We all know that your diet is the most important factor when it comes to abdominal fat and your body fat percentage. That’s why it’s so important to know the worst foods that will always increase your body fat percentage.
Take off your shift and without sucking your gut…look in the mirror. Seriously. Open your eyes. Take an honest look at yourself.
You may not like what you see. If that is the case you are looking at abdominal fat. Fat is your worst enemy when dieting.
Fat, also known as adipose tissue, is stored all over your body. Commonly we store it along our abdomen and get an expanding waistline. And this can unfortunately get a round “apple” shape in your abdomen.
Sadly, this is an apple that will not keep the doctor away!
How Abdominal Fat Harms Your Body
Fat can be stored as subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is fat stored just under the skin; visceral fat is stored within the abdominal cavity and around internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines.
Studies show that increased levels of visceral fat may lead to increased risks of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, coronary heart disease, cancers and dementia.
Abdominal fat is combined with both subcutaneous fat under our skin as well as significant amount of visceral fat within our organs. A growing belly can be the result of both types of fat.
Visceral fat can be easily monitored by taking waistline measurement. A medical study from Harvard University reported that we store 10% of our total fat as visceral fat.
Based on this study, if we have greater than normal levels of total body fat, it is highly likely we are carrying more visceral fat and are at higher risks of the mentioned disease.
The types of food, and how much you eat, will play the most critical role in determining your body fat. Here are the top 4 worst types of foods that will stop you from achieving your weight loss goals.
The Worst Foods That Increase Your Body Fat Percentage
Sodas and Sugar Filled Drinks (Yes, even smoothies!)
The human body consists of 60% of water. And when you get thirsty it is very easy to grab an ice cold soda or smoothie. You satiate your thirst but at the cost of extra calories.
A can of soda has roughly 40g of sugar (roughly 150 calories). A bottle of water? zero!
Even worse are those fruit smoothies with added sugar that are marketed as healthy because it has fruit. They can have as much as 300 calories.
Do you know how many calories are in a gallon of water? zero!
Water is zero. Carry a bottle of water around with you and refill it throughout the day. Stay hydrated so you avoid those sugar filled drinks.
The added calories of sodas and these sugar filled drinks have no nutritional value. This will lead to increase in your abdominal fat.
In addition, the high amount of simple sugar will spike up then crash and cause you to feel hungry so you end of overeating again.
If your dietary caloric intake goal is 1500 calories, then buy drinking 3 cans of soda or even one sugar filled smoothie you are consuming 450 calories! That means you need to only eat 1050 calories to meet your goal?
The problem? You will be starving! And once again you overeat.
Work hard and party hard. But partying hard doesn’t mean you drink hard.
A can of beer is 150-200 calories. On weekends it is all too common for people to drink multiple cans. Remember, each time you drink you are adding extra calories that have no nutritional value.
Besides the health complications towards your liver and brain, late night drinking can lead to bad decisions and make you hungry. Binge drinking can lead to binge eating of pizza, hoagies and late night Chinese food.
Don’t let a night of drinking lead to binge eating.
Pastries and Baked Treats
The holidays are tough. All too often we overindulge when with family. And that’s fine once a in a while.
But the biggest culprits are those foods that we commonly associate with breakfast. When you go to Starbucks for a coffee do you usually also buy a muffin or croissant?
A croissant can have as much as 250 calories. And a “healthy” blueberry muffin can load up as much as 450 calories! Think about that.
If your goal is to eat 1500 calories, one muffin can throw off your entire daily caloric intake goal!
Frosting on a cupcake can also spell doom. When cupcake is lathered on it can contribute from 50-150 calories. It is full of trans fat and sugar that can clog your arteries.
A cupcake or occasional muffin is fine every other week. But never have it as a daily addition to your breakfast!
Fast Food Burgers and Fried Food
How many calories are in a big mac? 500 calories. How about in a friend KFC chicken breast? 300 calories.
Fast food is too easy to throw off your diet. Rule of thumb: If you buy fast food that is in a plastic wrapper, it is probably not good for you.
The burgers are filled with trans-fat and fried food is loaded with grease that contributes nothing good to your diet.
Fast food also has some much salt that it makes you hungrier and you will overeat or even overdrink sodas to satiate your thirst. The constant hunger can lead to binge eating.
The solution? The best thing you can do is to prepare your own food and bring it to work. When you prepare your own food you know the calorie intake. You can keep it lean and can bring the number of meals with you to work so you always have food available.
And if you need a snack, don’t go to the vending machine. The commercial says that “You’re not you when you’re hungry. Snickers satisfies.” Wrong.
Snickers are full of chocolate, sugar and salt. Instead, bring with you a low carbohydrate protein bar or even a fiber bar to fill you up and give you energy that is long lasting so you don’t crash. Avoid the temptation of the vending machine.
So What Should You Eat To Lower Your Body Fat Percentage?
Here is a great list of foods that will help you lose weight fast. In summary, eat vegetables with every meal to fill you up and satiate your hunger.
Eat plenty of whole grains to provide you with fiber and give you long last energy to keep your hunger at bay.
Prepare your own meals and eat lean proteins such as chicken breast, and turkey with vegetables.
Bring the food with you to work and low calorie snacks such as protein bars or fiber bars so that you never feel the urge to eat from the vending machine or buy fast food.
Avoid drinking soda and high calorie smoothies, and instead eat raw fruit or a handful of nuts to give you healthy nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Most importantly, drink lots of water! Stick to these healthy habits and you will do great!
These Are The Worst Foods That Increase Your Body Fat Percentage
- Soda and sugar filled drinks (even smoothies!)
- Pastries and baked treats
- Fast food burgers and fried food
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. During medical school he and his classmates co-founded and co-led medfit, which is a health and wellness organization that provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. As a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter he has broken multiple state and national records. He has over a decade of personal training experience of clients at all levels and finds the profession so rewarding because of his ability to help others achieve their fitness goals. He serves as a contributing writer for Vixen Daily.