If you’re trying to eliminate belly fat, carbs are probably one food you assume you need to cut out. But that’s only partly true.
“Carbs get a bad reputation because they’re associated with simple carbohydrates found in drinks, sweets, and other processed foods,” explains registered dietitian nutritionist Jonathan Valdez, RDN, owner of Genki Nutrition and a spokesperson for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “When consumed in excess, they may cause cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and more.”
While cutting out these kinds of carbs are important, other types of carbohydrates will be super helpful in helping you achieve your belly fat weight loss goals.
“Carbohydrates obtained from whole foods may be a part of a healthy and balanced diet,” according to Brittany Michels, MS, RDN, LDN, registered dietitian nutritionist with The Vitamin Shoppe. “All carbs are not created equal. Some carbohydrates contain components that may support weight management and reduce body fat.”
The next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure to pick up the following carbs to help you get rid of that belly fat.
“This is my favorite. It’s not only cheap, but it has a combination of high fiber and high protein needed to feel full on lower calories,” says Valdez. “When it comes to belly fat, excess calories are the enemy.”
“Soluble fiber is found in plant foods and has a gel-like consistency that slows down digestion, improves satiety and aids in blood sugar management. These benefits may aid in fat loss,” says Michels. “One five-year-long study found that consuming 10 grams of soluble fiber per day reduced abdominal fat by 3.7%. Another study found that people who ate a 3/4 cup of beans daily weighed 6.6 pounds less than those who didn’t—despite bean eaters consuming, on average, 199 calories more per day.”
Foods included on this list include carrots, green beans, broccoli, navel oranges, avocados, grapefruit, strawberries, flax, and beans.
“In general, plain Greek Yogurt will be high in protein with 1 cup being around 20 grams of protein,” says Valdez. “When it comes to carbs, it will be close to yogurt and cow’s milk at about 10 grams of carbs. Overall, this high-protein powerhouse paired with fruits will be a delicious snack that will optimize your satiety with lower calories to keep your belly fat down.”
“Several probiotic strains (such as Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium breve, Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius Ls-33) are linked to either lower body fat, belly fat, body weight, reduced waist, and hip circumference and/or decreased appetite,” says Michels.
These foods include kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha. She adds that you could also consider a probiotic supplement, like this one.
“Prebiotic fiber is defined as any fiber that feeds our good gut bacteria,” says Michels. “Prebiotic fibers produce small chain fatty acids that feed the gut flora. Not all plant food fiber provides this additional benefit. Prebiotic fiber provides digestive and blood sugar management support, which may aid in fat loss.”
These foods include leeks, bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, honey, onions, garlic, and chicory root.