Belly fat is not only unattractive, but it is responsible for many health problems.
Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer of the colon, esophagus and pancreas, chronic inflammation, and other serious problems. Losing belly fat can be one of the most important health decisions you can make.
Belly fat fills all the spaces around your guts. They are no longer able to function effectively. In addition, belly fat makes toxins called cytokines that increase your chances of many diseases.
No one food or even eleven foods cause belly fat. Instead, it is what is in the food that you love to eat. If you want to lose belly fat and possibly save your life, you must cut out or drastically decrease the amount of the following eleven types of food.
1. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is healthy, right? Nope. Fruit juice is flavored sugar water. Fruit is full of sugar so even unsweetened fruit juice contains sugar.
Right there you have a recipe for belly fat and insulin resistance. Liquid calories are not satisfying so not only will you get calories in each fruit drink, but you’ll still be hungry.
The process of making fruit juice removes all the good nutrients in fruit. Do your belly a favor and just eat fruit. And for the finale.
Sugar causes blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. If you have belly fat, you are becoming insulin resistant, the first step to diabetes. Your pancreas is working too hard, leading to other health issues.
Sugar is in practically everything and has at least 50 different names. Don’t be fooled by claims of “healthy” sugars. Sugar is sugar. Avoid it in drinks, cookies, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, etc. Don’t bother with artificial sugars – they are as bad if not worse than regular sugar.
3. Trans Fats
Trans fats are found in almost every processed food out there. It is generally hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. And if your processed food doesn’t have any, it’s because the grams per serving are low. It is still there! And studies indicate that less than a gram affects your health.
Trans fats cause inflammation and feed all those diseases listed above. Margarine and shortening are also trans fats, so fried food is out. So is microwaved popcorn and even donut sprinkles.
4. Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are found naturally in meat, cheese and dairy products. They have been long known to affect your cholesterol levels and increase risk for heart disease.
Whole milk and 2% are high in saturated fats, so try 1% or fat free milk. Cheese is a great source of protein and saturated fat. Cut your intake of cheese drastically. Cheese food, yellow squares of goo, are bad for you, so avoid that as well.
Cut out fatty meats and go for lean protein, because….
5. Low-Protein Diets
To fight belly fat, you need protein. High protein diets make you feel fuller longer, increase metabolic rate and help you comfortably decrease caloric intake.
Excellent lean protein sources include skinless chicken, 90% ground beef, beans and lentils, fish, nuts and nut butters, pork, and eggs. Obviously, how you prepare them counts.
Frying or smothering them in sauces is counterproductive. Each of these have huge health benefits like healthy oils, so eating them is two-for-one deal, including the next belly fat fighter.
6. Low-Fiber Diets
Fight belly fat by eating fiber. There are two different types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Insoluble helps waste move through the intestines.
Soluble fiber makes you feel full and slows down digestion for better nutrient absorption. Increasing your soluble fiber by 10 grams a day decreases your risk of developing belly fat by 3.7%. For a quick boost in both protein and soluble fat, sprinkle two tablespoons of chia seeds on your breakfast.
But don’t eat the next “fiber” option.
7. Refined Grains
Refined grains have outer hulls removed, stripping away nutrients. It may be “enriched.” The enrichment doesn’t make up for the refining. Refined grains include white flour and rice. Your body easily turns refined grains into blood sugar and then into belly fat.
Avoid white flour – pastries, bread, pasta, breaded foods- there are too many to list.
Eat whole grain (not whole wheat). In a recent study, people who ate whole grains didn’t show the same belly fat gains as refined grain eaters.
Salt doesn’t cause body fat, but it makes you bloat and worsen your belly fat bulge. It also contributes to heart disease. People need salt for their body to function properly. However, most Americans get plenty of salt, so don’t add extra.
Salt is as a flavor enhancer and preserver. Read labels and select lower salt (or sodium) contents but be aware other things replace salt – like MSG. Drink lots of water to keep your salt balanced.
There is a reason your bulging belly is called a beer gut. Alcohol contributes directly to belly fat. It causes chronic inflammation as well as a host of other heath problems. It may even decrease fat burning and all those empty calories are stored as fat.
Men who drink more than three drinks a day are 80% more likely to have belly fat!
In addition, mixers are full of sugar and milk-based ones are full of fat.
10. Processed Meat
Processed meats include deli meat, sausages, and hot dogs. They are full of saturated fats and salt. As we knew, these are culprits in developing belly fat. Nitrates, a common preservative, is linked to cancer. In fact, processed meats are one of the top twelve common causes for weight gain.
11. Fast Food
One food group includes something in every single topic mentioned above, except alcohol! And you probably ate it recently. It’s fast food. Burgers, chicken strips, pizza, French fries, burritos, even fast food salads are BAD for you.
If you want belly fat, by all means continue to eat highly processed, high sugar, low protein, low fiber, heavily salted, and preserved with trans fats chemically altered food that is available everywhere. Just cutting out fast food will have almost immediate effects on your health.
Belly fat is easy to develop and has very dangerous side effects. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to get rid of by eliminating foods that cause belly fat and by increasing foods that fight belly fat formation.
Your first step is to stop eating sugar in every form. That means obvious sugar, hidden sugar, and artificial sweeteners. It includes white flour, white rice, and alcohol, all of which are easily turned into sugar in your body.
It is not easy, but neither is being diabetic or developing cancer. It may take time to develop a taste for healthy food, but once you do, the bad stuff will taste awful. You can fight belly fat!