Winter season is the perfect time for weight loss considering we tend to burn more calories in the cold weather. However, instead of optimising our diet or designing suitable workouts, some of us indulge in high-calorie winter treats like chhole bhature, to gajar ka halwa, and feel too lazy to get up for exercise. No wonder, we end up adding more calories than we burn and put on weight increasing our risk of chronic diseases. Now that the festival season is almost over in India, it’s time to get back to your weight loss journey. Burning belly fat particularly could be an arduous task considering the fat surrounds our internal organs. To shed belly fat, it’s important to add the right foods to your diet and adopt a holistic lifestyle with the combination of exercise, healthy eating practices and staying active. (Also read | Belly fat after 40: Tips and tricks to tackle abdominal fat in women)
“As the winter chill sets in, our cravings for hearty comfort foods often intensify. Yet, it’s crucial to select foods that not only keep us warm but also align with our health and fitness objectives, especially when aiming to shed excess belly fat. Fortunately, there are several winter-friendly foods that can boost metabolism, control cravings, and contribute to a trimmer waistline. Let’s explore five such foods that can be seamlessly incorporated into your winter diet,” says Charu Dua, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad as she shares a list of winter superfoods to reduce belly fat.
1. Whole grains
Why it helps: Whole grains are a fibre powerhouse, promoting a prolonged feeling of fullness and reducing the risk of obesity. Research indicates that a daily intake of three servings of whole grains is linked to lower body mass index (BMI) and decreased belly fat. These grains are rich in essential nutrients such as calcium, amino acids, and vitamins.
How to include it: Incorporate whole grains like wheat, dalia, oats, brown rice, quinoa, millets, and buckwheat into your diet. Make smart switches, such as choosing brown rice over white rice, whole flour over refined flour and whole oats over instant ones, for a healthier winter menu.
2. Green tea
Why it helps: Green tea, rich in antioxidants and catechins, boosts metabolism and facilitates fat burning. The combination of caffeine and antioxidants makes it an excellent choice for those aiming to trim their waistline.
How to include it: Replace your regular hot beverages with green tea and aim for 2-3 cups throughout the day. Enjoy it iced or use it as a base for warming winter herbal teas. This swap reduces milk and sugar intake, supporting your waistline goals.
3. Fatty fish
Why it helps: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, linked to reduced visceral fat. Grilling or baking fatty fish can make for a delicious and nutritious winter meal.
How to include it: Prepare grilled or baked fatty fish, complemented by roasted vegetables or a warm quinoa salad for a well-rounded and belly fat-busting dish.
4. Spices, especially cinnamon
Why it helps: Certain spices, like cinnamon, enhance insulin sensitivity, aiding in better blood sugar control and reduced belly fat. Additionally, cinnamon adds warmth and flavour to winter dishes without the need for excess sugar.
How to include it: Sprinkle cinnamon on morning oatmeal, add it to coffee or tea, and incorporate it into savoury dishes for a unique and metabolism-boosting twist.
5. Green leafy vegetables
Why it helps: Low in calories but dense in nutrients, green leafy vegetables are excellent for weight loss. Vitamin K in these veggies stimulates weight loss, making them a preferred choice in a weight loss diet.
How to include it: Incorporate green leafy vegetables into salads, wraps, soups, sautés, stir-fries, pesto, sandwiches, sauces, and smoothies for a variety of delicious and healthy options.
“Winter indulgences need not derail your health and fitness goals. By incorporating these five belly fat-busting foods into your winter diet, you can enjoy seasonal delights while working towards a trimmer waistline. Remember to complement these foods with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper hydration for optimal results in your journey to a healthier you,” concludes Dua.