As career women, we always prioritize getting things done more than anything else. Working late is the norm, over-eating happens, and a chocolate bar makes a convenient and pleasant snack from time to time. While busy climbing the career ladder, one thing we sometimes overlook is our body shape and the belly fat which creeps on our body silently — inch by inch.
As a Chinese living and working in the US, I rely on the Asian food wisdom to keep my waistline in check. Even though I don’t have much time for the gym, food weighing or calorie counting, my weight has been well maintained for 7 years thanks to our ancestors’ wisdom.
I’m going to share some basic tips with you, and I bet you’ll be amazed at how fast they can help you shrink your inches.
3 Ways to Burn Your Belly Fat Fast
1. 24-Hour Hydration
Think about what the Chinese people eat – steamed rice, a lot of soup, and a lot of tea, and you’ll see how important hydration is in the daily eating. First of all, cooked rice is 70% water, and if you look at the calories, 100g cooked rice is only half the calories of bread and ⅓ the calories of noodles of the same weight. What do we know about the large-sized and intensely hydrated food for sure? They make us full.
For a typical family, dairy-free and moderately seasoned soup is consumed at almost every meal. An interesting way of eating rice is to add the soup into the rice bowl. It further inflates rice, makes it bigger and, most importantly, enriches it with flavors and makes it tastier. In fact, when I can’t have rice during lunch break at work, I’d include a cream-free soup — like the chicken noodle soup – into my lunch and dip the bread into it when eating. The effect is similar.
Tea – LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! Don’t mistake it with the Starbucks green tea frap, it’s the pure, natural and aromatic tea leaves in hot water. Besides hydrating you (despite the caffeine!) and boosting energy, tea contains a vast amount of antioxidants that help you shut the door of boatloads of cancers. Also, scientific findings support that tea consumption is inversely associated with weight status.
The bottom line: hydration makes you eat significantly less, making it easy to create a daily calorie deficit a few hundred calories.
Quick takeaways: Drink more soup, moisturize your food, and fill your tea bottle to burn belly fat.
2. A Different Approach To Dessert
Chinese people have loved confections from ancient time, and there are thousands of those recipes documented in history. However, only sweet isn’t enough, and to make a good dessert, it has to be gentle, aromatic and rich in natural flavor.
This has led to the moderation of sugar usage because as a type of seasoning, sugar’s purpose is to elevate the food’s natural flavor rather than taking over or killing it. By this standard, most of the grocery store desserts in the US would be rejected out of the door of most Chinese families.
Besides, drinking tea with desserts in China is as common as adding cream to coffee. The ancient Chinese believed that tea helped to cleanse the body’s fat and grease; modern science has further proven that it mobilizes fat from fat cells, and releases fat into the bloodstream and make it available as energy.
Quick takeaways: Only eat high-quality desserts – pricier means less frequent, better quality, and better experience and pair tea with dessert.
3. Cut Back on Dairy
Throughout history, the Han Chinese people (91% of the Chinese population) have had a very limited intake of dairy products. According to Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine, researchers found 92.3% Chinese people tested had lactose malabsorption. I’m one of them as the majority of my Chinese friends.
Is it bad? Not really. There are loads of calories and fat in dairy products, and minimal consumption of them isn’t a bad idea at all. In reality, scientific findings of them have been quite negative lately due to their strong associations with many health risks, including weight gain, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, as well as issues related to immune, reproductive, and central nervous systems.
What about calcium and bone health? According to Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine, consuming more than approximately 600 milligrams per day—easily achieved without dairy products or calcium supplements—does not improve bone integrity.
Fun fact: Even though people rarely drank milk throughout the Chinese history, it made great face masks for the smooth, radiant and pearl-like skin and was widely embraced by the court ladies, empresses, concubines, and upper-class women.
Quick takeaway: Cut back on dairy products.
Choose one of the above and implement into your daily routine and you’ll be one step closer to burning that belly fat away as quickly as possible.
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