Proven Foods to Help Burn Belly Fat Based on Science

Proven Foods to Burn Belly Fat Based on Science

Fat burning foods are healthy food choices to include in your diet if you want to get rid of belly fat. The best foods for weight loss include protein-rich foods, oily fish, green leafy vegetables, healthy fats, and green tea. Foods that act as belly fat burners should also provide necessary nutrients to nourish your body and help increase your metabolism.

Of course, the best way to lose belly fat quickly is to incorporate other healthy lifestyle choices. So, as well as eating weight-loss foods, you should increase your physical activity and cut out unhealthy calories to help burn stomach fat. You may also be surprised that some foods that are touted as “fatty foods” are actually good fat-burning foods.

In this article, you will learn about scientific research showing the best foods that help burn belly fat.

What Is Belly Fat and Why Is It Dangerous?

Having too much fat around your abdominal region poses a number of health risks associated with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports that belly fat increases a person’s risk of coronary heart disease. Abdominal subcutaneous fat (fat beneath the skin) and visceral fat (fat around your organs) increase blood pressure and fatty molecules in the blood. Patients who reduced their accumulation of belly fat also lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease. (1)

A systematic review of 20 scientific papers over a 20-year period found that a greater amount of belly fat increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes twofold. In fact, by just measuring a patient’s waist circumference, a doctor can calculate the risk of developing diabetes. (2)

Other researchers have found that an increase in abdominal fat puts a person at greater risk of developing cancer than just having a high body mass index (BMI). Scientists also noted that people who are obese generally have diets that are high in fat and low in nutritional content. This combination of a large stomach and poor diet is a factor in many cases of cancer. (3)

How Foods Can Help You Burn Belly Fat

Certain foods naturally increase your metabolism that helps promote belly fat loss.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic explain that metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy. Your metabolism is involved in digestion, breaking down fats, converting calories into energy, and other important bodily functions. However, to lose weight, including getting rid of belly fat, you should burn more calories daily than you take in. (4)

It is also good to remember that consuming foods that help to burn belly fat is better than taking so-called “metabolism-boosting” supplements. The Mayo Clinic says that dietary supplements to boost weight loss are often just hype and may have some unwanted side effects. (4)

What are the best kinds of weight-loss foods to add to your diet if you want to reduce belly fat?

Researchers in the United States found that diets that are high in protein help to increase weight loss. Protein helps to boost feelings of satiety that can result in fat loss and help with weight maintenance. (5)

The journal Nutrients reports that increasing the number of fruits and vegetables in your diet can have a marked impact on body weight. Even though many fruits contain simple sugars, there is no evidence that they increase body weight. In fact, fruits contain fiber, nutrients, and vitamins that are essential for healthy weight management. (6)

The best way to lose belly fat safely is to have healthy eating plan, exercise regularly, and reduce daily calorie intake. (7) So, although you can reduce belly fat without exercise, regular physical activity will speed up weight loss and benefit your heart health.

It is also good to know that if you aim to eat foods to reduce belly fat, you will also lose subcutaneous and visceral fat from your whole body. This is because it is impossible to target just one area of your body to burn fat. So, sit-ups will help burn belly fat as well as fat from other areas of your body because you are burning calories.

Foods That Burn Belly Fat (Science Based)

Let’s look in more detail at some of the best foods to help you lose fat from around your abdominal region.

Please remember that, although all the effects of these “belly fat-burning foods” are backed up by research, you still have to watch the portion size to ensure you are not consuming more calories than you burn.

Whole-Grain Foods Help to Burn Belly Fat

One of the best kinds of fat burning foods to include in a weight-loss diet are those that contain whole grains.

The Journal of Nutrition reported that increasing your intake of whole-grain foods and dietary fiber can help to lose belly fat. Researchers examined data from over 430 adults and found that a diet high in whole grains was connected with lower body fat, especially around the belly and hips. (8)

Other researchers have found that the average person in the U.S. only consumes half of their recommended amount of dietary fiber. Increasing consumption of foods such as vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can help to boost weight-loss efforts. (9)

Some studies also point to the fact that consuming refined grains (foods such as pastries, white rice, and white bread) tends to increase abdominal fat. However, switching to whole-grain products can lower visceral fat. (10)

Doctors say that some of the best types of whole-grain foods to lose belly fat are oatmeal, whole wheat, brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa. (11)

If you have gluten sensitivity, avoid wheat, barley and rye, and opt for gluten free whole grains.

Oatmeal is a food that helps reduce belly fat

One clinical trial on adults found that increasing foods containing oats in the diet helped to reduce abdominal fat, lose weight, and improve liver function. In the trial, oats were introduced to the diet in a supplement form. (12)

Brown rice is a belly fat burning food

One study compared the difference in body fat distribution when consuming white rice and brown rice. It was found that brown rice helped to regulate blood glucose levels and positively affect metabolic parameters. (13)

This means that brown rice is better than white rice for people with metabolic syndrome which is characterized by excess body fat around the waist.

Oily Fish Can Help Burn Stomach Fat

If you want to include in your diet foods that make you lose weight, then you should regularly eat portions of salmon, mackerel, tuna, or sardines.

Eating oily fish benefits your overall health because they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

One trial involving over 300 adults found that salmon consumption was effective as part of a weight loss diet. Consuming salmon which is rich in omega-3 also helped to reduce inflammation during the diet. (14)

A meta-analysis of over 20 studies found that consuming fish and fish oil as part of a weight-loss program was very effective at burning fat. Researchers found that making healthy lifestyle choices, increasing fish intake, and taking omega-3 supplements helped to reduce belly fat. (15)

Other studies have also shown that omega-3 supplementation can help to lower body fat mass in general. (16)

Learn more about why you should take fish oil supplements every day to boost your cardiovascular health.

Eggs Are Good for Burning Belly Fat

It may surprise you to find out that eggs are in the list of belly fat burning foods.

Eating eggs can help you reduce excess fat around your waist because they are protein-rich food that can keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Researchers found that consuming an egg for breakfast helped women feel fuller and snack less before lunchtime. One group of women consumed eggs for breakfast and the other group had bagels. Even though the breakfast calorie count was similar, the women eating eggs consumed fewer calories throughout the day and, therefore, lost more weight. (17)

One clinical trial involving obese men and women found that consuming eggs for breakfast boosts weight loss when combined with a calorie-restricted diet. (18)

Did you know that scientific studies have shown that consuming eggs regularly doesn’t increase levels of “bad” cholesterol in your blood? You can learn more about these studies in my article about the amazing health benefits of eggs.

Coconut Oil Is a Belly Fat Burner

Another of the foods that burn belly fat is coconut oil because it contains a type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

So, you may wonder, how can consuming fat actually help you burn fat? The journal Obesity Research answers that a diet rich in MCTs help to increase energy expenditure and can stimulate weight loss. This type of diet has been shown to help burn upper body fat. (19)

A small study on 20 overweight men found that increasing the intake of virgin coconut oil helped to significantly reduce waist circumference. Men took 10 ml of coconut oil 3 times a day and lost 1 inch from their waistline. (20)

Some studies indicate that increasing MCTs in your diet to get a flatter stomach may only be good for short-term weight loss and is not sustainable over a long period of time. (21)

Learn more about how coconut oil can help you lose weight and why it is considered among the top fat burning foods for men and women.

Avocados Help Burn Belly Fat

If you want to enjoy the best diet for belly fat reduction, you should make sure to include avocados in your diet.

Avocados are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and healthy fats. Research into the health benefits of avocados has found that the unsaturated fatty acids in avocados help to boost cardiovascular health. (22)

One study found that consuming an avocado daily didn’t just help lower cholesterol but it also helped with weight loss. This was despite the fact that avocados are a calorie-rich food. (22)

Other studies have shown conflicting results when it comes to consuming avocados to burn belly fat. A study on men and women found that an avocado a day didn’t contribute to weight loss. However, scientists did note that the reduction in cholesterol due to avocado consumption helped lower the cardiovascular disease risk in obese persons. (23)

Learn about more reasons why you should include avocados in your diet to help improve digestive health, boost heart health, and even lose weight.

Green Leafy Vegetables Promote Belly Fat Loss

If you are looking for a healthy way to get rid of belly fat, then eating more cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens in your diet will help shrink your waistline.

One trial involving 120 overweight adults found that increasing vegetable intake helped to lose belly fat and body weight. The people on the trial doubled their portion size of vegetables. Scientists noted that increasing the number of vegetables helped to lose weight within 3 months. This also resulted in sustained weight loss over a 1-year period. (24)

You can also help to burn stomach fat faster by increasing your intake of green leafy vegetables in the form of chlorophyll. Scientists have found that compounds in green leaves help to increase satiety. This can suppress hunger and lead to greater body fat loss. (25)

Find out more about the benefits of consuming chlorophyll for weight loss. You may also be interested in how consuming more leafy green vegetables like broccoli, kale, or cabbage can help to boost your health.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Help to Reduce Your Belly Size and Waistline

One way to help flatten your stomach when trying to lose weight is to consume extra virgin olive oil in your diet.

Some studies into the nutritional benefits of olive oil have found that its unsaturated fatty acids help to increase metabolism and help break down fats in a meal. (26)

One study involving overweight men found that consuming olive oil in place of other fats can help men reduce the size of their waistline. (27)

Similarly, researchers have found that consuming more olive oil can benefit women who want to shed abdominal fat and lose weight. (28)

Apart from helping you get a slimmer waistline, find out about more fascinating health benefits of consuming more olive oil.

Nuts and Seeds are Great Belly Fat Burners

Nuts and seeds are among some of the best foods to eat if you want to reduce your waistline and look slimmer.

Many people mistakenly avoid eating nuts and seeds if they want to lose weight because of their fat content. Are nuts a healthy snack that helps burn belly fat and promote weight loss?

Nutritionists have found that nuts contain a number of nutrients and healthy fats that boost your health. One study found that swapping a handful of nuts daily in place of unhealthy snacks can help to prevent obesity. Most scientific studies point out that consuming more nuts is just one of the many important factors if you want to lose weight healthily. (29)

The good news when it comes to nuts and belly fat is that most scientific research shows that increasing nut consumption does not cause weight gain. You benefit from the added nutrients, healthy fatty acids, and fiber in your diet that are contained in nuts and seeds. (30)

Here are a few examples of healthy seeds and nuts that may boost the effectiveness of your weight-loss diet.

Almonds promote weight loss

A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of American Heart Association found that almonds can help lose weight. The results of the trial found that consuming 1.5 oz. (42 g) of almonds in place of a high-carbohydrate snack helps reduce the accumulation of abdominal fat. (31)

Walnuts can help you get rid of stomach fat

Walnuts are another healthy tree nut that promotes weight loss and good cardiovascular health. One study found that adding walnuts to a calorie-restricted diet helped to not only boost weight loss but has a better effect on heart health than just restricting calories. (32)

Chia seeds are a food to help lose belly fat

Chia seeds are classed as a superfood due to their rich nutritional content. One clinical trial found that consuming 35 g of chia flour daily has a significant result in reducing waistline size and overall body weight. (33)

Protein Powder Is Good for Burning Belly Fat

Taking protein powder such as whey protein powder can help to promote weight loss because protein increases feelings of fullness.

High-protein foods are among some of the best fat burning foods because they can help you reduce your daily calorie intake. Adding protein powder such as whey to your diet can help overweight men and women lose weight.

One study involving 22 men found that whey protein powder was a more effective protein source than turkey, tuna, or eggs. When consuming whey powder as the protein source, participants reported a reduced appetite and, therefore, experienced greater weight loss. (34)

Other studies have found that, as well as increasing satiety, protein powders can help to boost metabolism and help metabolize fat more efficiently. (35)

Learn about ways to incorporate more whey protein into your diet and what health benefits you can expect from it.

Chili Peppers for Getting Rid of Abdominal Fat

If you are looking for some spicy foods to eat to lose belly fat then adding chili peppers to your diet is an excellent idea.

The spicy component of chili peppers that has weight-loss potential is the compound capsaicin.

Various studies have shown that spicing up your foods can help to speed up weight loss and burn belly fat. For example, adding 10 g of red pepper to a meal can help to suppress appetite. Capsaicin supplements could increase your resting metabolic rate. (36)

Learn why adding cayenne pepper to your meals can help to increase your metabolism and shed extra pounds of fat.

Further reading: Another spice that can help you lose weight is cumin. Read about research results about cumin for weight loss in my article “Scientifically Proven Benefits of Cumin: For Weight Loss, Diabetes and More“.

Apple Cider Vinegar to Reduce Belly Fat

One of the ways to help burn stomach fat quicker is to drink apple cider vinegar (ACV) to help increase your metabolism.

Many of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, including weight loss, are due to its high levels of acetic acid. Researchers have found that acetic acid helps to boost metabolism and boost the number of beneficial enzymes in the liver. (37)

Can apple cider vinegar actually help you burn abdominal fat? A small study from Japan found that consuming 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar in 500 ml of water daily can help to prevent fat accumulation. Scientists noted that after a 12-week period, participants had lower body weight, less visceral fat, and a slimmer waist. (38)

Find out more about how to use apple cider vinegar to get your weight down and also about its many other health benefits.

Green Tea Could Help Get Rid of Fat Around Your Belly

Drinking more green tea could be good for burning stomach fat because it contains catechins and caffeine that may boost metabolism.

One small study found that green tea extracts can help men burn belly fat. The study found that green tea helps boost fat oxidation and increases a person’s metabolic rate. (39)

Other studies have shown that green tea can help to reduce visceral fat when consumed regularly. (40)

However, a review of randomized controlled trials found inconclusive evidence that green tea itself can promote healthy weight loss. Although many studies have shown that consuming green tea can result in waistline and body fat reduction, the amount of weight loss was relatively small. (41)

However, if you are trying to burn off belly fat, drinking green tea has a number of other health benefits. You can find out how green tea can help burn more calories when exercising, boost your heart health, and lower blood pressure.

Oolong Tea is a Healthy Fat-Burning Drink

If you want a healthy drink to help boost your efforts in getting rid of unhealthy belly fat, oolong tea is a fantastic healthy option.

Oolong tea leaves come from the same plant as green tea and black tea. However, the tea leaves are only partly oxidized which changes its chemical composition from green tea (whose leaves are not oxidized). (41)

One study from Japan found that drinking tea containing 6 g of oolong tea daily can help to reduce body weight in obese adults. The effects of consuming oolong tea also helped to lower overall body fat. (42)

Another study from Japan found that oolong tea boosts energy metabolism. One of the advantages of drinking oolong tea to help burn fat is that it contains less caffeine than green tea or coffee. (43)

Please read my article about the many health benefits of drinking oolong tea.

Coffee Helps Reduce Abdominal (Belly) Fat

One of the drinks to help reduce belly fat is coffee because of its caffeine content. In fact, when consumed in moderation, coffee has many health benefits.

Research from 2014 found that regularly drinking coffee could help prevent weight gain in people with type 2 diabetes. Consuming coffee also has a positive effect on blood glucose levels. (44)

Other studies have found that coffee can help to increase your metabolic rate and make your weight-loss workouts more efficient. (45)

Another type of coffee that can help lose belly fat is green coffee. A systematic review of trials on green coffee extracts found that they may have an effect when it comes to decreasing the percentage of body fat in overweight individuals. However, more research needs to be done. (46)

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