Why do people want to lose Belly Fat?
Most people who have big bellies will spend less time in front of their dressing mirror as they prepare to go out. They react based on the images that stare back at them. The reactions of these people are mostly in the form of a frown, followed by various forms of attempts to tuck-in their fat tummies. Most often, the problem is usually the size of the stomach. Big belly and smart dressing don’t go hand in hand. The type of food consumed by these people could be the major problem because there are certain foods to avoid to lose belly fat. Therefore, let us consider foods to eat or avoid to lose belly fat.
It is usually not a pleasant reaction when most people notice that they are beginning to have big stomachs. The responses could range from panic to dissatisfaction, and then low self-esteem in the long run. The tummy is usually a giant reservoir for fats, and it is therefore quite easy to get unnecessarily big. The kinds of food that you consume most times play essential roles in your overall weight gain. Even though nobody aspires to be too skinny, it is also a health risk if you have more flesh on you than is necessarily suitable. This may result in obesity, which is very unhealthy.
Belly fat and health issues
An average person dislikes having a vast midsection, and it is not just because it hinders the achievement of a smart and lovely look in a stunning outfit. The consequences of a big belly go beyond merely disfiguring the individual’s figure. As you begin to grow old, fats are mostly stored in some parts of the body, especially the belly. This could become a serious health problem if it is not quickly addressed, thereby leading to health issues, including diabetes and heart diseases (5, 6, 15).
Both the male and female folks always want a moderate tummy size. The man who wants some beautiful abdominal muscles will want to look out for “male foods to avoid” when trying to lose belly fat, just as how a woman who is set out to achieve a similar goal will also do. But the truth is the so-called “male foods to avoid” to lose belly fat are not different from what a lady who desires a toned and flat tummy should also avoid.
Weight loss and body type
So, when talking about what foods to eat and avoid to lose belly fat, it may become necessary to observe a strict diet which may vary from person to person. The rate at which people gain and lose weight depends on different factors; one of which is the body type. There are three types of body namely (4);
- Ectomorphs: these sets of individuals find it challenging to gain and lose weight because they have very low body fats.
- Mesomorphs: these sets of people will increase and lose weight without much difficulty as long as they eat their required daily calories and engage in workout routines.
- Endomorphs: these sets of individuals will gain weight quickly but will, unfortunately, find it hard to lose any added weight. This is because they have a high volume of body fats.
Whether you are an endomorph, ectomorph, or mesomorph, you must eat appropriately to obtain the required body mass index. The body mass index is the ratio of height to weight. Simply put, your height should be suitably proportional to your weight; otherwise, you may begin to attract unwanted stares because of your awkward physique. Another factor that may influence the capability of the body to gain or lose weight is genetics. The genes an individual inherits from the parents go a long way in determining some of the physical and mental characteristics (4).
What foods to avoid to lose belly fat?
In discussing the process of doing away with a fatty stomach, you may have to understand the dos and don’ts of consumption. That is to say, you must know what food to eat and avoid to lose belly fat. The most appropriate and ideal approach is to limit or avoid the consumption of high-calorie foods altogether. This is just one of several factors that influence your ability to gain weight. Your gene and lifestyle also play major roles.
Even though consuming foods with low calorific value does not automatically guarantee the loss of weight, you must ensure that you are not starving yourself of essential nutrients that make for a healthy lifestyle. With that being said, below are 10 foods to avoid to lose belly fat (1, 13, 15):
A lot of sweet liquids like juices from fruits, sports drinks, soft drinks, and sodas contain a very high amount of sugar. Since they have high sugar content, they supply the body with a heap load of calories when consumed. However, the problem is that they do not furnish the body with essential nutrients for a healthy living. The person who consumes much of these drinks will most likely be getting more of their daily calorie requirement from the liquid. Consequently, this may lead to a surplus intake of the daily calorie because the person still has to eat.
This surplus calorie may eventually result in the person becoming overweight. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans between 2015 and 2020, it is advised that the volume of total calorie provided by sugary fluids be reduced. The investigation reported that an average American consumes nothing less than 17 teaspoonful of sugar daily (7), which is against the recommended 12 teaspoonful per day. Another study conducted in 2015 associated a massive gain in weight for both children and adolescents with the consumption of sugar obtained from consuming sugary fluids (5).
These foods are major culprits because they are usually prepared with a lot of sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup. A 2015 research observed that some individuals who consume food containing fructose tend to have a higher craving for food and are quick to become hungry. The participants who did not consume much of fructose were observed to be less hungry and desirous of food (8, 14).
Most foods that have been baked are usually rich in Trans fats. Trans fats, according to research conducted in 2016, were said to have enormous influence in the cause of obesity in mice. The Food and Drug Administration has also noted that the removal of partially hydrogenated oils from foods may reduce the rate of cases of heart attacks and sudden death. Some examples of baked foods to be avoided include confectionery and pastries. Also, foods with a large amount of nutritive sweetness and fructose should not be considered for consumption at all (8, 14).
When you fry your food, it will most likely contain a high volume of calories, unhealthy fats, and salts. Most restaurants and eating places deep fry their fries to make it crispy. The danger in this, however, is that a considerable amount of calories and fat is eventually invested in such food. In a study carried out in 2017 on about 4,440 individuals between the age of 45 and 75 who consume potatoes (11), it was discovered that people who ate fried potatoes not less than two times in a week were at a higher risk of dying before those who consumed the food less often. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid fries altogether while eating in public places and even at home. Eating fresh salad and fruits will serve you better.
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Cracker and chips
These foods are included on this list because of their processed nature. They are usually rich in calories and sometimes, fats, salts, and sugar. In Brazil, it was observed during research that there was a connection between obesity and fast foods. So, instead of chips, you can snack on carrot and toasted nuts but without sugar (6).
White bread and pasta
These foods are to be avoided to lose belly fats because they are usually made from wheat flour that has been refined. The refined wheat flour is generally rich in carbohydrates and calories but lacking in other essential nutrients such as fiber and protein. Instead of eating this type of pasta and bread, it is better to eat whole grain pasta and bread. This is advised because whole grain wheat is rich in fiber and other materials. This food also healthily fills the stomach. Whole grain wheat such as brown rice flour and whole rye flour are healthy alternatives to take while trying to reduce overall weight gain (15).
Energy and granola bars
This type of food usually contains a high volume of fiber and protein, but at the same time, it could include a considerable amount of sugar. Although most people enjoy consuming this type of food, it is not ideal for persons who are looking forward to losing some unwanted belly fat. In place of the energy and granola bars, you should feed on diced apple and peanut butter, berries, and Greek yogurt as well as hard-boiled eggs (15).
Sweetened dried fruits
When fruits are dry, they tend to be made up of a high concentration of fructose. It is therefore easy to conclude that dried fruit contains more sugar and calories than the fresh kind. This does not, however, mean that you cannot eat up some dried fruits while trying to lose weight. Moderation is always the key. You must also ensure that you are not consuming dried fruits that have been sweetened by the addition of sugar (15).
It is usually advised that anyone hoping to shed some weight around the midsection should avoid alcohol. This is because most alcoholic drinks have high calories and sugar content without the essential nutrients needed for healthy living. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has said that drinking a certain amount of alcohol will supply the body with more calories than is required for a healthy lifestyle. You can drink certain types of alcohol like red wine, and some pure alcohols like rum, vodka, and gin while aspiring for weight loss.
However, these permitted alcohols must be consumed responsibly. For instance, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations, the man is advised to take no more than two cups of drinks per day, while for the female folks, a maximum of one cup per day is considered suitable (7).
What makes this kind of food unsuitable for you is the fact that they have undergone various types of food processing in the food manufacturing factories. These meats could have either been fermented, canned, smoked, or dried, and don’t forget that they are usually packed and preserved to have a longer shelf life. These meat types most times have high salt content as a result of the processing. They lack the majority of the essential nutrients that the body needs to stay healthy, apart from that, they also have high-calorie content when compared to other sources of protein like fish, beans, poultry, and so on.
According to the International Agency for Research Cancer (IARC), meats that have undergone processing of any kind are carcinogenic, which means that they can result in some types of cancers (12). This is to tell you that processed meats like hot dogs, ham, salami, jerky, and bacon, to mention a few, should be avoided entirely if you genuinely aim at burning belly fat.
Most types of ice creams are usually rich in calories and sugar content, and unfortunately, the best that this creamy dessert can provide you with is very little or no protein and fiber content. The recommended amount of ice cream is usually pegged at about half of a cup, but this advice may be unused as it is quite easy to forget the recommended ratio while enjoying it. In place of ice cream, you can decide to go for frozen fruits and some delicious combinations of Greek yogurt and chopped fruits (15).
No matter how much you love to consume any of the categories of diets discussed above, you must make it a point of duty to avoid these foods to lose belly fat.
Food to eat while trying to lose belly fats
Having discussed different food types that can harm the overall appearance of the tummy, below is a list of foods that are suitable for consumption while you are trying to achieve a whole new belly goal (2, 3, 10).
You probably know about the overall nutritional contribution of eggs to the body system. You may also be aware that eggs are rich in nutrients that help in muscle building and fat burning. The protein and choline in eggs perform the muscle building and fat burning processes. The egg yolk, especially, is very rich in choline, which plays a crucial role in burning fats. A study conducted on the Effect of Choline Supplementation on Rapid Weight Loss and Biochemical Variables Among Female Taekwondo and Judo Athletes revealed that supplements of choline would help reduce the body mass index and leptin which is a hunger causing hormone (9). The choline also helps in the breakdown of fat for energy supply to the body.
Avocado is one of the best foods to consume when shooting for a healthy stomach. It is made up of single-chain saturated fats that prevent the body from storing fats in the stomach region. These fats prevent the belly from bloating and help the body absorb a cancer-fighting component called carotenoids. Carotenoids are found in fresh fruits and vegetables with bright colors such as carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and winter squash, to name a few.
The consumption of this variety of yogurt helps increase the presence of beneficial bacteria in the human gut. These bacteria stop other harmful bacteria from surviving in this region. Greek yogurt also contains essential nutrients like proteins and carbs, which help keep the insulin level stable. These activities prevent the body from storing more fats than is required by the body at any given time.
These are also some of the most nutritious natural foods that you will ever come across, although many people are not aware of this reality. Lentils are filled with essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, as well as plant proteins. It is also your sure bet for sufficient fiber content. The lentil is very rich in soluble fiber which reduces cholesterol in the body while also stabilizing bowel. Instead of eating meat and other processed sources of protein, you will be doing yourself a lot of good by eating lentils.
Nuts are very rich in health-friendly fats. They contain antioxidants, fibers, plant proteins, and multiple types of essential and non-essential minerals and vitamins. Consumption of certain types of nuts such as the cashew, hazelnut, pine nut, pistachios, pecans, and macadamia has been said to reduce body mass index and blood pressure. However, to enjoy the goodness of nuts, you must confirm whether you are allergic to it or not. You can even add some flavor by consuming it with oats, blended dried fruits, and dark chocolates.
It is imperative to ensure that the belly fats are reduced to the lowest as much as possible. A large stomach will not only give you an awkward posture but can also make you feel uncomfortable most of the time. You may find it challenging to carry out your daily activities without going through unnecessary stress. Apart from this, it could lead to various health issues such as obesity and heart diseases. A person with an excessively large tummy will likely find it difficult to partake in healthy lifestyles such as routine exercises and this could inevitably worsen the situation. Now that you know some of the foods to avoid to lose belly fat, there should be an improvement in your overall physique.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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- Effect of Choline Supplementation on Rapid Weight Loss and Biochemical Variables Among Female Taekwondo and Judo Athletes (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Eight Delicious Foods That Help Fight Belly Fat (2011, cbsnews.com)
- Fried potato consumption is associated with elevated mortality: an 8-y longitudinal cohort study (2017, academic.oup.com)
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- Trans-Fatty Acids Aggravate Obesity, Insulin Resistance and Hepatic Steatosis in C57BL/6 Mice, Possibly by Suppressing the IRS1 Dependent Pathway (2016, Mdpi.com)
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