Conventionally, there are three meals one must take everyday—breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But in my case, it’s at least six. Because after breakfast comes a snack, after lunch comes merienda, and after dinner comes dessert. For me, food isn’t just a way to satisfy hunger. It’s an activity to combat boredom, an excuse to put off work, and a celebration of success. For example, I’ve lost five pounds! Time to treat myself to ice cream!
Despite being a foodie, I also happen to be a health-buff (or at least, I’d like to believe so). I try to keep my eats at low-calorie and low-sugar. I can survive veganism, a pescatarian diet, and binge on fruits for days on end. What I can’t take is depriving myself of eating entirely. So imagine my horror when the master cleanse and juicing made its way to everyone in the Philippines. The thought alone of having to starve myself already makes me queasy. It works wonders, yes. But it’s not the only solution.
Instead of not eating anything, you can opt to eat right. And even better, the source of your guilt happens to be the best solution. According to celebrity nutritionist Nadine Tengco, there are two types of fat, both of which you can eat your way out of.
The first kind of fat is called belly bloat or false fat. If you ever find yourself getting proper exercise regularly and adhering to a strict diet but still having a little bulge, then you’ve got a serious case of bloating or edema, also called manas. It’s a result of food intolerance or not being able to break down food efficiently. The best solution to this would be removing common allergens from your daily intake such as dairy and gluten. In fact, Nadine conducted a study which proved that 10 out of 10 Filipinos tested positive for gluten intolerance. This is because we’ve never had wheat in this country so our bodies aren’t used to digesting it properly.
In other words, substituting your rice for other carbs will only make you bigger.
Some of the tricks we use to prevent weight gain are also culprits of bloating. Since it is caused by excessively stored gas, even healthy foods such as beans and legumes can add to the fat. Apparently, the old hack of chewing gum to fight-off a craving proves to be counter-productive because the gulped air only furthers bloating. And for the soft-drink junkies who resort to diet soda, the high content of artificial sugar only makes you more inflated.
The best way to fight bloating would be through anti-inflammatory food. Mildly diuretic herbs such as ginger, lemongrass, and pandan are the most effective. Nadine states that you can even lose 5-8 pounds overnight just by making the necessary adjustments!
Belly fat is caused by cortisol, which dictates your body to store fat in the belly. There are two primary reasons attributed to this bane of our existence and bikini-bod dreams. The first would be sugar, while the second is stress. Cortisol also happens to be the “stress-hormone”, which rises during tension filled-times. This instigates higher levels of insulin.
And when life gives you fat, you eat more of it. Nadine says:
The best way to fight fat is also with fat.
The first would be through Omega-3, which is found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel. She cites a study that wherein the participants who had a significant amount of calories in their diet but also had an adequate amount of Omega-3 lost 40% of the fat in their belly. The second solution would be through MUFAS or Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acids. These can be derived form plant-based sources such as avocados, walnuts, olives, and dark cacao. It’s hard to believe that fighting fat sounds this delicious.
Rice, olive oil, and chocolate? Now there’s a diet we can all live with!
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