The Most Effective Tips to Bust Belly Fat NaturallyDr. Surya Bhagwati
When it comes to weight loss and belly fat reduction, we instantly think of calorie counting and strict diets. No wonder, most of us fail to lose weight or go on to gain it back twice as fast. There is now a growing awareness that such rigid approaches to fat loss can actually be counterproductive. If only people paid more attention to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, this would have been recognized much earlier.
In Ayurveda, weight loss is best achieved through balanced nutrition, moderation, and healthy choices, not through starvation diets. This leads to slower, but sustainable weight loss. Belly fat can be particularly stubborn though, so here are some additional tips to help speed up belly fat loss.
10 Tips to Lose Belly Fat
1. Take a Fiber Supplement
In Ayurveda, natural foods are always recommended before supplements, but in this case it won’t hurt to also take the supplement. Most of you are probably already familiar with isabgul, which is the most natural and widely sold fiber supplement in India. It is basically psyllium husk. You can also consume other Ayurvedic herbal medicines for weight loss and digestion that contain lembodi and other types of fiber. To increase fiber intake through your diet, simply consume more fibrous foods like whole grains, fresh fruits, veggies, seeds, and legumes.
Studies show that increased fiber intake can promote weight loss because fiber increases feelings of satiety, reduces food cravings, and therefore makes it easier to control calorie intake.
2. Power Up with Protein
Protein is the single most important nutrient for weight loss, not just for bodybuilding. Evidence suggests that high protein intake can reduce food cravings by as much as 60 percent, while it also helps boost metabolism. Studies also suggest that protein could be particularly helpful when it comes to reducing abdominal or belly fat.
Protein is only counterproductive if you boost your intakes with protein shakes and powders, while also consuming the same diet. Instead, protein-rich foods should replace other foods in your diet – especially high calorie processed foods that are loaded with simple carbs.
3. Fight Fat with Fats
For the longest time, fat has been demonized and the food industry has promoted fat free products. While trans fats from junk food are unhealthy, there are also healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These can increase feelings of fullness and satisfaction from meals. Incidentally, fatty acids from foods like olive or sesame oil, nuts and seeds are known to offer a wide range of health benefits. Such foods are highly regarded in Ayurveda, but it is important that you stick with natural foods as these contain the healthier fats. At the same time, exercise moderation as foods with a good fat content also tend to be high in calories.
4. Ditch Processed Foods & Beverages
High sugar intake seems to be the driving force behind our obesity epidemic and added sugar is abundant in almost all processed foods and beverages. From biscuits and packaged juices to ketchup and sauces, almost all contain added sugar. This is likely to lead to higher insulin resistance, systemic inflammation, and the buildup of visceral and abdominal fat. Sugar is so insidious because we don’t even realize how much we consume and it is so addictive.
Additionally, processed foods are mainly comprised of simple carbs that are high in calories and low in nutrition. There is ample evidence linking such food intake to the buildup of belly fat.
5. Work Up a Sweat
You don’t need to hit the gym and adopt any rigorous exercise routine. Just make an effort to be physically active. Aerobic exercise or cardio is a particularly good way to burn some belly fat, but you need to be consistent. Keeping this in mind it would be better to start with a daily 5 minute walk, rather than attempting a 20 minute high intensity workout twice a week. Research shows that walking for about 50 to 70 minutes a week can significantly reduce belly fat in a span of just 12 weeks.
6. Pump Some Iron
Strength training is another great way to bust some belly fat, especially in terms of keeping it off. Whether you lift weights or use resistance bands, strength straining is focused on building muscle mass, rather than weight loss. This muscle growth occurs at the expense of fat deposits, helping you achieve your goals. Just as importantly, muscles are metabolically active – they will increase calorie expenditure even when your body is at rest.
7. Build Core Strength
When it comes to building core strength, nothing beats yoga. Yoga asanas like navasana, chakrasana, marjariasana, mayurasana, and phalakasana are some of the best exercises to build core muscles. In fact, plank exercises that are incredibly popular derive from phalakasana – the plank pose. Crunches and squats will also help in this regard.
These exercises are so effective at encouraging belly fat loss because of the dozens of muscles that are part of the core section, including the large abdominals. Just add small core workouts to your routine at least twice or thrice a week.
8. Learn to Relax
Stress is one of the most overlooked causes of weight gain and especially of belly fat. Aside from the fact that stress causes you to eat more food and make poor choices, the stress hormone – cortisol also makes your body more likely to retain and accumulate fat around the tummy. This makes it important to adopt stress reduction and relaxation activities.
Meditation is your best bet and can be used to consciously relax your mind and body whenever you start to feel stressed. In addition to meditation, Ayurvedic herbs and medicines containing brahmi, ashwagandha, and other adaptogenic herbs can also help lower stress levels.
9. Get Better Sleep
Most people don’t connect sleep with weight loss, but its importance is well recognized in Ayurveda. Poor quality sleep is known to cause a wide range of health problems. Studies now show that it can also lead to greater weight gain, including abdominal fat. These effects are more pronounced when the duration of sleep is shorter and are less likely to be a problem if you get 7 or more hours of quality sleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep or suffer from insomnia, you can once again turn to Ayurvedic remedies. Meditation is effective at promoting relaxation and inducing sleep, while herbal medicines containing brahmi and jyesthimadhu are known to have sedative effects.
10. Try Herbal Tea and Supplements
Herbs occupy an exalted position in Ayurvedic medicine and with good cause. Aside from treating a wide range of diseases, herbs can also be used to aid weight loss. You can get these benefits by consuming herbs in herbal teas, home remedies, or Ayurvedic weight loss medicines. Green tea and ginger tea are good choices for herbal teas, but make sure to use honey as a sweetener instead of sugar.
When using Ayurvedic herbal supplements, look for products that contain some of these herbs – amla, guggulu, nagarmoth, and gokhru. These herbs work through both direct and indirect actions, such as reducing food cravings, improving digestion, and enhancing fat metabolism.
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