Foods to Eliminate Belly Fat

Foods to Eliminate Belly Fat

It's not possible to reduce fat in just one spot on your body, but overall weight reduction will lead to shedding pounds around your midsection. However, some types of food may be particularly helpful for losing weight, and it's possible that a few foods may make it more likely that fat from your belly is targeted. Speak with your doctor to plan a healthy weight-loss diet that meets your nutrient needs.

Overall Eating Strategies
To lose weight, you need to cut calories. If you eat mainly foods low in energy density calories per gram of food -- such as fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, whole grains and lean protein foods, you'll be able to eat larger portion sizes while staying within your calorie goals. This will help keep you from feeling hungry in between meals. Limit energy-dense foods such as refined grains and high-fat or high-sugar items.

If you find eating just three meals a day leaves you feeling hungry, you may want to try splitting your daily calorie allotment into three meals and two snacks. Although it didn't increase weight loss, eating more frequent meals and snacks helped people feel less hungry between meals, a study published in Obesity in May 2012 found.

Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains
Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat daily can help you lose more weight, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009. This is partly due to the higher amount of water and fiber they contain and their low energy density, all of which combine to help you feel full for longer. The beneficial plant chemicals called phytochemicals that they contain may also have an anti-obesity effect, according to the study authors.

Trade in any refined grains you eat for foods made with whole grains, and you may notice a decrease in belly fat. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010 noted that people who ate more whole grains usually had less belly fat and those who ate mostly refined grains had more belly fat.

Lean Protein Foods
Foods high in protein tend to help you feel full, so be sure to include a source of lean protein in each meal or snack. Eating a reduced-fat diet that is high in protein, with 30 percent fat and 25 percent protein, helped increase weight loss compared to a diet with the same amount of fat but just 12 percent protein in a study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2004.

Eggs can be a good choice for protein, as they are low in saturated fat. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity in October 2008 found that when people ate eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet, they lost more weight than people who got the same amount of calories from a breakfast containing bagels.

Beneficial Fats
Don't avoid fat altogether; you should still get some healthy unsaturated fats in your diet. Polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fats like those found in flaxseeds, walnuts and seafood and the omega-6 fats found in many vegetable oils, are essential in small amounts because your body can't make them.

Monounsaturated fats, found in nuts, olives, avocados and canola and peanut oils, may be particularly helpful for losing belly fat. A study published in Diabetes Care in July 2007 found that when dietary calories were equal, eating a diet with more monounsaturated fat helped prevent abdominal fat deposition more than a diet higher in carbohydrates. Replacing some of the saturated fat you eat with monounsaturated fats may slightly increase overall weight loss, according to another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in September 2003.

Omega-3 fats may also be helpful if you're trying to lose belly fat. A study published in Appetite in November 2008 found that getting at least 1,300 milligrams of omega-3 fats per day as part of a reduced-calorie diet helped increase feelings of fullness compared to a diet containing less than 260 milligrams of omega-3 fats per day.

Other Foods
Drinking green tea may help slightly with weight loss, increasing the loss of abdominal fat that occurs with cardiovascular exercise, according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2009.

If you'd like a treat while you're trying to lose weight, go for dark chocolate. Not only is it lower in sugar than milk chocolate, it may also help with weight loss. A review article published in Phytotherapy Research in June 2014 found that the phytochemicals in dark chocolate, including flavonols, may help limit fat absorption and increase feelings of fullness. Just be sure to eat it in moderation, as it's still high in fat and calories.