4 Foods You Should NEVER Eat If You Can't Lose Stubborn Belly Fat, According To Nutritionists

March 18, 2019 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | Food

The abdominal area is one of the most difficult places on your body to burn fat — and all of the sit-ups in the world aren’t going to have an effect if the focus isn’t on your diet.

These are the four foods you should never eat if you can’t lose stubborn belly fat, according to nutritionists.

chicken fried rice

Some of the worst foods for you, in terms of helping you lose stubborn belly fat, are those that contain refined carbs and can cause inflammation and an imbalance of gut bacteria. The way you cook your foods is also a major factor — it’s always better to grill or bake foods than it is to fry them in oil.


Foods that contain trans fats, including those fried in greasy oils, are also linked to weight gain and a gain of unhealthy visceral fat around your midsection.

Your best bet when it comes to choosing foods that will help you burn fat include those rich in protein and low in sugar, as well as fresh fruits and veggies.

If you’re having a hard time burning fat, you are going to want to stay away from these four foods.

french fries

French Fries

Speaking of trans fat, French fries are loaded with them.

According to one study: "Diets rich in trans fat cause a redistribution of fat tissue into the abdomen and lead to a higher body weight even when the total dietary calories are controlled," said Lawrence L. Rudel, Ph.D., professor of pathology and biochemistry and head of the Lipid Sciences Research Program.

"What it says is that trans fat is worse than anticipated.”

Bake your potatoes or air-fry them to shave off fat and calories.



Foods that are dense in carbs — and bagels are high up on that list — cause inflammation and an imbalance of gut bacteria, which can trigger weight gain and fat production.

According to Reader’s Digest: “Foods are considered carb-dense if they have a high ratio of carb grams relative to their weight. A small potato, which many consider a bad carb, weighs 170 grams, but it’s mostly water; only about 23 percent of it is carbohydrate. A plain rice cake, by contrast, weighs only nine grams, but almost 80 percent of it is carbohydrate!”

bacon egg cheese

Processed Meat

Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and cold cuts are high in saturated fat and aren’t doing you any favors when it comes to belly fat. On top of that, they could be to blame for your stomach ache and digestive issues.

“Processed meats are very difficult for many people to digest. They can sit in the intestines for longer because they are difficult to break down,” Julie Rothenberg, MS, RD, LDN, told Reader’s Digest, :They don’t contain any fiber, so they aren’t good for digestion.”

artificial sweetener

Artificial Sweeteners

You may think you’re doing your body a favor by swapping sugar for an artificial sweetener. But the fake stuff is just as bad (if not worse) for your belly.

According to Reader’s Digest: “Sugar alcohols, low-carb sweeteners naturally found in some foods and added to others, are another FODMAP [which refers to short chain carbs that aren’t easily digestible]. Foods that contain them, therefore, are among the foods that cause belly fat that you should consider avoiding. FODMAPs don’t easily pass through our cell walls, so gut bacteria digest them, which can cause gas and bloating.”


Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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