It’s not your fault if you have a big belly, but belly fat can lead to diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. One way to battle the fat is to tweak your diet. Here are ten delicious foods that can shrink your midsection and save your life.
There are several reasons how this juicy fruit can help you battle the bulge. Watermelon is more than 90% water. Foods high in water fill you up faster. But you can’t live on water alone because it lacks vitamins and nutrients. Watermelon is high in vitamins A, C, B6, thiamine, and lycopene. You get valuable nutrition…and you get full, which means you won’t be eating more calories after eating low-cal, low-fat watermelon. (A wedge contains less than a gram of fat.)
Dairy contains protein, and protein generally makes you feel full. (Read: you won’t crave more food.) One study showed that people who were obese lost almost double the amount of body fat and weight by eating a dairy-rich diet as opposed to obese individuals who ate the same amount of calories but kept dairy to a minimum. Most of the fat loss came from the belly. Researchers point to calcium as the hero here. This mineral regulates how fat is stored and broken down by the body. Besides calcium, dairy has two more fat-busting components: whey and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Whey ultimately helps burn more calories and CLA is believed to burn fat.
Eggs are loaded with protein. In fact, the protein content in eggs sets the standard by which protein is measured in other foods. Protein keeps you satisfied longer. Research shows that people who eat eggs for breakfast tend to consume fewer calories later. Not only that, protein allows your body to burn fat by increasing your metabolism…and by working harder to break down the protein itself. Then there’s B12. This vitamin breaks down and burns body fat too.
One cup of chopped, raw broccoli has only 30 calories. Cook this amount and you’ll get just 54 calories. Prepare it either way and you’ll be loading your body with vitamins and nutrients: vitamins A, B-6, C, and K as well as folate and potassium. The phytochemicals broccoli contains show potential for breaking down fats. Plus, broccoli is 90% water, and one cup of the vegetable provides five grams of fiber which will fill your belly, slow digestion and take away your desire to eat more.
Cabbage won’t actually fight fat, but it will help you fight it. How? When you choose cabbage over other foods, you’ll be getting a boatload of nutrition and hardly any calories. Half a cup yields only 17 calories. Cook it and enjoy 4 grams of dietary fiber. Not only will this stabilize your blood sugar levels, it will help control your appetite so you won’t be looking for snacks later. Cabbage is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin A, beta-carotene and lutein.
With just 29 calories per cup and virtually no fat, low carbs and low sugar, cauliflower is an ideal veggie when you are fighting your fat. This cruciferous vegetable is also high in volume and full of fiber. It’s a crunchy way to for fill your belly, load up on nutrients and clean out your system…all of which work to help you fight fat. Another benefit is that cauliflower reduces constipation and keeps things moving.
Providing fewer than 20 calories per cup and nutrients like potassium for muscles, folic acid for your cells, and lots of vitamin C, radishes are a colorful way to fight fat. The sulfur compounds they contain aid your digestion and their dietary fiber and high water content keep you feeling full longer. They also contain magnesium and iron that help to dissolve fat in you cells.
This leafy green is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is an ideal food to help you reach your weight loss goals. It delivers manganese for your bones, magnesium for warding off headaches, iron for your blood, potassium for your muscles and heart, vitamin A for your eyes and skin, plus more—and it’s low in calories. Just seven calories in one cup of fresh spinach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends replacing one of your morning eggs with spinach.
Meat is not your enemy if you’re in the fight against fat. The key is to consume only lean meats because these have less total fat and lower amounts of saturated fat. And they have lots of protein, and that’s good news because protein has a high thermogenic effect. That means your body exerts a lot of energy to digest the food. If you eat chicken, be sure to remove the skin to keep the meat as lean as possible.
It’s true that avocados are high in fat…but it’s the healthy fat! Researchers say cooking with avocado oil, rich in monounsaturated and oleic fatty acids, can spot-reduce belly fat. Studies have shown that the fatty acids found in avocados seemed to prevent body fat distribution in the abdomen, possibly by affecting fat genes. Then there’s the vitamin B-6. Although no actual studies have proven its ability to fight fat, those in the know believe it to be a fat buster and tout its track record at burning up stored calories while reducing the amount of calories needed by the body.