You might be running hard and doing lots of resistance training, but you can't outtrain a bad diet. This simple fact has kept even very active people from achieving their weight loss goals. And after three months of zoom calls, in which we've not been seen from the shoulders down, "lockdown belly fat" is becoming a real hazard.
With gyms in the UK set to reopen in a couple of weeks, many people are anxious to lose the belly fat they've accumulated while sitting at home. Fortunately, there's a few things we can do to speed up the process of losing weight.
As well as returning to a healthy, sensible diet and a regular exercise routine, science has a trick up its sleeve to help accelerate your metabolism and help you burn calories even while you rest. If belly fat is the question, the answer is green tea.
It sounds trite, but it's true: a study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences (opens in new tab) conducted an experiment, which monitored the effects of green tea consumption in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The group that drank four cups of green tea per day, for two months, saw a significant drop in body weight, their BMI, waist circumference and blood pressure.
Another group drank two cups of green tea and a third was issued a placebo. Neither of these groups reported significant change to their weight or systolic blood pressure.
Is is thought the tannins in green tea, part of a group of compounds called polyphenols, have antioxidant properties. In addition, another group of chemicals called catechins have been found to reduce inflammation and boost metabolism in significant quantities.
The metabolism-bolstering properties of green tea are thought to be responsible for its many health benefits, including weight loss. Because your body is always working, with your heart pumping blood around and your gut digesting food, you are always expending energy, even at rest. Your metabolism dictates how much energy you are expending, causing you to burn calories without even exercising.
There's other health properties attributed to green tea, ranging from everything to better skin and fingernails to feeling happier, but there's no guarantees from a scientific perspective. At the very least, drinking green tea instead of black tea and coffee will reduce your caffeine intake, and by extension your stress levels.
Switching to green tea is a great way to lose belly fat, reduce your risk of heart disease and tackle the warning signs of prediabetes. Coupled with an already healthy lifestyle, it's going to supercharge your metabolism and bolster your weight loss efforts. If you're not working out a lot already, it won't make any difference so get on board already.