One of the things that may be holding you back in your quest for flat belly is restricting certain food groups. This will only set you up for unsustainable weight and belly fat loss.
What you should do is to
- Discover the healthier alternative of that food
- The right portion
- Find out the other group of food to combine it with. This is important because certain combination can burn fat more while others are dangerous. For instance the combination of oats with skim milk and cinnamon will make you feel full, stabilize your blood sugar, aid in fat loss and help in improving muscle tone.
- The healthy way to prepare it and
- How frequently you should eat it
I do not ask clients to remove food groups. I have found out that the moment someone goes on a recommended or self imposed strict diet, resentment, frustration and sometimes uncontrollable desire for the restricted food comes in.
The thing that occupies your mind is that food you have been asked to remove. Your imagination and creativity will not recognize boundaries in plotting means to sneak in those foods. This is one of the things that lead people on the path to eating disorders and binging.
Things that are forbidden look more attractive.
Think back to when you were a kid, whenever your parents or an adult asks you not to watch that, eat that or not to read that, it arouses your curiosity and you may find that the only thing on your mind is devising ways to do those things without your parents finding out.
The foods listed below all have one problem. They contain a lot of calorie. The list is to guide you and help you achieve you goal for a flat belly. It does not mean you will not eat cake ever again, it means minimizing the intake and concentrating on what you want: flat belly.
Low fat and non fat foods
Fat in food is what makes it taste yummy and well rounded. It makes products thick and creamy. It gives flavor. When fat is removed from your food, the yummy taste, flavor, creaminess and thickness goes with it. So, how do manufactures still make it appetizing, thick and tasty?
Well, they add more sugar, more flour (corn starch and others), more taste enhancers, thickener, MSG, gum, the list goes on. What do you get? You get a food that does not hit the spot. You feel unsatisfied after eating and may eat more of it.
The result is a weight gain friendly food and more belly fat
Does this mean that all low fat food including skim milk is unhealthy and belly fat forming? No. What you have to do is read the label of your low and non fat product. What are the contents? How many grams of sugar does it have? What of other additives. Does it have strange names that you cannot pronounce? Some so called fat free foods actually contains unhealthy synthesized fat substitutes
Your skim milk should have one product skimmed milk. That is the only time that it is healthier for you than the full cream version. It may not taste good, it may be chalky but you are taking skim milk.
Your aim should not be to eliminate all fat from your diet. It is just the bad fat. Go for monounsaturated fat found in avocado pear, olive oil, nuts and fish
Fruit juice that is prepared at home or bought in a shop both has the same thing in common.
They are both sugary beverage. They do not promote satiety and they spike up your blood sugar the moment you drink it.
A glass of home made apple juice contains 110 calories and 27 grams of sugar
A glass of home made orange juice contains 203 calories with 51 grams of sugar
Now compare this to a cup of cola drink with 107 calories and 27 grams of sugar
You are basically taking the same high sugar drink, the only difference is the natural vitamins and mineral in your fruits.
Most packaged fruit juice contain flavor, sugar and water and no fruit.
Fruit juice is liquid calorie that is easy to make and drink that promotes belly fat. Go for a healthy smoothie. Smoothie contains fiber and you can add sunflower and flax seed and even ground oats to make it a refreshing and belly fat busting drink
It is not only the alcohol in beer that causes belly fat it is also the excess calorie. A bottle of beer contains 150 calories while a bottle of stout contains 176 calories, 14 grams of sugar and 15 grams of alcohol
For some people their typical consumption of alcohol in a day is 3-5 bottles. That is between 600 – 900 calories from alcoholic beverage alone. When you add this to the other calories you have consumed throughout the day, you will find that you are well above the recommended 2,000 calories for women and 3,000 calories for men.
Another thing about alcohol and belly fat is that when you take alcohol your liver stops burning fat as fuel, it burns alcohol as fuel. What this means is that all the calorie from your food is stored as fat in your midsection because there is no need for your body to burn for energy anymore. Alcohol just took care of that.
Does this mean no more alcohol? Remember we talked about portion control not restriction to avoid resentment. So, your aim should be to gradually cut down your alcohol intake to maybe ……….( fill that in by yourself). You know how much you take, look at your belly……! You should know what is best for you right now.
Most bread is made from bleached flour. It is refined and devoid of nutrients. Refined carbohydrates is one of the culprits in weight gain and belly fat.
Bread might be one of your main foods so do not get resentful or ask yourself what does she want me to eat?
Try eating whole wheat bread. The trick is to make sure that you are eating whole wheat bread. Just because whole wheat is written on it does not mean it is so. Brown color does not mean its whole wheat bread or healthy. It may be that brown color or caramel was added to the bread mixture. Read the label. Make sure that the bread has at least 2-3 grams of fiber.
Foods low in fiber
Taking foods low in fiber can cause accumulation of weight especially in the abdomen. A study found that taking 10 grams of soluble fiber in your meal every day reduced visceral fat by 3.7% over 5 years. This is without exercise! Imagine what will happen when exercise is added. That will mean less belly fat.
Foods that are low in fiber are usually high in calorie. Foods like doughnuts, cake, carbonated drinks, instant noodles, and pasta are high in calorie but low in fiber. The result is that it causes constipation, sugar craving, increases your appetite and does not give you the feeling of satiety.
There are two types of fiber : Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber
Soluble fiber is the one that has effects on belly fat. It can be found in oats, apple, carrot, yam etc.
The insoluble fiber helps to keep your digestive system working properly.
When you take foods low in fiber, you will get hungry within 30 minutes to 1h0ur of taking it. This is not good for your midsection
Even though fiber is good, going to the extreme when taking it is not advised. This is because excessive intake of fiber can cause abdominal cramp and discomfort. If you have been eating food low in fiber then introduce them slowly into your diet so you will not suffer the side effects. You may also want to increase your water intake.
Most products that are marketed as a cleanse in the market contain fiber, this is what makes you more regular. You can get the same benefits by adding them to your diet and minimizing foods low in fiber.
Trans fat is made by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats. Trans fat not only causes you to gain weight it causes the redistribution of fat. It moves fat from the other parts of your body to your belly.
This makes it unhealthy and very dangerous, not just for your belly but for your overall health. Trans fat can be found in margarine, bread, pastries, ice cream, crackers, cakes and most snacks. Most of the snacks you buy in fast foods are fried with trans fat. They cause inflammation, heart disease and may cause weight gain and belly fat. Use olive oil or coconut oil when cooking.
Minimizing the intake of the foods mentioned above is for your own good. It will make you healthier while making your tummy flatter. Remember that nothing works in isolation. Everything has to work together including exercise, healthy nutrition and rest.
In my next post I will talk about effective exercises for belly fat.