Abdominal fat (also known as visceral fat) can be pretty difficult to drop. Thankfully, when coupled with a balanced, wholesome diet, these nutritious foods can help you get rid of this dangerous layer of pudge, and slim your midsection.
Read on for nutritionists’ top picks, and for more inspiration check out The 9 Best Foods That Melt Belly Fat. Summer will be here in a blink, friends.
The number one food recommendation for anyone who wants to lose belly fat? According to Kim Yawitz, RD, a registered dietitian and gym owner in St. Louis, Mo.: “Eat more foods that are high in soluble fiber—a nutrient that most Americans don’t get enough of. In one study, visceral fat decreased by nearly four percent for every 10-gram increase in daily soluble fiber intake,” she said.
“Beans are an excellent source of soluble fiber, and studies suggest that eating more of them could help fend off belly fat. One easy way to incorporate more beans into your diet is to add some cooked white beans into a smoothie—you’ll never know they’re there!”
Whether you’re having it for breakfast or as a snack to tide you over between meals, unsweetened plain Greek yogurt is an excellent choice to target pesky belly fat. “It’s packed with satisfying protein which helps to squash hunger and the overeating that’s associated with it. Getting adequate protein is also critical for melting more fat, including belly fat, since protein is essential for building metabolism-revving lean muscle tissue,” say Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, The Nutrition Twins, founders of The 21-Day Body Reboot and registered dietitians on the Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board.
“Eating yogurt is associated with lower body weight, body fat and having a smaller waist. Additionally, yogurt is a good source of good-for-your-gut probiotics, and having a healthy gut microbiome is associated with less body fat, abdominal fat included.”
Yawitz also recommends loading up on nuts to slim down. “Studies suggest that people who eat more nuts weigh less and have less belly fat than those who don’t eat them as often. There’s some evidence that walnuts, especially, could help burn belly fat,” said Yawitz. “In two small studies, adults who ate walnuts every day had higher levels of a fat-burning hormone called adiponectin, which has been shown to decrease waist circumference even when there’s no change in body weight.”
As Yawitz advises, you don’t need to go overboard with “walnuts to increase your adiponectin levels (in fact, eating too many nuts can lead to weight gain). Just under ½ cup per day should do the trick.” For more info on walnuts, check out the Secret Side Effects of Eating Walnuts, Says Dietitian.
A lot of amazing things happen to your body when you eat carrots. One of them? You might shed abdominal fat. “Carotenoids are pigments that give red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables their color. In a recent study, women who ate more carotenoid-rich foods had less abdominal fat than those who didn’t eat as much of them,” said Yawitz. “In this study, carrots and pumpkin were especially popular among women with smaller bellies, but you can also try spinach, kale, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, and bell peppers if you want to mix it up.”
READ MORE: Best Eating Habits for Faster Abdominal Fat Loss, Say Experts
Grab that glass of OJ, friends. “This is probably a surprising food, but regularly drinking an OJ that’s fortified with both vitamin D and calcium may help with decreasing your belly fat! This is because research connects vitamin D and calcium intake with decreased belly fat,” said Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, an inclusive plant-based dietitian and owner of Master the Media in Stamford, CT.
“A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who took in 100 IU of vitamin D and 350 milligrams of calcium via fortified orange juice daily had more of a decrease in belly fat, compared to people not drinking the fortified orange juice.”
“Eating more high-quality protein such as salmon could help lower your body fat. A study in Nutrition & Metabolism found that doing so was connected to a decrease in the percent of central abdominal fat,” said Gorin, who loves to make salmon bacon. We also are big fans of this Sweet and Spicy Glazed Salmon with Roasted Veggies recipe.
And for more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.