Trying to get your 6 pack abs popping is hard work! We’ve all heard about how abs are made in the kitchen, but did you know there are specific foods that can absolutely be standing in your way? Here’s a list of popular foods that can derail your progress:
Grains like white rice and white bread that have been refined or over processed, cause bloating and inflammation of the stomach. Studies have also shown that these types of carbohydrates target the mid-section of the body specifically when weight is gained.
Processed sugar promotes weight gain and causes bloating and inflammation of the belly, but even Natural sweeteners can prevent your abs from saying hello. Natural sugar found in some fruits and vegetables do not pass easily through our cell walls causing bloating. The biggest culprits of this are blackberries, peaches, cauliflower and mushrooms.
Cheese, especially soft cheese, is dense in calories and saturated fat. Saturated fat tends to attach itself to abdominal fat creating a heavier look around your abs. Milk has the same effect; the lactose aggravates our gut because as we get older our small intestine is less able to break it down.
Coffee itself has zero fat and zero sugar, but popular coffee shop Latte’s and blended drinks are filled with sugary syrups and creams. In fact, the average Starbucks blended drink had over 400 calories, 60+ grams of sugar, and 10 grams of saturated fat- yikes! High in sugar, preservatives, calories, and fat, flavored coffee drinks can cause bloating, and weight gain in the abdominal area. To add flavor without packing on the calories, try Skinny Syrups, a zero calorie, zero sugar coffee flavor enhancer.
Low Fat/ Fat Free
Foods that are labeled low fat or fat free may have a lower fat content but manufacturers compensate in flavor by adding sugar and other chemical additives that will turn into fat in the long run. Also, our bodies are not used to breaking down chemicals like this, which causes gas and bloating in our stomachs.
Fruit Juices and Sodas
Processed fruit juices and sodas are typically loaded with sweeteners, additives, and high fructose corn syrup. These sugary drinks are loaded with empty calories, which can pack on the pounds if you’re not calculating these calories into your total daily allowance. in fact, studies have shown that large doses of High Fructose Corn Syrup from soda and other sugary drinks and sweets can overload the liver and be easily converted to fat.
To get my bubbly fix I keep my refrigerator stocked with a variety of La Croix Sparkling Water, featuring zero sugar, zero calories, and zero artificial ingredients.
Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, and canned meat are not just high in fat, they are high in saturated and trans fat which causes inflammation and production of fat that specifically targets the belly. Processed meat is also usually high in sodium to improve taste and extend shelf life. Sodium causes our bodies to hold water weight. Especially in the mid-section.
Drying fruit removes the water, leaving high levels of concentrated sugar. This modified sugar content is hard for our stomachs to digest causing bloating and discomfort. Preservatives are usually added as well, and known to also cause belly fat. The dried fruits with the highest sugar content are cranberries, apricots and mangos.
Alcohol is full of empty calories and has zero nutritional value. In fact, your body can’t store alcohol, so it must metabolize it right away. Until this process is complete, sugars and fats won’t metabolize efficiently causing your metabolism to slow. Drinking also increases appetite, leading to poor food choices and over-eating. We also become dehydrated when we drink, so our bodies hold onto water weight causing bloating, making it harder for you to bounce back after a day of fun.
Don’t forget that having a clearly defined 6 pack takes a very disciplined approach to your diet. However, even if you’re just looking to reduce your mid-section bulge, these foods can stand in the way of you seeing amazing results. And as always, moderation is everything! If some of these foods are part of your daily diet, try to bring down consumption to only once or twice a week, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make!
Keeping it real,