Late night snack attacks? Tips to bust belly fat this Ramadan

The first victim of any bout of overeating is usually the stomach, with belly fat ranked as a major target area for some

Dina al-Shibeeb
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With Ramadan well upon us, some fasters may feel as though they are adding on the pounds with the typical late night snack attacks. The first victim of any bout of overeating is usually the stomach, with belly fat ranked as a major target area of those who wish to lose weight for health reasons.

There is no magical formula for specifically losing belly fat, however, leading a healthy lifestyle and eating nutrients-loaded super foods in the right portion size could lead to a flatter stomach.
So, read on for some top tips.


Tip 1: De-stress with the right food

“I do not believe you can ‘spot train’ with food,” Kim Ross, a New York-based nutritionist, told Al Arabiya News. “But stress reduction and lower cortisol levels can effect belly fat,” she added.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone which is released in response to stress and low blood glucose.

Ross, who helped on the nutrition side of “The Whole Life Fertility Plan” book released in January, advised those who wish to blast the belly fat to stay away from food that can increase stress such as caffeine, sugar and processed food.

Instead, plant foods such as “veggies, fruit, beans, avocado nuts, seeds, etc. can help deal with stress and are loaded with vibrational energy and nutrients.”

Tip 2: Go for the high fiber plants

“High fiber plant foods help shed fat all over,” she said, recommending the food that keeps people satiated for longer.

Broccoli, Brussels sprout, pees, oatmeal, apple, pears, split peas, black beans, lima beans, artichokes, avocados and raspberries are among the fiber rich foods, which remain more or less the same throughout the digestive process and can also reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension, and heart disease.

Tip 3: Regulate hormones with some seeds

One way of losing belly fat is making sure that hormones are regulated and are in check. One natural way of balancing out the hormonal act is taking flaxseed and chia seeds.

“They regulate hormones which effect fat storage,” Ross said.

Flaxseed and chia seeds can be turned into delicious smoothies or sprinkled on top of colorful salad ingredients.

Tip 4: Get sassy!

It does not get better than sassy water, which was named after Cynthia Sass, the nutritionist who “invented” the drink, which significantly relieves bloating.

Ross also described sassy water as “loaded with antioxidants, electrolytes, nutrients and phytochemicals. It helps increase circulation, hydrate and refresh the body.”

People who consumed 4-5 glasses during the whole day regularly say they achieved flatter stomach.

So here is what you need to make it:

2 liters water (about 8½ c)
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 med cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 med lemon, thinly sliced
12 sm spearmint leaves

Tip 5: Nutrients pairing

To enhance nutrient absorption to increase energy and hit the gym more often, try combining and pairing some foods together.

“Examples are vitamin C wrist foods and iron rich foods together such a steak and tomatoes,” said Ross.

She added: “Also whole grains and beans to create a complete protein. Garlic and onion can also increase nutrient absorption from foods such as broccoli and other vegetables.”

Tip 6: Control portion size

“Belly fat means people need to change their nutritional plan, they can’t have two or three big meals a day,” Dubai-based personal trainer Haifa al-Musawi told Al Arabiya News.

She added: “They should have three portion-controlled meals, every three hours and three small snacks… and the carbs portion should be controlled.”

Tip 7: Try coconut oil

A study has found that women who were given coconut oil experienced a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference as oppose to those who had soybean oil.

“Do not cook with oil, if you have to, use healthy oils like coconut,” recommended Musawi.

It should be noted, however, that it is a rich source of saturated fat. It can be good for you, but it is advised that intake should be limited due to its saturated fat content.

Tip 8: Eat slowly

Last but not least, remember our brains need 20 minutes to let us know that we are fully satisfied. So let your taste buds enjoy the green leaves or the healthy lean protein… slowly!