Now that the New Year is upon us, many people have begun to think about changing their lives for the better. One of the most common resolutions is to lose weight, but before you invest in a gym membership, it turns out that there’s a simpler way to shed some pounds!
If you are looking to obtain a flat stomach in 2018, the answer might not lie in strict dieting and exercising, but in cutting out certain foods and replacing them with healthier alternatives. After all, it’s the consumption of more calories than you can burn which leads to weight gain.
These are the nine food which you should avoid if you want a flat belly this year…
1. Sweets and Soda
Nutritionally, these foods have absolutely no value. All they contain are empty calories that are making your waistline bigger. Sugar may be addictive, but the temporary withdrawal symptoms are definitely worth it in the long run. You can always indulge on cheat day. Harvard nutritionist Walter Willett said that sweets and soda should be eliminated first if you want to reduce your belly fat.
2. Fast Food
A fast food meal from any popular restaurant chain like McDonald’s or Wendy’s is likely to contain over 2,000 calories, which is more than your recommended daily intake. The nutritional value of this food is also low, so it’s best avoided.
Just like sweets and soda, alcohol it has almost no nutritional value. It’s also got a high calory content – they don’t call it a “beer belly” for nothing! What’s more is that one drink often leads to another, which equates to a lot of empty calories.
While Harvard nutritionist Willett admitted that dairy products are a good source of calcium, he also said that they are full of carbohydrates and bad fats which could be adding inches to your waistline. So they’re definitely a food to be enjoyed in moderation.
5. Refined Grains
Unfortunately, refined grains consist entirely of carbohydrates. When you eat them, the sugar rush is equivalent to the one you get from eating sweets, and once it’s faded, you feel hungry again. Dr. Mehmet Oz recommends whole and wild grains instead which release carbs slowly.
6. Fruit Juice
Many people wrongfully assume that fruit juice is healthy. It can contain important nutrients, but many fruit juices also contain a lot of sugar – some even contain more sugar than sodas! Willett said that “beverage calories” are not added to a person’s daily total, but they should be.
7. Snack Foods
We are all guilty of indulging in one too many snacks between meals. However, like many foods on this list, they are full of empty calories and have a low in nutritional value. Personal trainer Bill Phillips recommends vegetable sticks or fruit as a healthier alternative.
Shockingly, Willet revealed that eating one baked potato is the nutritional equivalent to eating an entire tablespoon of sugar. Potatoes might seem like an innocent enough foodstuff, but just like refined grains, they are loaded with empty calories.
9. High-Fructose Corn Syrup
While this technically isn’t a food in itself, it is a common ingredient and presents your body with the same problems that sweets and refined grains do. Recent studies have also shown that that fructose syrup can stop your body from realizing it’s full, causing you to eat more.
The inclusion of foods like sweets on this list probably won’t have come as a surprise to you, but we are certain that some of the others did. So before you squat your way to your dream body, you might want to cut out some of these foods on your quest for a flat belly in 2018.