One of the most common complaints I hear from clients at Urban Athlete in Mt. Airy is how difficult it is to lose abdominal fat—belly fat. Belly fat is visceral fat, the most difficult fat to shed. However, with the right type of exercise and diet, it’s possible to lose it. Intense exercise causes the body to release hormones that break down visceral fat. Belly fat-burning foods work several ways to eliminate it. The thermogenic effect is one way. The thermogenic effect is the calories used to digest food causing some food to deliver very few calories. Eating more thermogenic food like celery can help you lose belly fat.
Get your greens.
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are good for reducing belly fat. Spinach contains sulfoquinovose. Sulfoquinovose is one of the building blocks of green vegetables like lettuce and spinach. It helps keep a healthy microbiome balance. It increases the beneficial microbes, discouraging harmful ones at the same time. Your gut microbiome plays a role in fat burning. Make a salad including beets and boost your metabolism. Beets increase fat burning and reduce insulin resistance. They contain an amino acid called betaine. Besides boosting metabolism, betaine reduces insulin resistance and reduces fat produced.
Fat and protein can help you burn belly fat.
Eating food high in protein or healthy fat can make you fill full longer, so you can lose belly fat. Fatty fish, such as tuna or salmon, are examples of foods that offer both. They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids. Some research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids may aid in reducing belly fat. Other studies following people with fatty liver disease show that supplements of omega-3 aid in shedding belly fat and liver fat.
It’s not always about what you eat, but sometimes what you don’t.
Sugar or products with added sugar can increase belly fat. Studies show a diet lower in refined carbs can help eliminate belly fat in people with type 2 diabetes and overweight people. Consuming too much sugar can also lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can cause belly fat. Don’t forget to cut out sugary drinks and even artificially sweetened ones. A recent study showed people who drank diet soft drinks had a bigger waist circumference than those who didn’t, indicating more belly fat. Avoid trans fats and refined foods. Keep your diet primarily whole foods.
- Include plain coffee or tea in your diet. The caffeine in both can suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism. The epigallocatechin gallate—EGCG— in green tea is a fat-burning chemical. Matcha tea has even more EGCG.
- The flavonoids in plants are anti-inflammatories that also fight oxidative stress. Plums have anthocyanin. The pectin they contain fights fat accumulation.
- Eggs contain protein and choline. Protein keeps you full, and choline burns fat. Eat your eggs with a bowl of oatmeal, and the beta-glucan will help regulate blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of insulin resistance and belly fat.
- Choose apple slices as a snack and burn fat from the ursolic acid in the peels. Ursolic acid increases muscle and increases brown fat, which helps burn belly fat.
For more information, contact us today at Urban Athlete