In fact, being overweight does not necessarily mean having bad health. There are many overweight people who have excellent health and many people with a weight within normal rates but with metabolic problems associated with obesity (Ruderman, Schneider and Berchtold, 1981).
This surprising statement is explained by the fact that the fat under the skin is not a problem (at least not from a health point of view), but the fat accumulated in the abdominal cavity can be (Hamdy, Porramatikul and Al -Ozairi, 2006).
To know if you could be at risk of suffering health problems because of abdominal fat you should measure your waist and check if it exceeds 102 cm if you are male or 88 cm if you are female. If this is so, even though your overweight is not alarming, you should take steps to get rid of this fat. Let’s know the most effective methods for this.
Avoid sugar above all
The added sugars are extremely harmful and only have harmful effects on our metabolism (Stanhope, Schwarz and Havel, 2013).
Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose in equal parts. The liver can only metabolize a significant amount of fructose, so when we ingest refined sugars; it becomes saturated and is forced to transform fructose into fat, which is equivalent to accumulating more fat in the abdomen (Bray, 2007; Stanhope et al., 2009). This causes, besides the bad aesthetic effect, that we develop an insulin resistance as well as a multitude of metabolic problems (Pollock et al., 2012).
The sugars that are in liquids are worse in this sense, since they are not registered by the brain in the same way as solid calories are, which means that if we drink sugary drinks, in the end we will be consuming a total number of calories major (Malik, Schulze and Hu, 2006),
Therefore, we must eliminate these concoctions from our diet immediately, including fruit juices, some sports drinks, coffees and teas that contain added sugar. Instead, it is advisable to take fruit, which also contains a large amount of fiber that can mitigate the negative effects of fructose.
Eat more protein
Protein is the most important macronutrient when we want to lose weight as it can significantly reduce our food cravings, accelerate our metabolism and help us consume up to 441 fewer calories a day (Veldhorst, Westerterp-Plantenga and Westerterp, 2009; Leidy, Tang, Armstrong , Martin and Campbell, 2011).
Therefore, if we want to lose abdominal fat, our best bet will be to add enough protein to our diet, since it can even avoid the rebound effect of gaining weight after leaving a diet (Aller et al., 2014). This means that the total calories we eat in our diet should contain between 25-30% protein, needing to obtain it from sources such as meat, eggs, fish, seafood, poultry and dairy.
In case you cannot reach the minimum requirements, it is advisable to take a quality protein supplement. Another good idea is to cook your meals with coconut oil, since about two tablespoons can help us slightly reduce our belly (Liau, Lee, Chen and Rasool, 2011).
Cut out carbohydrates
We currently know that in order to lose weight and abdominal fat, low-carbohydrate diets are more effective than low-fat diets (Dyson, Beatty and Matthews, 2007; Browning et al., 2011). In addition, thanks to lower hydrates we can obtain very fast results when we want to lose weight, since we manage to reduce the amount of liquids in our body.
Therefore, we must completely eliminate refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta …) and take more protein. If what you want is to lose fat more quickly, then you must follow a ketogenic diet, where you would trim the hydrates up to 50 gr. a day and in which your body would use accumulated fat as its main sources of energy. However, remember that this type of diet is necessary to perform under the supervision of a professional.
Eat foods rich in fiber
Normally food fiber is considered as a nutrient that can help in weight loss, which is true, but we must bear in mind that not all types of fiber have the same effectiveness for it, being soluble fibers the only ones that they can have a real effect on body weight.
This is because these fibers bind with water, form a gel that is located in the stomach and significantly reduce digestion and absorption of nutrients, which supposes a prolonged feeling of satiety and, therefore, to be less hungry ( Burton-Freeman, 2000).
Adding between 10-15 grams of fiber a day may be enough to notice these beneficial effects (Hairston et al., 2012). For this, you must consume a lot of vegetables and fruit. Legumes and oats can also help you meet the minimum requirements.
If you do not get enough fiber through food, you can try taking a fiber supplement such as glucamannan , one of the most effective soluble food fibers that exists to help reduce abdominal fat (Sood, Baker and Coleman ., 2008).
Do aerobic exercise
Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for yourself, for your health and, of course, to lose abdominal fat. However, the panacea in this case is not to perform a direct work on the abdominals, since it is not possible to lose localized fat in a certain area of our body.
On the contrary, aerobic exercise has been shown to be effective in reducing our abdomen (walking, running, swimming, etc …). Not only that, but it prevents us from recovering the kilos lost after having gone through a hard stage of thinning, so it is also convenient to practice it also if we want to perform a stage of maintenance of our weight (Ismail, Keating, Baker and Johnson , 2012; Hunter et al., 2010).
Monitor your meals
It is evident that the quantity and origin of the food we eat is a fundamental factor to lose fat, but few people are aware of what we are really eating.
That is, people tend to say that they are following a “low-carbohydrate” or “high-protein” diet, but they usually underestimate or overestimate the total amount of calories they eat, so it’s a good idea to calculate carefully, at least for a while, the total calories of our diet and the origin of these.
This is not necessary to do it forever, but from time to time it can be beneficial to help you realize about the changes you must make in your diet. In this way, it will be easier for you to meet the objectives proposed above.
Simply follow your diet every few months to reevaluate if you are achieving your goals or if you need a change. Once you know what you have to eat daily, it will not be necessary for you to have such exhaustive control since you will have got used to eating well.