Everyone aspires to have a flat stomach. But losing too much fat on the abdomen can prove to be a hard battle because of factors like diet and lifestyle.
With more and more people on the go, having a quick but hearty meal is always convenient. These days, white rice is becoming a popular option; it is filling, easy to cook, and could complement any dish. However, eating too much rice could increase the risk of weight gain and having belly fat.
According to Houston plastic surgeon, Dr. Patrick Hsu people who eat too much white rice are more susceptible to storing excess fat around their midsection. “This is because rice is a refined carbohydrate. Consuming it promotes fat storage resulting in the appearance of a ‘rice belly’ along with other health risks such as diabetes and obesity,” he says.
For that reason, getting rid of rice belly is helpful not just in giving the appearance of a fit and lean body, but also in improving overall health and well-being.
Reducing White Rice
The simplest and most obvious solution to get rid of a rice belly is to minimize rice consumption.
“Eating refined carbohydrates like plain white rice increases blood sugar levels causing insulin to be released from the pancreas. When insulin is released, it takes the glucose from the bloodstream and carries it into the cells of the body for energy or storage. When glucose is not converted to energy, it gets stored as fat. This is how fat gets deposited in certain parts of the body such as the abdomen,” says Dr. Hsu.
Reducing an intake of white rice will decrease the insulin that needs to be released, lessening the amount of fat that might accumulate in the belly.
If rice cannot be completely taken out of a meal, a better alternative is brown rice. Unlike white rice, brown rice is a whole grain. It contains all the parts of a grain leaving its nutrition intact. Because of its high fiber content, brown rice facilitates healthy digestion and aids in weight loss.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Replacing white rice with brown rice is not enough to get rid of a rice belly effectively. Maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating the right food to every meal are also important.
Some of the best food to eat to lose excess fat in the abdomen include:
- Fruits like banana, avocado, and papaya. These fruits are rich in fiber and contain vitamins that stimulate the metabolism and promote weight loss.
- Water-packed vegetables such as asparagus, cucumber, and celery. Thanks to their high water content, these veggies help prevent bloating. They are also natural diuretics which help facilitate the removal of wastes from the body.
- Lean meats that include turkey and salmon are high in protein. It also helps in enhancing metabolism and maintain muscle mass.
- Whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal help burn fat by slowly releasing their energy.
- Spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper promote digestive health and aid in blocking the formation of new fat cells. They also boost metabolism and help burn fat throughout the body.
Likewise, it is important to avoid food that will add unwanted fat to the belly. Some food to stay away from include refined grains like white rice and white bread which cause insulin levels to spike and store extra fat. Candies and other sweets contain a lot of calories and almost no nutritional value, making it easy for fat to be stored in the belly. It is also best to avoid heavily processed foods like fast food meals because they have high fat content and are difficult to digest.
Doing Regular Exercise
Other than maintaining a healthy diet, doing regular exercise is also one of the most effective ways to get rid of rice belly.
Here are some workouts that focus on toning the abdomen and getting rid of excess belly fat:
- Crunches are considered one of the best fat-burning exercises. Performing crunches is effective in burning abdominal fat quickly.
- The rolling plank exercise tones not just the abdomen but other surrounding muscles like the hip and lower back.
- Lunges are good for people who are new to working out. Doing lunges also helps eliminate rice belly fast.
- Bending side to side may look like a simple exercise but it is helpful in shedding excess fat.
- Cardio exercises such as jogging, cycling, and running are helpful in burning calories and breaking down unwanted fat.
Contouring with Cosmetic Procedures
Dieting and regular exercise are powerful means to get rid of excess belly fat but these methods often take a lot of time and patience before producing significant results. For some patients, these means are not enough to remove unwanted belly fat. This is due to genes that make the body naturally predisposed to store fat regardless of diet and exercise. In addition, medical conditions like sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) make it nearly impossible to lose weight the natural way.
Because of this, a lot of patients opt to undergo a plastic surgery procedure such as liposuction. Liposuction is an effective and secure procedure that quickly removes large amounts of fat in specific areas of the body like the arms, thighs, and stomach. Not only does it get rid of fat directly, it also removes cellulite to give the appearance of a firmer and more sculpted body.
Dr. Hsu shares, “Liposuction involves removing excess fat deposits underneath the surface of the skin. It contours the belly and gets rid of unwanted fat that is impervious to diet and exercise. The procedure removes fat cells permanently, changing the shape of a patient’s body.”
With that said, liposuction is highly effective in reducing the appearance of a rice belly. Although the fat is removed immediately, it should be noted that liposuction is NOT a weight loss procedure in itself. It is only meant to remove excess fats that diet and exercise cannot burn.
The Last Step: Practice Discipline
In trying to attain a flat stomach, it is important to practice discipline and moderation in dieting and regular exercise. There is nothing wrong with eating rice but eating too much of anything can be bad for the body. Taking in excess calories and not being able to convert them into energy results in a rice belly. Therefore, consuming rice should be done in moderation in addition to having an active lifestyle.
However, in order to get the best and most effective results quickly, diet and exercise could be supplemented by liposuction. And to learn more about this procedure, it is best to consult with a plastic surgeon who can provide any patient with all the necessary information. With the right attitude, a combination of the methods listed above can make anyone look good and feel good easily.