How to lose belly fat? Simple, cut the C-R-A-P (cocktails, refined foods, additives, and preservatives). Yup, that’s right cut out added sugars or sweeteners, greasy fried foods, and processed goods if you want to help that belly (and everything else) shrink, and more importantly, achieve improved health. Wondering what exactly falls in that category? No worries, We’ve compiled a list of foods – both to avoid and to eat – to get a flatter stomach while helping you on your way towards healthy, sustainable eating habits.
Some people suffer from lactose intolerance without knowing it. Whether you have a mild or severe case of this affliction, you’ll notice the symptoms are similar: gas and bloat. Swap out cow’s milk for lactose-free or nut milk alternatives and try to limit how much cheese and yogurt you consume – your tummy might thank you through better digestion and the loss of stubborn belly fat.
2. Potato chips
One step that will most likely help you shed unwanted weight around your belly is cutting out unhealthy snacking, especially on salty potato chips. Not only are salty snacks like chips loaded with highly unhealthy hydrogenated oils – which contribute to increased cholesterol and heart disease – they’re also packed with sodium, which will have your body holding onto water weight.
If you’re already mindful of what you eat, double check that you’re also aware of what you drink. Sugary beverages like soda contribute to increased belly fat, and drinking added sugar can contribute to poor health and hinder any weight loss attempt. Opt for good ol’ fashioned water as your beverage of choice if you want to achieve a flat stomach and avoid sugar crashes.
4. Baked goods
If you’re aiming to lose belly fat, then you’ll most definitely want to eliminate processed baked goods from your diet. Such sweet indulgences may be a convenient and delicious snack, but these high-carb foods are packed with refined sugars and preservatives. Baked goods are also low on nutritional content, so if you choose them over a more nutritious option, you’re not fueling your body or your goals.
5. Fried foods
From french fries to chicken, if it’s fried, it’s probably not doing your body any favors – inside or out. Greasy fast foods may be a delicious indulgence, but they can contribute to weight gain and the unhealthy cholesterol levels, which can eventually clog your arteries over time. This one is essential not just for a flat tummy, but for your lifelong health.
6. Processed carbohydrates
If you want to say bye-bye to the belly, then you may want to cut down on refined carbohydrates like white bread, rice, and pasta and choose fiber-rich whole grain options instead, or opt for a high-protein, low-carb nutritional plan.
7. Sweeteners and added sugar
These tasty tricksters might make you feel good for a moment, but leave you zapped of energy and craving more the next. Refined sweeteners and added sugars wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, which eventually leads to the accumulation of fat around your belly and elsewhere. Consider ditching added sugars entirely, or if you can’t go cold turkey, then swap them out for natural sweeteners like real maple syrup or honey — but in moderation. Also, make sure to read ingredient lists on packaged foods, as added sugar is hidden in a lot of seemingly ‘healthy’ products.
Sugar’s equally problematic cousin, alcohol is something to be consumed at a minimum, if at all, when you’re working to make your health a priority. Drinking can lead to dehydration and water retention, and as we discussed earlier, water-weight can leave you feeling bloated and puffy. Also, cocktails are usually brimming with sugary fruit juices and syrups that will send your blood sugar levels rocketing. Beers (even light beers) are heavy in calories but low in nutritional value, and will not help you in getting closer to getting a flat stomach or better overall health.