12 Things That Make You Gain Belly Fat

12 Things That Make You Gain Belly Fat


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Many people take in more sugar every day than they realize.

High-sugar foods include cakes and candies, along with so-called “healthier” choices like muffins and frozen yogurt. Soda, flavored coffee drinks and sweet tea are among the most popular sugar-sweetened beverages.

Observational studies have shown a link between high sugar intake and excess belly fat. This may be largely due to the high fructose content of added sugars (3, 4, 5).

Both regular sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are high in fructose. Regular sugar has 50% fructose and high-fructose corn syrup has 55% fructose.

In a controlled 10-week study, overweight and obese people who consumed 25% of calories as fructose-sweetened beverages on a weight-maintaining diet experienced a decrease in insulin sensitivity and an increase in belly fat (6).

A second study reported a reduction in fat burning and metabolic rate among people who followed a similar high-fructose diet (7).

Although too much sugar in any form may lead to weight gain, sugar-sweetened beverages may be especially problematic. Sodas and other sweet drinks make it easy to consume large doses of sugar in a very short period of time.

What’s more, studies have shown that liquid calories don’t have the same effects on appetite as calories from solid foods. When you drink your calories, it doesn’t make you feel full so you don’t compensate by eating less of other foods instead (8, 9).

Bottom Line:

Frequently consuming foods and beverages high in sugar or high-fructose corn syrup may cause belly fat gain.



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