Obesity is a way-to-common problem in America and throughout the world. In fact, according to the Nation Health Institute, in the United States (1):
- More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
- Over 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.
- More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.
- About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.
Many of us are part of these statistics or have a loved one who is. That’s why it’s important to cut out foods that feed fat cells and indulge in foods that burn belly fat.
Beating the Blub
Having a little extra fat around the belly may seem pretty normal and harmless, but it directly correlates with some serious health problems in the long run.
Health risks include:
- reduced insulin sensitivity
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- some types of cancer: breast cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer
- kidney disease
Being overweight involves an excess of fat under your skin (subcutaneous fat) as well as around your heart, lungs, liver, and other organs (visceral fat) (2).
Visceral fat is the most unhealthy, and can even have a negative impact on inactive “skinny” people. Body mass composition is more important than weight alone. Of course, the more extra weight you have, the more your body starts to store fat in unusual places.
Fat doesn’t just sit in your body, it actually stores toxins and can affect hormone balance. As Kristen Hairston, MD, assistant professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Wake Forest School of Medicine, puts it: fat makes “lots of nasty substances.”
Here are 16 Foods that Burn Belly Fat
Despite what you may think, losing weight isn’t achieved through salads alone. You can actually eat plenty of foods that you already recognize and enjoy to help you lose belly fat.
It goes without saying that you will also need to listen to your body’s natural hunger and sleep rhythms to curb cravings, increase energy, and burn fat.
Yogurt is an incredibly healthy food that contains plenty of protein, calcium, and probiotics (friendly bacteria). These nutrients all provide support to lose weight in a sustainable way. Greek yogurts are usually the highest in protein and lowest in sugar.
In a study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, 75 healthy overweight and obese individuals completed a randomized double-blind controlled clinical trial.
Participants were randomly assigned to regular yogurt (200 g/day yogurt) with a low-calorie diet or a probiotic yogurt a day without the diet for 8 weeks.
Researchers found that the probiotic yogurt in addition to a low-calorie diet had a positive effect on fat percentage, and body weight among overweight and obese individuals (3).
This traditional breakfast food is a great addition to your weight loss journey because of its soluble fiber content.
In fact, oats prevent obesity and abdominal fat distribution and improve liver function in humans (4).
Furthermore, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating whole grain foods boost abdominal fat loss more than a grain-free low-calorie diet in middle-aged women (5).
Like oats, barley contains fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that slows digestion (6).
In doing so, barley allows your body to absorb more nutrients, increase satiety, and reduce appetite (7). Refined grains do not offer this same benefit.
In fact, one scientific review found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day were linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and an increase in weight loss (8). Barley makes a great addition to soups, so be sure to keep some in your pantry.
4. Green Tea
Green tea is a prime source of steady energy and antioxidants. It also contains catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which have the ability to boost weight loss and support weight management (9).
In part, these compounds work by increasing fat oxidation before exercise as well as 30-75 minutes after exercise (10). For best results, drink a hot cup of matcha tea 30-60 minutes before working out. One could say that green tea is the original detox water.
Eggs are a clean source of protein and vitamin b12. Protein increases energy expenditure during digestion, increases satiety, and increases muscle mass.
Since muscles burn more calories than fat, increasing your muscle mass ensures long-term energy expenditure. B12, on the other hand, plays a role in fat and protein metabolism (11).
In fact, researchers at Louisiana State University found that people who ate eggs for breakfast 5+ days weekly lost more weight than those who ate bagels.
During the 8-week study period, the egg diet group and bagel diet group both followed a 1000-calorie diet and ate their selected food daily.
By the end of the study, the egg group experienced, on average, a 61% greater reduction in BMI, a 65% greater weight loss, a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference and a 16% greater reduction in percent body fat when compared to the bagel diet group (12).