If you want rock-hard abs and bulging biceps, you’re probably going to have to sweat it out at the gym. But there are some simple ways you can slim down and reduce belly fat.
Fat around the abdomen can make you self-conscious, but it can also have detrimental effects on your health.
People with higher amounts of belly fat are more likely to develop conditions such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease.
Men with stomach’s above 40 inches and women with tummies bigger than 35 inches are considered obese, according to healthline.com.
Eating more protein is a relatively easy way to help shed unwanted stomach fat.
Protein diets have become big news in the fitness world because they help aid weight loss and promote muscle growth.
Eating more protein has been shown to reduce cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.
One scientific study found “quality protein intake is inversely related with abdominal fat”. The study concluded that people who ate more protein had less belly fat.
The Bupa.co.uk website provides a useful list of healthy sources of protein.
The site states: “In the UK, the largest proportion of our protein comes from meat (especially red meat), followed by cereals and cereal products, and then milk and milk products.
“The trouble with this is that while meat is an excellent source of protein, it can also be high in fat, especially saturated fat.
“Dairy products can also be high in fat. Too much fat in your diet can lead to health problems such as obesity and heart disease.
“It’s best to enjoy a range of healthy sources of protein while trying to avoid having too much saturated fat. Here are some tips on where to start.”
They recommend adding the following foods to your diet to help slash belly fat:
1. Lean meats
Choose lean cuts of meat, including lean mince. Cut any visible fat off your meat, and take the skin off chicken. Grill meat and fish rather than frying.
Lentils are a great alternative to meat, as they’re high in fibre, protein and vitamins and minerals, as well as being low-fat. Try substituting meat with lentils or beans in curries, stews and soups.
Beans are also high in protein, vitamins and minerals.
Black beans contain 15g of protein per cup, but they’re also packed with fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and phytonutrients.
While butter beans are high in iron, copper, manganese, calcium and magnesium.
Try to include two portions of fish a week (including one oily fish like salmon, mackerel or trout).
5. Low-fat dairy products
Go for lower-fat dairy products like milk or cheese. Or if you prefer the full-fat versions, have smaller amounts or have them less often.
Experts at Bupa also recommend limiting your red meat intake to no more than 70g a day and cutting out processed meat like sausages, bacon and burgers .
If you’re following a plant-based diet you’ll be pleased to hear there is a vegan superfood that contains more protein than chicken, beef or eggs.
Spirulina is a form of algae and it contains 57g of protein per 100g serving.
The green powder can be added to juice, smoothie bowls, used in frittatas, pesto or flapjack recipes. It can also be taken in a dried pill form.
Here are six simple vegan protein swaps to help speed up fat burn.