Body Mass Index, BMI, has been the tool for assessing healthy body weight. Research has now pointed to the fact that just BMI is not enough, we need to know our body composition BCA to find out how much fat versus muscle we carry and waist-hip ratio, which is now seen as a critical indicator of health. The later, visceral fat is of bigger concern and has been associated with higher risk of CVD, DM, and cancers. It is also linked to increased LDL, lower HDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
While losing excess weight is important, losing belly fat is critical and also a little difficult. It needs a disciplined regime including diet but more importantly targeted exercise program. So while there are no shortcuts, some common drinks have been found to have a positive effect and support belly fat loss. With winters around the corner and gajar ka halwa, hot sweet tea, and increased appetite are on the doorstep to take us off the track, try replacing these with these drinks:
Its health quotient is well researched and documented. Its role in overall weight loss is also well researched. Green tea is rich in antioxidants polyphenols. Catechins, especially EGCGs (epigallocatechin gallate), has a strong positive co-relation with fat oxidation in humans even in the resting body. In one Chinese study, it was found that green tea helped with reduction in visceral fat. It also helps fill you up, preventing hunger pangs, thereby, adding to reduced overall calorific intake. Cold winter days and a perfect warm cup of health!
Cinnamon is a spice endowed with a number of health benefits. It is very effective in controlling blood sugars and reducing insulin resistance (IR). IR is one of the main causes of increased fat deposition in the abdomen. Cinnamon is useful for distressing, which in turn lowers the stress hormone cortisol. There is well documented evidence that high cortisol levels support abdominal fat deposition and a craving for high fat and sugar foods. Cinnamon is also a metabolism booster, has a sweetness in flavour and is also very good for heart health. A well-researched spice that has been used for centuries for its health benefits, having a cup of cinnamon tea will not only help with losing the extra fat but also revving up your immune system. Perfect drink for winter health.
A recent study published on Research Gate studied the participants for effect of continuous coffee consumption on body fat especially visceral fat. They found that a moderate intake of coffee, 3 cups/day, showed a significant change in reduction of body fat, especially visceral fat. The polyphenols in coffee- chlorogenic acids – have been shown to reduce belly fat. There are a number of studies which have shown similar results. Coffee contains caffeine, a natural energy booster, but I repeat again that moderate intake is enough. 2-3 cups of black coffee without sugar is a good way to start the belly fat loss journey.
Again a warm cosy drink to cheer you up in winters. Metabolic syndrome MetS, is a growing public health concern. Obesity is a major risk factor for this especially W/H ratio and visceral obesity. Honey has been observed to prevent wait gain in animal studies and also a decrease in body fat percentage. A similar pattern has been observed in human trials to. Honey is also known for energising the body and hence preventing hunger pangs. Being a good antioxidant, it counters the oxidative stress produced by visceral fat cells.
While these amazing warm drinks will add a lot of health and no extra calories to your day, a healthy lifestyle and regular targeted exercise is still needed for losing the belly fat.