We all want to have a flat stomach. We want it fast! We work out hard and try different kinds of diets. Sadly, many people don’t get the results they were hoping for after all the work they put in. One of the reasons could be that some of the food choices they make are sabotaging their efforts. Yes, this includes some ‘healthy’, ‘sugar-free’… ‘diet foods’.
Not only is belly fat the most dangerous kind of fat, it also the most difficult kind to get rid of. If following a strict diet and exercise regimen has done nothing for your waistline, these 10 foods might be the reason.
You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s just so dang hard to give up soda. However, if you’re seriously set on getting rid of belly fat you really do have to kick the habit of drinking pop to the curb. Yes… even if it’s diet soda!
Soda slows down your metabolism and makes your body store more fat. One can of soda contains about 150 empty calories.
Also, whenever you drink something fizzy you take in a good amount of carbon dioxide, which is what gives the drinks their fizz. This gas unsurprisingly will make you gassy and bloated.
If you’re now thinking, fine I’ll just drink juice instead… it’s healthy, you’ll be sadly mistaken. Most store-bought juices have no actual nutritional value or vitamins. They’re just full of sugar and corn syrup.
If you need a replacement for your favorite soda, just go with plain water or some good old home brewed iced tea with no added sugar in it. Doing this will save your body from hundreds of extra calories.
2 Alcoholic drinks
Many alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories. However, it’s not just about the caloric content in certain drinks.
Alcohol consumption itself increases your appetite as well as confusing the part of your brain that’s responsible for that ‘full’ feeling in your stomach. So, no matter how full you are, when you go for a bottle of beer you usually grab a snack along with it… don’t you?
Of course there are those special occasions when you can’t help but celebrate with some alcohol. In that case, go for wine or beer and avoid cocktails.
A 4-ounce daiquiri or margarita contains about 7 teaspoons of added sugar. This, plus the fact that alcohol slows down your body’s metabolism, making it even more difficult to burn all those calories, should make you think twice before opting for a fancy mix drink.
See also: Red wine and your gut
3 Foods high in sodium
If you were thinking that sugar was the biggest culprit keeping you from achieving a flat stomach, here’s some bad. Along with sugar, salt should also be limited to small amounts. Especially if you suffer from high blood pressure.
Not only are high sodium foods harmful to your health, they also make your body retain fluids. This results in a puffy belly. In fact most people take over 3400 milligrams of sodium daily. That’s more than twice the recommended 1500 milligrams, according to the American Heart Association.
So avoid sprinkling your food with salt and study the sodium content on food packaging. You’ll be surprised how much sodium many processed foods contain.
4 Chewing gum
This may sound surprising because you’re not actually eating anything. However, that is actually the problem.
When you chew gum your brain and stomach gets signals that prepare them for an incoming meal. This means that gum triggers the overproduction of stomach acid. This, in turn, ends up making you feel hungry.
What’s even worse… researchers at the Ohio University have discovered that not only does chewing gum make you hungry… it makes you hungry for the sugary, high calorie stuff!
The chemical that gives gum it’s minty taste makes healthy fruits and vegetables taste nasty. Ever brush your teeth and then drank some orange juice?
5 Fast food
This one probably probably doesn’t come as a surprise. We’re all well aware that fast food contains too many calories and leads to a whole slew of health problems.
However, if it’s specifically that gut you’re trying to get rid of then you really need to ditch fast food. There’s a reason it’s called ‘junk food’! It’s just a scary mix of fat, sugar and chemical additives.
The fat in fast food causes bloating and discomfort because it leaves the stomach really slowly. Sugar moves right into the intestines, causing spikes in your blood sugar and raising insuline levels. The chemicals and artificial sweeteners that give your junk food that great taste negatively affect the good bacteria in your gut.
If you’re looking for a healthy snack alternative try vegetable sticks or some fruits instead.
If you’re a big fan of mayonnaise then you should know that this condiment contains at least 80 percent fat. It’s basically just straight-up fat. Just one tablespoon of the stuff has about 100 calories!
So, if you add two tablespoons of mayo to your sandwich you’re adding an extra 200 calories, which is about 10% of the daily recommended calorie intake for the average woman.
Want to add flavor to your meals? Try using spices instead.
See also: Top 5 fat burning spices
7 Ice cream
Okay, probably another obvious one. Sugary foods like ice cream are more likely to turn into abdominal fat, which is the most dangerous place to store fat.
Besides that, ice cream is pretty addictive. An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition even compared craving ice cream to drug addiction. The more you get the more you want to satisfy your ever growing craving.
Of course the more ice cream you eat, the more calories you get with it. It’s a vicious sugary circle.
If you absolutely can’t imagine your life without some frozen dessert try preparing a low-calorie one yourself freeze a small banana and then blended into a paste. This dessert contains less than 100 calories and tastes just as good… or at least close.
8 Fried foods
Yes, you really should say goodbye to french fries if you’re trying to combat belly fat. Foods fried in oil work like a sponge, absorbing saturated fats. Those are the types of fats that are dangerous.
They can actually affect your brain function, preventing you from knowing when you’re full. This is why you just can keep shoving this type food in your mouth without feeling satiated. Also, it takes your body a long time to digest fried foods because of the high fat content in them.
9 Foods that make you bloat
Even the skinniest people can have pretty bulging bellies due to consuming too many foods that provoke intestinal gases and bloating. If this is an issue for you it’s best to avoid these types of foods.
One type of food that often cause bloating is dairy. Even though it is a great source of calcium and protein, it leads to digestive problems in over 65 percent of all people. For those who are lactose intolerant it causes bloating, cramping, diarrhea and gas. Unsweetened almond milk could be a good alternative to regular milk.
Another, rather unexpected food that might make you bloat is apples. We all know they have vitamin C as well as lots of fiber. This combines with the fructose contained in the apple and ferments in your large intestines, causing all kinds of trouble. Baked apples can be a great solution if you want to avoid bloating but still get the vitamins.
Lentils, beans and artichokes are also super fiber rich and can cause a similar bloating effect in your body.
10 Sugar free foods
Foods with sugar substitutes like polyalcohols might be effective for people with diabetes but these sugar free products can still contribute to the amount of belly fat you are packing.
Think about it. If your soda is labeled ‘diet’ but tastes just as good as the regular one there must be something in it to compensate for the lack of sugar and fat.
Artificial sweeteners might have no calories in them but they will make you want to eat more, which only leads to gaining excess weight. This doesn’t only apply to soda but most ‘diet’ versions of unhealthy foods as well.
So, stick to healthy natural stuff and don’t fall for the ‘zero-calories-lose-weight-as-you-eat’ slogans and advertisements.
Want a great guide on eating natural foods for amazing fat loos? Read ‘The Fat Burning Kitchen‘ by Mike Geary and Catherine Ebeling.
So, there you have it, 10 foods you should ditch from your diet if you are serious about getting rid of belly fat.