No matter our shape or size, when there’s a little bit of extra jiggle in our midsection, it can make us feel not so hot to trot. I always want to promote self-love and acceptance of our bodies no matter where we are in our personal health and wellness journeys, but we are all human and we all have insecurities no matter how big or small.
Extra belly fat can make even the fittest of folks feel like they need to run an extra 3 miles on the treadmill. When it comes down to maintaining a healthy weight and de-puffing our midsection, what we eat plays a major roll. So today, we are rounding up foods that help burn fat and prevent fat accumulating around our tummies.
Belly fat not only makes us not feel our best, but it also leads to health issues if not monitored. Extra belly fat for extended periods of time (and we’re talking years) can lead to issues like diabetes and even cancer, so it’s imperative that a diet focused on the right types of nourishing foods is a focus on living a healthier life.
Foods That Fight Belly Fat
Chia seeds: Chia seeds are a fabulous source of dietary fiber and help us de-bloat and regulate elimination as they can absorb large quantities of water.
Beans and legumes: This food group is high in protein and fiber to help keep you full but also to stabilize your blood sugar levels. When you eat foods like refined sugars and carbs, your blood sugar levels spike and then crashes which causes you to crave and eat more sugars and carbs. Opting for beans and legumes instead of pasta will prevent this from happening.
Broccoli and dark leafy greens: this study discusses how dark leafy greens like broccoli helps reduce belly fat. I like creating morning green smoothies loaded with dark leafy greens like spinach and dandelion greens to get in a burst of nutrients on an empty stomach.
Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts: Foods that are high in energy dense healthy fats like monounsaturated fats help ensure that you’re burning fat. Avocados, olive oil and nuts especially are great for burning stubborn belly fat and help reduce cravings. These types of fats are also super healthy for your heart. As far as nuts and nut butters go, although they are high in calories, there have been numerous studies that still link them to supporting weigh loss.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one grain that our team at Balanced Babe loves to eat at the end of the day with honey, cacao nibs and hemp seeds as a satisfying dessert. Oatmeal, like chia seeds, absorbs water to help you feel fuller longer and is high in fiber to move things along your system. It’s a great post-run snack as well to help restore glycogen levels.
Green tea: The flavonoids in green tea help boost metabolism and can help keep your waistline in check. The compound in specific that has been linked to shrinking belly fat is EGCG which is also a potent antioxidant.
Probiotic and prebiotic foods: Probiotic and prebiotics are also extremely important to include in our diets not only to help keep our midsection toned, but to keep the health of our gut and microbiome in tip top shape. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help with digestion and prebiotic foods have compounds in them that feed the probiotics to optimally work. Probiotic foods include sauerkraut, miso, anything that is essentially fermented, and tempeh. Prebiotic foods include artichoke, asparagus, bananas, jicama and dandelion greens.