Throw everything you knew out the window.
And no, this isn’t some quick fix cheat sheet.
There seem to be countless articles all over the internet that claim to be the belly fat cure of the century. They come with outlandish titles like ‘get a flat belly in two weeks’. I think we both know how unrealistic this is. If you want proven results that will last longer than a two-week fix, you’ve got to put the work in and change everyday habits permanently.
The reason why I’m writing about a belly fat cure is because this is my Achilles’ heel. I used to be proud of my stomach and wasn’t afraid to wear bikinis or crop tops. I was young and relatively fit, and I concentrated on putting good food into my body.
However, that all turned to custard when I had children. Every mum in the world knows what it’s like to slowly and painfully lose control over what you look like when you’ve got a baby doing all kinds of crazy things to your body.
I carried both my girls well – in my opinion. While I did get stretch marks that you can see here, I managed to avoid putting on a tonne of weight which I was happy about.
But something else was happening as I slowly changed my identity to youthful and carefree to working mum of two. I started to feel like my job was no longer important or valued in society. My husband would go off to work every day and interact with people of similar age and attractiveness, while I was stuck at home cleaning up vomit and poo. Forget doing my hair or going to the gym. I even said good bye to a regular shower.
So I certainly didn’t, and don’t have the time to put into a rigorous exercise regime and I cannot afford to buy everything organic and free-range. While I do put a strong emphasis on eating clean and unprocessed, there are just some things I’m not capable of at this point in my life. I’m young, I’ve got two beautiful kids and an awesome husband, but I’m time poor.
So I need a belly fat cure that I can easily integrate into everyday life that’s not going to cost the earth – in both senses – and that’s going to achieve long-lasting, effective results.
Then I stumbled across a new study advocating for a small lifestyle change. Not only can it be an effective belly fat cure, but it can also make you significantly healthier.
The researches in the study looked at data from 1441 people across several European countries and found that diets higher in fibre and whole-grains were the definitive factors in having less belly fat and a lower BMI overall.
The best thing about this study for me is that it highlights the importance of having a healthy, balanced diet, instead of becoming obsessed with what you need to not be eating. It’s literally down to a couple of simple changes you can make to what you eat: switching to whole-grains from refined and eating foods that are high in fibre.
Dr. Flavia Fayet-Moore, director of Nutrition Research Australia, believes that developing healthy behaviours around eating can be much more effective for your overall health and well-being than trying to get away from unhealthy ones.
Instagram is largely to blame for the misconceptions around a good belly fat cure. The recent wave of paleo, ketogenic and high protein diets has taken the focus away from whole-grains and fibre and instead encouraged people to look at how much of these they can eliminate from their diet, instead of finding a good balance. While getting rid of all carbs from your diet can potentially be a good quick fix, it’s certainly not going to benefit you long-term.
It’s slowly starting to become more common knowledge that when the short-term diet is over and you’re trying to keep the initial weight you lost off, subtracting certain food groups is never the answer if you want to sustain those results on a long-term basis.
So, why fibre, you may ask?
The reason why fibre is so important to have in our regular diets is because it can naturally reduce our appetite and cause us to eat fewer calories without even thinking about it. Because fibre takes longer to digest, this naturally helps to control your blood sugar and insulin levels. It keeps us satisfied for longer, resulting in us eating less overall.
One of the things I love the most about this belly fat cure is that it’s not telling you to put even more vegetables on your plate. Don’t get me wrong, I love my greens and try to get my daily intake as much as possible, but I’m certainly not looking for a way to be restricted to just eating vegetables all day long.
Because we’re talking balanced diet here, remember that you don’t have to eat a huge amount of fibre for it to be effective. The national daily recommendation is three to four servings of fibre a day. To give you an idea, one serving is the equivalent of one slice of bread or ½ cup of cooked rice.
Who knew that carbs could cure belly fat! What a win for all us mums out there that quickly spread some peanut butter on a slice of toast in the morning to keep the milk supply up before your toddler drags the toaster onto the floor (actually has happened).
The bottom line is that not all carbs are bad for you. Just remember to go for the wholegrain versions of their refined counterparts. I promise you that your stomach will be thanking you for it as it gets smaller.
My go-to green fix is an everyday smoothie I throw together when the girls are napping. Check out what you should put in your smoothie here.
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What are your favourite daily carbs? I love nothing more than a hefty bowl of cooked oats in the morning
with some blueberries and yoghurt. Let me know!