You make sure to get some regular exercise. You try to eat right. Yet that stubborn belly fat just won’t budge. And worse, your waistband size keeps creeping up year after year.
It’s frustrating. We get it. But don’t beat up on yourself or give up and throw in the towel. Because it turns out losing weight could be far easier than you ever imagined.
In fact, any one of the following 8 easy-to-make eating mistakes could be the REAL cause behind your ballooning belly. But change a few habits and your belly fat could begin to melt away like a Popsicle on a sidewalk in July.
Stop making these food mistakes & shrink your belly fat
While lots of foods can cause you to gain weight, one of the following eight food flubs could be the culprit behind your refuse-to-budge belly fat.
1. Bran muffins:
You might feel good about choosing a bran muffin for breakfast. After all you’re eating healthy bran fiber so it must be good for you, right?
The truth is most breakfast muffins contain little more than a dusting of bran. The bulk of the muffin is typically made from blood-sugar-spiking enriched flours which cause your belly to balloon. Plus that so-called “healthy” bran muffin probably clocks in at around 500 calories and is packed with a ton of belly-fat-building hidden sugars.
2. Diet soda:
It’s been years since your last sugary soda, and that’s good. But if you’re still drinking diet sodas, that’s not so good. In fact, the more diet soda you drink, the bigger your belly is likely to be. People who drink diet sodas tend to have more belly fat than people who don’t!
You see although artificial sweeteners like aspartame are calorie free they’re not free of effects on your body. Aspartame has been linked to increased blood glucose levels.
But unlike with sugar, aspartame doesn’t raise blood sugar directly. Instead the sweetener does a number on your belly bugs knocking your gut flora way out of balance. And when your blood sugar levels get too high for your liver to manage the excess sugar becomes… yes, you guessed it…fat.
In a University of Texas study researchers found that diet soda drinkers had a shocking 70 percent jump in their waist size over 10 years compared to non-soda drinkers. Folks who downed two sodas a day saw waist measurements increases that were a staggering 500 percent greater than their peers who didn’t drink any diet soda.
Soy has gained an undeserved reputation for being a health food. As a result a lot of folks have taken up drinking soymilk and that’s bad news for their waistlines.
Soy is loaded with plant estrogens that can wreak havoc on our hormones. Even worse for our expanding bellies is that soy contains goitrogens which can block the production of critical thyroid hormones and interrupt iodine metabolism.
The result? A poorly functioning thyroid and ultimately packing on pounds that are almost impossible to get rid of.
4. Fruit juice:
Fresh fruit can be a staple of a healthy diet but juice – even 100 percent, fresh-squeezed juice – can contribute to belly fat. The reason why is simple, they’re packed with sugar.
But not just any sugar. Fruit juice is loaded with the kind of sugar—fructose—that specifically leads to belly fat. And without any of the healthy fiber you get in the whole fruit to help balance things out that sugar sends your blood glucose soaring and then crashing.
Skip the juice, eat the fruit.
5. Spaghetti sauce:
There’s no question about it. The jarred spaghetti sauce you can pick up in any grocery store is convenient. But that’s about the only positive thing we can say about it.
Most store-bought tomato and pasta sauces aren’t just lackluster when it comes to taste, they’re often loaded up with added sugar too. Added sugar that’s entirely unnecessary to the taste, and that contributes to belly fat.
Most folks choose oatmeal for breakfast because they’re convinced it’s good for them. But while oatmeal does provide some fiber, the instant oatmeal that many folks eat is mostly an empty carbohydrate that spikes your blood sugar causing your body to pump out insulin.
To make matters worse, eating oatmeal for most of us means tearing open a package of instant oatmeal that’s packed with sugar. The resulting surge in blood glucose leaves you feeling hungry so you snack and eat a bigger lunch than you would had you chosen a healthy protein for breakfast instead.
If you want to occasionally eat oatmeal for breakfast choose organic steel cut instead.
Everyone knows that salmon is great for you. It’s a clean protein source and has tons of omega-3s. But the problem comes when you eat farmed salmon instead of wild.
Although omega-3s are healthy for you, too much omega-6 can increase belly fat – and farmed salmon has nearly 2000 mg of omega-6! Make sure the salmon you buy is wild and fight belly fat while supporting your heart.
8. Low fat or skim milk:
We’ve all been told choosing low fat milk and dairy products is a great way to lose weight. Unfortunately it’s just not true. In fact, low-fat milk drinkers are more likely to be overweight than their peers who indulge in full-fat milk
It may seem strange since skim milk has fewer calories than whole milk. But the glycemic index explains why it’s true. Despite being fat free and lower in calories, skim milk is HIGHER on the glycemic index than whole milk.
In other words, it has a bigger effect on your blood sugar and as a result your belly fat.
Skip the skim milk and use whole-fat instead.
3 more belly fat builders to avoid
But what if you’re NOT eating any of these, and you STILL aren’t losing that stubborn belly fat?
Well while these 8 foods are some of the worst culprits when it comes to building belly fat, there are some other mistakes many of us make the can cause us to pack on pounds and have a hard time losing them.
Sitting too long:
Sitting has been called this generation’s smoking. And for good reason. Sitting too long can contribute to an endless list of health problems from heart disease to diabetes.
And of course sitting is bad news for your belly too. See, standing alone can burn up to 50 calories more than sitting. Stand an extra 3 hours every day and you can burn almost 8 pounds of fat in a year – just by standing up.
Skimping on shuteye:
It might seem like being active is what will help vanquish belly fat, but sleep is just as important. When you sleep your body resets itself kind of like a reboot and defrag on your computer.
But sleep does more than that, too. When you’re asleep, your body produces hormones that help burn fat, including belly fat. So make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of shuteye every night.
Everybody is stressed these days, but chronic, ongoing stress causes your body to hold onto belly fat.
Work out, meditate, or take a hot bath. The key is to actually destress, not just appear calm on the outside. Figure out whatever helps you really relax and then make it a priority.
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Others are ordinary people that have natural family cures passed down from generations, or discovered an inexpensive home remedy out of necessity or even by accident.
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