While most of us make a conscious effort to stay fit and healthy, we are not always able to reach our target on time. This may be due to the age factor, but more often than not, it is our diet that plays a significant role. We already know that exercising on a daily basis can help improve blood circulation and respiratory functions, but it may not be the sole factor that leads to the ideal body we dream of. The desire for a flat tummy is a dream for many, and a challenge too. You have to be consistent with your workouts and maintain healthy eating habits at the same time. Knowing what to avoid can certainly go a long way in helping you achieve a flat, toned abdomen. Here’s a list of foods that experts advise you must avoid:
1. Red Meat
Red Meat is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and also a major source of protein. However, too much of red meat is not known to benefit when it comes to achieving a flat stomach. Ordinarily, red meat is allied with weight gain and high levels of fat. It also contains high levels of sodium and preservatives, which can lead to water retention or bloating. Red meat is a highly saturated fat that plays a huge role in the fat accumulated around the belly. According to Dr. Parveen Verma, Physician in Kailash Hospital, “Red meat contains very high levels of fat which can cause a lot disruption in the digestion process which leads to weight gain. It also leads to an increase in cholesterol levels.”
Best Way To Eat: Cut down the amount per serving or buy smaller cuts of it.
Eating anything in excess can be bad for your health. Be it fried food or something as specific as corn. Corn is one of the most fattening foods as it contains high levels of sugar and calories. Corn is known to have sugar in the form of fructose, which contributes excessively to the visceral fat. This fat in turn causes weight gain and has a tendency to store fat around the liver, which increases the vulnerability of the belly to increase weight. It should be avoided if one is following a diet to reduce the belly fat.
Best Way To Eat: Corn should be consumed in moderate or smaller amounts. It can also be consumed with some protein or fat in order to minimize the glycemic effect.
3. Refined Sugar
Sugar is a form of carbohydrate filled with empty calories and no nutrition. Studies suggest that the consumption of sugar, especially the added sugars in our drinks, leads to weight gain and obesity and various other health problems.
According to Harvard Medical School, the calorie content of sugar-sweetened beverages can be deceiving because of the thin, watery texture that makes it very easy to consume them.
Best Way To Eat: Avoid adding excess sugar to your food items or consume fruits that are naturally high in sugar instead of adding sugar to your meals
4. Refined Grains
As the name suggests, refined grains like white bread, white rice, and so on, go through several stages of industrial practices which in turn reduce the nutritional value that these grains hold. The person thus feels less full even after consuming large quantities.
They also increase the level of blood sugar in the body thus enhancing the capacity of the body to store and accumulate fat, especially around the belly making it difficult for us to stay loyal to our fitness regime.
Best Way To Eat: Replace refined grains with whole grains like replacing white rice with brown rice, or consume smaller portions of refined grains in order to keep healthy.
5. Fruits with a lot of Fructose
Fruits are a natural source of several important nutrients like fiber, proteins, and many vitamins and minerals. They form an important part of a balanced diet. However, certain fruits like cherry, guava, litchi and mango have a higher fructose content. This fructose may lead to increased hunger pangs and a desire for sugary foods that suggest different sugars behaving differently in the body.
Research also suggests that large amounts of fructose can trigger processes in the body like fat accumulation around the belly, which can also lead to an increase in triglycerides (harmful blood fats that could lead to heart-related issues).
Best Way To Eat: Go for smaller portions and make sure you depend on an overall balanced diet plan for your nutritional needs.
6. High Sodium Foods
Excessive sodium can cause your body to hold excess water weight, making it difficult to achieve a flat midsection. Obesity and sodium are so closely linked with each other that cutting down the intake of salt might actually be one of the best ways to lose belly fat.
Studies indicate that on a regular basis, the human body needs only 200-250gms a day. Packaged food items usually contain high sodium content, which is not only harmful to our bodies but also the appearance of our stomach in particular.
Best Way To Eat: While preparing your meals, limit the amount of salt in your recipes. You can also make it a habit to rinse your vegetables or canned food in order to reduce the sodium levels.
7. Trans Fats
Foods that are loaded with trans fats might be really appetizing and addictive but they are nothing but unhealthy empty calories packed with artificial sugars. Intake of such food items can be fatal in the long run. Some everyday products that could contain trans fats – cookies, cakes, chips and wafers, microwave popcorn, or foods that need deep-frying like french fries and fried chicken. Be sure to read the labels properly when buying such products.
According to research conducted at Wake Forest University, trans fats move the fat of the body from other areas into the belly making the individual more susceptible to belly fat.
COMMENTSBest Way To Prevent: Avoid store-bought cookies, cakes, and other processed foods.