Eating habits that secretly increase abdominal fat: eat this, not that

Tired of trying to slim down that stubborn belly fat? Let’s say you’re watching your diet carefully, eating lots of whole foods, while limiting double cheeseburgers with bacon, chocolate milkshakes, and their cousins ​​those sugar-laden coffee drinks. How could you still gain weight when you eliminate all the obvious heavy foods that add up to weight gain? Your drinking habits could be to blame.

While drinks may seem harmless, they can be a sneaky source of added abdominal fat on your body. You’re taking in many, many more calories than you realize simply because the calories from drinks tend to sneak in. They don’t fill you up like food does and there’s no need to chew. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore them.

We interviewed nutrition experts about common eating habits that could secretly increase abdominal fat right under your nose. So for more drinking tips, here are 5 Best Drinks for Belly Fat After 50, Dietitians Say.

drink juice in the morning
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It looks so natural and healthy: a juice made not only from apples, kiwis, mango and pineapple puree, but also from vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, wheatgrass and garlic. And no added sugars! Does this seem like a good habit, a great way to start the day fresh?

One problem with fruit juices, even 100% juice, is that they don’t satisfy belly growls because they don’t contain fiber, says Silvia Carli, RD, CSCS, with 1AND1 LIFE. A commercial juice drink that contains all of those natural ingredients mentioned above with no added sugar is Green Machine, Naked’s “boosted smoothie”.

“Naked juices are loaded with fruit, but in liquid form, leaving no fiber to feed the good bacteria in the gut and a whole pile of sugar,” says Carli. “Yes, it’s natural sugar, but it’s still sugar!”

How many? For a 270-calorie bottle, you consume 53 grams of total sugar; that’s one gram more than what you get from a 16-ounce bottle of Coke. Instead, drink water, eat whole fruit, advises Carli.

drinking sodas or tea
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Ordering a sugary drink for lunch has become so habitual for people that people may not realize that the drink that goes down so quickly and easily can hold more calories than the portion of the meal that requires a fork.

“Sugary drinks are high in calories; they can contribute to high blood sugar and belly fat,” says Susan Bowerman, RDN, senior director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition.

Get into the habit of replacing those sugary drinks with low- or zero-calorie drinks like unsweetened tea and water.

“Studies suggest that increasing your water intake can help boost your metabolism so your body can burn fat more efficiently,” says Bowerman.

drink soda with a large meal
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Even if you choose a zero-calorie, artificially sweetened diet drink, Bowerman says people tend to pair low-calorie drinks with high-calorie fast foods like burgers and fried chicken.

“If you’re eating French fries, which tend to have a lot of saturated fat, this could have an impact on weight gain, but not on [diet soda] in itself, “he says. Additionally, some research suggests that drinking beverages made with artificial sweeteners can disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, possibly triggering glucose intolerance.

alcoholic drinks group of people
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They call it beer belly for a reason, but that doesn’t give you a pass if your poison is wine spritz or tequila shots.

“Alcohol is a source of calories your body simply doesn’t recognize how to satisfy hunger and fuel your body, which is why we call them ’empty calories,'” says Zoë Schroeder, MS, RDN, CSCS, owner of ZoeSchroederNutrition .com. “So, these empty calories come in and then your body is basically, like, OK, well, I have this extra energy, so I’m going to store it in fat tissue or fat.”

The extra energy calories can really add up when consuming mixed drinks like screwdrivers and margaritas.

“The high-calorie blenders and sugary drinks that go into cocktails put people over their calorie needs without them realizing it,” says Schroeder, because calories aren’t registered as fuel. In fact, alcohol consumption leads to less satiety and increased hunger, she says.

To learn more about how alcohol consumption affects you and how alcohol prevents your body from burning fat, read Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Alcohol Every Day.

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