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D for diet

Eat healthy with diet tips from our expert

I am in my 30s and I lead an active life. Despite exercising 3 days a week, I am unable to lose the fat around my belly. Are there any specific foods that can help me lose belly fat?  — Anamika Sengupta

If you feel like you are exercising right to lose weight, but the scale is proving you wrong, it may be because your diet contains foods that cause bloating, water-retention and a higher calorie intake. These quick swaps will help in tackling belly fat.

  • Fresh or frozen raspberries contain a great deal of fibre, which regulates the body’s insulin response and reduces belly fat.
  • Fish is rich in Omega-3 and protein that can keep you full. You even burn more calories digesting protein than you do when you eat fats or carbs.
  • Nuts are good sources of protein and Omega-3. They can control hunger pangs.
  • Oats are high in fibre and are ideal for decreasing calorie intake.
  • Green tea increases fat break down in the body. It also improves insulin sensitivity and controls cravings.

I am in my late 20s and my metabolism has slowed down tremendously. Are there any specific foods or diet that can improve my metabolism? — Suma Kannan

There are plenty of foods that can speed up your metabolism, so adding them to your diet may give you the extra edge to lose more weight.

  • Chilli peppers boost metabolism, circulation and reduce cravings. 
  • Whole grains are full of nutrients and complex carbohydrates that speed up metabolism by stabilising your insulin levels. Slow-release carbs such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth offer long-lasting energy.
  • High in calcium, broccoli is a rich source of vitamins C, K and A. One serving of broccoli will provide you with folate, dietary fibre and antioxidants.
  • Soups are a filling combination of nutrients that speed up the metabolism and burn fat.

I am 37 years old and I work in the IT sector, which essentially means that I am at my desk for at least nine hours a day. I weigh 92 kg and I am 5 ft 5. Can you please suggest a diet that is easy to follow? — Sumita Yadav

While there are plenty of scary health facts about desk jobs, it is important to realise that physical activity is a must. Here are a few diet hacks to follow:

  • Drink at least 2.5 litres of water every day. Water can fight fatigue, headaches, dehydration and kill binge eating.
  • When you feel like snacking, eat a fruit with a serving of protein. Nuts, roasted seeds, yogurt with fruit, tofu, mushrooms and beans will do the trick.
  • Stock up on herbal teas. Go for marigold, apple and spiced teas.
  • Try gluten-free whole grains like amaranth, quinoa, oats and barnyard millet.