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12 Foods That Burn Belly Fat!
Health & Fitness
Your morning snack attack is caused by a dip in blood sugar levels. Fiber-rich oatmeal stays in your stomach for hours, staving off a doughnut run.
Watch out: Steer clear of the sugary flavored varieties. Choose the plain stuff, and sweeten it with berries.
Almonds and Other Nuts
Go nuts! They slim your tummy by keeping it full. A Purdue University study showed that people who ate nuts felt full longer than those who ate rice cakes. Stick to 24 almonds a day to satisfy your hunger pangs without overloading on calories.
Watch out: Skip salted nuts; too much sodium raises blood pressure.
It's not just for gym rats! Protein powder contains amino acids that burn fat and build muscle. Add two teaspoons to a smoothie for a fat-busting drink. Find it at health food stores.
Watch out: Make that smoothie with fruit, yogurt, and low-fat milk — adding protein powder to a chocolate shake doesn't make it health food (we wish).
Everyone needs a little fat — it controls hunger. Go for monounsaturated fats like olive or canola oil. They will help keep your cholesterol under control and satisfy cravings.
Watch out: Steer clear of hydrogenated vegetable oils; they're loaded with unhealthy trans fat.
Eggs contain vitamin B12, which your body needs to metabolize fat. In fact, researchers at Louisiana State University found that people who ate eggs for breakfast every day lost more weight than those who ate bagels.
Watch out: Talk to your doc first if your cholesterol is high.
Beans and Legumes
Beans are low-cal and packed with protein and fiber, which help you tone up and lose weight. Make a bean-heavy dish, such as burritos, instead of meat once a week. You'll cut a lot of saturated fat and replace it with fiber.
Watch out: Refried beans are high in saturated fat. Choose plain black, pinto, or other varieties instead.
Lean Meats and Fish
Your body burns more calories digesting protein than carbs or fat. Want the leanest meat out there? Opt for turkey, but to cut down even more on saturated fat, choose fish. Go for tuna and salmon; they are full of omega-3s, which help prevent stress chemicals that promote fat abs.
The right kinds of carbs are actually good for you. Choose whole grains — their fiber keeps you from getting hungry.
Watch out: Sometimes bread labeled "wheat" has been stripped of all of its fiber and nutrients. Look for "whole grain" or "100 percent whole wheat."
Who would have guessed that a kid-friendly food could be waist-friendly, too? PB is packed with niacin, which keeps the digestive system on track and prevents belly bloat. Just keep an eye on portion size: Peanut butter does have a lot of fat, so limit yourself to no more than two tablespoons a day.
If their vitamins and minerals don't persuade you, maybe their waist-whittling powers will do the trick. Veggies like spinach and broccoli are loaded with fiber and very few calories. Have a salad before a meal and you'll be satisfied with smaller portions later.
Watch out: Iceberg lettuce has almost no fiber. Fill your bowl with romaine, arugula, or spinach instead.
There's a reason the woman in the yogurt commercial fits into her bikini: Calcium helps break down fat and may even prevent it from forming!
Watch out: Always pick low-fat or fat-free dairy over the full-fat versions.
In addition to containing lots of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, avocados are a terrific source of filling fiber (11 to 17 grams per avocado!), making them a great food for staving off hunger, says Bowden.
Scarf down: Half a cup daily
"Tea, especially green tea, is rich in antioxidants that have been proven to speed metabolism," explains Mark Ukra, author of The Ultimate Tea Diet.
In fact, according to Swiss researchers, tea-drinking subjects burn a whopping 266 more calories per day than those who abstain.
For consummate calorie-torching, skip bottled teas — processing has depleted them of slimming nutrients. Instead, steep a tea bag in one cup of hot water for two minutes, then cool with ice cubes. Enjoy four cups daily.
This low-cal, calcium-rich treat activates the body's fat-burning hormones, say University of Wisconsin researchers. "Plus, because of its high protein content — it contains more than any other dairy product — you'll stay full longer," notes Dr. La Puma.
His slimming Rx: "Grate one ounce on soups or salads daily."
When it comes to resistant starch, a unique fiber that resists digestion, these legumes lead the pack.
Good news for you, because slower digestion means your body has to work harder — that is, burn more calories — in order to process your meal, explains Janine Higgins, Ph.D., lead author of a University of Colorado study on weight loss.