Nuts can be part of a healthy diet to reduce belly fat as long as they are consumed in moderation. Nuts are full of essential nutrients, such as protein and monounsaturated fatty acids, but they can also be high in fat and calories. Speak to your doctor if you want to make dietary changes as a way to reduce abdominal fat.
Evidence suggests a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids may help combat abdominal fat. A 2002 study appearing in “Diabetes Care” found that dieters following a high-protein and high-monounsaturated fat diet lost more abdominal and total weight than those following a diet lower in protein and monounsaturated fats. Each group consumed 1600 calories per day for eight weeks. The dieters who followed a plan high in protein and monounsaturated fats lost 1.3 kg of abdominal fat versus 0.7 kg lost by those in the control group.
The Flat Belly Diet is an eating plan that incorporates nuts as a way to reduce abdominal fat. On the plan, you are instructed to consume a serving of a food high in monounsaturated fatty acids at each mealtime. Besides nuts, olive oil, seeds, dark chocolate, soybeans and avocado are also high in monounsaturated fatty acids. Servings of nuts included on the diet are 2 tbsp. of almonds, 2 tbsp. of pecans, 2 tbsp. of pine nuts and 2 tbsp. of cashews.
If you do want to use nuts as part of your weight-loss plan, eat the nuts in small portions. Nuts are high in calories, and eating large amounts will likely cause you to gain weight instead of losing excess fat around your mid-section. The Weight-control Information Network recommends portions as small as ½ oz. When you eat a ½-oz. serving of mixed nuts, you are consuming approximately 84 calories.
Nuts can be used as snacks between meals to keep hunger at bay. Measure out serving sizes and keep track of the calorie counts for all foods you eat over the course of the day. Along with calorie reduction to lose belly fat, increase physical activity and include core training exercises to your workout routine.
- Mayo Clinic; Flat Belly Diet: Can It Help You Lose Weight?; Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D.; July 2010
- Weight-control Information Network; Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths; March 2009
- "Diabetes Care"; Effect of a High-protein, High-monounsaturated Fat Weight Loss Diet on Glycemic Control and Lipid Levels in Type 2 Diabetes; B. Parker, et al.; March 2002