Belly fat is a problem; not just because it looks bad but because it is extremely unhealthy. It increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
However, lifestyle changes are recognized as a medical treatment for losing belly bulge. The right choice of food, for one, is a proven strategy for a flat stomach.
But what foods help to burn belly fat? Let’s find out.
Avocado tops the list of foods that burn belly fat fast. It:
- Contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
- Melts belly fat and improves glucose and insulin levels in the body
- Curbs hunger pangs by keeping you full for a long time
In a University of Illinois study, overweight women were tested for the effect of avocado on belly fat. They took a fresh avocado along with their meal for 3 months. By the end of the study, about half of the participants showed a visible reduction in abdominal fat in 3 months.
? Take one fresh fruit every day.
If you want to know how to lose weight fast, make friends with almonds. Almonds are cholesterol-lowering food. Rich in magnesium, arginine, vitamin E, fiber and oleic acid, almonds have been reported to cut belly fat by reducing bad fat and insulin resistance.
? Substitute high-carb evening snacks with wholesome almonds.
Fish is a vital source of protein, selenium, iodine, vitamin D & B12 and omega-3s. Together, all of these components help combat belly fat. Omega-3s reduce inflammation in the body which is the hallmark of belly fat; proteins build muscles; and minerals and vitamins are essential to cell nutrients.
? Eat fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel, twice a week. If you do not like fish, buy fish oil supplements instead.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Daily consumption of 1-2 tablespoons of ACV can remarkably reduce belly fat within 1-3 months. Potassium and vinegar content of ACV keeps you full for longer and reduces unnecessary calorie-intake, particularly from carbohydrates. Carbs are the main cause of belly fat.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has gained immense popularity of late. It is considered the best food for weight loss. It is a rich source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are absorbed and metabolized quickly in the body to provide nutrition and energy.
? Studies prove that if you add 1-2 tablespoons of edible coconut oil to your diet, you can lose a few inches off your waist in no time.
6. Green Tea
If there is one food that provides an absolute answer to how to lose belly fat, it is green tea. Rich in antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), green tea boosts metabolism. The faster the metabolism, the quicker the fat melts in the body.
? Drink 3-5 cups of green tea per day.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and drink it, they say. And for weight-watchers, lemons are a godsend. They detoxify the body, particularly the digestive system, paving way for easy weight loss. Polyphenols in lemons are also said to dissolve belly fat in less than 3 months.
? Drink a glass of lukewarm lemon water first thing in the morning.
8. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens contain all the goodness in the world and make you feel full at the expense of fewer calories. The fewer the calories you consume, the faster the belly fat burns.
- 100gms of spinach contains 23 calories.
- 1 cup of shredded cabbage provides 18 calories.
? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends 2–3 servings of leafy greens per day.
9. Oatmeal & Barley
You can’t say no to whole grains if you seek a flat stomach. Studies prove that people who include whole grains in their diet lose more belly fat than those who eat refined grains.
- Contain fewer calories but provide stomach-full satisfaction, i.e., one pound contains about 500 calories.
- Fight belly fat by delaying digestion.
- Keep you active throughout the day and keep blood pressure in control.
? Eat barley and whole oats that have not undergone processing or grinding since the latter makes the nuts calorie-dense.
Cucumber is another tasty solution for overcoming belly bulge. A large cucumber only contains 45 calories and can be your go-to midday snack when appetite peaks. The main content of cucumber is water (96%) which cools your body without bloating the stomach.
11. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are power-pack full of nutrition. One ounce (28g) of tiny black seeds contains:
- Fiber (11g)
- Proteins (4g)
- Calcium (18%)
- Magnesium (30%)
- Phosphorous (27%)
- Manganese (30%),
- Omega-3s (60%)
- B vitamins (traces)
Chia seeds are the best belly-fat fighters that work by delaying digestion. If you take chia seeds, you will not feel hungry for several hours.
? These are tasteless and can be taken with water. You can also sprinkle them on yogurt or cereal.
If you want to stop yourself from snacking between meals, add eggs to your diet. Research shows that if you replace high-carb foods such as cereals and bagel with eggs for breakfast, you will lose more belly fat.
? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; make the most of it by adding a healthy dose of proteins in the form of an egg or two.
Beans, legumes and lentils are superfoods that burn belly fat. These are rich in fiber (7g/120 mL) and proteins (7.7g/0.5c) and regulate blood sugar.
? Nutritionists recommend eating a bowl of lentils during lunch for weight management.
14. Olive Oil
Time to replace cooking oil with olive oil if weight loss and a flat belly are on your mind. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, oleic acid and vitamin E which possess anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil also keeps gut clean and relieves pressure off the stomach.
? Cook in olive oil or splash oil on salads.
15. Peanut Butter
Each time you get cravings for some snacks, grab a spoon of peanut butter. It will satisfy your taste buds and at the same time prevent overeating. Fats and proteins in peanut butter provide a feeling of fullness. However, do not consume much since one spoon of peanut butter contains 100 calories.
Next in our belly-fat fighting food list is the Mushroom. It is an energy-dense but low-calorie food that contains fiber, vitamins and minerals. You can eat a cup of raw mushrooms and consume only 15 calories.
Broccoli is a standout vegetable because of its tremendous weight-loss potential. It is particularly beneficial for shedding love handles and keeping heart disease and diabetes at bay. One cup of broccoli contains 31 calories only.
? Simply roast broccoli with a dash of olive oil and seasoning and you have a meal of the day.
You can’t go wrong with yogurt. Rich in proteins and calcium, it keeps you full for longer. Research shows that calcium is directly linked with fat burning, particularly in the abdominal region.
? Add yogurt, instead of mayo or thick cream on chopped fruits to see the magic.
Watermelon will help you lose extra inches around the waist with its low-calorie (47 cal/cup), high-water (92%) content.
This summertime red-fleshed treat is super light, fat-free and keeps hunger at bay. It also fills you with antioxidants and vitamins (A & C).
? If you replace bananas with watermelon, you can skip over 13000 calories per year – that equates to about 4 pounds of weight loss.
Onion has recently been upgraded as a weight-loss food. Its anti-obesity effects come from inulin and quercetin, soluble fiber and phenol which helps with weight loss. One onion contains only 44 calories and can be effortlessly added to a gazillion recipes without exceeding your daily calorie limit.
Belly fat may be stubborn but the secret of getting rid of it lies in food. What’s great is that almost all of the 20 foods that burn belly fat fast are almost always present in your kitchen. All you need is to decide which one to grab first.