Crunches, planks, sit ups… all of this exercising and you still have that stubborn flab that just doesn’t seem to want to leave your midsection! Do not lose hope. You are building muscle – it’s just being covered up under a layer of fat. Getting rid of fat can’t be done by exercising alone. One must also change up their diet if they hope to really have that slim and trim tummy that they have always wanted. If you are about to lose hope, try these diet tips and tricks below to help cinch down your waist.
Eat more Fiber
More and more people are not obtaining an adequate amount of fiber in their diet, something that a lot of nutritionists say are attributing to the increasing rate of obesity in North America. We should be consuming a minimum of 25 grams of fiber a day, but instead we tend to be eating somewhere between 10 and 20 grams of fiber a day.
There are three reasons why fiber will help you lose weight: fiber will help the food move through your body more quickly and efficiently, so it helps clean out your digestive tract. Secondly, it helps fill up your stomach and keep you feeling full for longer – meaning you eat less, and also crave less fatty and sugary foods that cause you to gain weight. Lastly, foods with fiber are satisfying for us to eat! Fiber takes a while to chew, so we take our time eating and pace ourselves better. This helps prevent overeating.
There are good carbs, and there are bad carbs. Bad carbs lurk all around us, trying to tempt us in with white pastas, sugary foods, crackers, and cakes. Choose good carbs, and your body will store the foods as energy as opposed to fat. Good carbs are:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grain foods, such as brown rice, pasta, and 100% whole wheat bread
It’s easy to switch from “bad” carbs to “good” carbs, so start removing any “white” foods and replace them with whole grain or “brown” whole foods instead.
Be Aware of your Sodium Intake
Sodium is good for us and it is a necessary part of our diet, but most of us have a diet that is too high in sodium and salt. As a matter of fact, on average, we consume any where from six times to ten times the amount of sodium we actually require in our diet. This is because of the processed foods we eat, prepackaged frozen meals, and the take out that we all enjoy. Sodium causes for our bodies to retain water and bloat, and can cause many other serious health issues worse than simply bloating. Try to keep the sodium intake to 500 milligrams or so a day.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking a lot of water will not only help prevent bloating, but it will also help keep you feeling full for longer. This is particularly true if you eat more fiber, as suggested earlier. Water also helps flush out the toxins that may be causing fat to accumulate in our bodies, so make sure you are drinking those 6 to 8 glasses a day.
NOTE:What we drink often causes those “sneaky” calories to sneak past us. Before you grab that coffee with sugar and cream, that soda or pour that glass of wine, remember that each of these drinks have well over 100 calories per serving, so if you are calorie counting, make sure you count what you drink, too.