Swimsuit season is on and having a toned, flat tummy is on most people’s goals list. But vanity aside, the hidden health risks of belly fat are many and varied. So while we all know there’s no magic formula for achieving that 6 pack, let’s at least make sure we fight off the onset of some of belly fat’s most commonly associated medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Riham Shamseddine, Senior Dietitian and Centre Manager for Right Bite, the proven expert in nutritional advice and regarded as the pioneer in UAE’s healthy meal delivery service, shares her top five tips that will make your flat belly and wellness goals easier to achieve.
Tip #1: Curb the carbs
Save the carbs for breakfast and have an early low-carb dinner. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy and they help us feel less hungry throughout the day. We can always include them as part of breakfast and lunch as whole-grains, such as whole-grain bread, quinoa or brown rice. However, it is advisable to cut your carb intake down for dinner by opting for a low-carb meal instead (remember, veggies also contain some carbs) and eating before 7 PM to make sure we maintain our flat belly.
Tip #2: Size matters
If we are dieting that doesn’t mean we need to abstain from our favorite dishes… but size does matter! Portion control is crucial in curbing our appetite and controlling our weight. A helpful trick – eat slowly – that way we allow enough time for messages from the stomach to reach the brain and signal us that we are full!
Tip #3: Work it! Work it!
Planking strengthens our abdominal muscles and helps in burning the fat around that area. While doing a plank, pull in your belly button and breathe in and out!
Tip #4: Flush it out
Have your daily dose of antioxidants and get rid of free radicals by drinking your veggies or by having green tea mixed with slices of lemon and vegetables. Green juices are low in calorie, light and high in fiber, plus they keep your body hydrated if you are not a big fan of plain water!
Tip #5: Snack smart
Snacking balances your blood sugars and boosts your metabolism. Try including some protein in that afternoon snack to help you stay full until dinner. Always have at least 2 small snacks in between your meals to assure less hunger pangs and cravings until it’s time for your next meal. People who skip their snack tend to be more hungry and they are likely to eat bigger portions on their next meal.