Anyone trying to lose weight knows how difficult it is to shed belly fat. Some recommend crunches and core exercises, some tell to do Yoga that targets belly fat, while some recommend against targeted weight loss. When it comes to weight loss, apart from workouts, food plays a crucial part. So, are there any foods that cause fat build-up in the belly? Are there any foods that can help with losing belly fat? What is the correct strategy to do so? For answers to these questions, Onlymyhealth spoke to Rakshita Mehra, who is a nutritionist and the founder of ‘Nutrishala’.
Foods That Cause Belly Fat Buildup
There are certain categories of foods that cause belly fat build-up, such as:
- Sugary Foods: Such as desserts, sugary drinks, etc.
- Refined Flour: Often used to make chapatis, desserts, junk food, etc.
- Unhealthy Fat: Found in biscuits, cakes, pastries, ice creams, etc.
Factors That Contribute To Belly Fat
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Apart from food, there are other factors too that contribute to belly fat build-up, such as:
- Sedentary Lifestyle: If you sit for long hours and do not exercise much or at all, you are likelier to have increased belly fat.
- Overeating: Not just the type of food you eat, overeating can also contribute to belly fat.
- Stress: Not many realise, but stress has a link with belly fat. When stressed out, your body releases hormones called cortisol that causes fat accumulation in your belly.
- Inadequate Sleep: When you do not get enough sleep, it can elevate stress levels causing belly fat build-up. Also, inadequate sleep makes your food habits erratic, which can make you gain weight.
Foods To Avoid To Lose Belly Fat
“I feel avoiding certain foods altogether can be difficult,” said Rakshita. Hence, you can eat anything but in a moderation.
- Limit your intake of sugary, unhealthy foods to avoid belly fat accumulation.
- Practise portion control.
- Avoid overeating.
- And be mindful of what you eat.
Foods That Can Help In Losing Belly Fat
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According to Rakshita, there is are no specific foods that can help with losing belly fat. Targeted weight loss is impossible. To lose belly fat:
- Reduce your intake of junk and fast foods.
- Consume homemade nutritious food instead.
- Apart from diet, spare at least 30 minutes daily for exercise.
- By doing these, you can reduce your overall body fat, including those around your belly.
Other Tips On Losing Belly Fat
As you saw, having balanced and nutritious food is key to weight loss and management. Equally important is to exercise as a sedentary lifestyle makes you gain weight and harms your overall health. As stress contributes to belly fat, hence take steps to manage that. Deep breathing, meditation, Yoga, recreational activities are some of the ways you can do it. Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Get the needed 7-8 hours of restful sleep daily. By ensuring these, you can reduce belly fat, keep your overall weight in check and lead a healthy life.
(With inputs from Rakshita Mehra, who is a nutritionist and the founder of ‘Nutrishala’)
Photo Credit: Freepik