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Dealing with the pot-belly

By Nicole Namubiru.

Easy, cheap ways to get rid of belly fat

Belly fat is everyone’s worst nightmare – both men and women. While it is so easy to gain belly fat, losing it is no easy task. Apart from belly fat being extremely discomforting, doctors have consistently noted that belly fat is associated with a number of health complications including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea ( a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep).

However, with determination, anyone can defeat belly fat—starting with eating right.  Dr. Hanifah Namusoke, a senior nutritionist at Mulago National Referral Hospital, notes that on a single balanced plate of food, in one sitting, half of the food should be fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it protein and the other quarter, grain, cereals or carbohydrates.

“This is a balanced diet that anyone trying to fight excess belly fat should be eating,” Dr. Namusoke advises. “The mistake that many people make is to eat a lot of fats and artificial sugars and then go to the gym to try and cut the belly fat. This just overworks them.

It is not only Dr. Namusoke who advices healthy eating as the best way to keep the belly area in shape. Van Dee, an Indian national, believes that ‘papadam,’ a type of crispy bread for Indians, is quite effective in absorbing fat in the body. He says that while in school training, a nutrition professor taught them to eat ‘papadam’ after meals that are rich in fat. It would help in the absorption of the fat so it does not get stored in the tummy area to cause belly fat. As such, Van Dee advises that people should eat Papadam after a fatty meal.

Doing exercises has for many centuries been the traditional way of curbing excess belly weight. It still remains a key activity that many indulge in today. Many do sit ups and leg-ups to curb the problem.

It has been noted over time that continuous intense body activity through physical exercise and aerobics can keep the body’s metabolism up thus burning more calories, which in turn prevents it from being stored as fat. Kenny Metta, a senior gym instructor, also agrees that belly fat can really be discomforting and ugly. “Many people come here desperate to lose belly fat. Our advice to them is the same: exercise but eat healthy,” he says. He adds that, “We put them on diet much as we direct them on what exercises to do like sit ups, leg ups, jogging, and aerobics among others.”

Metta also adds that though exercises are very important in this attempt, it is not advisable to do the same exercises all the time. This is because the body then adapts to them and thus undergoes no further change. He advises that the body should be subjected to “muscle confusion” or different exercises. This helps it not to get used to a particular one that it will adapt to.  He further encourages people with belly fat to keep fit because it is the fitness that will help one not to get tired of doing exercises. He continues to advise people with belly fat to do certain exercises that will help burn fat such us Zumba aerobics, spinning back, among others.

Furthermore, some experts recommend taking of green tea as it increases the levels at which the body burns down fat. It has antioxidants and other substances that increase metabolism. This can help in burning belly fat.

On the other hand, lack of enough water in the body slows down the metabolic rate. Similarly, the consumption of more water increases the metabolic rate thus burning fat and in turn reducing belly fat.

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