If you've got a spare tire to lose, eating a healthful diet and exercising at least twice a week for 30 minutes can help. There's no magic set of foods that will get rid of your belly fat, but some foods will help more than others and you can ensure weight loss through caloric restriction. Not only will you be doing your figure a favor, you'll be improving your health. According to Harvard Health Publications, belly fat has links to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and even breast cancer.
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Foods That Fight the Fat
Eating a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lowfat dairy and lean meats will help almost anyone lose weight. Focusing on foods high in soluble fiber -- like fruits, veggies and legumes -- can actually target belly fat reduction. Soluble fiber also slows digestion, which helps you eat less because you'll feel full longer after each meal or snack. Reach for apples, oranges, avocados, peas, broccoli, kidney beans and chickpeas. Include these foods in every meal to get more soluble fiber and to help get rid of belly fat.
Change Your Habits, Don't Diet
Going on a diet implies that you'll eventually be off of the diet and back to the habits that led to having belly fat in the first place. Avoid this pitfall and change your eating habits for life. Start by eliminating junk foods like soda, potato chips, candy, baked goods and other sugary or fatty processed foods.
This should help with your next step, which is regulating your caloric intake. The average adult male should eat between 2,200 and 2,400 calories per day and the average adult female between 1,800 and 2,000. If you don't lose weight on these numbers, take about 250 calories off of your daily goal until you're losing weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Making Your One-Week Menu
To make a one-week fat-loss menu, start with a list of healthful foods from each food group – fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean meats and whole grains -- that you enjoy. Next, make a list of meals for breakfasts, lunches and dinners that you can prepare using these foods. Pick and choose from the meals on your list to assemble your menu for each day of the week. Either make a new menu each week for variety or follow the same week menu repeatedly to save time. Tailor the portions of food in each meal to help meet your caloric goals.
Sample One-Week Menu
On a sample one-week menu, your seven breakfasts could switch between oatmeal with fruit and milk, fruit smoothies made with plain yogurt and egg scrambles loaded with fresh vegetables, occasionally eaten in a whole-grain tortilla.
Your lunches could be a variety of salads including different leafy greens, beans, lean meats and vinegars each day, sometimes eaten in a whole-wheat pita or tortilla, with a small piece of fresh fruit.
For your seven dinners, you could switch between stir-fried vegetables with lean meat over brown rice and meat-free salads consisting of chopped citrus fruit, vegetables and cooked beans. Salmon drizzled with lemon juice, with sides of couscous and veggies, makes another healthy dinner option.
If you'd like snacks, you could eat a variety of sliced fruits and raw vegetables dipped in hummus, almond butter, plain yogurt or balsamic vinegar.