Belly fat can irritate you when you can't fit in your favourite pairs of jeans. But in some cases it can prove to be hazardous to your health.
Belly fat is the visceral fat of the body and if left unchecked, it can increase the risk of obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart diseases and other health conditions.
Many people do think that having a good BMI (Body Mass Index) is a marker for health, but really thin people may also have hidden belly fat that can put them at risk of health complications. This is especially the case in winters when people find it hard to sweat it out and shed the extra kilos.
Winter is all about hot gulab jamuns, gajar ka halwa and hot winter recipes with lots of spices and ghee.
People also tend to become lazy and cut down their physical activity due to the drop in temperature. This can affect their health negatively.
But that doesn't have to be so.
FIT brings you a list of 10 winter foods that can help you reduce belly fat.
People tend to drink more alcohol in winters to beat the cold. But excess amounts of alcohol can be harmful nonetheless, so make sure to keep a check on your alcohol intake irrespective of the season.
According to the US NIH, alcohol promotes central obesity which includes increase in abdominal fat and around the waist.
Cut Down On Sweets
As we talk about winters, we can't forget the hot gulab jamuns, gajar ka halwa, dry fruit laddoos loaded with ghee, and so many other kinds of sweets and halwas that are staples of our winter diet.
But of course, as much as we love to gorge on them, such foods are loaded with sugar, and according to the US NIH, sugar contains fructose that increases the risk of obesity, heart diseases, type-2 diabetes and fatty liver.
The high sugar content may result in abdominal fat gain. You can replace these sugars with jaggery and real honey easily available in the market.
Don't Forget to Exercise
Winters are all about cosy blankets and warm sweaters, sitting near the fireplace or with an electric heater.
The dropping temperature and chilly winters do not allow you to leave your bed and get out on a run or to the gym to exercise.
Prepare yourself as the winter begins and include a mix of medium and high-intensity exercises in your workout regime. According to the US NIH, a mix of high-intensity and medium-instensity exercises are great for reducing belly fat.
Don't Forget To Drink Water
Some people may have the misconception that they do not need to drink as much water in winters. But it is possible to get dehydrated in the winters as well, and so It's important to remember that water is necessary at all times irrespective of the weather.
Water also keeps your tummy full, thereby curbing your appetite and overeating.
Eat Soluble Fibre
Foods with soluble fibres absorb water inside the body and forms a gel like substance that passes slowly down the digestive system making you full for longer, reducing the urge to snack throughout the day.
According to the US NIH, 10 grams of soluble fibre can help reduce the belly fat by 3.7 percent over a 5-year period of time.
Foods that contain soluble fibre include flaxseeds, avocados, blackberries, legumes and sprouts.
Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats can be found in sandwich or pizza spreads and packaged foods. They are made by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats like soybean oil.
According to the US NIH, these fats have been associated with the increase risk of abdominal fat, heart diseases, inflammation and insulin resistance. Moreover, a person with regular consumption of trans fats increase the chances of abdominal fat by 33 percent.
That is why you should read the food labels carefully before buying the products and these fats are generally mentioned as hydrogenated fats on the food labels.