Add these foods to your grocery list to help You Lose Belly Fat
If you've been working hard to lose weight and find that the scale hasn't budged just yet, it may be time to take a second look at the ingredients you're routinely stocking in your kitchen. After all, you shouldn't be counting just calories on a new diet — some foods can silently pack on exorbitant sodium, whereas other items may have been processed past the point of no return. It's important to zero in on eliminating ultra-processed items that may be low or free of calories, but saturated in other additives: think soda and sugary faux juices, for example. But, for those who are having trouble with maintaining steady weight loss, it's also about what you're replacing these items with that could make the real difference.
Some of the best foods to help you lose weight are those high in fiber, which dieters are surprised to learn is a form of a carbohydrate. Fibrous foods aren't easily digestible; they help you feel very satiated after a meal and help to regulate blood sugar levels. Plus, fibrous foods are often naturally lower in calorie counts. A substantial 5-year study published in the journal Obesity suggests that the more dietary fiber that one incorporates into their daily routine, the more they're able to work against "abdominal fat depots" while eating their way through their new diet. Other research also suggests increased dietary fiber can work to combat other diet-related issues over time, including cardiovascular inflammation.
Even if you adopt a strict high-fiber diet, it's crucial to understand that there's not a single ingredient or beverage you can consume to make you lose belly fat all on its own. You'll lose weight (and reduce body fat naturally) by adopting a wholesome diet, alongside moderate exercise. Eliminating processed foods high in sodium and other sugary items is important, as is staying routinely hydrated. Keeping properly hydrated alongside fiber-packed meals can help aid digestion and fast-track your weight loss efforts overall (you certainly don't want to bloat!). Focus on incorporating as many of the following items as you can — veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, fish, and whole grains particularly — to double down on fiber and other essential nutrients in a healthy diet. When it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, these plant-based foods loved by registered dietitians have your back.
Peanut butter packs 8 grams of protein and up to 4 grams of fiber per serving, making it an ideal snack to help you fill up and stay satisfied (particularly in stabilizing a glycemic load). A published review of research in the Journal of Food Science and Technology highlights the fact that peanut butter can help people feel more satisfied compared to "carbohydrates snacks like race cakes in equal quantities." Peanuts in particular contain an amino acid that improves blood flow throughout your body by helping blood vessels "relax" — all of which can help to mitigate fluid retention.
They're filled with fiber and plant-based protein, as well as immune-boosting antioxidants and bloat-busting minerals. Chickpeas easily go in soups, stews, salads, and side dishes. Plus, chickpea flour is a great baking alternative for a more nutrient-dense and filling end result.
With more fiber than quinoa and more potassium than a banana, pumpkin puree is one of your best bets for snacking and cooking purposes. Try this the next time you're craving sweets: add pureed pumpkin to unsweetened Greek yogurt with cinnamon and chopped pears for a nutritious dessert.
A cup of peas packs 8 grams of protein and tons of key bloat-reducing nutrients. It's got nearly all of what you need daily for vitamin C, plus magnesium, potassium, and iron — all of which aid in counterbalancing sodium and bringing oxygen to blood cells.
It doesn't get any better than the healthy fats in this fish when it comes to hearty protein, alongside salmon and sardines. They're filled with omega-3s and lean protein, helping you fill up at meal time and dodge sneaky snack attacks later in the day or night.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids plus minerals in salmon make it an ideal dinner choice. The vitamin D found in each fillet has been previously linked in research illustrating that it may assist in weight management in overweight individuals. You'll also get 25% of your daily vitamin B6, which can help with mood and stress regulation.
Believe it or not, air-fried potatoes (yes, really!) are an excellent source of potassium, which can help manage bloating and counterbalance sodium. They're high in fiber as well, meaning potatoes can be a nutrient-dense food — just as long as they're not served the french-fry way.
Pumpkin seeds provide tons of immune-boosting zinc, but more importantly, are a significant source of fiber (quite a filling snack!). With about 7 grams of protein per snack-sized serving, pepitas are a great addition to most diets.
9Plain Greek Yogurt
Fermented foods like miso, tempeh, and sauerkraut contain probiotics, a.k.a. friendly bacteria that help boost immunity, regulate gut function, and banish bloat. Unsweetened plain Greek yogurt can provide probiotic benefits too. Choose ones that have five strains or more of bacterial cultures per 6-ounce serving.
Like yogurt, kefir is a cultured diary byproduct, but it's more of a creamy, delightful drink that has a smoothie consistency. It's full of probiotics to help regulate a healthy gut, and can be a particularly smart choice if you feel bloated, as constipation can play a huge role there. It's also very high in protein naturally, making it a great mid-afternoon grab-and-go snack.
It's polarizing in many households, but sauerkraut may be the first fermented food you ever encountered — and it should have a space among other condiments in your pantry. Because it's fermented, there are probiotic benefits associated with sauerkraut; mostly, like other vegetables, it's low in calories but high in fiber. Try adding it to a salad or a sandwich, stat!
Probiotics introduce useful bacterial to your system, but the prebiotics in oats feed the good bacteria already living there, helping it proliferate. Plus, there's a hefty punch of dietary fiber in oatmeal, a common oats item: Just a half cup has 4 grams, helping you stay full until lunchtime.
Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios — we're nuts about nuts! Almonds in particular are a strong source of protein, and various research has linked an increase in almond consumption to a decrease in LDL cholesterol (the "bad" kind). Particularly, though, regularly snacking on almonds has been linked to greater weight loss due to its effect on supercharging metabolisms.
Another nutty superstar, walnuts are rich in monounsaturated fats — they're an extremely heart-healthy snack compared to other grab-and-go items like chips or pretzels. Previous research has established that walnuts, in particular, help to curb cravings that you may have experienced in between meals in the past.
Have you ever wondered why pistachios are sometimes sold in their shells? Believe it or not, pistachios are a prime example of a wholesome snack that may end up causing you to slow down and focus on what you're eating due to their shells. Research published in the journal Appetite found that the process of shelling pistachios signaled dieters to slow down — the shells themselves served as a reminder of how much they had already ate.
Blueberries are indeed full of fiber (4 grams in one cup) but also hold a significant amount of antioxidants in a juicy bite-sized treat. Blueberries contain less sugar than most other fruits, too — they're a satisfying, sweet, healthy choice at snack time or for dessert.
Compared to other berries, raspberries have especially high fiber counts. They're a great addition to an already balanced breakfast, whether it's cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or even a quick smoothie (making it feel so much more substantial!).
Plant-based oils like extra-virgin olive oil create that "full" feeling and help you slim down overall. Extra-virgin olive oils also work to reduce inflammation due to antioxidants, particularly oleocanthal, which has been touted to have similar effects on the body as ibuprofen when consumed regularly. Skip battered foods deep-fried in oil, though! Fried snacks are associated with weight gain, so you're better off enjoying them only once in awhile.
Limited research indicates eggs, which are low in calories and are rich in other dietary nutrients, may aid in weight loss over time. High-protein breakfasts, including omelets and veggie-forward skillet scrambles, can be quite satiating throughout the day; but even a hard-boiled egg atop a salad at lunch can also keep you full until dinner.
Beans are a staple of many vegetarian dishes because they're packed with plant-based proteins, as well as minerals and some B-vitamins. They're also a significant source of soluble fiber, which will help your body take longer to process a meal that's bean-based, helping you to consumer fewer calories throughout the day.
These little protein-filled bites of plant-based goodness make for excellent soup bases or salad additions to make a meal feel so much more substantial. The fiber and resistant starch within lentils can help you consume fewer calories between meals.
Grains get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, but that's because refined grains (read: processed foods!) are linked to wider waists. 100% whole grains are bloat-busting superstars, however, as they're packed with minerals and counter balance sodium intakes throughout the day. Stick to pantry additions like brown rice and farro for the biggest benefits.
A notable whole grain to load up on is quinoa, which is extremely high in fiber, but more importantly, it is a complete protein in a diet — meaning it contains amounts of all essential amino acids. It doesn't totally disrupt blood sugar levels due to it's low glycemic index, either. All in all: Quinoa is a must-add to any kitchen to promote sustained weight management.
Plant-based omega-3s belong in any healthy eating plan, but leafy greens like spinach are especially helpful for tightening up. Spinach is loaded with minerals like potassium, which can help offset the bloat-inducing effects of sodium.
Another leafy green, kale is virtually fat-free and a single cup contains about 30 calories, alongside strong amounts of vitamins A, K, C, B6, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, among others. Whether it's tossed as a salad or sautéed as a side for dinner, kale is a no-brainer for anyone trying to eliminate stubborn belly fat.
Fiber is synonymous with crunchy veggies that you can easily find fresh in any produce aisle: Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi, to name drop a few. Prepared simply in a sauté or baked on a sheet pan, these veggies are low in calories; but eaten raw, and they retain all of their phytonutrients, including a slew of minerals and vitamins (from calcium to zinc!) that may be short elsewhere in your diet.
Good news for lovers of this fruit (yes, it's a fruit!): A 2013 study linked eating avocado regularly to lower waist circumference and BMI. What's more, the monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy and filling, reducing the urge to graze on processed foods later on.
Filled with potassium and magnesium, bananas offset the bloat caused salty processed foods and pack in plant-based prebiotics, "feeding" your good bacteria. Snack on one a day with a tablespoon of nut butter, or slice it into your morning cereal.
29Coffee and Tea
Caffeinated coffee keeps things moving through the digestive tract. Drinking about 8 to 16 ounces of java at the same time every day can help you stay on schedule. Furthermore, a regular cup of Joe can influence your metabolic rate for the better, per previous research. Just remember: The neater your coffee is, the better. Sugary mixed-coffee treats can lead to weight gain due to sugar-packed flavorings and synthetic sweeteners.
Tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, cucumber, and other salad staples all help you stay hydrated due to their high H2O content. That extra water can offset fluid retention caused by excess salt.
As a prebiotic-filled veggie, asparagus is a great addition to soups, pastas, and omelets, or served as a side dish. For extra bloat-beating benefits, try pairing asparagus sticks with other crudité and dipping in hummus.
The potassium in citrus helps combat bloat while the antioxidants fight inflammation, which is associated with belly-fat storage. Since a key part of beating the bulge is proper hydration, adding citrus to your H2O can help non-water drinkers to sip up and ultimately slim down!
You already know that alliums like garlic, onion, leeks, scallions, and shallots add lots of flavor, but they also provide tons of prebiotic fiber. Sneak them into savory dishes, like omelets and healthy salads.
Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and other good-for-you orange veggies are lower in calories and chock-full of potassium and beta-carotene. Their mineral-rich and fiber-full properties make them bloat-beating all-stars.
35Herbs and Spices
Flavor foods with herbs and spices whenever you can. It'll encourage you cut back on high-sodium staples and avoid the salt shaker, a major player in bloating. Plus, many have mild diuretic effects, helping you flush out excess water. We love basil, cilantro, rosemary, sage, tarragon, mint, oregano, and black and red chili peppers, to name a few.