If you are entrenched in an ongoing battle of the bulge, you’re probably trying to find the best way to lose belly fat as well as reduce your weight overall. While trying to lose weight is certainly not fun or easy, there are some foods that are not only great tasting, but they’re also extremely effective in helping to trim down belly fat and get a flatter stomach. In fact, these popular food choices are probably things you are already enjoying on a regular basis, so incorporating them into your weight loss arsenal will not be difficult.
In addition to using some tasty belly fat busting foods to help you trim down and get a flatter stomach, there are also some important techniques that can show you how to lose belly fat and enhance your weight loss efforts; of course, there are also some things you’ll need to avoid in order to ensure you are not sabotaging your goal to lose belly fat.
Foods that Fight Belly Fat
Spikes in blood sugar signal your body to store belly fat, but healthy mono-saturated fats can help regulate blood sugar. Healthy fats not only help fight belly fat, but they also help with the absorption of carotenoids, the cancer-fighting compounds frequently found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. One-half of an avocado contains 10 grams of mono-saturated fat and studies have shown that people who eat a salad with avocado absorb fifteen times more of these beneficial carotenoids.
A cup of yogurt each day can help establish the growth of healthy or good bacteria in your digestive system; this growth of beneficial bacteria can help fight an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria that can lead to a bloated stomach and other health issues. Eating yogurt is especially important for people who have taken antibiotics and certain other medications.
While antibiotics certainly have a very important place in the fight against disease, these medicines cannot distinguish between the good and bad bacteria. Replacing the good bacteria after a course of antibiotics is essential to good health. The combination of protein and carbohydrates found in yogurt can help provide the building blocks necessary for building lean muscle. They also offer an excellent way to help stabilize insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate the storage of body fat; when insulin levels are too high it triggers a signal for your body to begin storing the calories you consume as fat.
Bananas contain 422 milligrams of potassium. This mineral helps reduce the amount of swelling and bloating your body may experience from sodium. Ensuring you have adequate potassium is a great way to keep belly bloat to a minimum.
4. Green Tea
Three to five cups of green tea each day can help increase your metabolism which can burn an additional 30 to 70 calories per day. Green tea also contains a compound known as ECGC which enables the body to more effectively burn fat cells.
The antioxidants found in berries can help improve blood flow which delivers more oxygen to your muscles making cardio workouts even more effective. Berries are also high in fiber which can help keep you feeling more satisfied and will naturally help burn belly fat; they also contribute to an increase in metabolism for even more fat fighting benefits.
6. Chocolate Skim Milk
Just like with yogurt, skim milk provides a combination of protein and carbohydrates that can help promote muscle building and stabilize insulin levels which can help prevent fat from being stored in the first place. Drinking low-fat milk after a workout can also help speed recovery and, of course, milk gives the calcium that is so important for strong, healthy bones.
7. Whole Grains
The fiber found in whole grain foods such as brown rice, bulgur and oatmeal will not only help keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time, but it is also an excellent way to help keep insulin levels low. This will help prevent spikes in blood sugar, which can signal the body to store fat, but it also prevents the sudden drop in blood sugar that often follows these spikes. A sudden drop in blood sugar often leads to a feeling of fatigue and cravings. Researchers also speculate that whole grains may actually help to shrink existing fat cells.
Research conducted at the Arizona State University in Mesa suggests that the vitamin C found in colorful produce such as red peppers and oranges can actually help burn approximately 30% more fat during an exercise session. An easy way to get a flatter stomach!
Additional Belly Busting Tips for a Flatter Stomach
These easy tips can help you slip in simple steps so you can get a flatter stomach in a hurry.
Sitting at your desk: Use Pilates breathing techniques to tighten stomach muscles. Gently suck in your stomach as if you were trying to button a pair of tight jeans. Hold your stomach in and continue to breathe without relaxing your abs. Continue for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
While on the treadmill or elliptical: Stand with your head facing forward, your back straight and abs tight. Maintaining good posture helps target stomach muscles.
In the car: Tighten and release abdominal muscles while waiting at red lights. This little move can help yield great results with very little effort on your part.
When in bed: Laying flat on your back, place palms on your stomach just below your belly button. Exhale slowly and allow your stomach to naturally expand. Then slowly inhale while concentrating on pulling your belly button in towards your spin. Imagine you are drawing down to the bed. Hold this position for ten seconds. Repeat four more times.
Walking the dog or just out for a walk: Walk with your torso upright and straight and shoulders back. Walk five strides with your abdominal muscles engaged; then relax for the next five strides. Repeat this alternating throughout your walk.
Saboteurs in your Fight Against Fat
Alcohol: According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, women who consumed one or fewer drinks per day had smaller bellies than those who abstained altogether, or who had more than one alcoholic drink in a sitting.
Stress: Recent research shows that people who are worried or under stress have increased levels of cortisol, a hormone that leads to an increase in stomach fat. Learn to breath properly to reduce stress and body fat. Inhale slowly through your nose to a count of four. Then slowly exhale through your mouth to a count of eight. Continue with this pattern until you feel refreshed and less tense.
TV Time: Researchers at the University of Oulu have concluded that people who watch TV for two hours or more each day have weaker abdominal and back muscles than people who don’t watch as much television; regardless of a persons overall level of activity.
Late-night Munchies: A study of diets high in fat was published by the journal Obesity and suggests that our bodies are not able to burn nighttime snacks as efficiently as foods consumed during the day. Try to limit evening snacking and munching. If you are really hungry, a piece of fruit or a low-calorie snack should hold you over until morning. You can also enjoy a relaxing cup of tea before bed.
The Bread Basket: Before digging into the bread basket look to see if there are any whole-grain offerings. Stay away from white rolls and breads made from refined flour. Feel free to enjoy up to three ounces of whole-grains a day. (One-half cup of cooked brown rice, or a slice of whole-grain bread are each about one ounce.) People who ate 3 ounces of whole grains per day lost more belly fat than those who simply reduced calories, but continued eating refined grains.