Unfortunately, there isn’t one miraculous diet that speeds up the belly fat burn. The good news? When making healthy eating choices for weight loss, fat in the midsection is typically the first to melt away, according to WebMD. We chatted with Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, nutrition writer and owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition, who shares with us her top-recommended foods to burn belly fat. Work them into your diet every day, and watch the belly fat melt away!
Keeping your midsection in tip-top shape goes far beyond aesthetics. According to WebMD, having excess belly fat can be toxic to your health. Visceral fat—the “deeper” fat that encompasses your organs—is associated with many horrible health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, and dementia. That’s why it’s necessary to make healthy moves in the kitchen and at the gym in order to slim down, shape up, and boost your overall wellness.
Keep reading to learn more about Mitri’s recommendations for the best foods to burn belly fat, and next up, don’t miss 12 Foods Everyone Over 50 Should Eat for Serious Weight Loss.
“Eggs are one of the highest-quality protein sources out there,” Mitri explains. The really awesome thing about protein? It keeps you satiated and has a lower calorie count when compared to fats and carbs.
“Including eggs as a regular protein source can keep you full, help you eat less, and in turn, torch belly fat,” Mitri adds.
Research shows that avocados can positively alter how belly fat is distributed in women. One study in particular, which was funded by the Hass Avocado Board and published in the Journal of Nutrition, reveals the benefits of eating an avocado every day.
“Women who ate avocados as part of a daily meal saw a reduction in their visceral fat, the deeper belly fat that’s harder to target,” Mitri explains.
During your next trip to the grocery store, don’t forget to add some hot peppers to your shopping cart. Mitri recommends them as a solid food to burn belly fat.
“Hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin that suppresses appetite and can help your body burn more fat,” Mitri says, adding, “It is said to do this by converting so-called ‘white fat’ to ‘brown fat’ in the body. Brown fat, otherwise known as brown adipose tissue, helps you burn more calories and fat around the belly region.”
Mitri dubs kale one of the “top weight loss superfoods,” and research backs this up. According to a 2022 study, individuals who consume more kale could experience greater weight loss.
“[Kale] is incredibly nutritious, naturally low in calories, and incredibly filling, making it easier to stick to a lower-calorie weight loss plan,” Mitri explains.
Last but certainly not least, it’s time to rev up your berry intake if you want to burn belly fat. Berries such as strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries could impact genes that manage fat burn and storage in your body, according to Mitri.
“Berries are rich in fiber and low in calories, a winning combo for weight loss,” she says, adding, “They also are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are thought to be responsible for much of their weight loss benefits.”