Carrying a few extra pounds on your midsection is common — more than half of Americans have a waist size that’s larger than normal, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2014. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with side stomach fat forever, though. Lowering your calorie intake, making a few diet tweaks and getting more active will help you burn that fat and get the physique you want.
Reduce Your Calorie Intake to Burn Fat
Stomach side fat — sometimes called love handles — is subcutaneous fat, located just under the skin. However, the rounded sides of the abdomen may be partially caused by excess visceral fat pushing out against your abdominal wall. Visceral fat is the type of metabolically active fat that accumulates deep in your midsection, surrounding your organs and increasing your risk of disease. It’s impossible to lose weight from just one part of your body, so to lose stomach side fat, you’ll have to lower your body fat levels overall. That requires eating fewer calories than you burn.
Estimate your calorie needs either by consulting a nutrition professional or by using an online calculator. Then subtract 500 to 1,000 calories to get a calorie intake that will allow you to lose weight. If you cut 500 calories daily, you’ll lose 1 pound a week; cut 1,000 and you’ll lose 2.
Just make sure your new calorie deficit doesn’t take your calorie intake too low — men shouldn’t go below 1,800 calories daily, and women shouldn’t eat fewer than 1,200, according to the McKinley Health Center. Anything less than that and you face a higher risk of nutrient deficiencies, and your body might go into “starvation mode” and lower your metabolism to hold on to fat.
Make Healthy Substitutions for Stomach Fat Loss
Make sure the calories you get each day are from quality foods — this helps ensure you meet your nutritional needs as you lose weight, so you can look and feel your best. Harvard Medical School recommends a few food substitutions to switch out unhealthy foods for more nutritious options to help you lose abdominal fat.
Use whole grains — such as quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal and 100-percent whole-wheat bread and pasta — instead of refined grains, like white rice, white bread and white pasta. Whole grains are higher in fiber, a nutrient that’s linked to weight loss. Because fiber also plays a role in satiety, switching from white to whole grains means your meals will be more satisfying, so you’re less likely to overeat later.
Go for unsaturated fats — like those found in fatty fish, seeds and nuts — instead of saturated fats found in red meat and processed foods to lose fat, recommends Harvard. Making this substitution will mean you’ll have to avoid calorie-laden fast and processed foods, which will make it easier to meet your calorie goals.
Add Fruits and Veggies to Burn Side Stomach Fat
Fruits and veggies are staples on diets for good reason — these foods are high in weight-loss-friendly fiber and relatively low in calories. They also have a low energy density — which means they have fewer calories per gram of food — thanks to their high water content. Foods with low energy density can help you lose weight because you feel more satisfied on fewer calories.
Start your lunches and dinners with a small green salad to help fill you up, snack on a piece of fruit or a handful of berries between meals to keep you satisfied, and serve higher-calorie foods — like grains, fish or lean poultry — with a large serving of raw, steamed, grilled or roasted veggies to boost your meal size without adding lots of calories.
Working Out for Side Stomach Fat
Fat on your midsection also responds to exercise. Perform moderate-intensity cardio — which might be a brisk walk, a jog, or a bike around the neighborhood — for 2.5 hours each week to benefit your health and help you burn more calories, and do strength training twice a week to keep your muscles strong and healthy. Doing more cardio helps further boost your calorie burn for the day, which promotes fat loss.
Tone your sides with exercises that work your abdominal and oblique muscles, like side planks, wood chops and Russian twists. While these exercises don’t burn side stomach fat — you need cardio to do that — they’ll help tone your midsection, so you’ll have lean and fit-looking abs once you lose weight.
Can Garlic Help In Controlling Cholesterol? Our Expert Has The Answer
High levels of bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol in your blood can increase risks of heart disease. It is thus important to ensure that your cholesterol levels are under control at all times. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) are the two kinds of cholesterol , where the former is referred to as the bad cholesterol and the latter as good cholesterol. While cholesterol is made in the liver, there are certain foods that can increase cholesterol levels. These foods are primarily those high in saturated and trans fat. Similarly, there are foods that lower your cholesterol levels, and one such food item is garlic.
Garlic is a spice which is popular for its benefits on digestion, high blood pressure and inflammation to name a very few. However, there are some studies which talk about cholesterol improving properties of garlic as well.
WebMD says that garlic may reduce total cholesterol in the body by a few percentage points. This however, may only be for the short term. It further adds that garlic may prolong bleeding and blood clotting time. Thus, intake of garlic should be avoided before surgery or intake of any blood thinning drugs.
We ask clinical nutritionist Dr Rupali Datta about garlic and its cholesterol-reducing properties. She says, “Allicin is the active compound in garlic, which may be contributing to lowering cholesterol. However, it is more effective in controlling heart diseases vis a vis blood thinning and its anti-inflammatory properties. There are some studies which have talked about minor effect of garlic on cholesterol,” she says.
Foods that help in lowering cholesterol
Legumes are rich in minerals, fibre and protein. Some studies say that including legumes in your diet can lower bad cholesterol in the body.
Healthline mentions that some vegetables contain soluble fibre that can help in reducing cholesterol levels in the body. Vegetables like eggplants, carrots and potatoes can all be included in your diet to keep cholesterol and weight under control. They are good for heart health.
3. Berries and fruits:
Fruits are rich in soluble fibre that help in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Berries and grapes contain plant compounds that can increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol in the body.
4. Almonds and walnuts:
Including nuts in your diet can be good for heart health. Nuts contain monounsaturated fats. Walnuts contain omega 3s and almonds contain L-arginine, which is an amino acid that helps the body make nitric oxide. This helps in regulating blood pressure.
5. Fatty fish:
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tune are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s are good for heart health as they reduce inflammation and stroke risk, and increase levels of good cholesterol in the body.
(Dr Rupali Datta is Consultant Nutritionist at Fortis Escorts)
Most hip and knee replacements ‘last longer than thought’
Eight out of 10 knee replacements and six out of 10 hip replacements last as long as 25 years, said a large study from the University of Bristol.
This is much longer than believed, the researchers said, and the findings will help patients and surgeons decide when to carry out surgery, BBC reported.
To date, there has been little data on the success of new hips and knees.
But this Lancet research looked at 25 years’ worth of operations, involving more than 500,000 people.
Hip and knee replacements are two of the most common forms of surgery in National Health Service (NHS), but doctors often struggle to answer questions from patients on how long the implants will last.
Nearly 200,000 of the operations were performed in 2017 in England and Wales, with most carried out on people between 60 and 80 years old.
Dr. Jonathan Evans, orthopedic registrar, lead study author and research fellow at Bristol Medical School said, “At best, the NHS has only been able to say how long replacements are designed to last, rather than referring to actual evidence from multiple patients’ experiences of joint replacement surgery.
“Given the improvement in technology and techniques in the last 25 years, we expect that hip or knee replacements put in today may last even longer.”
As the aging population grows, and life expectancy rises, this becomes even more important, Evans added.
Chronic inflammation can lead to memory problems: Study
Acute inflammation, that results from injury and does not heal or is recurring, might lead to thinking problems, say experts. The report, which has been published in Neurology, further states that psychological stress and nagging infection can also trigger chronic inflammation.
In order to arrive at this result, blood tests on 12,336 men and women who were of the average age of 57, were conducted. These reports were then segregated and given a “inflammation composite score” based on factors like clotting, white blood cell count, and other tests. The cognitive facilities of the participants were also assessed through routine tests of verbal fluency, memory and processing speed. The study has been quoted in The New York Times.
After controlling for factors like age, blood pressure, heart disease, education, and many others, it was deduced that more the number of inflammatory factors, greater the chance of cognitive decline over 20 years of follow-up. Decline in memory seems to be strongly associated with inflammation.
“We know that dementia starts earlier than the appearance of symptoms,” Keenan A Walker, lead author and a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins said. “We’ve shown that levels of inflammation matter for dementia risk. Reducing chronic inflammation involves the same health behaviors that we already know are important for other reasons — regular exercise, healthy diet, avoiding excessive weight gain and so on,” Walker added.
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