Dear Reader

Stomach fat can be quite stubborn to loose and as with all weight-loss, it requires an  overall approach to health and healthy eating. To give you proper guidance, a full health history assessment would be advisable, in which I will be able to look at your age, your basic lifestyle and eating habits. My guidance for this question will therefore be more general, as I do not have specific and personal history on you to go on.

 

What we know for sure is that fat in the belly area, is something you want to get rid of.  This kind of fat storage is dangerous and unhealthy in the long run. Fat in this area of your anatomy, surrounds some of the mayor organs in the body. Fat cells do not just contain fat, they also become a storehouse for excess toxins and wastes that the body struggled to excrete via the normal detoxification processes. Fat-soluble toxins are: heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives, food additives, pollutants, plastics and other environmental chemicals. When these toxins accumulate in the fat cells, they can become problematic due to their proximity to the organs and glands that they surround (Liver, kidneys, adrenal, Intestines, reproductive organs, etc.)

So how do we get rid of unwanted belly fat? Here are my 7 suggestions that you can apply immediately:

1) Avoid sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks!

  • The Liver metabolizes sugar (glucose and fructose) and eating large amounts of sugar, can cause the liver to be overwhelmed, which in turn will lead to the liver turning all this excess sugar into fat.
    • The WHO has established 6 teaspoons for adult females and 9 teaspoons for adult males as the allowed sugar intake per day.
    • One slice of whole-wheat bread provides you already with 6g of sugar!
    • One can of Coca-Cola equals 9g of sugar!

2) Eat lots of good quality proteins.

  • Protein is one of the most important macronutrients for weight-loss and evidence suggests that it is particularly effective for belly-fat loss.
  • Good proteins include: Tripe, livers, Intestines, trotters, eggs, fish, chicken, beef, pork and lamb.
  • Vegetarian forms of protein would be: broccoli, peas, spinach, morogo, leafy greens, avocado, nuts, beans, quinoa and tofu.
  • Daily recommended amount per
    • Adult male: 56-91 grams per day
    • Adult female: 46-75 grams per day

3) Don’t be shy to eat good fats.

  • For many years fat has been demonized as the cause of weight-gain and some of the mayor diseases like obesity, heart conditions and diabetes 2. Today science shows clearly that we need healthy fats in our diets for the healthy functioning of the whole body.
  • Healthy fats are:
    • Holsum, Coconut oil, olive oil and Butter
    • Dairy: Amazi, Full cream milk, Gouda and Cheddar cheese, Full Cream
    • Omega 3 and 6 oils from fish, flax seeds, avocados, eggs, etc.
    • Avocados, peanut butter, olives, nuts and seeds like pecans, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds – these are all known to decrease belly fat.
  • Unhealthy fats are:
    • Trans Fats – through a process called hydrogenation, hydrogen is added to vegetable oils to make it more solid. Most factory produced products like margarine, biscuits, pastries, chips, deep-fried foods, pizza and ready-made oven-baked produce, all contain trans fats.

4) Avoid drinking too much Alcohol.

  • Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to increased fat storage around the waist. Think beer tummy 🙂
  • You don’t need to give up completely, but limiting your daily intake will help significantly.
  • Binge drinking on certain days also increases belly fat and is also more harmful to the body, than drinking one drink per day.

5) Cut back on the Carbs!

  • A diet low in carbohydrates is known to be beneficial for loosing weight and specifically for belly fat.
  • You don’t need to follow a strict low-carb diet, but it is important to avoid the refined and heavily processed carbs and starches (bread, pasta, pizza, chips).
  • Eat whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and fresh vegetables instead. The closer to its natural form the better – think farm to plate vs. farm to factory to shop to plate.

6) Catch some quality ZZZS!

  • The saying goes: ” sleep more, eat and weigh less!” Research confirms that little sleep (5 hours per night) can increase weight gain over time. Lack of sleep disrupts the circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycle) and can lead to slower and less effective metabolism and imbalanced appetite regulation.
  • Aim for quality sleep of 7,5 hours per night. Quality sleep would be uninterrupted sleep or deep sleep and 7,5 hours would give you 5 full sleep cycles of 90 minutes each.

7) Exercise!

  • Your mind and body benefits from exercise and research back this up by showing that being active for only 30 min every day can lead to decreased body weight, a smaller waist line and boosts your mood!
  • Any movement is better than none and it doesn’t need to cost you money:
    • Get off the taxi or bus one stop earlier and brisk walk the rest to work.
    • “Skinny girls take the stairs”. By using the stairs instead of the elevator you can raise your heart rate and get to move your booty!
    • Take the kids to the community park, go for walks in nature or go cycling with friends – the important thing is to enjoy whatever movement you do and do it often.

Let us know how you are doing with these pointers and keep on keeping on! Your health is your only true wealth and you can do it!

Sincerely
Liesl Viljoen

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