I used to be a svelte 51kg in university around 20 years ago (haven't we all been there...sigh) and after marriage and pregnancy I hovered around 54-55kg. Recently, out of the blue I hit 57!! I was rather shocked at the weight gain that had slowly crept up on my belly and thighs within just over a few months!! Gosh!! My belly is able to do its own jelly jiggle and it was awful when I became the butt of all the fat jokes at home :(
I realised that I had gotten lazy because of getting a live-in maid. So it was quite fitting when she left in early Oct last year (barely 4 months with us) citing incompatibility with my vegetarian cuisine at home (Filipinos thrive on white rice and meat) !!
Now after 3 months through all the huffing and puffing of laundry, cooking, cleaning both my house and my bunnies' house, I was able to shed 2 kg! Yay me!! But I would still like to lose the stubborn belly fat that just refuses to bid farewell! That's my first resolution for the new year - to get to 52kg by June 2017.
Having a temporary writer's block, I just peeled my eyes from my laptop screen and looked out at the beautiful ocean view of the Andaman Sea out side our hotel room in Phuket, Thailand (See picture below). I was blogging this while on holiday...I am not kidding- this was the view we woke up to every morning for a week. What a lovely way to blog... what a lovely view to look at to help put my thoughts into words :)
Back to the topic at hand, how do I get rid of that bulging belly fat that literally blocks my view of my feet and that makes me look 3 months preganant?? I know many of us hide under not-so-figure-hugging clothes and blame our age for not being able to lose that stubborn belly. But when my pants refuses to buckle and when my T shirt feels way too snug around my middle, I knew I HAD to do something.
Facts about Belly Fat
1) Belly fat is the worse of all the fats in our body
It is associated with Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, osteoporosis colorectal cancer, high blood pressure.... Even though genes can be a factor, poor lifestyle choices can make it worse.
2) Fatty foods are not the main cause of belly fat
Excess calories of any kind can increase your waistline. Apart from butter, fatty meats, cheese and other fatty food, if your intake is greater than the amount of activity you engage in, be aware of that soon tightening pants and skirts.
3) Calories from Alcohol is the worse choice for belly fat
Gram to gram - alcohol has as many calories as fat. When you drink alcohol, your liver is too busy burning off alcohol than burning off the fat. That's why we see so many men who drink do continue to do so with beer bellies.
4) Trans Fat not Saturated Fat is the devil of the lot
Saturated fat is found naturally in food like in Coconut and Palm oil. Trans Fat, on the other hand, is man made and is created by partially hydrogenating the oil in foods like biscuits, doughnuts, peanut butter, margarines and crackers. The alarming fact is that trans fat not only increases our belly fat, it also redistributes fat tissue to the abdomen from other parts of the body. Yikes - double whammy!
5) Men tend to get more belly fat than women
Due to our sex hormone differences, men tend to store more fat in the abdominal area than women, in general. But after the age of 40, when the estrogen levels drop in women, the fat from our hips and thighs get redistributed to our abdomen! Looks like we can never escape from this darn fat!!
6) Belly Fat is not the hardest fat to lose.
Contrary to popular belief, when you lose weight, you are most likely to lose it in the midsection first.
How Do We Get Rid of our Middle Jellies?
1) Consume lots of green tea, soy and blue berries
Green Tea has catechins which help to stimulate the body to burn calories and enhance the loss of belly fat. Blue berries have also shown some promise in reducing our waistline in lab tests.
2) Avoid any kind of fast food
Many fast food are typically high in fat, calorie dense and nutrient deficient. When eaten frequently, it leads to over consumption of calories, weight gain and ultmately an increase in belly fat. Have it in moderation if you can't entirely wipe it out of yor food intake. A calorie controlled diet rich in
3) Avoid all soft drinks - diet or otherwise
Substituting regular soft drinks with diet ones is not going to help you to lose weight. In fact, it could lead to weight gain. All sweetened drinks should be abolished from your kitchen to help you stick to your goal of losing that belly fat. Added sugars means added calories! Stick to natural fruit juices or just good old water..
4) Add fibre to your diet
To help trim your waistline, add wholegrains to your diet. You must have heard this a million times. Brown rice, brown bread and brown noodles - all these are good for you as they lower blood glucose levels and helps you feel full longer so that you don't much on unhealthy snacks between your main meals. If you are like me and have to have white rice for health reasons, reduce your portions. And fill up with fruits. It works!! I swear :)
Popcorn is a whole grain food that can boost fibre intake. But please don't overload with butter and sugar to make it taste better. It just deviates from our plan.
5) Exercise, exercise, exercise
This one is a no brainer. Aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming helps in overall loss in body fat. Spot exercise, ie exercise focused on certain areas like crunches, sit ups or other abdomen centered exercies may help to strengthen your core muscles. But they will not help lose that belly fat specifically. Exercise at least 30-60 mins most days of the week.
Like everything in life, it is easier said than done. Its not going to be easy to follow all these advice but do try to make some changes to your lifestyle. I am positive you will see your pants, dresses and T shirts fitting a whole lot better. Good Luck!