Fighting Belly Fat by Eating the Right Foods
Part of the Belly Fat Diet For Dummies Cheat Sheet
As you transition into a belly-flattening lifestyle, you need to make a few key dietary changes that will help you reduce belly fat. You can make these changes gradually over time. The more regularly you stick with these changes, the better your results. The following are some general guidelines to follow:
Consume an adequate amount of fiber per day. Aim for a minimum of 30 grams of fiber daily. Fiber provides you with a sense of satiety without any calories. Increasing your fiber intake helps stabilize blood sugar, control cravings, and prevent overeating — all things that help promote weight loss and flatten your belly.
Consume an adequate amount of healthy fat each day. Don’t worry. Dietary fat doesn’t equal belly fat. In fact, it’s actually the opposite! Healthy fats in the diet, mainly monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to help promote a decrease in belly fat. But portion control is still key here. Even though these fats are healthy, they’re still rich in calories.
Consume an adequate amount of lean protein. Lean proteins — which include animal proteins like chicken breast and fish as well as plant-based proteins like tofu and beans — are what make up the majority of your muscle. Without enough dietary protein each day, you may begin to lose muscle mass as you lose weight, which can slow your metabolism. Protein, like fats and fiber, is a nutrient that is slowly digested, helping to regulate appetite and control hunger. Include a source of lean protein at each meal to help you feel satisfied and avoid cravings.
Increase your intake of whole fruits and vegetables. Vegetables and fruits are not only rich in filling fiber, but they’re also loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals. Certain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, have been linked with reducing belly fat by helping to regulate stress hormones in the body. They’re also rich in minerals like potassium, which helps to expel excess water from the body, slimming the belly.
Drink up! Drinking at least 8 cups of water per day helps keep you hydrated, gives you increased energy, and helps prevent water retention that can bloat your belly. Drinking adequate amounts of fluid also helps with appetite regulation, promoting weight loss.