Reducing belly fat can be difficult but it should be a matter of concern for your well-being. Having too much fat around your belly can strain your back, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and also affect your posture and mobility.1
Eat, instead of starving yourself in the hope to reducing fat. How? Eating foods that are rich in fiber, protein, unsaturated fats and whole grains can reduce belly fat and help you gain muscle.
Here are 5 foods that you must include in your diet to lose belly fat:
1. Protein-Rich Foods
Increasing your metabolism can help you lose fat by burning more calories. A protein-rich diet can boost your metabolism and reduce your appetite by increasing satiety.2 Despite the benefits, the saturated fat in these protein foods may lead to increase in cholesterol levels and abdominal obesity.
Despite the benefits, the saturated fat in these protein foods may lead to increase in cholesterol levels and abdominal obesity. A low saturated fat diet includes beans, lentils, egg whites(whole eggs in less quantity), low-fat dairy products like milk and cottage cheese, and lean chicken, beef, and tuna.
Fiber plays an integral role in reducing fat. Fruits such as apples and berries are rich in fiber and low in calories.
Grapefruit, oranges, bananas, peaches, grapes, and pineapples can satisfy your hunger, while you take in very few calories.3 Eating fruits during meals is not always convenient. Snacking on a fruit between meals is a good way to include them in your diet, and enjoy its nutritional benefits.
Like fruits, vegetables are also rich in fiber. Vegetables are low in calories and have a high water content, making them ideal for losing fat. They can be either cooked or eaten raw by tossing some raw vegetables like carrots and cucumbers into a bowl with your favorite dressing. You can have these salads during a meal, or as a snack between meals.
Kale, broccoli, and sweet potatoes are nutrient dense and keep you healthy and reduce fat. Sweet potatoes also digest slowly, supplying energy to the body for a longer time.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains like quinoa, oatmeal and brown rice must be incorporated into your diet to burn more calories as your body requires a lot of energy to process whole grains.
Along with the necessary nutrients, like vitamins, iron, and magnesium, whole grains are also rich in soluble fiber, that helps to reduce your calorie intake.
5. Healthy Fats
Though some fats may promote belly fat, there are healthy fats that are essential for your body to function. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats that don’t contain as many calories as saturated fats.
Nuts, olive oil, sunflower oil, avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, and salmon are great sources of healthy fats that can boost your metabolism, control your hunger pangs, and reduce the food you consume, in turn reducing belly fat.
While following a diet with enough fiber and nutrients is important to lose belly fat and increase muscle, some physical activity as simple as walking is also essential to strengthen your muscles.
Foods To Avoid:
- Unhealthy fats
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Refined grain products
- Fatty meats
- Hydrogenated oils
|↑1||Belly fat in men: Why weight loss matters, Mayo Clinic.|
|↑2||Veldhorst, Margriet AB, Klaas R. Westerterp, Anneke JAH van Vught, and Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga. “Presence or absence of carbohydrates and the proportion of fat in a high-protein diet affect appetite suppression but not energy expenditure in normal-weight human subjects fed in energy balance.” British journal of nutrition 104, no. 9 (2010): 1395-1405.|
|↑3||Fujioka, Ken, Frank Greenway, Judy Sheard, and Yu Ying. “The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance: relationship to the metabolic syndrome.” Journal of medicinal food 9, no. 1 (2006): 49-54.|