Fill your kitchen with these 10 foods that get rid of belly fat
You noticed the waistline on a favorite pair of jeans getting a little tight, or maybe you went to the doctor who casually read a number off the scale that was ten pounds higher than what it was the last time you paid a visit. Sound familiar? Both are signs that your belly is on a fat-storage upswing. Sure, you could be storing fat through other parts of your body, but it’s highly likely at least some of it will get stored through your midsection.
Belly fat is comprised of two parts: subcutaneous and visceral. We all have both, but in varying amounts. Subcutaneous fat is the pinchable fat just beneath our skin. Subcutaneous fat is found all over our body, from the tops of our arms to the backs of our calves. To much can be a nuisance, but not as dangerous as its close cousin, visceral. Visceral fat is found exclusively in the abdominal region and is packed tightly around our vital organs. Over time, excessive visceral fat can have an effect on blood pressure, metabolic conditions and cardiovascular health.
What you eat plays a dominant role in getting rid of belly fat. Contrary to a popular opinion seems to persist despite plenty of science-based fact suggesting otherwise, healthy dietary fat doesn’t cause fat. Excessive refined carbohydrates, specifically sugar, causes fat.
Before you reach for another skinny latte or fat free yogurt, read this. Then go to the grocery store and fill your basket with these foods. You’ll be healthier for it!
Avocados are not only a delicious addition to any salad, sandwich, or dip, but they also help to get rid of belly fat and carry a wealth of nutritional benefits. Studies have shown that those who eat avocados tend to have healthier diets overall, but also had a lower body weight compared to those who did not consume avocado (1). Other research has showed that avocados can aid in increasing the rate in which fat is burned, may reduce appetite and overeating, and could help the body burn more calories after eating (2). About 77% of calories in avocados come from fat, but don’t be alarmed–this type of fat is monounsaturated fat and is linked to promoting heart health and encouraging a healthy inflammatory response (16).
Snacking on fiber-rich almonds is a great way to increase satiety between meals (3). Almonds contain natural fats that the body can easily burn. Research shows that almonds can speed up metabolism, ultimately reducing fat gain and making them a great weight-loss food (4). The best part? They’re small, portable, and require no refrigeration, so they’re perfect for stashing at your desk, in your backpack, or in your car to satisfy the need for a snack!
Salmon, trout, and cod are just a few types of fish that can play an essential role in fighting belly fat. Christy Shatlock, RD at bistroMD.com suggests fish to get rid of belly fat. “The consumption of specifically fatty fish provides ample amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids,” said Shatlock. “Foods high in protein keeps the body fuller for longer at a generally low calorie cost. The omega-3 fatty acids may actually have fat burning benefits.”
Scrambled, over easy, or hardboiled, the versatility of eggs make for some tasty meal options when trying to get rid of belly fat! Filled with protein, eggs are one of the most fulfilling foods and can reduce high levels of calorie intake (5). One study showed that after 8 weeks, subjects who replaced their typical bagel breakfast with eggs saw a massive reduction in waist circumference (6).
With a high fiber content, apples have beens shown to play an integral role in reducing body weight, especially when eaten between meals (11). Apples are also quite rich in Vitamin C, which acts as a natural diuretic to the body (15). “‘An apple a day, keeps the doctor away’ is a saying for a reason!” said Shatlock. “Eating an apple a day may keep the belly bulge away as they are rich in nutrients and fiber all while being low in calories. Be sure to eat the apple peel, as it is high in insoluble fiber.”
Sounds like Snow White was onto something.
6) Chili Peppers
Spice up your next dinner with nutrient-packed chili peppers! Chili peppers can literally “burn” belly fat! Packed with capsaicin, chili peppers have been shown to actively increase fat loss in both men and women (9). Capsaicin is the active component in chili peppers that created a burning, or spicy sensation, which in and of itself can aid in fat burning (10). Think of it as kind of a “you are what you eat” scenario–you taste the burning sensation of chili peppers, and subsequently get rid of belly fat!
Much research has been conducted on the effects of beans on weight loss and waist size, only to conclude that not only do beans reduce feelings of hunger, they have been shown to effectively reduce belly fat (7). Beans are packed with protein and fiber, the two biggest players in the weight loss and waist reduction game (8).
Packed with probiotics and protein, yogurt – especially the plain full fat variety – can help to get rid of belly fat while aiding in overall gut health. Research has shown that the high whey protein content found in yogurt can help reduce belly fat as a result of its amino acids (13). “Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics, healthful bacteria that can balance harmful bacteria in the gut,” said Shatlock. “Research has shown that probiotics relieve constipation and bloating by improving intestinal motility.” This means that it is easier to eliminate waste!
Grapefruit’s tart, refreshing taste is just one extra benefit to the nutrition it gives the body. Grapefruit has been shown to aid in trimming the waistline due to it’s extremely high fiber content and quantity of water it has (11). Participants in a recent study who consumed grapefruit with their meals daily experienced a drastic reduction in belly fat (12). Grapefruit is rich in Vitamin C, an antioxidant which encourages the elimination of free radicals within the body and help you to get rid of belly fat. Try a refreshing Peach & Grapefruit Smoothie to add a little extra nourishment into your day.
10) Old Fashioned Oats
An important fiber called beta-glucan is an essential component of oats, and helps you feel fuller because of its ability to delay the stomach of emptying food, which ultimately reduces calorie intake and help to get rid of belly fat (14). “Oats and oatmeal is an excellent fiber source. A diet high in fiber contributes to good gut health by facilitating bowel movement,” Shatlock said. “Regular bowel patterns help reduce unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating and constipation, leaving the belly feeling flatter.”
Trimming up your waistline doesn’t have to be difficult, nor do you have to subscribe to unhealthy, short-term fad diets or weight-loss urban legends. Making sure you eat a great mix of vitamins and nutrients from whole, natural foods is key to achieving fat-burning goals–and feeling great! Did you write down your grocery list yet? Good, because your favorite jeans are begging for a night out.
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(2) Hammad, Shatha, Shuaihua Pu, and Peter J. Jones. “Current Evidence Supporting the Link Between Dietary Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease.” Lipids51.5 (2015): 507-17. Web.
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(15) Li Y, Schellhorn HE. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. J Nutr.2007;137:2171–2184.
(16) Hammad, Shatha, Shuaihua Pu, and Peter J. Jones. “Current Evidence Supporting the Link Between Dietary Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease.” Lipids51.5 (2015): 507-17. Web.