By Annabel Anita Adanna
If you want to tone your tummy, you’re going to want to start by ditching these foods.
Whether you want it to admit it or not, there are some foods that no matter what, go right to your gut and cause what feels like nearly instant weight gain. And it goes right where you don’t want it. Yes, we’re talking about the dreaded fat that sticks right to your belly.
This type of weight gain is referred to as “deep fat tissue,” and it can even lead to some more serious issues—heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s among them.
Where your body stores calories depends on your hormones, and some unhealthy foods trigger just the exact right hormonal reaction—they hit you in the gut. Literally. So which foods are some of the “insta-belly” culprits? Here is a breakdown of the foods and drinks you might not even realize are causing you to gain unwanted belly fat.
1. White Bread
If you’re thinking not all bread is bad, you’re right. It’s highly-refined, white bread that should be avoided when you’re working to lose belly fat. Studies have shown that eating whole grains can actually lower visceral fat deposits in your belly, but eating refined grains leads to more. Looking for more helpful tips? Subscribe And Follow My Posts On Youtube.
2. Diet Soda
If you want to get your beach body back, you should cut out sugary beverages and replace them with diet versions, right? Sorry, but that’s just wrong. Many studies have found an association between the consumption of diet sodas and wider waist circumference. What’s more, diet soda drinkers have a higher percentage of belly flab than those who don’t sip the beverage, a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found. Why? Researchers think diet soda drinkers may overestimate how many calories they’re “saving,” and then overeat.
Instead, sip on some white tea. This brew blocks the formation of new fat cells and helps the body break down stored fat, according to a Nutrition & Metabolism study. That means that even when you overindulge, it’s harder for your body to store the excess calories in your body.
3. Fruit Juice
It’s natural, it’s packed with vitamin C—what could be wrong? Well, while 100% fruit juice is a better pick than sugary drinks like Sunny D, five alive, chivita drinks, even the all-natural stuff still packs up to 36 grams of sugar per cup—about the same amount of sugar you would get if you ate four Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. What’s more, most of the sweetness in juice comes from fructose, a type of sugar associated with the development of visceral adipose tissue—yep, that’s belly fat.
Instead, your best bet is to stick with plain ol’ H2O. But there is a way to add some flavor to those cups of water. You can add fresh sliced fruit like oranges and grapefruit. The key, though, is to keep the peels on: citrus peels are rich in the antioxidant d-limonene, a powerful compound that helps flush out toxins from the body and allows it to release stored visceral fat.
4. Rib-Eye Steak
Wait—don’t toss your steak knife at us just yet! Studies show that eating the right cuts of steak can actually help whittle your middle. But rib-eye, along with T-bone and New York Strip, is one of the three fattiest cuts. Researchers Of one study found that consuming a diet rich in fatty, fresh red meat is positively associated with abdominal obesity and larger waist circumference.
Let’s start by making it clear that not all chocolate is bad. In fact, dark chocolate is swimming in health benefits, and according to a study published in Heart, eating up to 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day can help lower your risk of heart disease. Plus, it can help reduce belly fat! But it’s milk chocolate that is the problem. Milk chocolate bars are loaded up with sugar and are typically packing a ton of calories. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that the food that was associated with the most with weight gain was chocolate bars. Just be sure to stay away from those milk chocolate bars!
6. Potato Chips
In the contest to find the very worst possible food for your belly, Harvard researchers believe they have a winner. It’s not just that potato chips are saturated with saturated fat, causing abdominal fat gain. It’s not just that they’re crusted with salt, causing mid-level bloat. It’s not even a pure calorie play—there are plenty of more caloric snacks out there. What makes potato chips so epically bad for your belly is not what they have, but what they lack: the ability to make you feel satisfied. A handful of chips can turn into a big empty bag in no time.
7. French Fries
Any fat-laden bad carb-fest will make you gain weight, but there’s something almost magical about the effects of fried spuds on your body’s fat-storage system. And by magical, we mean Voldemort, not Potter. One longitudinal Harvard study found that people who ate fries regularly gained more than three pounds of body weight every four years; over the course of the study, the french fry eaters gained 13 pounds of belly flab from fries alone!