Belly-fattening foods men should cut back on

When men gain weight, it invariably goes straight to their bellies. Call it what you want, belly fat is an unhealthy fat layer that’s packed among vital organs in the abdominal area. Fat within this area is called visceral fat, which can increase a man’s risk for serious chronic diseases such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. 

The majority of weight gained by men is usually from eating excess calories from not-so-healthy foods. Men should resist the temptation to choose belly-fattening foods to avoid an expanded waistline and the health consequences that may follow. 

What are these foods? 

Here’s a look at what foods to avoid:

  • Chips – The problem with chips is it’s hard to eat just a handful. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. Just 15 chips can set you back by 160 calories. 


What is the better option? Air-popped popcorn.  It still retains that crunch appeal but without all the belly-busting calories. 


  • Ice cream – This sweet treat has a soft spot with many of us. Ice cream is a decent calcium source, but is loaded with calories – ½ cup provides at least 200 calories.  


What is the better option? Yogurt-parfait popsicles. Cold and creamy, choose a brand made only with yogurt and fruit. 


  • Beer – “Beer belly” insinuates that drinking beer is inherently fattening. However, alcohol does not necessarily have an infinity for causing belly bloat. The average 12-ounce beer has 150 calories. Many other foods higher in calories are more likely to cause weight gain. But, men are particularly known to imbibe in drinking can after can of beer.  The problem becomes too many calories consumed. However, the liver will also burn alcohol instead of fat, meaning fat is more likely to accumulate, often in the abdominal region. 


What is the better option? Light beer alternated with drinking sparkling water in between. Light beer has about 100 calories per can, and by drinking water helps men to feel fuller, quicker.  


  • Meat-topped pizza – Pizza, topped heavily with meats such as sausage, pepperoni, ham, or beef, is synonymous with foods men love. Unfortunately, not only is this loaded with calories, but pizza is notorious for being loaded with sodium too, which can cause water retention and belly bloat. 


What is the better option? Pass on the calorie-laden processed meats, load up a pizza with veggie toppings like peppers, onions, and mushrooms instead, and stick to no more than two slices. 


  • Sugary beverages – Soda, energy, and sports drinks, these sugar-laden beverages are one of the worst offenders of weight gain in anyone. One 20-ounce bottle can average about 250 calories each making calories quickly add up. Drinking sugary beverages is a leading cause of excessive weight gain. 


What is the better option? Replace all sugary beverages with plain water.  This always has been, and always will be, the best beverage to drink. If you drink cola beverages for caffeine, choose black coffee instead. 


  • All –you-can-eat-buffets – In a great once-in-awhile, you can enjoy eating at these restaurants. But, too many frequent trips of piling your plate with mounds of food is a no-brainer for weight gain. 

What is the better option? Make smarter food choices when filling your plate. Steer clear of cheese-laden dishes, fried foods, or fatty sauces, and have moderate amounts of steamed vegetables, salad, grilled chicken, pork loin, or any fruit. If you struggle with portion control, steer clear of buffets. 

Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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