Those of us who care about our health and physical appearance can often find ourselves mulling over some tough health-related questions — how we can be healthier, how to be more active, and how to lose belly fat. In a world of almost too much information on these subjects, it’s easy to become confused and overwhelmed. But, at the end of the day, we know the general answer comes down to diet and exercise. And yes, they’re equally important.
Sure, we can spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on workout equipment and gym memberships. We can exercise until we’re blue in the face, lifting all the weights and doing all the situps. But if we’re not eating the right foods, that stubborn belly fat just isn’t going anywhere, no matter how fancy the gym is. If you want to know how to lose belly fat fast, you’re going to have to start at the grocery store, not the ab machine.
The (sometimes annoying) truth is that abs really are made in the kitchen. And in order to combat belly fat so that they can shine in all their Greek god glory, we have to be eating the right foods. Of course, we can make healthy choices, but which foods make for the best way to lose belly fat, specifically? We’ve got the answers.
Edamame is one of those foods that most people absolutely love to snack on when out for sushi, but don’t necessarily think to bring home from the grocery store. This salty little bean is not only addictingly delicious but also absolutely packed with nutrients, making it tremendously healthy. Edamame’s high fiber count makes it a wonderful belly fat-fighting food that’s remarkably low in calories.
While edamame hasn’t always been easy to find in stores in the past, now it’s just as much a staple in the freezer section as peas and carrots. Keep a bag in the freezer and add this delicious legume to salads (like the recipe below) and soups, or even toss some into a creamy sauce or risotto.
The benefits of vinegar have been very much front and center in the health food world in recent years. It’s such a popular ingredient that people are shooting it like bad tequila and putting it into one-a-day gummies. It turns out that vinegar may also have some belly fat-burning attributes as well. Some animal studies have shown that acetic acid, a main component of apple cider vinegar, may very well increase fat-burning genes and reduce, specifically, belly fat.
Vinegar adds a punchy pizzaz to just about any dish. Splash a little on a salad, use it in a marinade or any number of brines. We even love to add it to our cocktails.
Bell peppers are very rich in fiber, which is a key component of belly fat loss. Additionally, while not as high in capsaicin as many of its more fiery cousins, bell peppers do contain a small amount, which is known to burn belly fat and suppress appetite.
Bell peppers are beautiful simply raw and dipped in a deliciously creamy sauce, but they’re perfect when cooked along with a vast array of ingredients as well. Stuffed and baked, they make a perfectly simple yet elegant dinner. Cooked and pureed into a velvety roasted bell pepper soup is one of our favorite ways to enjoy them. They’re also great when tossed into a salad like the one below.
It’s no secret that avocados are one of the universe’s most perfect gifts. This deliciously green and bumpy little weirdo is wonderful for just about everything from skin clarity to sexual health, so it’s no surprise that it’s also great for burning belly fat. Rich in monounsaturated fats, avocados help prevent body fat from accumulating around the belly, specifically. As if we needed another reason to love them.
Make some guac. Put it on toast. You know what to do.
Carb-fearing individuals tend to steer clear of bananas, which is a real shame because bananas are absolutely packed with health benefits and belly fat-fighting power. Rich in nutrients, bananas contain indigestible fibers that actually block carbohydrates from being absorbed into the body, making bananas a beautiful belly fat blocker.
Bananas are truly limitless in their culinary powers. Stock up and make everything from smoothies and ice cream to baked goods and bananas foster.
Sure, some yogurt has been revealed to actually be high-calorie, high-sugar, additive-laden treats only masquerading as health food. This is in part, though, to those falsely fruity or blatantly obvious dessert yogurts — the ones with flavors like Hot Fudge Sundae and Boston Cream Pie. But if you take the time and read the label, there are healthy brands and varieties out there. And if you stick with low-fat, plain Greek yogurt, you’re in the clear. Containing twice as much protein as traditional yogurt, low-fat Greek yogurt will help to keep you fuller longer. It’s also very rich in calcium, which has been linked to lower levels of abdominal fat.
Greek yogurt makes a delicious base for any number of sauces, spreads, and dressings. You can even use it to make bread!
There’s an endless list of health benefits in the miracle that is green tea, including the fact that it really knows how to get rid of belly fat. Green tea has abundant quantities of catechins, which help burn belly fat by boosting metabolism. It’s also completely free of calories, so drink up!
Green tea can add a beautifully subtle, earthy flavor to many dishes. We love to use steeped tea in recipes that call for water poaching or steaming. It’s delicious when cooked into rice, too.
In addition to a great deal of vitamins and minerals, oats contain a very high amount of fiber, which is one of the main keys to successful weight loss. High amounts of fiber in the body satisfy hunger cravings, therefore helping aid in weight loss.
There’s nothing wrong with a healthy bowl of traditional oatmeal for breakfast in the morning. There’s also nothing wrong with double chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. The choice is yours.
Almost everything is made better by lemon. Water, desserts, salad dressings, and — it would seem — our abs. Lemon promotes fat loss, particularly in the abdominal area, by inducing increased lipolysis, which is a fancy word for the breaking down of fats. Studies have shown that even lemon extract may have these same impacts on the body, so squeeze a little bit everywhere you can.
We love a fresh squeeze of lemon on just about anything, but our favorite way to enjoy them is preserved.
This gorgeously hideous little root vegetable doesn’t get the praise it deserves in the U.S. While it’s a popular ingredient in Mexican and Asian cooking, you don’t see a lot of jicama elsewhere, and that’s a shame. This low-calorie treat is incredibly high in minerals and fiber, making it the perfect bally-fat zapping snack.
If you’re unfamiliar with jicama, it’s a wonderfully crunchy root vegetable with a mildly sweet flavor, close to that of an Asian pear, but with less intensity. Simply slice it and sprinkle on a little Tajin for a lightly refreshing snack. It’s also beautiful when tossed into salads, like the one below.
If there’s one dish that really knows how to burn belly fat, this is it. This salad includes 7 of the 10 foods listed above (edamame, avocado, jicama, bell pepper, Greek yogurt, lemon, and vinegar). Start your day with a little banana oatmeal and green tea, then make this salad for lunch, and you should have washboard abs by dinnertime. Alright, well, at least it’s a start.
- 1 head butter lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 cup edamame, shelled
- 2 avocados, cubed
- 1 cup jicama, diced
- 2-3 radishes, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
- Tortilla strips (optional garnish)
- Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine.
- Pour dressing over salad ingredients, mixing gently, and serve immediately.
Yield: About 1 cup. Leftover dressing keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients until thoroughly combined.
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