Lower belly fat often seems difficult to get rid of when you're trying to lose weight. Some people attempt to use spot reduction, methods and exercises believed to fuel fat loss in specific areas of the body, to lose lower belly fat. However, as demonstrated in a study published by “The American Journal of Physiology” in February 2007, spot reduction is not a significantly viable means of losing weight in a specific area. The best way to lose lower belly fat is to have a caloric deficit and eat foods that promote fat loss.
Milk and Dairy Products
According to a September 2012 study from “Obesity,” diets high in dairy foods that contain calcium and vitamin D tend to promote a higher loss of weight and fat than other diets. Diets supplemented with calcium and vitamin D promoted more weight loss than those supplemented with a placebo, but diets with 1200 to 1300 milligrams of dietary calcium performed best. One cup of skim milk contains 300 milligrams of calcium and only 100 calories of energy, making it a good dietary choice to reduce belly fat. Other dairy foods high in calcium include yogurt and cottage cheese.
Foods Rich in Monounsaturated Fat
A 2001 study from the “International Journal of Obesity” confirmed that moderate-fat diets facilitate greater weight loss than low-fat diets. According to a November 2005 study published in “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” monounsaturated fats have the added benefit of reducing blood pressure and blood lipid levels, making them solid dietary fat choices. Monounsaturated fats, sometimes called “healthy” fats are liquid at room temperature and are often found in plant foods. Avocado is high in monounsaturated fat, containing nearly 20 grams of monounsaturated fat per the 200-gram typical avocado serving.
Foods Rich in Protein
According to a June 2004 review published in “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” high protein meals promote satiety, reducing the urge to overeat. Some evidence showed high protein diets do promote greater fat loss, though results were not always consistent. As an example, one cup of chopped chicken contains almost 35 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbohydrates. Other good sources of protein include fish, eggs and lean beef.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are rich in vitamins A, B, C, E and K, as well as dietary fiber and antioxidants. They are low in calories in addition to their ability to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. These qualities make them excellent for low-calorie diets proven to facilitate fat loss.
- American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism: Are Blood Flow and Lipolysis in Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Influenced by Contractions in Adjacent Muscles in Humans?
- Obesity: A Research Journal: Calcium and Dairy Acceleration of Weight and Fat Loss During Energy Restriction in Obese Adults
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Milk, 1% Fat
- American Heart Association: Monounsaturated Fats
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Carbohydrate-Restricted Diets High in Either Monounsaturated Fat or Protein are Equally Effective at Promoting Fat Loss and Improving Blood Lipids
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Chicken, Meat and Skin
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Avocados, Raw
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- The Journal of the American Medical Association: Effects of Protein, Monounsaturated Fat, and Carbohydrate Intake on Blood Pressure and Serum Lipids
- International Journal of Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Moderate-Fat, Low-Energy Diet Compared With a Low Fat, Low-Energy Diet for Weight Loss in Overweight Adults