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.