By Derrick Johnson
If you’re a guy, chances are, that you enjoy a good hearty meal now and again. It definitely feels satisfying (and tastes good) to munch on your favourite foods to your heart’s content, but at some point that content heartiness starts bulging over your belt.
If you’re looking to lose your gut you will have to inevitably have to start making some different food choices. I know, it’s a tragedy but it’s true.
Here are three types of foods that you’re going to have to start avoiding if you’re seriously trying to lose that gut of yours.
Many store-bought foods have refined sugar as one of their ingredients. Here’s a shortlist.
-sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks and energy drinks,
– pre-mixed coffee
– fruit juices
– iced tea
– breakfast cereals
– pre-packed snacks,
– salad dressings
– candies and milk chocolate
These are foods with a lot of empty calories which means you get a sudden burst of energy from the sugar rush which quickly dissipates after an hour or so.
The problem with refined sugar is that it is addicting. Once the sugar high goes away, it leaves you hungry for more. This is why chocolate candies are often turned to by women when they are feeling down and depressed. The sugar aids in boosting happy hormones to combat depression. You need to cut the addiction and break the mindset that you need sweets and sweetened caffeine to get through the day properly.
If you’re wondering, it usually takes about 2 to 3 days to get rid of your sugar cravings which means it can be relatively easy after the first 24 hours to stop thinking about buying a chocolate bar for your dessert or snack.
Find ways to substitute your sugary snacks. For instance eat some dried fruits, mixed nuts, or fresh fruits instead!
2) Foods With Trans-Fats
According to the American Heart Association, foods high in trans-fats cause the belly to bloat due to their high calorie, high fat content. It’s a double whammy!
Picture a bag of water, which hardens when put into the freezer – that’s what trans-fats do except in reverse. They solidify at room temperature so they’re hard to get rid of without intense daily exercise. This definitely makes it harder to lose that gut.
Foods that have trans-fats tend to be pre-made foods such as:
-certain cooking oils
-commercially baked items
In short, almost anything you buy that’s pre-made and has a shelf-life of more than a few days is probably loaded with trans-fats.
The recommended daily intake of trans-fats is 2-3 grams. However, to give you an idea of how much trans-fats an average adult can consume in a day, here are some startling facts:
- One large order of French fries from a fast food restaurant contains 8 grams of trans-fats
- Commercially-prepared chicken pot pie (you would think this is health food, right?) has about 14 grams of trans-fats
- A fast food combo meal of 3 pieces of fried chicken, potatoes and biscuits (no drink included) has approximately 15 grams of trans-fats
It’s time to start eating fresh food prepared at home or cooked right in front of you.
3) Saturated Fats
Food with saturated fats come from animal products however this doesn’t mean that you need to avoid animal products altogether. You just have to be pickier about which cuts of meat you eat and how they are prepared.
For instance, marbled beef is meat with fat that can be very difficult to segregate so instead of picking this type of cut, go for the leaner cuts. With chicken, you can remove the skin and fat and it becomes a lot healthier. The same goes for all other meats. Food such as beef jerky, sausages, bacon, and organ meats that are made from animal by-products also contain saturated fats.
Aside from meats, saturated fats are also found in whole fat dairy products; such as creamy pasta sauces, soups, gravies mixed with whole milk, butter and ice cream.
For instance, everyone’s favourite snack, mac and cheese, can contain saturated fats from the milk you use, as well as trans-fats from preservatives in the powered cheese.
What To Do
Watching what you eat and adding more fresh and lean foods to your diet will definitely help you cut your gut down to size. Throw some exercise into the mix and losing that gut suddenly becomes very doable. These may be uncomfortable habits to acquire but your gut will thank you in the long term.