Best ways to blast belly fat fast WITHOUT giving up carbs – The Sun

CARBS are often billed as the enemy when it comes to losing weight.

In particular, many believe that munching on pasta, potatoes, rice and even cereal can ruin an otherwise good diet.

However, top dietitian Helen Bond has finally debunked this myth – and claimed that eating carby foods may actually help speed up the weight loss process.

The registered Dietitian and Spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association emphasises the fact that carbs contain fibre – which is key in keeping our digestive system healthy and reducing bloating.

Despite this, she says there are other things we need to focus on when it comes to shedding those pesky pounds including not having too many fatty toppings and hitting the gym.

Here, she takes us through her top tips on the best ways to blast belly fat fast without giving up carbs…

1. Don't ditch bread or pasta

Helen has shut down the long-held belief that cutting carbs is the key to fighting the flab.

She says: "Many of us think carbs should be off limits if we’re trying to lose weight.

"But the latest scientific evidence confirms foods rich in starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, noodles, oats, breakfast cereals, quinoa, barley, couscous, bulgar wheat, millet, spelt, freekah, teff, sorghum, amaranth and buckwheat are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.

"These foods provide us with energy and ideally, we should enjoy them at each meal – after all, they are all plant foods!

"But it’s important to choose the right types.

Carbs provide us with energy and ideally, we should enjoy them at each meal – after all, they are all plant foods!

"Starchy carbs such as white bread, rice and pasta or refined cereals lose much of their fibre, vitamins and minerals during processing so aren’t great choices.

"In contrast, wholegrain versions, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholewheat pasta retain most of their fibre and nutrients so should be chosen in preference.

"The fibre in starchy carbs is especially good at helping to keep our digestive system healthy, which can lower our chances of constipation and bloating.

"It’s also a great choice for filling us up, in turn helping to prevent hunger, which can lead to overeating."

2. Focus on portion size

Helen says we can munch on our favourite carbs, as long as we're not going overboard.

She recommends sticking to certain serving sizes, such as a "tennis ball sized" portion of pasta.

She says: "Part of the reason carbs get such a bad press is because many of us eat them in huge amounts!

"Stick to the following serving sizes: a tennis ball sized serving (around 150g) of cooked pasta, rice, noodles, couscous or other grains; one handful or five level tablespoons (30g) of wholegrain breakfast cereal; one potato the size of a computer mouse (180g); and one to two slices of wholegrain bread."

3. Avoid fatty toppings

We're all guilty of coating our pasta in parmesan cheese or spreading heaps of butter over our toast.

However, Helen says we can counteract the weight loss process by doing this.

She says: "Watch what you eat starchy carbs with, – serving them with butter, cream, fatty meat and cheese won’t help you shape up."

Six ways carbs help you LOSE weight

1. Carbs fill you up 

These foods are bulky and provide fibre which makes them filling and satisfying, especially when eaten with foods containing protein.

2. They're full of nutrients 

Starchy carbohydrates provide essential vitamins and minerals, especially the B vitamins which are essential to the functioning of the nervous system and support healthy skin.

3. They're a workout fuel

Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles as a substance called glycogen which the body calls on for energy to power your workout.

4. They're good for your brain

Carbohydrates encourage the release of serotonin, the brain’s feel good neurotransmitter as well as endorphins that have a similar function.

5. They're quite low in calories

Imagine a portion of cooked pasta – 200 grams worth. It only contains 260 calories while still being filling and containing zero fat.

6. They keep you regular

Starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta and root vegetables contain fibre, which helps prevent constipation.

Instead, Helen says if you want to feel fuller and make your meal more interesting, add a hearty portion of veg on the side.

She adds: "If you want to lose weight, make portions a little smaller still and make up the space on your plate with extra veg."

4. Hit the gym

As well as focusing on a balanced diet and eating the right carbs, exercising is key in blitzing body fat.

Helen says: "A calorie controlled diet, keeping in mind the proportions of the Governments Eatwell guide, and exercise in tandem is the best way to reduce body fat.

"And for the ultimate fat-burning boost, a combo of aerobic and strengthening exercises is far more effective.

"Aerobic activities such as running, cycling, swimming and aerobic classes increase the calories we burn both during and after exercising, while strength training such as lifting weights or using our own body weight helps to build muscle – and the more muscle we have, the faster our metabolism is, so that we burn more calories, even at rest.

"Each week aim for at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise and do strength training at least twice."

5. Snack wisely

While many dieters try to avoid snacking, Helen says it can be key in getting more nutrients into our diet.

Helen says: "Snacking can be part of a balanced diet, and can be a great opportunity to sneak some extra nutrients into our diet.

"But it’s important to choose our snack food wisely – even healthy looking snacks, like reduced fat biscuits, cereal bars, yogurt, cereals etc. might seem like virtuous choices, but not all are created equally – some are high in cholesterol-raising saturated fat and added or ‘free’ sugars – the type that we should be cutting down on for the sake of our teeth and waistlines.

Helen adds: "It’s best to avoid snack foods that are highly processed or refined.

"As well as being high in saturated fat, sugar and/or salt, they’re often low in nutrients and loaded with calories, and very moorish which makes it harder for us to control our weight.

"Examples of foods we should limit include takeaways, crisps, savoury snacks, sugary and chocolate confectionery, cakes, biscuits, pastries, ice cream, and sugary soft drinks."

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