Belly fat is probably the toughest and biggest weight problem that most people have. It is difficult to melt fat from this area and you need to exercise to tone it. However, eating certain foods can also help you shrink your belly fat. I read a post by Nutritionist Farzana Chauhan, who lists a few such food items.
1. Egg white
An egg a day can keep health problems away! According to Farzana, ‘Egg whites contain good quality of protein which increase your metabolism as a result you burn more calories.’ What’s more, it is low in calories and fat (85 kcal and 5g fat). If you don’t want to eat the yolk, eat only the egg white.
There’s a reason why eggs are a unanimously popular breakfast option for millions of people around the world. No, it’s not just the taste and the various ways in which you can have your egg, there are also several health reasons associated with it. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should eat eggs every day.
Eggs are the cheapest source of high quality protein. They provide you with good amounts of complete protein which is required to build muscles, repair tissues and responsible for other bodily functions. Eggs fulfil about 11% and 14% of men’s and women’s daily requirement of protein respectively. A single egg yields over 6g of protein.
Yolk full of goodness
The yolk of an egg is loaded with nutrients like zinc, iron, vitamins A, B and D, riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorous, lutein (a phytochemical that researchers say is good for the eyes), choline (needed for brain development) and cholesterol. This makes it highly nutritious.
A single egg contains only 5g of fat and about 85 calories. It does not have any carbohydrates either. Also, the amino acid composition of egg is exactly like the human muscle amino acid structure which makes it one of the favourites among gym goers because it helps in quick recovery and muscle building.
Egg white wonders
Many people who fear eating eggs due to the presence of cholesterol in it can have only the egg white. This too has a host of benefits and does not increase your cholesterol levels as well. According to a research conducted by Zhipeng Yu, PhD, of Jilin University, a protein found in egg white can reduce blood pressure about as much as a low dose of Captopril, a high-blood-pressure drug.
Helps lose weight
A major part of effectively losing weight is by eating right. According to a study published in Metabolism, an egg breakfast, compared with a breakfast of similar calories, has been shown to lead to greater feelings of fullness and reduced food intake at later meals, resulting in a significant reduction in BMI and waist circumference.
A lot of other benefits of eating eggs include reducing the chances of hypertension in infants, boosting memory function and preventing dementia, being a natural source of vitamin D which is found to be low in many people, keeping heart disease and cancer at bay due to the presence of antioxidants.
How much is too much?
Though it has so many health benefits, many still shun eggs due to the presence of cholesterol in it. The trick is to eat smart. You don’t have to omit it completely from your diet. The American Heart Association in 2000, decided that the limit for dietary cholesterol should be 300 mg/day and an egg a day can be included into a healthy diet (along with adequate physical activity) as the cholesterol present in one egg is well within this limit. If you are still worried, restrict it to only 2 eggs per week or opt for only the egg white.
‘Include one serving i.e. 15g of nuts like walnuts, almonds, etc. in your daily diet. They contain filling protein and fibre and as a result you consume less calories overall,’ says Farzana. You can make them your healthy snack in the evening so that you don’t eat junk food like chips and cake.
If you have curd after meals, you are on the right track. ‘Include low-fat curd in your diet, it’s a belly blaster as it contains beneficial bacteria, which reduces bad bacteria from the intestine and minimises bloating as well,’ she says. It also helps in digestion of food and is better source of protein and calcium than milk.
Want a veggie that will help you lose weight and also provide nutrients? Eat broccoli. ‘Not only is it fat-free and low in calories, it also packs your body with vitamins and its fibre flushes out the fat,’ adds Farzana.
These are sources of good fat as they have omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds also help in fat loss by keeping you satiated for a long time. Sprinkle them on your salads or eat them plain as a snack every day.
According to Farzana, ‘Berries are a good option when you are watching your waist size; they are not only yummy but also rich in antioxidants which protects the body from free-radical damage.’ Have a handful of them every day in the form of strawberries, mulberries, blueberries, etc. If they aren’t available around the year, buy and freeze them as this retains their nutrients.
Switch your regular tea with green tea, as it has numerous health benefits, including its fat burning properties. Drink green tea for three months regularly to see beneficial results in your waist size, advises the nutritionist.
Eat tomatoes, as they are low in calories and are a natural diuretic making them a perfect belly minimiser. Other such veggies arecucumber, bottle gourd, cabbage, etc. These have high water content, which fills up your stomach, yet does not add too many calories. Read more…
Tips to remember
Restrict foods with high sodium, it bloats your body and makes you look fat. Some measures include: stop using table salt, read food labels, avoid processed foods.
Avoid refined sugar, alcohol and junk food.
Have a nourishing breakfast that contains serving of high-fibre cereal like oats, wheat, bajra, ragi, etc. These guarantee daily clearance of bowels and keep you free from bloated stomach.
Include wholegrain and high-fibre foods in your diet.
Check 5 must do exercises for a flat and sexy tummy
We Indians have this problem of a protruding tummy even if we are slim otherwise. It has to do with the way we eat and our lack of exercise. Most people think they need to join expensive gyms and do 100 crunches everyday (read why just crunches don’t work) to get those celeb-like flat abs. But the truth is it is just about eating the right food, doing some belly-busting yoga poses and trying these simple exercises.
Lift and Twist Crunch
This is a Pilates exercise and is excellent for trimming the waist and toning the tummy.
Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Bring the hands behind the back of the neck, lift and twist the upper body to one side and bring your elbow towards the opposite knee.
Inhale, lower back down.
Exhale, lift and twist towards the other side, inhale return to starting position.
Keep this movement going and you can start to speed it up a little bit once you get comfortable with the exercise.
Then, start to extend one leg out as you go.
Keep pulling the lower tummy muscles up and breathe deeply.
To advance it further, you can start to tap the heel of the extended leg on to the floor.
This will work the lower tummy muscles even more therefore giving support and strength to the lower back. Aim for doing it for 30 seconds in one go.
Lie down on your tummy and then come on your palms and toes.
Lift the knees off the floor.
Draw your tummy muscles up and breathe deeply into the side and back of the rib cage. Aim to hold the pose for 30 seconds.
This classic Pilates exercise defines the tummy muscles and promotes a strong and healthy back.
Bring the legs in to a table top position, hip-width apart.
Lift the arms up off the floor and lift the head, neck and chest upwards, being careful not to strain the neck but taking the strain to the tummy. Start to pulse the arms up and down.
If you would like to advance the pose, extend the legs up towards the sky.
Keep the tummy muscles taught and aim to continue for 50 seconds.
Static Tiger Pose
Place your hands and knees on the floor. This is the starting position.
Now lift up one leg and extend the opposite arm. Hold this Static Tiger Pose for 3 deep breaths.
Come back to the starting position and swap sides, extending arm and opposite leg.
You can look down towards the mat to keep the spine in line. This exercise will build core strength.
Sitting Spinal Twist
Sit on the floor and cross your legs.
Place one hand next to your hip and the other on the knee.
Rotate the spine and look over one shoulder into a Sitting Spinal Twist.
Inhale. Exhale back to centre.
Swap sides, rotating and looking over the shoulder. Inhale. Exhale back to centre.
Almost every one wants flat abs today thanks to the stars who have popularized six-packs, eight-packs and what not! And a lot of us also resort to punishing crunches in the gym and mostly end up hurting our backs and necks in the bargain. Here is where eating the right foods, doing the right exercises and trying these yoga poses can help you.
According to Smt Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra, Director of The Yoga Institute, ‘Firstly, weight loss is not just about looking good and getting the perfect figure. It is about being healthy and fit so that we can do our duties well and achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves.To lose weight the yoga way, you need to relax and stop ‘worrying’ about your body fat. AsanaslikeChakrasana– the wheel pose,Vakrasana– the twisted pose,Yashtikasana– the stick pose,Sputa Bhadrasana– the lying down butterfly pose when done regularly can help you lose your belly fat. The advantage of yoga is that all asanas have a multitude of benefits. You won’t just have a flat belly but a healthier body and a relaxed mind as well. Brisk walking twice a day can also help. Remember to pull your stomach in and let it out at the pace of twice a minute while walking.
Please ensure that while doing the asanas you do not press your stomach hard because it may lead to complications and health conditions like hernia. Fitness requires determination, discipline and resolve. It doesn’t demand that you dislike your body and get worked up. The underlying idea is to be more aware of our body, recognize the weak areas and strengthen them. So, enjoy the process of getting fit and let that beautiful smile spread across your face.’ Here are 10 yoga asanas that are sure to help you get a flat belly in no time.
Also known as the chair pose this aasana literally has you positioned as if you are sitting on a chair. This asana helps strengthen the muscles of the lower back, exercises the muscles of the spine, hips and chest. Uthkatasana requires concentration and focus on the muscles being used therefore this asana is known to improve your concentration as well. And, if you want to simply melt away belly fat, tone your thighs and get shapely buttocks, this asana is for you. Read about yoga asanas for weight loss.
Steps to do this pose:
Stand straight on your yoga mat with your hands in namaste in front of you.
Now, bend at the knee such that your thighs are parallel to the floor — as if you are sitting on a chair.
Next, raise your hands above your head (you can keep your hands together or separate) .
Bend your torso slightly forward and breathe. Stay in this position for as long as you can. Try sinking deeper into the position if you can. Remember to breathe normally.
To get out of the pose, simply straighten your knees and bring your hands down to your chest.
Tip: Do not do this pose if you have a knee or back injury. It should be avoided if you suffer from insomnia or bouts of frequent headaches. You can practice this asana when you have your periods, but be sure not to put too much pressure on your lower back. Read about yoga poses to beat insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Asana #2: Vinyasa flow:
Made up of a set of yoga asanas, Vinyasa flow is perfect to get your heart rate up, tone your arms, back and of course your tummy. Made up of three poses – parvatasana or downward facing dog,bhujangasana or cobra pose,Kumbhakasana and back to parvatasana. Most importantly, all these poses are to be done with specific focus on your breath.
Steps to do this pose:
Start this sequence by getting into the downward dog asana. Breathe normally and hold this pose for five breaths.
Now lower your body using your arms to lower your upper body. Breathe out while you do this. Once you are on the floor, lift your chest off the floor so that you are in bhujangasana. Hold this pose for five breaths.
Now breathe out and go into the plank pose. Hold this pose for five breaths
Go back into the downward facing dog and repeat the entire cycle five time.
Tip: The vinyasa flow is to be done slowly with focus on the muscles you are using while doing the exercises. While this can certainly be something that is tough on your body, make sure that you do no overdo it.
Also known as the boat pose this asana is a great way to tone your abs. it not only strengthens the back and abdominal muscles but also tones your legs and arms. So if you are looking for that complete body workout, this asana is for you.
Steps to do this pose:
Lie down flat on your yoga mat, with your feet together and your arms besides your body.
Now breathe in and as you exhale lift your chest off the floor. Simultaneously lift your feet off the ground (to a ten degree angle). Keep your arms straight and keep your fingers outstretched towards your toes.
Make sure your eyes, finger and toes are all in one line.
You will experience stain on the muscles within your belly as your muscles contract. Hold this pose for five to ten breaths.
To get out of this asana, exhale slowly and come back down to the starting position.
Tip: Avoid doing this asana if you have low blood pressure, severe headache, migraine, have a spinal injury, are pregnant or menstruating. Read get a flat belly and rock-hard abs with cross-body abs crunch.
Asana #4: Setubandhasana:
Also known as the bridge pose, this asana works exclusively on your spine and hip joints. It also helps relieve pain, stiffness and discomfort in these regions and helps resolve any disorders associated with the neck, arms and palms. This pose also helps keep your blood pressure under control, helps to relax the mind, improves digestion, relieves the symptoms of menopause in women relieves respiratory problems. (Read: Top 10 yoga poses to keep diabetes under control)
Steps to do this pose:
Lie flat on your yoga mat, with your feet flat on the floor.
Now exhale and push up, and off the floor with your feet.
Raise your body up such that your neck and head are flat on the mat and the rest of your body is in the air. You can use your hands to push down for added support.
If you are flexible you can even clasp your fingers just below your raised back for that added stretch. The key here is to not overexert or hurt yourself while doing this pose.
Tip: Avoid doing this pose if you have a neck or back injury.
Asana #5: Downward facing dog with knees to nose pulse:
This is a variation of the downward facing dog where you pulse your leg (bent at the knee) towards your nose. This is a great asana to melt away the fat from your lower abdomen since those are the muscles get most exercised.
Steps to do this pose:
Get into the downward dog position.
Now bend your right leg at the knee and bring it forwards towards your nose. Breathe out as you do this.
Next, place the leg back and repeat the process with the other leg.
Continue this exercise for ten cycles or more.
Asana #6: Plank:
Kumbhakasana also known as the plank asana is the simplest yet most effective pose in yoga. It strengthens and tones your arms, shoulders, back, buttocks, thighs and not to mention your abs. With all the focus on your core, this asana is great for runners and is the best aasana to get rock hard abs.
Steps to do this pose:
Lie flat on your tummy on the floor or your yoga mat.
Place your palms next to your face and bend your feet so that the toes are pushing off the ground.
Push off your hands and raise your buttock into the air.
Your legs should be flat on the floor as far as possible and your neck should be loose. This is known as the downward dog or adho mukha svanasana.
Once here, inhale and lower your torso so that your arms are perpendicular to the floor and your shoulders and chest are directly over your arms. Remember to keep your fingers from flaring out and keep them close together. You should feel your stomach muscles tighten. Hold this pose for as long as you can.
To get out of this pose, exhale and gently lower your body to the floor (just like you would come out of a push up). You can end this pose by either doing bhujangasana or simply roll to your side and push off your hands to the sitting position.
Tip: If you have back or shoulder injuries or have high blood pressure avoid doing this pose. You may also want to read 6 diet tips to lose belly fat.
Asana #7: Side plank:
A variation to the traditional plank asana, the side plank is great to strengthen the muscles of the arms, belly and legs. It also strengthens the wrists and stretches the muscles at the back of the legs.
Steps to do this pose:
Assume the position for the plank pose and then as you inhale stack your right foot on the edge of the right foot.
Now use your left hand and raise your body up such that it positioned sideways. Make sure your left hand is directly below your left shoulder to ensure your body has the maximum support.
The edge of your left foot should be your only support apart from your left hand.
Now slowly move your right hand up such that it is perpendicular to your body.
Hold this position for five to ten breaths
To return to the starting position, go back to the plank pose.
Asana #8:Veerbhadrasana 1
Also known as the Warrior 1 pose, this aasana stretches your back, strengthens your thighs, buttock and tummy. It also helps in making you more focused. It opens up your chest so you can breathe better. Moreover, this is an excellent pose to melt away the fat from your belly.
Steps to do this pose:
Stand on your yoga mat with your feet together and hands by your side.
Now extend your right leg forward and keep your left leg extended backwards.
Gently bend your right knee so that you get into the lunge position.
Next, twist your torso to face your bent right leg. Slightly turn your left foot sideways (about 400-600) to give you that extra support.
Exhale, straighten your arms and raise your body up and away from your bent knee. Stretch your arms upwards and slowly tilt your torso backwards so your back forms and arch.
Stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable and breathe normally.
To get out of this pose exhale and straighten your right knee. Now push off your right leg and come back to your original position. You can use your hands to support you. Do not rush out of this pose; you might injure your back or legs. Repeat this aasana for the other leg as well.
Tip: If you have high blood pressure, shoulder, knee or back trouble, please perform this pose under the guidance of a trained teacher.
Also known as warrior pose 2, this is an aasana is a continuation of the veerbhadrasana I. It is great to strengthen the muscles in your back, thighs, abdomen and core – helping you get a flat belly in no time.
Steps to do this pose:
Follow the same steps as Veerbhadrasana I, but instead of raising your hands above your head twist your torso so you face sideways and raise your hands to either side (so your fingers are extended and are parallel to your extended right and left leg).
Now, turn your head so your eyes are facing in the same direction as your right hand.
Repeat this posture for the other leg as well.
Tip: If you suffer from diarrhea or high blood pressure do not do this pose.
Asana #10: Veerbhadrasana 3:
Another variation of the first two poses, the warrior 3 pose is great to strengthen the muscles of the ankles and legs, improve balance and concentration and tones your shoulders and back. But the most beneficial part of this asana is that it helps tone the muscles of your belly – helping you get rid of that stubborn belly fat.
Steps to do this pose:
Get into the warrior 1 position.
Now, while extending your upper body forward and straightening your front leg, lift your other leg off the floor.
Bend your body forward at the waist while extending your hand forwards.
Hold this position for about five breaths and then slowly get out of the asana by going back into the warrior 1 pose.
Tip: you might lose balance while doing this asana initially. But don’t give up and keep at it , eventually your sense of balance will improve and you will be able to do the pose flawlessly. Also read how foods with low glycemic index helps to maintain weight.