When it comes to weight loss, in particular losing baby weight, there’s one area that often proves to be incredibly stubborn; the belly. I don’t know about you but this is the area I find the hardest to shift and so do most mums.
Whether it’s post pregnancy weight, a few extra pounds that have creeped up over the months/years or just the spot you find impossible to shift weight from, losing weight from the belly area is usually towards the top of most mums weight loss wish list.
In fact, if you type the word ‘lose’ and the letters ‘be’ into Google, the search function will predict that you’d like the search terms to be ‘lose belly fat‘. It’s a popular topic indeed!
This is probably due to the stubborn nature of that extra layer of padding that we can sometimes find around our middle. Pregnancy, indulging in one too many high calorie, high fat meals, daily diets including lots of wheat or diary or neglecting our exercise routine are all primary causes for belly expansion. Also, certain body types have more difficulty with belly fat. The apple shape (which means you carry weight in belly and hips) find weight loss in this area hard. I know, I’m one of them!
Stress and consuming high sugar foods and processed carbohydrates that cause our blood sugar to see-saw crazily are more recent culprits to the weight gain game, making it even more difficult for all of us leading busy lives to budge this stubborn layer.
And while losing weight from one particular area, or ‘spot reducing’ isn’t generally possible or advisable (you need to follow a healthy weight loss plan for your whole body, not just for your tum), there are certain foods that you can include in your diet that may help shift that stubborn layer once and for all.
These foods help target both types of fat; Subcutaneous fat, or the fat that we see just beneath the skin and that pops out over the top of our jeans and visceral fat, which is the sneakier of the two and is found beneath the surface of the skin, wrapped around your internal organs.
We want to try and reduce (or eliminate) both these types of fat for aesthetic as well as health reasons.
Fat fighting foods
Avocado – While it may be relatively high in calories, avocadoes are packed full of mono-unsaturated fats AKA the healthy type of fat that keeps your body functioning optimally while helping to flatten your belly.
Salmon and tuna – Oily fish like salmon and tuna contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy substances help reduce cravings while ensuring that your metabolism is working as efficiently as possible, in turn helping to burn excess fat. Try and include fish on your menu twice a week.
Almonds – Nuts have proven themselves to be a fantastic snack for healthy weight loss. Almonds in particular are have been found to help control cravings while the magnesium, protein and fibre content helps the body to build more muscle (and hold on to less fat).
Low fat dairy – Dairy products like skim milk, reduced fat cheese and cottage cheese and reduced fat yoghurt, provide our bodies with valuable protein, which in turn promotes a balanced blood sugar level and keeps us feeling full. These foods are also packed full of nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D. Studies have found that increasing your calcium intake may lower your risk of abdominal weight gain which is even more reason to sip your Mummy Shape School smoothies with abandon.
Green tea – While the health benefits of this wonder cuppa are widely reported, recent studies have began to confirm that green tea actually acts as an effective remedy for reducing body weight, including belly fat. Try switching your mid-morning cuppa or coffee for a cup of green.. it certainly can’t hurt. If you’re trying to avoid caffeine, choose a decaffeinated variety (available at most supermarkets) for all the health benefits, without the energy burst.