Are you wondering about what to eat to lose belly fat? Most people have belly fat, no matter what “shape” they are.
You might not always like your “pear-shaped” body, which collects fat around your hips, thighs and butt. Especially when you’re having trouble getting jeans on in the dressing room.
You might think, “Darn these thighs!” But there are some upsides to putting on more weight in your lower body, rather than your belly area.
Pear-shaped bodies don’t usually develop as much deep, visceral fat, which is fat that collects around your organs.
Apple-shaped bodies, on the other hand, tend to collect fat more in the midsection and have slimmer legs. If you have an apple-shaped body, you’ve probably done the same cursing in a dressing room, only directed at your tummy rolls and the way they slouch through the silk top you’re trying on.
We all have different things we like and don’t like about our bodies, therefore a little self-love and patience is important any time you enter a dressing room.
But belly fat is actually more dangerous than the fat that forms on your bottom and thighs. Some fat here is normal. It protects your vital organs. But too much can increase chances of certain diseases such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers. (1)
This happens because when there are too many visceral fat cells in the belly area, your body launches its natural defense system: inflammation. Short bursts of inflammation help the body heal itself, like the redness around a cut on your finger. But long-term inflammation caused by a persistent problem (like too many fat cells) breaks down the body’s ability to regulate and react to insulin and throws off other hormonal functions. (2)
If you’re wondering what to eat to lose belly fat, read on. Here are some of the top foods and drinks to lose belly fat.
Food for Belly Fat Loss
Prebiotic and Probiotic-Rich Foods
Eating fermented/prebiotic and probiotic foods feeds your healthy gut bacteria. (3) This is a major part of overall health. Healthy gut bacteria gives your body balance to help you feel satisfied, keeps you regular, and also eliminates cravings for sweet foods.
Some easy healthy gut foods are artichokes and asparagus, yogurt, sauerkraut and miso.
Cinnamon, Ginger and Other Herbs and Spices
Some of the best things you can enjoy to slim down in the middle are also some of the most exciting flavors on earth. Also check out my article on how to burn belly fat fast!
Add more cinnamon, ginger (benefits of ginger post coming soon), red chili peppers (capsaicin for weight loss coming soon), turmeric (turmeric health benefits coming soon), garlic (benefits of garlic post coming soon!) and also onions and leeks (4) to your foods.
Finding ways to use these in your meals or snacks will enhance the flavor so you don’t need as much salt (it bloats you) or sweeteners.
They also have properties that boost your metabolism to burn fat on your tummy and improve your blood sugar levels. (5)
Satisfying Protein from Plants, Meats, Legumes and Seeds
Getting more protein will help you feel satisfied for longer and reduce your cravings for sweets and other junk food. (6)
Great sources of healthy protein are eggs, beans, and chia seeds and fish like salmon, cod, tilapia or sole. Here’s an incredible cumin coriander fish recipe (with a cooking video!) that’s super simple and great for weeknight dinners.
Bulky and Leafy Fiber to Keep Things Moving Right Along
More fiber from berries (especially blueberries), flax seeds, beans and lentils, leafy greens will also help you feel full and slow your digestion. Fiber also keeps you regular so that you’re not bloated. (7)
Women need 25 grams of fiber a day, while men need 38 grams or (0.038 kilograms). (8)
One important thing to note about soluble fiber, like flax seeds and chia seeds, is to make sure you drink plenty of water with them. If you don’t, consequently, it could actually slow your digestion.
Soluble fiber forms a gel in your digestive tract, which is wonderful when it has enough water because it clears everything out. Dr. Axe recommends drinking 8-16 glasses of water a day when first adding more fiber to your diet to keep digestion flowing. (9)
Another great food for staying regular is coffee. (10) While there’s not actually fiber in it, it stimulates digestion.
Nuts, Dark Chocolate, and Other Filling Healthy Fats
Healthy fats help keep you feeling full, stabilize blood sugar, while being good for your heart. Some favorites are olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, sea vegetables, nuts and also dark chocolate! (11)
Another wonderful thing about nuts is that they actually increase your resting metabolism, (12) which means adding a handful or two to your diet will help your body burn more calories even when you’re not exercising. Check out some of my favorite fat-busting foods in this post.
Drinks for Belly Fat Loss
Some of the best belly fat burning foods are actually drinks! By replacing sugary drinks while allowing yourself to enjoy specific teas with compounds that blast away fat cells, you’ll see a difference in your waistline.
Here are some of the best teas you can drink to lose belly fat.
Powerful Antioxidant Green Tea
Catechins are compounds in green tea that boost your metabolism and speed up your liver when it burns fat cells. Find out more about catechins and other teas that have them in my Tea for Weight Loss post. These are my favorite tea bags.
Warm Water With Lemony Goodness
Enjoy this hot or cold, depending on the time of year. Warm water with lemon will give your body a little more fat-burning umph, (13) but either temperature will alkalize your body and help you to flush out toxins that are bloating your belly and face. Also, It’s great for clear skin!
Soothing Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are a gift from nature for those of us who wonder what to eat to lose belly fat. Subtly sweet or bright, some even act as a mild sedative. They calm your nervous system in the middle of a long day, even help you unwind at night without reaching for a box of cookies (or wine!). Try this festive cinnamon tea recipe or this anti-inflammatory turmeric tea recipe for weight loss.
Sassy, Spicy Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is one of my favorite teas, as it is spicy-sweet and wonderful for digestion. Here’s a fat-burning Ginger Tea Recipe with ginger, honey and lemon. Look for my Ginger Tea Benefits post (coming soon!)
Now you know what to eat to lose belly fat.
Is belly fat a problem for you? What foods or drinks have you found works to help you slim your midsection? Let me know in the comments!