There are many foods that naturally help to burn belly fat. Burning belly fat requires eating foods that keep blood sugar levels low, control production of the stress hormone cortisol, and elevate metabolic rate. Some foods have what is called a thermic effect, meaning that they naturally raise the body's internal temperature, promoting fat burning. Add some healthy fat-burning foods to your diet to lose belly fat naturally.
Healthy fats may lower cholesterol and prevent food cravings, but they also increase fat burning. Full of monounsaturated fat, olive oil, avocados and flaxseed oil can help balance blood sugar, preventing insulin spikes, which signal fat storage. Sesame oil and or conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)--from sunflower and safflower oil--may have potent fat-burning qualities. In addition, raw almonds are another good choice, as a handful provides half your daily vitamin E, 8 percent of your required calcium and 19 percent of your magnesium, according to "The Abs Diet," by David Zinczenko.
Whey protein comes from milk, and is fast-digesting, helping to build muscle and burn fat. Add it to fruit smoothies for a fat-burning, hunger-busting boost. Or mix a scoop of whey in milk or water for a potent post-workout recovery drink. Besides the thermic effect of all proteins, whey in particular has other benefits, such as immune-enhancing properties due to its amino acid profile. Both "The Fat Burning Bible" and "The Abs Diet" recommends whey protein for mid-meal snacks or meal-replacements.
Turkey, chicken, fish and lean cuts of beef provide an excellent source of protein, which has a "thermic effect." Not all calories are created equally, according to "The Fat Burning Bible," because digesting protein takes energy. Up to 30 percent of the calorie-content of protein is used in the process of digesting a chicken breast, for example. In conjunction with increased physical activity, increasing protein intake can be a potent fat burning strategy.
Berries are packed with nutrients and vitamins. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, among others, contain high amounts of antioxidants, which decelerate aging and amp up fat-burning. Raspberries in particular contain ketones that act as potent fat-burners in the body. Apples, grapefruits, oranges, pears and grapes are other fruit choices that are low-glycemic and full of antioxidants and vitamins. Super fruits such as acai, mangosteen, goji and maqui berries may have an even more potent fat-burning effect than the garden variety.
Vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients, which are essential to weight loss, and may contribute to fat burning. The natural fiber content can help fill you up, and the antioxidants eliminate free radicals to combat the process of aging. Examples include asparagus, peppers, romaine lettuce, arugula, watercress, mustard greens, spinach and bok choy. Cruciferous vegetables are the veggie super-stars, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Broccoli, for example, is high in fiber, calcium, beta-carotene and vitamin C.
- "The Fat Burning Bible"; Mackie Shilstone; John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2005
- "The Abs Diet"; David Zinczenko; Rodale, 2004
- "Combat the Fat"; Jeff Anderson; CQC LLC, 2009