5 Foods to Avoid to Lose Belly Fat!
5 Foods to Avoid to Lose Belly Fat!…
Are you eating foods that feed your belly fat and stall your weight loss? I see it a lot. People work really hard at the gym… then leave and negate all their hard work with a poor diet.
It should be said a thousand times: You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!
Once you’ve accepted this fact, you can start focusing on foods that will not only fuel your workout but also boost your weight loss when you aren’t at the gym.
Now, while you can’t spot-reduce certain areas of your body (there is more to six pack abs than you’d think), you can reduce your overall body fat by eating a clean diet. And that combined with exercise is the only realistic way to lose belly fat!
So without further ado, here are five foods to avoid to lose belly fat healthfully:
#1 White pasta
When eating carbs, you want to focus on whole grains over processed grains. And white pasta is VERY processed! You’re just getting a bunch of simple carbs with little nutrition when you eat it. And empty calories does nothing but contribute to body fat.
Replace it with: spaghetti squash or whole wheat pastas.
Spaghetti squash might sound weird, but you’ll be surprised how amazing it is as a pasta substitute! Here’s how to make it:
Spaghetti Squash Recipe
1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Poke your spaghetti squash with holes all over, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 45-60 minutes.
2. Allow the squash to cool outside of the oven before scooping out the seeds. You’ll also notice long, noodle-like strands inside. Gently scrape them out and use as a substitute for any noodles!
You can also just buy 100% whole wheat or brown rice pasta. Then you are getting the additional fiber and nutrients of the whole grain, which doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels like the white stuff.
#2 Store-bought granola and protein bars
Yes, they are convenient as a grab-n-go snack. But did you know that some packaged “health” bars have almost the same nutrient profile as a candy bar? And some have even MORE calories! That’s because a lot of food companies will use tons of sugars, oils, and preservatives to make their bars taste good and be shelf stable.
But don’t be fooled by the health claims on the package! Take a close look at the ingredients of the bar. If the first two or three ingredients is a type of sugar, it’s probably not a healthy choice.
Replace it with: raw nuts or homemade bars.
Nuts are a really easy snack! Just grab a handful of raw almonds or walnuts when you need an energy boost. And buy them raw so there aren’t added sugars or salts. The healthy fats will help keep you satisfied—and they are easy to grab for a quick snack on-the-go.
If you still just really love bars, make your own! There are tons of recipes online, or you can use a protein bar cookbook. Set aside a few minutes on the weekend to make a batch for your busy week ahead. You can cut them up and store in your fridge or freezer to stay fresh.
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#3 Packaged salad dressing
Always be skeptical of bottled salad dressings. The healthiest salad in the world can be derailed nutritionally by just a few tablespoons of a sugar- and/or fat-laden dressing. The best choice is to make your own from quick and simple recipes.
Replace it with: a homemade salad dressing!
You can make a healthy dressing without any fancy ingredients at all. For example, whisking together 3 parts balsamic vinegar, 2 parts dijon mustard, and 1 part maple syrup gives you an easy and low-calorie honey mustard vinaigrette in seconds!
Just do a quick Google search for tons of other ideas. Chances are, you can replace your favorite dressing with a much healthier version.
#4 Potato chips
This one’s pretty obvious, but a lot of people still struggle to avoid junk foods.
The salty taste and crunchy texture is hard to resist, I know. But keep in mind potato chips do nothing good for your body; although they ARE potatoes underneath, they are covered ing trans fats, processed oils, and too much salt. A lot of them have added sugar too!
Replace it with: baked kale chips
Before you stick out your tongue at this and call me unreasonable, hear me out: kale chips may sound weird, but I’ve seen even some of the pickiest people take down a batch of these babies.
Here’s how you can make them yourself:
Kale Chips Recipe
1. Preheat your oven to 300°F. Rinse a bunch of fresh kale (make sure you get the curly kale instead of the flatter, dinosaur kale) and strip the leaves from the large middle stems.
2. Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Add them to a bowl and spray with a high quality cooking spray (or drizzle with a very small amount of oil).
3. Sprinkle on sea salt, pepper, and any other spices you love on chips. Toss with the ingredients, repeat the toppings, and toss once more.
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes until crispy.
Then, enjoy! Kale chips give you that same satisfying crunch, crisp, and salty taste without all the junk. Give them a try today and you’ll see what I mean.
#5 Blended coffee drinks
I’m looking at you, Starbucks!
While black coffee actually has health benefits itself, what’s added to that coffee is the problem. Blended coffee drinks and many lattes have too much added sugar, syrups, and creams. They look pretty and they are fun, but they aren’t good for your health.
Replace it with: bulletproof coffee
See our Bulletproof Coffee post for a good recipe! That will give you the great taste of a rich coffee drink without any of the unhealthy ingredients.
And if you’re looking for an extra tasty boost of energy, try Focus Up Pure Energy Think Drink. It’s clean and keeps you energized for hours.
If you’re looking to shave inches off your belly but still eating these five foods, use our replacements as a guide for healthier choices. Soon, you’ll see better results from your workouts and feel your pants fitting a little more loosely!