If you’re focused on finally getting that flat belly, we salute you, as it’s not easy to stick to your fitness goals. It takes perseverance! But no matter how many crunches you may do, it matters what you’re putting into your body as well. And there actually are plenty of foods you might not even realize will help you get that flat belly you’re chasing after.
We rounded up the ultimate list of foods you want to add to your diet ASAP, as they are proven to help flatten your belly. And if you’re really focused on doing all you can to stay on track, be sure to check out What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Smoothie Every Day.
Yes, avocados have fat, but they’re the fats you want. They are full of monounsaturated fats, which keep you full and stop belly fat from forming. A study in Nutrition Journal actually found that participants who ate half an avocado with their meal were less likely to snack or eat afterward. Plus, another study showed that those who ate avocados over time were at a normal weight and were less likely to have any excess weight. It keeps you full and helps keep off the pounds—can’t beat that!
Time to start stocking up on cherries. The fruit has been found to help reduce abdominal fat, according to a study in the Journal of Medicinal Foods. Just make sure you’re not eating Maraschino cherries!
If you’re a fan of adding cinnamon to your oatmeal, then you’ll be pleased to see the spice on this list. The main ingredient in cinnamon that gives it that distinct flavor is cinnamaldehyde, which is said to have a slimming effect. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found even found that cinnamon helps reduce insulin secretion, which means it prevents sugar from being stored as fat.
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Sweet potatoes have carotenoids, which are antioxidants that help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance. So what does that mean for your abs? Well, this process basically stops calories from converting into belly fat.
It’s no secret that eggs are packed with protein, but you’ll also want to make sure you’re eating that yolk. Egg yolk has choline, a nutrient that helps burn fat and one study found that choline supplementation helped reduced BMI. It’s one of the reasons eggs could be your secret weight-loss weapon!
Not all yogurts are the same, as some are actually highly caloric, sugar bombs. But if you go with plain Greek yogurt, you’re on the right track. According to one study, researchers found that when protein is digested, phenylalanine, an amino acid, actually triggers hormones that reduce your appetite. And this, in turn, can lead to weight loss. Greek yogurt not only has plenty of muscle-building protein and gut-friendly probiotics, but researchers also found that adding low-sugar, high-protein yogurt snacks to your diet can boost your metabolism and minimize hunger pangs.
If antioxidant-rich blueberries aren’t your daily fruit of choice, you might want to start adding them to the mix. See, one study in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that blueberries can reduce abdominal fat, along with and total body weight. They’re perfect to add to some Greek yogurt, too.
Wild-caught salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which help with inflammation and help you get rid of that unwanted belly fat. The healthy fats in salmon increase adiponectin levels, a hormone that burns fat.
If you find that you’re bloated often, that obviously prevents your belly from being, well, flat. One food to eat that helps beat the bloat is bananas. One study found that women who ate a banana twice a day before meals for two months reduced their bloat by 50%. See, bananas are known for containing plenty of potassium, which helps out with the bloating.
Ready to add some spice to your diet? Chili peppers contain capsaicin, the main compound that makes the peppers spicy. Capsaicin is what helps speed up abdominal fat loss, which makes chili peppers ideal for aiding in weight loss.