How to go from belly fat to belly flat this summer
If, like me, you haven't reached your goal figure yet (like Kim Domingo's?) in time for a summer event like LaBoracay, then you might want to look at your diet. Lately I realized that simply reducing my calorie intake to 1,000 a day for the next few months is never a good quick-fix--it's unhealthy, can lead to late-night binge-eating and may cause health issues in the long run.
So let me share what I've learned on my ongoing weight reduction journey. It really has everything to do with a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
For people (newbies? you, me) who are messing up their calorie-controlled diet this year, you may have overlooked a few things while underestimating/overestimating the quantity and quality of a well-balanced, 1,200-calorie-minimum meal plan. Based from experience, you might want to look into:
1. Minimizing your salt and sugar intake. While dishes do need salty, sweet and/or sour notes for flavor to really shine, the unfortunate truth is a person's recommended daily allowance for salt and sugar is pretty low. If you're at risk for heart disease, your sodium intake must even go down to 1,500 milligrams or less. That's less than a teaspoon. Too much salt causes water retention, too, so step away from the salt shaker next time you're in the kitchen.
2. Using spices! Since you need to lower your salt and sugar intake, stock up on spices. Add cinnamon to your drinks, saffron or lemongrass to your rice, and paprika to your chicken dishes. Spices can increase metabolism and help you shed off unwanted fats fast.
3. Varying your meals to avoid getting bored. Plan your meals ahead of time and make sure you set aside enough time to prepare and store your meals for the coming week. They should look good and taste great!
4. Drinking LOTS of water. Depending on your body, you need to drink at least 2,000 ml of fluids a day. Since I was (and still am) going for a slim physique, water is my go-to hydrator. At home and in the office I use a 1.5 liter jug I try (but usually fail) to fill to the brim and then empty before the day ends.
5. Increasing your fiber intake. Vegetables may be the least delicious and least popular food group, but they are the healthiest--ever see a cow die of a heart attack? Kidding aside, regular bowel movement will help your body get rid of toxins, and a boost in fruits and vegetables will help you feel full after every meal. Plus, they're low in calories, helping you reduce your calorie intake quickly.
6. Skipping the extra rice/bread. Avoid rice or bread if you have to. At my age and with my body type, my belly gets bigger when I eat too much rice or bread. If this doesn't happen to you, you can probably forget this advice. But most ladies tend to get a smaller belly within a month on a diet low in carbs.
7. Stopping smoking and drinking alcohol. Why even bother going to the gym if you'll just smoke and drink alcohol in between? Healthy eating is healthy living.
Remember: Discipline does not only apply when working out in the gym. It also comes into play when you try to meet your daily nutritional needs, including sodium and sugar intake.
If all these tips are too much for you, consider a meal delivery service like Pickle.ph. I did for a week, and had better digestion afterwards! The meals I tried were low in sodium, sugar and fat, but tasty, helping me wean myself from my usual daily consumption of 1,700 calories' worth of greasy, fried foods. Pickle's got me thinking I could reach my diet goals safely and with no prep time needed (just the ordering and the paying and the waiting are the downsides).
Nobody's perfect, I can lose my way sometimes, but as long as I keep up my better eating habits, I'll be fine.
What's great about Pickle.ph is that they compute the ideal calorie intake based on age, height, weight and activity level. They do the hard work for you, recommend a plan that better suits your individual nutrition needs, and offer a wide variety of package options! And a week's worth of meals are not at all as expensive as you may think--a meal can be as low as Php120.
Either morning of or night before, Pickle will deliver (FOR FREE!) a day's worth of meals. You get breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks for the basic plan, which can set you back around Php 1900 per week. If you want to get a bottle of cold-pressed juice each day for a week, just add Php500. Although more expensive, there are low-carb, high-protein meal options available too.
So what do you think? Can you reach your goal weight and figure by end of April now? How about starting a healthy lifestyle you can maintain? Visit Pickle.ph on Facebook and find out.