Pet peeve – spending all that time and energy on working out and still have that little bit of fat that refuses to go away. You feel us? Thing is, no matter how much you stress on your workout, a few nutritional mistakes can cause a major setback for your weight loss goals. And that’s precisely what happens with stubborn fat.

A study done at the University of Texas found that while many people made the shift to diet sodas to lose weight, in reality these people ended up gaining more weight. However, it is not always about what you are eating, but sometimes also about what you are NOT eating that makes all the difference. “I find that many people trying to lose weight tend to adopt a low carb-high protein diet. In reality, cutting back on a major energy source like complex carbohydrates can result in a sluggish metabolism, making it all the more hard to lose that stubborn fat”, says Dr. Manisha Saxena, who is a trained dietician and runs a fitness centre in Gurgaon.

List time - Here’s 5 nutritional secrets that could make all the difference in maximizing your weight loss efforts and eliminating fat.

  • Spice It Up – Adding spices to your food can be just what you need to trim off that excess fat. Spices increase your body’s metabolism by triggering a thermogenic reaction, according to a study that was published in Physiology and Behavior. These increase your body’s temperature, hence burning up more calories. Don’t overdo it though; you don’t want to regret what comes next morning.
  • Break Up Meals – While you might be tempted to try a new low calorie diet as a desperate attempt to lose that stubborn fat, it’s really the last thing you want to do. Such a diet will do nothing but reduce your metabolism, which will make shedding that excess weight all the more harder. Instead, opt for low calorie mini-meals every 2 to 3 hours to keep your metabolism skyrocketed.
  • Stay Hydrated – Sometimes what may look like stubborn fat is nothing but water retention. As you work out hard to lose weight and also increase your protein intake to build muscle mass, your body could be releasing more toxins. To flush them out of your system, make sure you drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. While this will effectively remove all toxic waste build-up, it will also accelerate your metabolism to build more muscle and burn off that stubborn fat.
  • Drink Green Tea – The catechins in green tea have high antioxidant properties, so you will feel more energetic despite all the calorie cuts and hard workouts. A study published in The Journal of Nutritionstated that drinking green tea not only keeps one hydrated enough to work out for longer, but also helps to burn stubborn fat more effectively.
  • Eat Monosaturated Fats - Most of us think of ‘fats’ as the enemy when we are trying to lose weight, but in reality, adding monosaturated fats to your diet could be exactly what you need to lose that stubborn fat.A recent study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutritionrevealed something interesting. Researchers compared caloric expenditure of participants who consumed a diet high in monounsaturated fat with that of those who consumed a diet high in saturated fat. They found that monounsaturated fat-rich diet resulted in up to 4.35% increase in the subject’s resting energy expenditure, meaning they burned that many more calories through the day, irrespective of their activity level. That is more than enough reason to add more avocados, olive oil, flaxseeds, peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds and olives to your diet.

The verdict

It really is not rocket science to learn how to shed that stubborn fat; all it takes is a little more effort, some smart eating and lots of patience. In fact, a study done at University of Wisconsin-Madison revealed that dieters who took pictures of what they ate for a week were better able to make smarter food choices, because the image triggered the need for critical evaluation. That’s right, now you can justify all those Instagram food pictures.

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