Belly fat is one of the most stubborn, frustrating areas to lose unwanted weight. For most people with weight loss goals, daily workouts and a healthier diet just don’t seem to make any difference. If you are one of the millions of people struggling to lose weight in this trouble area, you aren’t alone. In fact, belly fat is one of the most common places people gain weight, but they don’t know why it’s so hard to burn off. (You’re about to learn the secret to fat burning foods!)
Belly fat isn’t just a stubborn fat, it’s actually dangerous – in fact, it’s deadly. Did you know that belly fat is a completely different type of fat all together than other kinds of body fat? Belly fat is also known as visceral fat, and it has been shown in numerous clinical studies to increase the risk of death for both men and women.1-3
Reduce your health risks and whittle down your waistline with these five belly fat-burning foods:
There are two types of micro-bacteria that live inside of your digestive tract. The “good” bacteria are known as probiotics, and the “bad” bacteria … well, those can make you very sick. That’s why it’s so important to keep enough good bacteria in your diet. You can find probiotics in fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, natto, and miso soup. Try to eat at least one probiotic food every day, to keep your digestion regular, and to keep belly fat from accumulating. After all, a properly functioning digestive system is the first step to waste removal, and a fast track to belly fat loss.
2. Do a DIY Soda
The familiar fizz of your favorite soda pop may comfort you with a midday pick-me-up, but it could also be sabotaging your weight loss goals. If you have excess belly fat, consider how many sugary beverages you consume every day. They are the number one source for empty calories in the Standard American Diet, and one of the leading causes of excess belly fat. Slash sodas from your diet. You’ll cut out thousands of empty calories.
One of the worst things about soda pop is that it offers loads of sugar calories, but nothing nutritionally. Swap your soda pop for water, and a few pieces of fruit like apples or blueberries. Researchers have found that simply consuming more water can boost metabolism – up to 30 percent!4
With today’s fast-paced lifestyles, it can be difficult to find foods to eat on-the-go that keep you full and satisfied between meals. To burn more belly fat and keep hunger away, aim to consume more protein-dense foods. These include grass-fed beef sticks, lean cuts of chicken, fish, eggs, chia seeds, hemp seeds, beans, lentils, and whole grain bread.
4. Green Coffee Beans
These are pretty much just what they sound like. Before coffee beans are roasted, they are green in color. During this time, they contain more health-promoting phytochemicals than after roasting. Loaded with antioxidants and said phytochemicals, green coffee beans provide a unique compound known as chlorogenic acid. It’s this compound that has been scientifically shown to lower body fat percentage, leading to significant weight loss in overweight subjects.5,6 Green coffee beans supplements are available.
5. Fish Oil
What if there was a hormone that caused more belly fat? Sadly, there is. The hormone that leads to more weight gain around your midsection is called cortisol, and it skyrockets any time you are under stress.7
Fish oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are scientifically shown to reduce cortisol production in stressed subjects.8 You can find fish oil as a supplement, or simply eat more fatty fish – like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
Bonus Tip: Fat Burning Fruits
An effective weight loss program does require a fair bit of restriction. But that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a little sweetness now and then — in the form of fat burning fruits! This may surprise you. After all, fruits contain high levels of sugars, like fructose, sucrose, and glucose — all of which are known to be associated with weight gain.
But there seems to be an interesting paradox when it comes to fruit and managing body weight. Studies have shown that fruit consumption can actually help reduce body weight and prevent the onset of obesity. Scientist theorize this paradox may be due to three factors:
- Fruits may correct energy imbalances that lead to weight gain.
- The fibers in fruit may increase the feeling of fullness, so you eat less.
- Fruits contain an abundance of micronutrient vitamins and minerals, which may help stave off weight gain.
Here’s the thing to keep in mind: you want to stick to whole, fresh fruits. Studies have found that commercially canned fruits and fruit juices may actually contribute to weight gain. Why? Well, they often contain added sugars and reduced fiber levels, which can make you feel more hungry — so you may end up increasing your caloric intake.
Goodbye, Belly Fat!
If you have a weight loss goal, don’t let lingering, stubborn belly fat get in your way. Remember, there is much more to the fat loss equation than just calories in and calories out. Never skip meals, exercise regularly, and add these five belly fat blasting foods to your healthy diet. You’ll get there, in no time!
Article updated: April 5, 2018
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2 Pischon, T. General and Abdominal Adiposity and Risk of Death in Europe. The New England Journal of Medicine, Nov. 12, 2008; vol 359: pp 2105-2120.
3 Yoko Kaichi, Hiroaki Sakane. Relationship between sudden natural death and abdominal fat evaluated on postmortem CT scans. doi: 10.1002/osp4.99.
4 Boschmann M, Steiniger J. Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Dec;88(12):6015-9.
5 Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects. 2012;5:21-7. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S27665. Epub 2012 Jan 18.
6 Thom E. The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people. J Int Med Res. 2007 Nov-Dec;35(6):900-8.
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8 Delarue J, Matzinger O. Fish oil prevents the adrenal activation elicited by mental stress in healthy men. Diabetes Metab. 2003 Jun;29(3):289-95.
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