Dr Sara Kayat offers advice on how to lose belly fat
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This Morning’s resident doctor Sara Kayat was on hand to share her top tips for when it comes to losing belly fat. According to a 2021 study, more than half of all UK adults (63 percent) are classed as being overweight or obese. So how do you lose belly fat?
Dr Sara said: “A good starting point is measuring your waist circumference, and you want your waist circumference to be less than half of your height.
“For example if you are five foot four, you want your waist to be 29 inches.
“But if you’re 32 inches, that’s when you’re in that unhealthy zone, so we want to try and bring that down.
“It ultimately comes down to exercise and diet,” the healthcare expert added. “When it comes to dieting, there is so much advice out there, but I like to do five tips.”
“Learn to eat properly again!” Dr Sara remarked. “Have a table, a plate, learn to chew, learn to appreciate the tastes on your plate rather than shovelling it in on your way to work or at your desk, or in front of the TV.
“Mindful eating, we know, helps with maintaining healthy body weight.”
Eat more of the right foods
The doctor explained: “Not feel so restrictive when it comes to dieting, you can actually eat more.
“So it’s eating more of the right foods, the lower calorie higher nutrient foods, found in a lot of plant-based foods.
“The restrictive aspect of dieting can really put people off.”
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“It’s ok to snack, but we do need to pick the right foods to snack,” she said.
“There are so many processed, salty and sugary foods.
“And ideal snack is something like nuts – they’re really high in healthy fats, high in fibre and protein – everything to help stabalise blood sugars so you don’t get these massive cravings.
“And to help you feel fuller for longer.”
Some studies have suggested “little and often”, four to five small meals a day can help with weight loss.
Dr Sara said: “It really depends on you as a person and also what you’re eating.
“For some people, grazing works, for others they need that strucure in their day otherwise they end up grazing too much.
“Some people find they respond better to a bit of fasting between meals.
“But if you’re feeling hungry and your option is to gorge on other foods or have a small snack, then have a snack and make sure it’s a good one for you.”
“Alcohol is high in calories,” Dr Sara explained.
“There are so many really good low-alcohol and no-alcohol drinks out there now, we have the options to swap.
“A lot of people just miss that taste, and we have that option now, so it’s a really viable option for people.”
Steer clear of crash diets
“Do not attempt crash diets,” the doctor warned. “We know they’re not sustainable.
“There’s lots of celebrities out there endorsing them but they don’t work, you end up yo-yo-ing, it can affect your metabolism, it can affect the way your body stores fat.
“It’s not healthy, it’s not sustainable.”
Alongside a healthy diet, Dr Sara recommended exercise.
“With exercise, it’s about finding the right balance as well,” she said. “A lot of people go in too hard too soon with exercise.
“You really need to slowly build it up, it will be easier to fall of that exercise wagon otherwise.
“You’re also more likely to get injuries and decide exercise isn’t for you.
“Try and find the joy in it.”
For anyone who wants to exercise without paying for a gym membership, Dr Sara recommended gardening, walking to walk over taking a bus, even dancing in a club or kitchen to “fit in exercise in your usual routine”.
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