Having trouble shifting weight around your tummy? Desperate to beat the bloat? Nutritionist Angela Dowden's 5 top tips will help you keep your tummy trim
Angela Dowden is a registered nutritionist, an award-winning freelance health journalist and author of The 5:2 Cookbook - 100 Recipes for Fasting. She recently hosted our expert clinic on nutrition, and shared her top tips on how to keep your tummy trim and to minimize the effects of bloating.
These are her five suggestions for shifting weight around your stomach:
1 Bear genetics in mind - and watch your GI ‘Those pesky genes dictate where we hold onto fat, and it can be a real nuisance trying to shift from certain areas,’ Angela explains.
If you find losing weight around your stomach a challenge, then ‘keep an eye on the GI of your diet – high blood sugar and insulin levels seem to be related to fat around the middle.’
She also advises eating lots of pulses and oats, avoiding too many sugary foods, and to ‘have some protein at every meal.’
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2 Don’t ditch the dairy‘There’s some evidence that people who have a high-calcium diet may keep tummy fat off,’ explains Angela. ‘So don’t ditch the dairy.’
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3 Avoid salt to beat the bloat If you’re often finding yourself feeling bloated, it might be worth avoiding salt. It ‘makes you hold onto water,’ explains Angela. So give it a miss next time you need a flat tummy quick-fix.
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4 Keep a food diary ‘It’s worth keeping a food diary, to see if particular foods might make you bloat,’ she advises. ‘If you have a particularly sensitive digestion, you might find resistant starch a problem.’
Resistant starch is formed when carbohydrates are chilled. ‘Pasta and potato salads can be an issue, as well as those breads you get from the supermarket bakery, which have often been pre-frozen and then baked in-store,’ Angela explains.
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5 …but don’t eliminate food unless you have a sensitivity ‘For most people, resistant starch is actually of benefit,’ Angela explains. ‘It helps increase levels of good bugs in the gut, and moderates blood sugar levels.’
Plus, you don’t actually absorb the calories from it - so don’t automatically eliminate it just yet. You can get your dose of resistant starch from chilled potatoes. ‘Greenish bananas are a good source, too,’ Angela adds.
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