How many miracle diets promise to help you lose belly fat, fast? If you just follow their simple rules (and pay them X amount of money), you’ll lose weight easily and quickly — or so they claim.
Also Read: Top 5 Flat-Belly Exercises
Often, these so-called magical diets are incredibly restrictive, limiting your caloric intake, or requiring you to replace whole meals. Some are even quite risky.
If what you are looking for is a healthy, easy way to reduce the bulk around your middle, avoid these fad diets altogether.
Instead, follow what science says is the number one rule for avoiding belly fat is (drumroll please):
Don’t skip meals.
Sounds crazy, right? You can reduce fat by eating more? The answer is a resounding yes.
A recent study from Ohio State University proves that skipping meals seriously messes up your metabolic processes. Skipping meals triggers your body to build a resistance to insulin, which consequently causes it to store more fat than it usually would. Can you guess where that particular fat tends to be stored?
If you guessed, “in the abdominal area,” you are correct.
One way to reduce belly fat that is really effective is thus simply to eat meals regularly.
Here are the other weight loss benefits of eating regular meals.
You Don’t Graze As Much
Think about it. If you wake up in the morning and force your body to run on empty for hours, you’re going to feel like you are starving. By the time you get to lunch, you’ll be eating a much bigger meal than you need. At the same time, if you’re very hungry, you’re more likely to snack mindlessly, too — and on less-than-healthy foods.
Skipping meals causes you to obsess about food, and make hurried decisions about what to eat. That all adds up to grazing, which, combined with the mess of metabolic activity, can add to extra belly fat.
You Retain Less
Fat isn’t the only thing that causes you to gain weight. If you retain water or waste (due to poor digestion) then you will also weigh more and feel bloated.
Regular digestion can help prevent a bloated belly. If eating three meals a day is a problem for you, try eating several small meals a day instead (just be sure to include a source of fiber in every meal.)
You Don’t Feel Limited
It’s easy to feel restricted when you’re trying to lose weight. Many diet plans involve cutting back and cutting out certain foods and nutrients, but if you’ve got regular meals to look forward to, you’re less likely to feel so limited.
Eating regularly gives you the opportunity to enjoy more flavours and not feel like you are missing out. Think about it: eating regularly means you’re not constantly ravenous, which also means you’re more likely to choose smaller portion. A small slice of that chocolate cake you’ve been craving is perfectly acceptable as part of a reasonable diet plan.
You Have More Energy
One of the other main advantages of eating regularly is simply that it’s much better for your metabolism. Your basic metabolic rate (BMR) is largely influenced by how often you eat, and it controls how your body digests food and distributes nutrients –including fat.
When your BMR is healthy due to regular eating habits, your body is at its best metabolically. Keep in mind that when your body uses energy, that’s a metabolic process too. That’s right –eating regularly contributes to your energy levels.
If you want to make sure you have enough energy to get yourself to the gym, for example, then eating regularly is key.
Food is the body’s main source of energy. Yo-yo dieting between starving and bingeing is terrible for your metabolic process, and has been linked to abdominal weight gain in several studies.
So the next time you think about skipping a meal to help you fit in to those jeans, don’t. You’ll do yourself a favour — and help slim down your waistline in the long run — if you simply allow yourself to eat a healthy, balanced meal when you’re hungry.