Have you put on a few pounds during pandemic? These 5 holistic weight loss tips will trim your belly fat  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
New Delhi: If you’ve put on some weight during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. Weight gain has been highlighted as one of the indirect side effects of the lockdown and other measures put in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19 disease. While many of us started the year with intense fitness resolutions to lose or maintain weight loss, unfortunately, we were greeted with a lockdown period that put a complete stop to our regular fitness regimen. Eating and snacking at any time, the casual binge while working from home might have added to a few inches around the belly area. But fret not, there’s a lot of things you can do instead of worrying about weight gain.
Whether it is being overweight or sudden gain of fat around the waistline, both require immediate attention as health is of utmost priority at the moment and preparing to go back to normal denotes getting our health and fitness back on track. Fat around the waist, also known as central obesity, not only impacts your self-image but overall health as well. Abdominal obesity increases your chances of developing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart disease & hypertension. Having a trim waistline is a desirable trait and these holistic tips from a nutritionist can help reduce your weight and belly fat.
Reduce your belly fat with these holistic tips
Here are a few tips suggested by nutritionist Sheryl Salis, RD, CDE, that can help you lose weight and reduce your waistline:
Keep the stress away
Did you know that stress causes an increase in abdominal fat? When a person is stressed, the body releases a hormone known as cortisol which helps the body control stress. However, this hormone also increases the storage of fat around the abdominal area leading to an increased waistline. Also, during stress, it is often observed that people reach out for comfort food, a habit known as stress eating, which adds to the weight gain.
To overcome stressful times, one can practice yoga and meditation. Simple breathing exercises help calm the mind and relax the body. Yoga asanas such as Vajrasana facilitates digestion and relieves constipation while the Kapalbhati pose aids in digestion and regular practice is shown beneficial for loss of belly fat.
Eat home-cooked meals
Eating outside food is more tempting than eating food prepared at home. Ordering in food regularly not only causes a dent to your pocket but can also impact your health adversely. Eating home-cooked meals and eating right will enable you to achieve your health goals of reducing weight and abdominal girth. Include these foods in your daily diet regularly to manage weight:
- Virgin coconut oil is an oil source containing a high concentration of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which have shown beneficial effects on weight management. Research suggests that regular consumption of virgin coconut oil aids in weight management. 2 teaspoons of VCNO every morning give you a healthy start to the day, it can also be added to smoothies, salad bowls and vegan desserts.
- Apple cider vinegar (with the mother) is a natural remedy for weight loss especially visceral fat (fat around the abdominal area). Apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss by targeting body fat. Daily consumption of apple cider vinegar can lead to reduced belly fat and weight loss in obese people. It is recommended to have 10 ml twice a day preferably before meals diluted in a glass of water before meals.
- Cinnamon is a common kitchen ingredient that helps to reduce belly fat by suppressing appetite and speeding up metabolism. You can make a cinnamon, ginger, honey and lemon drink, which is a great weight loss combination. You can also add a pinch of freshly pounded cinnamon to a glass of water or add it to your coffee, green coffee, green tea, protein shakes and curries.
Cut down on sugar, salt and refined food
Excessive sodium intake causes the body to retain excess water weight, making it difficult to achieve a flat tummy. Similarly, consumption of sugar especially when added to drinks leads to weight gain and other health problems. Refined foods go through several stages of industrial processes which reduces the nutritional value of the food. Refined foods are devoid of fibre and increase blood glucose and triglyceride levels. Therefore, excess consumption of these ingredients allows the body to store and accumulate fat especially around the waist
A disciplined lifestyle includes exercising regularly. Simply eating clean will not reduce your waistline, it is important to pick a fun form of workout you enjoy like zumba, swimming, cycling or other cardio activities. Surya namaskar is also very good to keep the body fit and agile. It is recommended to do 150 mins/week of physical activity to maintain weight and 300 mins/per week to lose weight.
Get adequate sleep
Sleep is often disregarded as an important factor when it comes to weight loss, although it is just as important as your diet and exercise. Not getting enough sleep makes you feel lethargic, increases food cravings and calorie intake, and decreases resting metabolism. Therefore, getting about 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is an essential component to shrink the waistline.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.