Disclaimer: Always seek the advice of your physician before starting or altering any exercise or dietary plan.
How can I lose belly fat? Seems to be the biggest question that I have been or have seen asked. We all seem to gain fat around our midsection as we get older (especially men, we always seem to get that beer belly look, we want a six pack but we have a keg). There are 2 types of fat in your stomach area, subcutaneous fat, the type of fat you can grab with your hands, and visceral fat that is inside and crowds your internal organs. This visceral fat can lead to increased chances of heart disease, can make your body less sensitive to insulin which can lead to diabetes and can cause inflammation which can lead to certain types of cancers.
I know that there are more than 10 foods that can help you lose belly fat, but I have found that these are fairly readily available, not too expensive and have really helped me trim inches off of my stomach. Here are the 10 foods in no particular order and a couple of honourable mentions as well.
1. Rolled Oats: A great thing to have at breakfast, just add a bit of fruit and you’ll find yourself full for hours. Oats are a great source of Thiamine, Iron and Dietary Fiber.
1 cup of rolled oats = 290 Calories
15% Daily fat allowance
Just a half a cup of oatmeal will give you the equivalent of 5g of fiber and 7g of protein. If you are like me though then you may not have time in the morning to make oatmeal. We have put a great recipe for overnight oats in our blog post How to Get the Most from Your Daily Calories, you can see the recipe at www.levelsofminimalism.com/120-day-healthy-living-exchange/how-to-get-the-most-from-your-daily-calories
2. Grapefruit: A great source of vitamin A and C, as well as fiber
1 Medium sized Grapefruit Red or Pink = 104 calories
White = 78 calories
4g of fiber
3. Berries: Berries come in all different shapes and sizes, the three that I will focus on are blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.
Blueberries are a great source of Vitamin C, K and Manganese
84 calories per cup
4g of fiber per cup
Raspberries are another great source of Vitamins C, K and Manganese.
Only 65 calories per cup
7g of fiber per cup
Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, Manganese and Potassium. 8 strawberries are the equivalent Vitamin C amount of eating an orange. Strawberries are also rich in antioxidants that can have benefits for your heart health and blood sugar control.
Only 49 calories per cup
3g of fiber per cup
Strawberries are 91% water content
4. Apples: A great source of Vitamin C and Potassium. Apples is a great alternative for snack in place of that afternoon pastry r chocolate bar.
95 calories for a medium sized apple
4g of fiber, makes you feel full longer
5. Peas: A good source of Vitamin C, B, K, Manganese, Copper, Phosphorus and Folate
1 cup = 116 calories
2.5g of fiber per cup
8g of protein per cup
6. Almonds: Although almonds are a bit higher in calories, they will help in filling you up and help prevent cardio vascular disease. Almonds can be another great replacement for those sugary snacks. Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, Biotin, Copper and Manganese, they also contain Vitamin B2, Phosphorus, Riboflavin and Magnesium. Almonds are known to lower blood sugar levels and also lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
412 calories for a ½ cup
7. Leafy Greens: Are a great source of Fiber, Folate and Carotenoids, also contain Iron and Calcium along with Vitamins A and C.
My top 5 leafy greens are:
Unfortunately, Iceberg lettuce cannot be included in this list because it is basically water and nutritionally weak.
1 cup of spinach raw = 7 calories
1 cup of cooked spinach = 5gof protein
1 cup of raw spinach = 1.5g of fiber
So, as you can see with leafy greens they are extremely low in calories, making them great for weight loss and can fill you up. Try to eat a salad before your evening meal, it will help to fill you up so that you will eat less during your meal. Just watch out for the dressing, it can be a major source of calories, try to find or make a dressing that is lower in calories.
8. Avocados: Another fairly high caloric food, but the calories mainly come the good fats that your body needs. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that are good for heart health. Avocados contain Fiber, Vitamins K, E, C, and B, along with Potassium and Copper.
½ an Avocado = 120 calories
6g of fiber
9. Bananas: Are a great dietary source of Potassium which can help in lowering your blood pressure and magnesium which is great for heart health, bananas are also a good source of vitamins B6 and C
1 medium Banana = 105 calories
3g of fiber
Bananas are a little higher in sugar count, about 14g of sugar for a medium banana, so ensure to include these in your diet but don’t overdo it.
10. Dark Chocolate: We can’t always just eat fruits and vegetables all the time, so I’ve got to throw in at least one treat. Just ensure to get at least 70% cocoa or above and try not to overindulge. Dark chocolate is high in Iron and is really good for heart health.
For 2 pieces of Dark Chocolate = 110 calories
3g of fibre
2 g of protein
Some Honourable Mentions:
Here are a couple of really good snack alternatives. I take these to work every day along with a piece of fruit, it fills me up until it is time for supper.
Celery: Is a good source of soluble fiber, Potassium, Folate and Manganese. It also contains Vitamins B2, C, B6 and A, as well as Calcium, Copper, Phosphorus and Magnesium.
1 Celery Stalk = 6 calories
2g of fiber per cup
Cucumber: From a cucumber, you can get a percentage of your daily allowance of Potassium, Fiber, Vitamins A, C and K.
45 Calories for a whole Cucumber
1g of fiber
As you can see by the last two, they are mainly water but low in calories but big on vitamins and minerals.
Losing weight is hard, especially the weight around your midsection, try introducing these foods into your diet, they will not only help you lose weight but they will make you feel better because you will be getting the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly. I realize that some people don’t think that they have the time or resources to just switch over to this lifestyle, so we have included a couple of links for diets that are available elsewhere. If you do choose this type of diet then try to include at least some of these foods with it.
It takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing
It takes 8 weeks for your friends and family
It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world.
Never give up, your body will thank you.
As of August 1st we have started a new FaceBook group for likeminded people to join. If you need motivation or would just like to support others on their Healthier Living Journey then please join our group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/971130139764831/
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Mark & Shelly
* This post was originally seen on our sister site Levels of Minimalism/120 Day Healthy Living Exchange. We are in the process of moving sites.