Flip the pages of any newspaper and you will come across ads of dozens of weight-loss clinics claiming to know how to tuck in your tummy. Hoardings, and blogs have size- zero women flaunting washboard stomachs and recommending ‘Five ways to tighten your tummy’. But the hype could do more harm than good.
Reasons: Often the diet followed has little carbohydrates with the focus being on proteins. It is better to resort to a mix of right diet and exercises to minimise the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
Dietician Suchita Thacker of Hinduja Hospital says that nutritionists worldwide do not subscribe to the recent stomach fixation.
“One can’t just lose weight in the abdominal area. That’s just a myth.. and unhealthy.” says Thacker. She asserts that age, body shape and diet should be taken into consideration when deliberating on weight loss.
Weight and watch
She says, “As one grows older, the metabolism rates decreases, making a person, women in particular, prone to gaining weight.”
Thacker adds that ideally a woman’s waistline should not exceed 34 inches.. For men it shouldn’t exceed 40 inches.
Those with apple-shaped bodies are round and tend to put on weight everywhere. Those with pear-shaped bodies have a tendency to gain weight on the thighs and buttocks.
Thacker insists that aerobic exercises and consumption of fibre-rich food slow down digestion and work on maintaining the insulin levels.
“Minimising fatty and sugar-rich food coupled with the intake of green vegetables and pulses can take you closer to getting a flat tummy,” she asserts. “Removing carbohydrates from the diet altogether is not a good option.”
Gym instructor Creig Sequeira recommends focusing on the large muscles — the neck, legs, chest and the back — for overall fitness.
Take it easy
“A maximum of three days of abdominal muscle training is enough,” says Sequeira. He adds, “If you notice weight on your stomach, it may be due to a sudden break in physical activities.”
He recommends reverse crunches, forward crunches and sit-ups. Those who want it easy can simply walk briskly for 45 minutes, five times a week. “The morning rush and other chores should not be included in the walk routine,” he concludes.