Exercising and supplements are great for building muscle and getting in to shape, but what’s the point if that layer of fat is hiding all of the results? Burning off excess belly fat is very important, whether you want to tone your body or you just want to be healthy. Working out is important, but eating right is just as crucial (Read: Dieting or Exercise – Which is the Better Weight Loss Strategy?).
Luckily for you there are many different natural foods that can help you shed unwanted weight. Some of these, like the fruits and vegetables, will make sense while there may be others that you wouldn’t have expected (chocolate and wine!)
Avocados actually have many health benefits apart from burning fat, such as decreasing your risk of heart disease and keeping your cholesterol down. But as far as your belly is concerned avocados have nutrients which keep your blood sugar levels from spiking. Spikes in blood sugar will cause your body to store away excess fat, which is something you definitely want to avoid.
Almonds and other nuts are a good way to keep from packing on the weight because they will make you feel full without adding a bunch of calories. Eat them for a snack to satiate hunger pangs so you won’t stuff yourself between meals.
Cinnamon, in moderate quantities, is superb for regulating blood glucose levels and insulin. But don’t think this means you can load up on Cinnabon and call it a day. Instead, try to find healthier ways to incorporate cinnamon into dishes.
This fruit is a great snack that contains many different vitamins as well as magnesium and calcium. The potassium in bananas is a great tool for muscle building, which leads to fat burning. The various healthy fibers also help block carbs and curb your cravings.
This delicious liquid has been a healthy part of people’s diets for ages, which just gives further evidence to its powerful properties. Green tea extract is currently being marketed in a supplement form that focuses and intensifies its fat-burning effects.
People don’t just say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” because it sounds fun. There is actually truth to this cute rhyme. Apples are packed full of healthy vitamins, nutrients, flavonoids, and antioxidants. This fruit also contains a compound known as pectin, which helps cells absorb water instead of taking in fat.
Tomatoes are low on calories and high on fat-killing compounds like phytonutrients and Vitamin C. Another compound called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic has been recently studied and shown to help prevent obesity related chronic diseases.
Yes, there are some health benefits to those pumpkin pies you chow down on every year at Thanksgiving. The calories are low, there is fiber, and most importantly pumpkin is a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that oxidative inflammation and stress in the body (which is linked to increased fat storage).
The biggest advantage of watermelon, besides the juicy flavor you look forward to every summer, is that it alters your blood lipids in a way that has a big impact on artery plaque deposition. Basically this means you will be healthier and your risk of developing tummy fat will be lowered.
Celery squeezes by with an astoundingly small eight calories! Eating them as an appetizer will help you eat less during a meal. There are also rich in calcium and Vitamin C. Even celery juice is a popular go-to diet drink.
Green pepper, red pepper, cayenne pepper – it doesn’t really matter (although the hotter it is, the better it will work). Peppers contain the compound capsaicin, which prompt your body to begin thermogenesis. This is the process by which your body will release calories in the form of heat. With your body working overtime to burn off more calories you will also be burning off more fat.
This beverage isn’t just for hipsters and the nights before finals, but it can also be for athletes and those looking to lose weight and be healthier. Research has shown that coffee lowers insulin and slows down the release of glucose, both of which will help prevent gaining weight. In addition to improving your mood it also boosts your metabolism, due to the antioxidant chlorogenic acid (a compound that increases your body’s use of fat for energy). Too much coffee is a bad thing, but in moderation it can be great.
Dark chocolate? This list just keeps getting better. Yep it has been proven that this delectable dessert option contains proanthocyanins and flavonoids that will relax your blood vessels (lowering blood pressure) and control your insulin levels. Dark chocolate is also a source of vital minerals like copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
Now you might think I’m just making stuff up, but actually red wine has many properties that can help you lose weight. This libation not only has great effects on your heart, but it can help control and prevent weight gain. Calcium pyruvate aids fat cells in burning more energy and the antioxidant resveratrol hinders the production of fat cells.
Protein is an important part of building muscle instead of fat, and lamb is a much better source of protein than canned and processed meats. Besides zinc, protein, and Vitamin B, lamb also contains conjugated linoleic acid. Low levels of this acid in the body can lead to obesity, so lamb is a good way to keep this from happening.
Oatmeal is rich in fiber and it slows your body’s digestion of carbs, meaning it will sit in your stomach for a few hours and help you make it to lunch without eating again. Your best option is to choose all-natural or steel cut oats over the flavored store brands.
Not only do cherries have antioxidant properties, but numerous studies have also shown that they can decrease cholesterol levels, reduce symptoms of heart disease, and lower your risk of diabetes and belly fat.
Eating sweet potatoes (be it mashed, chopped, diced, or what have you) will help hinder sugar from being stored in your belly as fat. This is because it contains chlorogenic acid, the benefits of which we have mentioned before, and also carotenoids, which assist your body in responding to insulin.
Seafood, especially fish like salmon, is a regular staple of many diets and weight loss programs. One reason is because most seafood contains monounsaturated fat (MUFA), a compound that works to prevent belly fat. Another reason is because fish is a good source of omega-3, a fatty acid that helps prevent stress chemicals from adding weight to your body.
Grapefruit is another great way to stave off hunger pangs with a light snack. This fruit contains naringenin, which is an antioxidant that evens out insulin levels. Though this fruit is a great way to burn fat, you shouldn’t fall for the old fad diets that have you eating this and only this because that can get unhealthy.
This leafy green vegetable is a great source of fiber. Fiber helps with maintaining a low blood sugar level, aids in digestion, and overall curbs your intake of food to prevent overeating.
A single serving of these healthy legumes provides you with a huge amount of your daily protein and fiber, both of which have benefits we have already discussed. In addition chickpeas (or garbanzos) are an excellent source of unsaturated fat, which lowers your BMI and the fat levels in your belly.
No surprise here that eggs are a good source of protein. But beyond that eggs are also full of the Vitamin B12, a vitamin your body uses to metabolize stored fat. In fact studies have shown that eating eggs every day is one of the best breakfast choices you can make in terms of whittling away belly fat.
This fruit, usually bought in the form of a juice, is full of antioxidants that will flush your body of toxins. The specific types of antioxidants in pomegranates, known as polyphenols, can also help to prevent lipid build-up in your arteries, curb your appetite, and increase your metabolism.