Many normal weight people have the metabolic problems associated with obesity. This is because the fat under the skin is actually not that big of a problem at least not from a health standpoint; it is however a problem for cosmetic reasons.
It’s the fat in the abdominal cavity, the belly fat that is the bigger issue. If you have a lot of excess fat around your waistline, even if your not very big, then you should take the time and go through the steps to get rid of it. Belly fat is normally estimated by measuring around the waist with a tape measure.
Anything above 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women is known as abdominal obesity.
Here are 3 proven ways to lose belly fat.
Eating Protein Long-Term To Reduce Belly Fat- Protein is the most important when it comes to losing weight. It has been shown to reduce cravings by up to 60%, boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.
I know you are probably reading this because you want to reach your weight loss goal, then I would say adding protein to your diet is perhaps the single most effective change you can make.
Not only will it help you lose… it can also help you avoid re-gaining in the first place!
I read a study in from Denmark and it showed that protein, especially animal protein, was linked to significant reduced risk of belly fat gain over a period of 5 years. This same study showed that refined carbs and vegetable oils were linked to increased amounts of belly fat, but fruits and vegetables linked to reduced amounts.
So basically, make a really big effort to increase your intake of Eggs, Fish, Seafood, Meats, Poultry and dairy products. These are the best protein sources in the diet.
Bonus Tip: Vegetarians’ example of what you can eat instead of meat: Nuts and Seeds, Ricotta Cheese, canned Yellow Corn, dried Apricot, Oats… All the foods mentioned are from different food sources and an example of what I consider some of the best food sources to get your protein without eating meat. Of course there is so much more than that available for you to choose from.
Eat Food Rich In Fibre- Eating a lot of this can really help you with your weight loss goals. Eating high fibre foods/ water rich foods like Vegetable soups, fruits, salads and vegetables instead of foods without fibre and water, you can eat the same weight of food but feel full on fewer calories.
Eating Fibre is great thing to do first thing in the mornings too, eat cereals such as Oats to get the full benefits first thing. Though I would like to mention that no one fibre is perfect, so I would suggest you eat a wide variety of fibres to gain better health benefits of fibre.
Its not just your waist that trims either with a fibre rich diet you also reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and constipation.
Bonus Tip: When adding fibre, take it slow as eating too much fibre straight away can leave you bloated and give you gas. Your body needs time to adapt. Also whilst increasing your fibre intake you should be drinking more liquid too.
Aerobic Exercise- Exercise is important for many reasons. It is one of the best things you can do if you want to live a long and healthy life, and avoid diseases.
Working out is very effective when looking to lose belly fat. But keep in mind I am talking about whole body workouts not just the topic of this article which is the stomach (for work out terms, Abdominals).
Spot reduction (losing fat in one spot) is a myth and not possible, and doing endless amounts of crunches will not make you lose fat from the belly.
This is why Aerobic exercises like Walking, Running, Swimming etc. have been shown to cause major reductions in belly fat. Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation and blood sugar levels.
Bonus Tip: JUST DO IT!
I would like to share with you 7 health habits that make you, but also keep you slim! Making behaviour changes is the real key to permanent weight loss, but just getting started in the first place is the only step you have to worry about for now… so if you want to look nice for more than just a season you have come to the right place
Drink Water Daily- That simple drink up! All dieters and healthy people in general who replace sweetened drinks with water have been shown to lose more weight. Also staying hydrated helps keep you fuller for longer and not craving food. If water is too plain for you to drink, try adding some lemon or lime and if too sour use cucumber slices to give it some flavour.
Eat Your Breakfast- Start every day with a balanced breakfast that combines high fibre and protein to help you boost your metabolism the right way, stabilize your blood sugar, control your hunger pains and boost your energy levels.
Eat Nuts- (If allergic to nuts please skip) Tree nuts such as Almonds are full of healthy fats, protein and fibre, making them the perfect snack to keep you going until your next meal. You don’t need to go crazy with it, a handful is more than enough.
Snack Attack- Waiting too long before meals can slow your metabolism, and increase your hunger, which typical means overeating. Aim to eat 4 small meals and 2 snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism up and those cravings at bay.
Get Some Sleep- Lack of sleep leads to an increase in obesity and to be honest without this you are wasting your time. When you are tired you tend to crave those high fat sugary foods, so getting the correct sleep (which is 8 hours) has added benefits such as anti-ageing and disease prevention.
Keep Track- Get yourself a diary and start writing down all the foods you eat. Having this food journal will help you stay accountable and keep you on track. And if you lost or gained weight you can look back at what you had that day, week or month and know exactly what is working and what is not.
Chill Out- Relax! Stress increases cholesterol levels, which in turn leads to fat. So stop stressing or your just adding unwanted pounds in your life you could do without.
Have you just eaten and still feeling hungry? It can be a strange concept especially if it was a full meal! You are not alone though if it is true for you, as it is a problem among many people. So now I will break down for you the 5 reasons why you’re still hungry after eating…
You’re Skipping Breakfast- (Face Palm) It is of the utmost importance to have breakfast every single morning! Failure to do so will just be the beginning of your metabolism slowing.. (Gulp) oh yes and without the energy fuel breakfast gives you’ll just overeat later. Which I am sure you know = GAINING EXTRA WEIGHT.
If you would like to know how to break out of this bad habit (click here)
Also having breakfast that does not have high fibre and proteins will always lead to hunger even after eating other meals. Remember how important the first meal of the day really is. Start it off right with a breakfast full of proteins and fibre like oatmeal or if you don’t like cereal have some eggs.
Your Still Drinking Soda And Fruit Juice- These types of drinks are no good for you and when drinking these regularly you may “Mistake” thirst for actual hunger. Most soda also has caffeine, which can raise your metabolism (the unhealthy way) and also make you feel hungry throughout the day.
Plus, if you’re skipping meals such as breakfast beforehand, your blood sugar will need to be brought back up or you will feel hungry again. Plain and simple DRINK WATER…LOTS OF IT! It keeps you fuller for longer and its better for you.
You Didn’t get enough sleep last night- A lack of sleep can lead to over eating. Don’t do it to yourself, get the hours in. 8 hours to be precise. But more importantly do it on a consistent basis and you will feel just fine and not like you could eat out the whole of Walmart.
You See, Smell & Want The Food- As human beings we tend to eat with our senses more than our stomachs. When we smell or see food even in a photo or on telly, our mouths start to water, which stimulates our appetite. For example, you might see one of those M&S adverts and want to chow so bad, or smell freshly baked bread straight out the oven and want to buy it even though you might have just eaten.
To be honest, even if the food is laid out on the table in a buffet for example, and it is in abundance and stacked in tiers, we still tend to GRAB, EAT and REPEAT. The solution= Out of sight out of mind. Get your mind on something else, leave the room, turn off the telly. Hold your nose if you smell bread Just do what you can and the craving to eat will likely subside.
You’re Eating Too Fast- Nice and simple ‘Chew slower fill fuller’. If you have family or friends, start a conversation. Look, smell and appreciate the food you are eating. Take the time out of what ever you are doing to say “this is my time to eat now” and stop worrying and stressing about time. Stress leads to weight gain you know.
If you would like to know how eating slower can benefit you, in more depth, then…
Weight loss friendly foods really help when looking to drop some pounds. So what should you be including in your diet to make this happen? Here are some excellent foods for weight loss
Whole Eggs- Are amongst the best foods you can eat if you need to lose weight. They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you can feel full with a very low amount of calories.
Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie restricted diet. Almost all the nutrients are found in yolks.
Salmon- Oily fish such as salmon is very healthy. It is also very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories.
Salmon is packed with high quality protein, healthy fats and also contains all kinds of important nutrients. Fish and also seafood in general, supplies a significant amount of iodine.
This nutrient is necessary for proper function for the thyroid, which is important to keep the metabolism running optimally.
Salmon is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, which is known to play a major role in obesity and metabolic disease. Mackerel, Trout, Sardines, Herring and other types of oily fish are also great choices.
Leafy Greens- Leafy greens include Spinach, Kale, Swiss chard and others. They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet. They are low in both calories and carbohydrates, but loaded with fibre. Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories.
Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in all sorts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This includes calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning.
Cruciferous Vegetables- Such as Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Like other vegetables, they are high in fibre and tend to be very filling. These vegetables contain decent amounts of protein.
They’re not as high in protein as animal foods or legumes, but they’re high compared to most vegetables.
A combination of protein, fibre and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight. They are also highly nutritious, and contain cancer-fighting substances.
Chicken Breast & Lean Beef- Meat in general has been blamed for all sorts of health problems, despite no real evidence to back it up.
Although processed meat is unhealthy, red meat does NOT raise the risk of heart disease or diabetes. The truth is meat is weight loss friendly food, because it’s high in protein.
Did you know eating protein is the most fulfilling nutrient by far and eating a high protein diet can make you burn up to 80 to 100 more calories per day.
If you’re on a low carb diet, then yes you can eat fatty meats, but if you’re on a moderate to high carbohydrate diet, then choosing lean meats may be more appropriate.
Tuna- Is another low-calorie, high protein food. It is lean fish so there isn’t much fat in it.
Tuna is popular among bodybuilders and fitness models that are on a cut, because it’s a great way to keep protein high, with total calories and fat low. If your trying to emphasize protein intake, then make sure to choose tuna canned in water, not oil.
Beans & Legumes- Some beans and legumes can be beneficial for weight loss. This includes Black beans, Kidney beans, Lentils and some others.
These foods tend to be high in protein and fibre, which are two nutrients that are filling and also tend to contain some resistant starch.
The main problem is that a lot of people have a problem with tolerating legumes. For this reason it is important to prepare them properly
Boiled potatoes- There are several things that make potatoes great food both for weight loss and for optimal health.
They contain a great range of different of nutrients, a little bit of almost everything we need. They are particularly high in potassium, a nutrient that most people do not get enough of and plays an important role in blood pressure control.
If you eat white, boiled potatoes, you will naturally feel full and eat less of other foods instead.
If you boil the potatoes, then allow them to cool for a while, then they will form large amounts of resistant starch, a fibre- like substance that has been shown to have all sorts of health benefits including (Drum Roll) ..WEIGHT LOSS.
Fruit- As you know is extremely healthy. I don’t really need to tell you that people who eat the most fruit/vegetables tend to be healthier than the people who don’t.
Fruit do have properties that make them weight loss friendly. Even though they contain natural sugar, they have a low energy density and take a while to chew.
Plus, the fibre helps prevent the sugar from being released too quickly into your bloodstream.
The only people who may want to avoid or minimize fruit are those who are on a very low- carb or ketogenic diet, or have some sort of intolerance to fructose.
Soups- Most foods with low energy density are those that contain lots of water, such as vegetables and fruits. But of course you can also add water to your food by making a soup.
If you eat the exact same food, but made in a soup instead of solid food, it makes you feel more full and eat significantly less…try it.
We all know that too much Sugar is never good for you. But did you know there are actually two different types of “Sugar”? Naturally occurring sugars and added sugars.
So what really is the difference between the two and is one healthier than the other?
The Difference- Naturally occurring sugar is found in whole unprocessed foods, for example fruit, vegetables and some grains. The most common
natural sugar is fructose, which is found in fruit and lactose, found in milk products.
Whereas “Added Sugar” is the sugar added into processed foods/drinks while they are being made, as well as sugar you may add yourself to your
food at home. The Food manufacturers may add both natural sugars (such as fructose) and processed sugars such as (Corn syrup) to processed food and drinks.
Why Is Added Sugar Put In Food & Drink- There are many reasons but here are few examples:
· To serve as a preservative for foods like Jam and jelly
· maintains freshness of baked goods
· helps with the break down ( Fermentation) of Bread and Alcohol.
Limiting Added Sugar- This is the sugar that you want to limit in your diet since these sugars provided unnecessary calories and more importantly no helpful nutrients.
In the long term you can end up with obesity, tooth decay, type 2 diabetes, (and struggling with sugar cravings) and heart disease.
Should I limit Natural Sugars?- I wouldn’t worry about limiting Natural Sugars unless you are diabetic. They occur in whole foods like fruit, plain dairy ( milk, cheese, and yoghurt)
and while these naturally occurring sugars are not bad for you, it goes without saying for any
food, you must monitor your portions.
So even though the protein in dairy, and fibre plus water in fruit helps your body absorb the sugar slowly and steadily, going over the top and eating 20 fruits a day would be too much natural sugar in your diet.
2 to 3 servings of fruit per day is more than enough for most healthy adults, and will of course, add to your 5 a day
I do not personally limit my Natural Sugar intake and much rather concentrate on eradicating my added sugar intake as much as I can.
How to read nutrition labels when looking out for sugar- Sadly food manufacturers are still very slow and do not require or feel the need to separate naturally occurring sugars from your added sugars on the label.
But you can see how much total sugar is in each serving. You can also check the ingredient list (Food and Drink).
I know when first reading the labels it can be very confusing but all I want you to remember are these two killer tips.
4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar
1 gram of sugar = 4 calories
Using those two tips will make the information found on the nutrition facts label much easier to understand what it really means. A food or drink that contains 40 grams of sugar per serving is the same as 10 teaspoons of sugar and 160 calories.
Foods that are unhealthy are a big part of the reason the world is fatter and sicker than ever before.
To my surprise, many people consider some of these foods healthy.
So here are 5 “Health foods” that are really just junk food in disguise.
Margarine- Butter was warned off as bad for you a very long time ago, due to high saturated fat content. And with that, health experts started promoting margarine instead.
Margarine used to be high in trans fats. These days, it has less trans fats than before but is still pretty much loaded with refined vegetable oils.
Margarine is not food, it is just a group of chemicals and refined oils that have been made to look and taste like food. Not surprisingly people who replace butter with margarine are more likely to die from heart disease.
If you want to improve your health, eat butter but do not eat processed margarine and
other trash like that.
Recommending Margarine instead of natural butter is up there with some of the worst nutritional advice anyone could give you.
Processed Organic Food- The word “ Organic” has become just another marketing buzzword. Food manufactures have found all sorts of ways to make the same junk food, except with ingredients that happen to be organic.
Ingredients include Organic raw cane sugar, which is just 100% identical
to regular sugar. It’s still just glucose and fructose, with little to no nutrients.
In many cases, the difference between an ingredient and its organic counterpart is next to none.
Processed foods that happen to be labelled organic are not necessarily healthy. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL!
Vegetable Oils- It is important to keep in mind that blood cholesterol is a risk factor, not a disease in itself. Even though vegetable oils can improve a risk factor,there is no guarantee that they will help
prevent an actual sticky end such as a heart attack which is what really counts.
In fact, several controlled trials have shown that despite lowering cholesterol, these oils can
increase the risk of death from both heart disease and cancer.
So eat healthy, natural fats like butter, olive oil, and coconut oil but avoid processed vegetable oils as if your life depended on it
(IT REALLY DOES)
Vegan Junk Food- Vegan diets are very popular these days, often due to celebrity influence/ ethical and environmental reasons.
But.. many people promote vegan diets for the purpose of improving health ( which is questionable).
There are a lot of processed vegan foods out there, often sold as replacements for non- vegan foods.
Like, for instance there is such thing as Vegan bacon ( Lol).
It is important to keep in mind that these are usually highly processed and factory made products that are bad for just about anyone,
which includes Vegans too.
Sports Drinks- Sports drinks these drinks contain electrolytes (Salts) and sugar, which can be useful for athletes in many cases.
Most regular people do not need any additional salts or extra sugar.
Sports drinks are considered “less bad” than sugary soft drinks, which is just not true as the sugar content is only slightly lower.
It is important to stay hydrated, during the day and around workouts, but “good old water” is the real key, not over hyped Sports drink with your
favourite athlete advertising it.
Eat Fruit &Veg- Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and are packed with nutrients. It doesn’t matter if it is fresh, frozen or canned they all count!
If you would like to know more about “How To Get Fruit & Veg into your diet” (Click Here)
The Reason Why- Fruits and vegetables prevent many diseases and have lots of fibre to keep you fuller for longer which is fantastic! You should be getting at least 5 a day minimum, again if you would like to know more about all of this (Click Here)
Switch Your Drink- When you are thirsty what are you drinking? If it’s Sodas, Fruit juice drinks or any other kind of sugary drinks, then you must realise that there are lots of calories and no nutrients in these drinks.
Rethink Your Drink- Next time you are thirsty choose water or milk, they can quench your thirst just as well without adding extra calories.
Portion Control- Eating big portions leads to extra weight. Use smaller plates, eat smaller bites and take your time to enjoy your meal so you do not overeat.
Know you’re going out to eat later?- Take a glance at the restaurants menu online ahead of time for e.g. and think about what you’ll order. Knowing the healthier options in advance helps keep the impulsive decisions at bay, which for most of my readers is JUNK (BAD)
Move More- A good diet alone will not get you the best results, what will is a combo of both a healthy diet and a moving your butt which then = A Healthy Lifestyle.
What is your excuse? If you are pushed for time you can do it in 7 minutes which is the minimum or if you want to do it for longer 30 minutes is good, if you can do more, great.
The Reason Why- Moving more everyday helps lower your risk of getting diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with your heart, and some types of cancer. It can also help with stress, weight loss, and building strong muscles and bones. So park further away, go for a walk, take the stairs, sing, dance, just MOVE MORE!
Reduce Screen Time- To many of us spend as much as 3 to 4 hours and beyond in front of a television screen daily. When we’re watching TV, we’re not only being inactive, we often snack on unhealthy foods at the same time. Trade TV, Computer and phone time for physical activity. Walk, run, bike, dance, and try to limit TV time to just two hours or less each day.
Whilst Watching TV- GO be active while watching TV! Do sit-ups, push-ups, star jumps etc and if you are hungry whilst watching TV, eat healthy. The junk food is just setting you back.
Vitamin E- Its is well known that the majority of people do not get enough Vitamin E into their diets, which is a great shame as it is an antioxidant which protects your cells from damage.
This nutrient appears in many foods such as: Eggs, Nuts, Vegetable oils, and really green Vegetables such as spinach.
Although it is also sold as a dietary supplement (Side effects unknown) Vitamin E is a fat soluble (Stores and uses it when needed)
As a whole, Vitamin E describes eight different compounds but alpha-tocopherol is the most active in humans.
Iron- You need 18mg of Iron if you are a women and 8.7mg if you are a man as this helps you get oxygen throughout your whole body.
But still so many of us are Iron deficient, if you are fatigued, very irritable, cold hands or just want to gain more knowledge on Iron here it is in depth:
Look at getting plenty of Iron (Here) [LINK]
Potassium- If you are short on this it is quite simple..you are not eating enough Fruits &Vegetables! It is part of every cell in the body and without it you wouldn’t live.
I feel that potassium is very undervalued and is important as it keeps your brain, nerves, heart and muscles functioning normally on a consistent basis.
It is important to get enough potassium every day (4,700 mg) as a lack of it will give you chronic diseases.
Zinc- 8mg is what is needed every day to regulate your metabolism.
Zinc is a very important antioxidant that prevents some types of cancers and boosts your immune function also.
Zinc foods include: Seafood’s, (Cooked Oysters are the best for Zinc) Beef, Lamb, Spinach, Wheat germ, (AKA Cereal Germ) Cocoa powder and Nuts (Cashew are the best for zinc).
Magnesium- 320 mg is required each day to get your magnesium in.
If you’re lacking in magnesium it is normally due to the fact that you eat too much bad fat and sugary foods, and if you do not eat fish this also is a big dent.
Magnesium rich foods include: Whole grains, Leafy greens, nuts and seeds.