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Social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has many of us staying home and eating our favorite comfort foods – and perhaps sporting extra belly fat in the process. Whilst noshing tasty treats may have helped calm our anxieties, abdominal fat is unhealthy and has been linked to several health issues.
According to Eat This, Not That! the answer to losing belly fat doesn’t involve extreme dieting or working out for hours on end. Instead, it involves changing the way we eat so that we consume more whole foods and less processed foods, which are full of empty calories.
“We’ve become overly complex with our dietary habits. It’s probably because there are a million diet books and all these suggestions on social media that have created so much confusion,” Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietician for the Cleveland Clinic, told Eat This, Not That!. “So, I think we should take a more basic approach. If you look at any place globally where people live long lives and are not morbidly obese, they aren’t reading diet books. They eat simple, whole foods.”
“I tell my clients to make 80 to 90 percent of your diet real whole foods, not processed. And then the 10 percent or so can be your favorite sweet coffee drink or whatever,” Kirkpatrick continued.
Another coronavirus quarantine habit many of us have picked up is having an alcoholic drink – or two – each evening, something Kirkpatrick says is known to cause belly fat.
“We have direct data showing an increase in alcohol consumption since COVID, and patients of mine have said they’re having a glass and a half every night, something they never did before,” Kirkpatrick told Eat This, Not That!. “There is a correlation between excess alcohol and belly fat. Couple that with the stress that COVID brought, and we know there are associations with increases in (the stress hormone) cortisol and belly fat.”
Kirkpatrick recommends ditching the nightly glass of wine, sticking to a whole foods diet, and getting a good night’s sleep. She also reveals an extra cup of black coffee can help blitz belly fat.
However, don’t load the coffee up with lots of sugar, which will have an adverse effect on your waistline.
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