The best way to achieve a flat stomach with well-toned abs is to combine effective belly flattening exercises with a healthy, nutritious diet. Hours spent slaving away at the gym will be completely useless if you’re not mindful of what you’re eating. This is because certain foods activate bloating or add fat to your belly, making it difficult to lose those extra pounds. The following is a look at 10 foods and drinks that need to be avoided as they are counterproductive to any belly-flattening endeavor.
1 – Alcohol
Having an occasional beer with friends is okay. However, when you overdo it, you’ll end up with a “beer belly”. Since alcohol has many empty calories and is addictive, a single night of drinking can translate into taking in thousands of liquid calories. Instead of being burnt by your body, these calories will be stored as fat and accumulate on your stomach. Alcohol also increases your appetite and causes you to crave junk food which will often result in you consuming even more calories and sabotaging your flat stomach goals.
2 – Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners may contain zero calories but this doesn’t make them a good choice when it comes to getting a flat belly. These artificial sweeteners are loaded with chemicals that increase your appetite and cause overeating. They also cause bloating as they contain chemical compounds known as sucralose, cyclamate and aspartame which do not break down easily in the body.
3 – Candy
Candy is high in calories and provides very little nutritional value. These excess calories in candy cause fat to accumulate around your belly. The high sugar content also causes your blood glucose levels to suddenly crash and surge. This reduces your energy levels and has a negative impact on your performance during your stomach flattening workouts while also increasing your appetite and making you more likely to overeat.
4 – Dried Fruit
Many people believe that since dried fruits are healthy and natural, they’re a great choice for flattening your belly. However, unlike fresh fruits which are mainly water and low in calories, dried fruits contain large amounts of sugar and are very rich in calories. They have a similar effect on your body to candy and eating too many can sabotage your flat stomach efforts.
5 – Fast Food
Apart from being low in nutritional value and high in dangerous trans fats, a single fast-food meal usually contains 1,000 calories or more. Not only does this large amount of calories cause excess fat to be stored around your stomach but it also results in you being sluggish during your belly flattening workouts.
6 – Fruit Juice
Like with dried fruits, many people assume that fruit juice carries similar benefits to fresh fruits. While fruit juice does provide your body with some vitamins and minerals, it contains zero fiber and high levels of sugar. Therefore, it doesn’t suppress your appetite in the same way as fresh fruits and also leads to you consuming excess calories which often get stored as body fat.
7 – Processed Foods
In order to improve their flavor and boos their shelf life, processed foods are packed with chemicals, sugar and salt. The chemicals and salt in processed foods increase your appetite and also cause bloating while the sugar adds extra calories that increase your body fat levels.
8 – Refined Grains
Refined grains are stripped of vitamins, minerals and most importantly most of their fiber during processing. This reduced fiber content makes you more likely to get hungry when consuming refined grains and also slows down your metabolism.
9 – Sodium Rich Foods
Sodium makes your body retain water and can cause bloating around your stomach. It’s added to many different foods, so make sure you always check the amount of sodium in foods before you eat them and keep your overall sodium consumption below 1,500mg per day.
10 – Soda
Soda is something that many people surprisingly continue to drink while attempting to flatten their stomach. However, both regular and diet soda are detrimental when trying to burn belly fat. Regular soda is packed with sugar and causes you to consume more calories than you need. These liquid calories then get converted into body fat and prevent you from getting lean toned abs. Diet soda contains zero calories but is full of chemicals that increase your appetite and cause stomach bloating.
By cutting back on these 10 foods and eating them sparingly, you’ll find that your flat stomach efforts will rapidly improve. So run through your existing diet today and make sure that the foods listed in this article account for no more than 20% of your overall diet.