by Jeremy Imperi
When you look at the reasons why people, especially women, struggle immensely to lose weight and belly fat, you will find that many could trace it back to physiology. If you tend to gain weight in certain areas, more than likely you inherited that gene from your parents.
It will be hard to get rid of it, but that does not mean there is not a way. Men typically gain weight around their abdomens (which should be prevented, because this can lead to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other illnesses), while women will more likely gain their weight around their hips and thighs. This is due to different hormones in the body, because the brain tells the body to store protective tissue around reproductive organs. Even though many people are opting to blame their weight and their struggle to lose belly fat on genetics, the biggest reason for weight gain today, is that people do not know that the foods they are consuming are creating havoc to their bodies. They believe all marketing strategies and product information given about foods and what to eat to lose belly fat, but most of this information is completely misleading and can, in fact, cause the opposite effect. There are certain foods that most “diets” recommend, but you will be surprised to find that many of them actually make you gain weight even further. This is the main reason why it is so hard to lose belly fat.
“When people realize what actually is preventing them from losing weight it becomes a turning point in their weight loss plans, and they start seeing weight come off at a much faster pace than ever seen before, and they are actually able to keep it off,” says Rob Hilton of Lose Fat Belly Guide.
Losing unwanted belly fat (and keeping it off) means that not only do you need to use up more calories than you consume in a day, but it is essential that you also eat the right foods. Don’t be fooled into thinking some foods are harmless no matter how much you eat. Identifying these “bad foods in disguise” is not always easy, but there are basic guidelines you can follow. If you are aware of one food that does not help when trying to lose belly fat, you can easily link it to and identify it with other foods in the same categories. Another mistake people make when trying to lose belly fat is ruling out a food group entirely. Your body needs carbohydrates, fats and proteins, otherwise it stores what it does not get (your body automatically thinks there is a shortage) and you do not lose that weight.
Some proteins you would not expect to make you gain instead of lose weight are pork in all forms (sausages, ham, bacon), organ meat (for example, kidneys) and peanuts, as well as peanut butter. Even cheese, surimi fish, lentils, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, lamb and beef can make you gain serious weight if not eaten in low quantities.
When it comes to carbohydrates, there are “good” examples, but the carbs that are ultimately the greatest cause of belly fat gain are the ones that no one really expects. Melons and couscous are both great examples. Typically, these foods are considered healthy, but if consumed in high amounts, can cause unwanted weight gain. More carbohydrates that are promoted as “good”, but are actually more villains in the belly fat world are “whole wheat” foods. These do have good nutritional values and low glycemic indexes, but for exactly this reason, people believe they can eat as much cereals, bread, muffins, pasta and crackers as they want as long as its “whole wheat” and they will not gain any weight. This is a big mistake. Eating small portions every now and again, however, is no problem! When we consider the fats that are belly fatteners, we see that even though animal fats and animal skins are bad, hydrogenated vegetable oils are the worst options. This means that those proverbial “diet ideal” avocados you eat can do you more harm than good if you consume too much.
When trying to lose belly fat or any excess weight, stay away from sweeteners at all costs. Artificial sweeteners are exactly what the name suggests: artificial, fake and can thus not be digested as successfully as normal sugar. Dextrose, glucose, lactose, xylitol, caster sugar, saccharine, cyclamate and sorbitol (found in all sorts of gum and breath fresheners on the market) are taboos. Sorbitol is also known to make you feel bloated for a long period of time. Another unexpected cause of weight gain are diet sodas. They may have little to no calories, but they all contain aspartame — an artificial sweetener that not only causes weight gain, but has been proven to have adverse effects on the growing processes of young bodies. Diet sodas actually make you hungrier faster because of their low nutritional values and thus you eat more without realizing.
A grave mistake that people often make is falling for the “low fat” label. Yes, it does seem like a way to your perfect belly and a weight loss path, but they do not consider amounts of calories when they determine how much “fat” there is in a food. These foods, like low fat yogurt or cheese can actually make you gain weight if you do not burn the calories you took in. Eating high fat yogurt or cheese, but in small quantities, is ultimately a better way to lose belly fat, because they make you feel fuller for longer and thus you do not eat as much.
The last food (or drink) you should steer clear of over-consuming is fruit juice. Fruit juice is healthier than sodas or even caffeine drinks, but they spike your blood glucose levels and send you into a sugar crash. You feel hungrier faster and eat more. Rather stick to whole fruits (to consume fiber) and to achieve a slower energy release.
Ultimately, it looks as if all foods will make you gain more weight than lose. This is true! Too much of anything is bad. This is why it is important to know what the best or ideal options are and then to make sure you do not eat too much of it. You can eat a waffle, but do not eat five and do not eat other “high glycemic index” foods for the rest of the day. Weight is a scale: if you eat more than you burn, you will gain weight and if you burn more than you eat, you will lose it. So: “why is it so hard to lose belly fat?” People do not monitor themselves well enough and they fall for lies about certain foods. Knowing when and when not to trust a strategy, be aware of the sources you are obtaining your information from, and be continually conscientious of everything you digest.