Most of us want a slim body—many of them for visual reasons and health reasons. Being overweight is a strain on our metabolism and the entire body. A few extra pounds on the legs or hips are not that problematic. However, if the calories and fat deposits settle on the stomach, that’s a cause for concern.
That’s why belly fat is so dangerous.
A flat stomach is not only part of the ideal of beauty. From a health point of view, it is also best to get rid of belly fat as soon as possible. Visceral fat is the leading risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other diseases. However, there are some things you can do about it with exercise and the proper diet!
Lose Belly Fat: Avoid These Foods
Unfortunately, there are no special exercises or tricks to immediately and specifically combat just belly fat. Instead, you can concentrate on your diet. However, this does not mean a crash diet or a zero diet. If you leave a few foods out of your daily diet, your stomach will thank you. Certain foods have been shown to help store fat in the abdomen.
1. Trans fats
Trans fats are artificial fats that are mainly found in processed and packaged foods such as margarine, baked goods, candy, sauces, and ready-made dressings. According to research, trans fats not only increase belly fat but are also harmful to the health of your blood vessels and heart. It is best to eliminate trans fats from your daily diet.
Ouch, that hurts. The beloved sugar is – of course – a significant factor in the development of belly fat. According to studies, the intake of excess sugar leads to fat storage in the stomach and liver. This can even lead to insulin resistance, making it even more challenging to lose weight in the future. If you’re hungry for something sweet, the next time, it’s better to reach for delicious fruit instead of chocolate – with frozen fruit or fresh fruit in summer, and we have enough tasty selection!
3. Processed meat
Processed meat is also quite tricky. Breakfast classics like bacon and sausage are bad for your health and bad for a slim figure. Processed meat is usually entirely fatty and can also have an inflammatory effect and promote civilization diseases. Inflammation, in turn, can promote fat deposits in the organs and also inhibit muscle building.
Conclusion: Those who want to lose fat and build muscle should keep inflammable foods like sugar, red meat, and sausages to a minimum.
4. Sweetened drinks
Unfortunately, not only does the food hurt our core, the drinks often have it all too. In particular, sweetened liquids such as lemonade, fruit juices, or iced tea provide a lot of visceral fat. The problem in contrast to food: The liquid calories are just as numerous as in our food, but they don’t even fill you up. This is because the body cannot process them in the same way as solid calories. If you want to lose weight on your stomach, you should switch to water, tea, and healthy drinks and cut off liquid carbohydrates.
Alcohol has a twofold effect on our love handles: On the one hand, 1 gram of alcohol contains seven calories – almost as much as 1 gram of fat – and thus contributes significantly to a calorie surplus, which inevitably leads to obesity. On the other hand, reducing alcohol is always the top priority as our liver wants to eliminate the poison. This brings the rest of the metabolism to a standstill – and with it, unfortunately, fat burning too. This mechanism not only leads to fatty liver disease in alcoholics but also the accumulation of abdominal fat.
Conclusion: Anyone who goes on a diet or wants to maintain their desired weight in the long term should avoid alcohol as much as possible.
6. Sweeteners in moderation
Sweeteners are ambivalent: On the one hand, they are low in calories or even completely calorie-free, do not cause tooth decay, and are therefore already significantly healthier than sugar. On the other hand, it cannot be unreservedly recommended, as studies have shown that sweeteners affect our blood sugar and our intestinal bacteria. Therefore, calorie-free sweeteners can actually cause insulin resistance, although the dose-response relationship has not yet been fully clarified.
Conclusion: In a healthy diet, sweeteners are always the better alternative to pure sugar. However, one must not fall to the wrong conclusion that sweeteners are unproblematic every day and in larger quantities. Like sugar, they should be viewed as stimulants.
7. Snacks as an exception
Snacking between main meals causes blood sugar levels to rise repeatedly, causing an insulin response from the pancreas. Since insulin promotes fat storage, it is not a good thing for your stomach. With every snack between meals, the burning of fat is interrupted, and the fat is stored instead. Short-chain carbohydrates, in particular, which are found in white bread, sweets, fruit juices, or milk chocolate, cause blood sugar to skyrocket.
Tip: As a healthy exception, you should have nuts on hand in emergencies – when the stomach growls or the primary meal shifts backward. Walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds contain healthy fatty acids, lots of protein, and fiber and therefore keep you complete in the long term.
Conclusion: eat yourself full of healthy, fiber-rich ingredients and large amounts of vegetables and salad in the main meals to avoid feeling hungry in between meals! Keep nuts handy so that you have an alternative to chocolate bars, granola bars, or chips in case of doubt.
8. Late dinner
When you are entirely in control of your weight and feel fit and energetic, you don’t need to change your mealtimes. However, if you’ve tried everything and your waist size still hasn’t shrunk, you should reconsider the timing of your meals. More and more studies show that eating too late can lead to more weight gain than eating earlier. The reasons given for this are various hormones that are related to our circadian rhythm.
In the evening, the amount of melatonin in the body increases. The “sleep hormone” leads to a reduced glucose tolerance, which causes our blood sugar level to rise more strongly at a late evening meal. This, in turn, means that more insulin has to be released, which drives fat storage.
Lose Belly Fat: The Right Workout
Those who want to lose weight on the stomach often rush into sit-ups, crunches, and other abdominal exercises. The idea behind it seems logical: the more we train our core, the tighter the stomach becomes. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely effective. Although we train our abdominal muscles with sit-ups and the like, you only see them when there is really no fat left over them. So we have to get rid of the rolls first. Unfortunately, we only fight the fat minimally with abdominal muscle exercises.
Tip: Much more effective against obesity: train your legs and buttocks! These are the largest muscles in our body. And the more muscle mass, the higher our energy expenditure – even when we are not doing anything. So if you have trained leg and buttock muscles, you get the most out of your metabolism and calorie consumption and burn fat most effectively.