Everyone wants a flat stomach, regardless of age. Now, guys may also want some added muscle definition, like “6-pack abs” as well.
But at the very least, in clothing, everyone wants a flat stomach.
Sadly, as we get older, the stomach gets bigger and weaker.
3 Main Types Of Belly Fat
- We have more subcutaneous fat – that’s the fat under the skin. This is what most of us see and can grab.
- Then we have visceral fat, that’s the fat inside and around the organs. This fat you don’t see. Unfortunately, visceral fat is much more unhealthy than subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is also the kind that gives you that pregnant, bear-belly look – even if you can’t grab or pinch very much subcutaneous fat.
- Lastly, we have poor muscular development. Either very weak abdominal muscles that can’t hold the stomach back and flat. OR on the other side, people who do the WRONG ab exercises, which build big, bulky abdominal muscles, or the wrong exercises, which work the psoas muscles – which again, push OUT the abdominal wall.
On a side note, genetics aside, hormones play a MAJOR role in fat distribution, especially in the stomach. Hence, why men typically have more belly fat.
And this is why post-menopausal women have more stomach fat all of a sudden.
Today I’m going to only discuss the types of foods that typically cause a bigger stomach – either building too much subcutaneous or visceral fat… or both at the same time.
And these foods are the ones that negatively affect the hormones, that cause subcutaneous and/or visceral fat.
So, the good news is that by avoiding or reducing these foods, you’ll improve your hormones and thus, decrease your belly fat and flatten your stomach.
Of course, the simple fact of creating a calorie deficit – meaning, burning more calories than you consume, will decrease belly fat.
But that aside, some foods are just really bad.
Select Proper Carbs
Note, I did NOT say to get rid of carbs, or go on a low carb diet or keto or carnivore diet. And I’ll tell you why carbs are important, in a minute.
We have good and bad carbohydrates.
- Bad carbs cause an increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Bad carbs cause inflammation and poor gut health.
- Bad carbs increase cravings and appetite, by increasing hormones such as Ghrelin.
- Good carbs can help lower stress and cortisol levels.
- Good carbs can maintain healthy thyroid levels and metabolism
- Good carbs can decrease hunger and Leptin levels, another hormone.
As you can see, it’s a game of hormones. Increase the good ones and decrease the bad ones.
The end result is less subcutaneous and visceral fat, while also reducing appetite and hunger, so you eat less and lose weight.
So, what are the “bad” carbs?
You need to decrease sugars, syrups, sauces, dressings, packaged & refined carbs (such as bread, chips, waffles, muffins, pastries, desserts), sodas, and fruit juices, calorie drinks, alcohol, and so forth.
And what are “good” carbs?
Eat healthier, slow-burning carbs such as vegetables, whole fruits, yams, legumes, and similar carbs.
In fact, let me simplify it for you – the more natural, the better. The fewer ingredients, the better. No labels = great!
If it’s something your great-grandmother would have eaten, then it’s good.
Select Proper Fats
Just like carbs, we have good and bad fats. Fats also cause changes in your hormones, positive or negative.
The wrong fats cause inflammation, which leads to all sorts of problems, including belly fat.
The wrong fats can cause insulin problems, increased appetite, fatty liver, and obesity.
So, my suggestion is to reduce fats such as seed oils like soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, and safflower. You want to try and eliminate vegetable oils and processed fats.
These are found mostly in packaged foods and when you go out to eat in restaurants.
I keep it simple and have extra virgin olive oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, avocados, and fish oil.
However, keep something in mind – fat DOES convert to fat easier than carbs and proteins.
It has twice the calories per gram. It’s denser in calories and it’s a lot easier to eat a bunch of fat calories, than carbs and protein.
And yes, calories matter.
So, just because it’s healthy fat, doesn’t mean you can eat as much of it as you’d like. Because you’ll still gain weight and get fat due to the excess calories.
As I said, genetics aside – it’s a game of hormones. Optimize your fat-burning hormones and you’ll burn more belly fat, have more energy, have a faster metabolism, and lowered appetite.
Please read the labels and put in the effort to eat more “good” carbs and fats, and less of the “bad” ones.