Trying to lose weight by adopting a low fat diet? You may be making the biggest mistake of your ‘weight loss regime,’ say fitness experts. Celebrity trainer James Duigan, whose clients include model Elle Macpherson, says, “It’s not fat that makes you fat, it’s sugar and carbohydrates.”
Most fitness experts agree. Says sports nutritionist Deepshikha Agarwal, “If you really want toned abs, you need to concentrate on abdominal exercises and team with that with a balanced diet.” She suggests fish, chicken and meat, vegetables, berries and nuts, rather than a low-fat diet. “You need a diet rich in anti-oxidants that raises your metabolic rate,” she says. “You can’t be on a low-fat diet all your life. That’s too much deprivation. It might also lead to stress and bingeing,” says nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan.
Here are some tips one can follow for a flat stomach and toned abs:
Don’t overcook your food - you’ll kill off or reduce the nutrient content. Try to make sure around 50% of the food on your plate is raw. If you can stomach it, eat all your vegetables raw.
Don’t buy cheap meat - Organic meat is more expensive, but it also contains less toxic junk such as antibiotics. If you can afford only one organic thing, make sure it’s meat.
Don’t eat foods that weaken your abdominal wall , as this will make it slack and lead to a protruding stomach. Foods that can weaken your abdominal wall often contain gluten.
Dr Krishnan debunks the theory that sugar, in all its forms, is bad as it fattens your mid-section. She says, “One tsp sugar gives you 20 calories, and zero gram fat. So two-four tsp every day is okay.”
Make sure you have enough fibre . Lack of fibre will lead to inflammation in the bowels. Have plenty of vegetables (ideally raw) and drink at least two litres of still, room temperature water every day.
Experts suggest having the occasional ‘cheat’ meal, so you can have cake or a brownie and actually help your weight loss. “Feed your soul; you can’t live your whole life in denial. And it can actually boost your metabolism anTOId get you leaner the next day. The key is to keep it to one meal,” says Duigan.