A bulging belly is one of the first manifestations of weight gain and impending obesity. It is also one of the most unsightly signs. This is why strategies on how to lose belly fat are a popular concern of those who are looking into living a healthier life.

There are plenty of resources of online on what types of exercises to perform and the types of food to eat. But, often, in our quest to seek the best foods to lose weight, we overlook to find out which ones are the worst options. For those who are trying to get rid of belly fat, here are some of the foods that you should never even consider adding to your diet.

1. Processed meats

What constitutes processed meats? These are meat products that have been preserved through different methods, such as salting, curing or smoking. These can include appetizer and sandwich favorites like sausages, hotdogs, bacon, or bologna, which have a high sodium and fat content. In fact, the World Health Organization has classified red and processed meat as carcinogenic.

2. Juice and sweetened drinks

Let go of the sodas or bottled and packed juices, as they contain high amounts of sugar. The same goes for high-calorie coffee drinks from your favorite signature coffee bars. The better option when you’re watching your calorie consumption is to drink unsweetened teas and lots of water.

3. Any kind of sugar

There are hundreds of types of sugar and all of them will do no good for your weight loss journey. Research shows that sugar wreaks havoc on one’s metabolism by storing fat and stalling fat burning efforts. So don’t think that choosing Splenda over the regular sugar is better. If you want to lose belly fat fast, cut this ingredient out of your drinks and meals ASAP. If you can’t help but have sweets, opt for dark chocolate instead.

4. Any food that has refined flour

Refined flour is a lot like sugar. Not only that, it also tends to crowd out the other food that a nutrient-rich, thus depriving your body of the true fuel it needs to burn calories and fat. These include white breads, ciabatta and sourdough. If you must have bread in your meals, the healthier choice would be those made with whole grains.

5. Certain types of alcohol

Beer, in particular, is high in calories and has been pointed to be the culprit for many males who have developed bulging bellies over the years. While there are lots of good points about drinking wine (in moderation), if you can help it, it’s best to avoid any alcohol drink altogether.

Knowledge of the best types of food for losing belly fat should be complemented by information on what NOT to eat, as well. By knowing which to avoid, you prepare your mind and body better, so you can succeed in losing weight faster.

Belly Fat
It is possible to lose belly fat without having to work out—and even while you sleep. Pictured: A man walks along the Embarcadero April 6, 2005 in San Francisco Getty Images/Justin Sullivan