We've all heard how the story goes. "I've been going to the gym consistently, I'm training my core so hard, I'm doing my cardio, but I still can't see my abs coming in." Truth is, it's not going to be that easy. Being active is just one component of toning your stomach area. If you really want to burn that stubborn belly fat, nutrition is going to be key. If y'all haven't heard the saying enough that abs are made in the kitchen, we're here to say it again. You have to eat your way to abs — eat clean that is. Now, if you're ready to make a change and clean your panty out of some foods holding you back, we're here to help.
This baby right here is the main culprit for belly fat. Think of all your favorite childhood foods like bagels, cereal, white bread, cheesy crackers, and pancakes. Basically, most of the carb-dense foods you buy off the shelf are made up of grains that have been stripped of all of the good stuff like fiber and vitamins. Just think of it like you're eating cardboard. Your body is an investment. You want to put foods into it that will fuel your body for future energy costs. So next time you reach for that bowl of Lucky Charms or a white bagel, go for a sprouted grain bread or a sprouted cereal option.
There's nothing like a nice, refreshing, and bubbly soda to sip on while taking down a burger. Actually, there is — a healthy and happy tummy. Now before you think OK, let me just quit the soda, think again. This includes a lot of fruit juices, which can contain up 50 grams of sugar or more, some smoothies, alcohol, sports drinks, and lots of iced teas. Sugar can be very sneaky, so don't let it creep up on you in your belly. Try to drink water whenever you can instead. If you want something fizzy still, opt for a sparkling water or a dairy-free and refined-sugar-free elixir like REBBL! Skip the protein shakes that have lots of added sugar and try out Koia — only 4 grams of sugar, completely plant-based, and delicious!
Even with news that high-fat diets won't make you fat, that doesn't mean you can deep-fry an Oreo and say it's OK. Unfortunately, we wished it worked that way, but deep-fried foods can be the most dangerous, not only for contributing to belly fat, but also your overall heart health. First, it takes a really long time for your body to break down deep-fried foods, and second, lots of fast food spots and restaurants love to use cheap oils and trans fats. Next time you reach for those potato chips, try an organic popcorn option that tastes and feels good.
If you want to see the day where you have a flat stomach, you're going to want to avoid dairy products like milk and ice cream. These foods are only going to irritate your stomach and cause more bloating. Even if you're not lactose-intolerant, our bodies slowly make less lactase to break down the sugars in cow's milk as we get older, so if you want to transform your muffin top into a six pack, kick dairy to the side and go for a plant-based milk.
This includes low-fat yogurt, fat-free cheese, and low-fat sour cream. Next time you're at the grocery store, don't let the nutritional labels trick you. Low-fat just simply means less calories, but a lot of times they'll make up for it by adding more sugar and worse, tons of artificial preservatives and chemicals to make it taste similar to a full-fat version. Next time you're picking something up, check the ingredient list first, then the calorie breakdown.
Along with writing this list of foods that you want to avoid, we also spoke to Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DC, founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com, for some healthy habit recommendations. He suggested eating more fat-burning foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, clean meats, and fish. Another one of Dr. Axe's tips is to eat mindfully, eat slowly, and stop when full.