Belly fat or visceral fat can be found inside your abdominal cavity, wrapped around your internal organs. While it can be hard to determine exactly how much belly fat you have, a protruding belly and a large waist are signs that you have too much of it.
Having too much visceral fat is a serious health concern. According to studies, excess visceral fat is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Tips to promote weight loss naturally
To lose weight effectively, you need to follow a well-balanced diet. You should also exercise regularly and lower your intake of processed foods and sugary beverages that can increase bloating.
It’s impossible to “spot train” belly fat. However, eating healthy foods that promote gut health can help prevent cramps and gas, as well as make you feel less puffy.
To naturally lose belly fat, adopt a well-balanced diet that includes these plant-based foods.
- Asparagus – Asparagus is full of prebiotics, which help good gut bacteria flourish. You can add asparagus to omelets, pasta, and soups.
- Avocados – Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart. These fats make you feel full and can help you control your urge to eat processed snacks.
- Bananas – Bananas are full of magnesium and potassium, both of which offset the bloating caused by salty processed foods.
- Beans and lentils – Beans and lentils are rich in fiber and plant-based protein. Beans reduce bloating by aiding both your nervous and muscular systems and helping you build lean body mass.
- Berries – One cup of berries contains at least nine grams of fiber and antioxidants. Berries also contain less sugar than most fruits, making them healthier and more satisfying to snack on.
- Chickpeas – Chickpeas are great sources of fiber and plant-based protein. They also contain immune-boosting antioxidants and minerals that can prevent bloating.
- Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits contain potassium, an important mineral that stops bloating. Citrus fruits are also rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation, which is linked to belly-fat storage.
- Coffee and tea – Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea help keep things moving through your digestive tract. Regular bowel movements are crucial if you want a flatter belly. Make sure you skip the added sugar since sugary beverages cause weight gain.
- Dairy products – Have one cup of low-fat milk during breakfast or half-a-cup of low-sodium cottage cheese to reduce belly fat. Foods that contain calcium help reduce waist circumference, according to studies.
- Eggs – Eggs are rich in protein. Studies suggest that eating a high-protein breakfast every day promotes weight loss and reduces belly fat.
- Fermented foods – Fermented foods like miso and tempeh contain probiotics or “good” bacteria that boost immunity, relieve bloating, and regulate gut function.
- Herbs and spices – Herbs and spices are healthy alternatives to salt, which is a major cause of bloating. Use basil, black and red chili peppers, oregano, rosemary, sage, and tarragon to give your meals a delicious and healthy flavor boost.
- Leafy greens – Cauliflower and other leafy greens are rich in belly fat-busting minerals like potassium, which counteracts sodium to prevent bloating.
- Nuts (e.g., almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts) – According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, individuals who snack on nuts have lower abdominal fat than those who prefer to eat carbohydrate-rich foods. (Related: Here are the best reasons why you should go nuts with organic almonds.)
- Oats – Oats contain prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in your gut.
- Olive oil – Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) can make you feel full. Instead of using EVOO to fry foods, use a bit of the oil as salad dressing.
- Onions –Alliums like garlic, onion, and shallots are full of prebiotic fiber. Add onions and other alliums to healthy dishes like salads and omelets.
- Peanut butter – Peanut butter makes you feel full because it contains eight grams of protein and about four grams of fiber per serving. It also contains L-arginine, an amino acid that helps improve blood flow by making blood vessels relax. Good blood circulation can help mitigate fluid retention.
- Peas – One cup of peas contains eight grams of protein plus other nutrients that can reduce bloating. Additionally, peas contain iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C, all of which help counteract sodium and bring oxygen to blood cells.
- Potatoes – Baked potatoes are full of potassium. Potatoes are healthy and filling foods, as long as you don’t fry them.
- Pumpkin – Pumpkin contains more fiber than quinoa. If you want a sweet snack, add pureed pumpkin, chopped pears, and a bit of cinnamon to unsweetened Greek yogurt.
- Salmon – Salmon contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, essential minerals, and vitamin D, which helps lower your risk of chronic diseases.
- Seeds – Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are full of minerals like zinc that boost your immunity and make you feel full.
- Sweet potato – Sweet potatoes and other orange vegetables like butternut squash are low in calories and rich in beta-carotene and potassium.
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes can help you stay hydrated because they have high water content. The extra water in tomatoes (and other vegetables like carrots and cucumbers) helps offset fluid retention caused by too much salt.
- Tuna – Tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein that can curb cravings and make you feel full.
- Whole grains – Whole grains are full of minerals that can prevent bloating. Consume amaranth, barley, brown rice, farro, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and wheat for maximum benefits.
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If you want to lose belly fat and lower your risk of various diseases, follow a healthy diet and consume more of these nutritious superfoods.