Banish the belly fat

Belly Fat
Battle of the Bulge

Everyone’s looking to get rid of that embarrassing belly fat.  While there’s still no magic bullet, there are a few things you can focus on to banish the bulge in your midsection.

Of course, as you’d expect from an exercise professional, I’m going to tell you to move more and eat less. I’m going to tell you that if you’re like most exercisers, you’re probably not moving at a high enough intensity to elicit any response from your body.  Search this website and you’ll find many articles to help you overcome those problems.

But, today’s post is going to give you six more nutrition-based tips to shrink that expanding spare tire around your waist:

1. It’s not just about the carbs – Everyone vilifies carbs when carbs alone aren’t the enemy.  Carbohydrate is our body’s primary source of energy.  The wrong carbs, sugar specifically, can be the enemy though.  Processed sugar is in most commercially available foods and contributes little to nothing nutritionally.  Sure, sugar makes things taste good, but that comes at a cost of increased blood glucose levels and fat storage.  Read the label on everything to find out what’s really going in your body.  A few of the biggest culprits: soda, fancy coffee drinks, cereal, and milk.

2. Alcohol – Here’s another one that adds no nutritional value.  At six calories per gram ingested, it adds up pretty quickly too. Combine that with thye fact that as we consume alcohol, we pay less attention to what we’re eating.  Where there’s beer, there are wings and pizza.  Have you ever heard of anyone making better choices when they’re impaired?

3. Fruit juice – This one could have easily fit into the first bullet point but I thought it had value in spinning it off on it’s own.  I like fruit. I’ve got nothing against it.  In fact, if God put it on this green Earth, it’s probably pretty good for you as far as I’m concerned.  However, most fruit juice is laden with added sugars.

4. Artificial sweetener – Many of these fake sweetening agents have been shown to increase appetite, causing you to overeat later.

5. Excessive whole grain consumption – Eating an excess of whole grains is also linked to increased insulin production and fat storage along with inflammation of the gut.

6. Frozen yogurt – This one’s a bit more specific, but worth mentioning as more fro-yo stores are popping up around the nation.  Yogurt is good stuff. Frozen yogurt bears little resemblance to actual yogurt and carries little of it’s benefits.  Instead, it brings with it high amounts of added sugars.  It’s a sugary treat disguised as a healthy alternative.

I’ve seen the “eat this not that” argument spun many different ways.  Everyone has their favorite foods to hate on, but in the end it usually comes down to nutritional value.

  • Does the food that you’re eating offer nutritional value or is it empty calories with no value?
  • Are you trying to justify it’s value on some convoluted premise? For example, carrot cake is NOT a vegetable no matter how you look at it.
  • Is it going to help build your body?
  • Is it going to help fuel you for the activity that you’re about to perform?