. There is much more to healthy eating than a salad! The benefit of this approach is you can be sure you will be improving your health at the same time.
Here are some lifestyle changes that you can start making right now, that will have a big impact on your health and on your weight.
Stick to 3 meals eat at regular times and avoid grazing
Try to drink water in between meals only. Avoid eating late and aim for a gap of around 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.
Why – during the break between meals particularly overnight the body has to use fat as an energy source. Constantly fueling the body by grazing inhibits the body from burning fat.
Ensure each meal includes a good source of carbohydrate, fat and protein
Why – carbohydrates including fruit and vegetables trigger insulin production. Eating protein and fat with carbohydrates can reduce this, avoiding insulin spikes, cravings and fat storage. Check out these simple meal ideas that have a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat to help you lose weight.
Control portion sizes
Why – in my experience most people consume too many carbohydrates. Remember fruit and vegetables are a type of carbohydrates too. Try and spilt your plate as follows ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice), ½ vegetables and salad. Keep fruit to 2 portions per day maximum after meals. Use the palm of your hand as a guide to the size of carbohydrate.
Why – the body sends alcohol down the same metabolic pathway as fat burning. If alcohol is available it will use it as fuel rather than burning fat. If you are serious about losing weight for the best results cut it out completely, if you can’t face being without 3 glasses per week maximum.
Start with these changes and you’ll begin to notice and feel the difference within a matter of weeks.
Article by Katherine Neal (Nutritional Know How). Katherine is a registered Nutritional Therapist who has been working with the people of Newcastle for over 10 years helping them to improve their health by improving their diet.