Three Proven Belly-Busting Foods
Food gets a bad rep as the source of increasing waistlines. But some foods (and drinks) can actually help you slim down.
Counting calories, watching portions, and minimizing junk food are all flat-belly essentials, but some foods can make it even easier to achieve your goal. These three fat-blasting superstars will make a measurable difference in your waistline.
Whole grains. In a Pennsylvania State University study, dieters who ate whole grains shed more than twice as much ab fat as those who didn't. Whole grains reduce the production of insulin, a hormone that encourages fat storage, which may make it easier to lose belly fat.
Nuts. Research from the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, found that dieters who ate a few ounces of almonds a day downsized their waistlines by about six and a half inches in 24 weeks—nearly 50 percent more than those who ate the same amount of calories without the nuts. Scientists speculate that the nut eaters benefited from additional fiber. Just keep your portions to a handful—about a one-ounce serving—because nuts are high in calories.
Protein. It doesn't just build muscle; it fights belly fat, too. Korean researchers found that adults who ate more protein lost about two more pounds of belly fat than those who ate less protein and more carbs. Aim to get about 25 percent of your calories from protein. Protein also helps you feel more satisfied. Looking for lean protein-packed foods?
|6 ounces fat-free yogurt||7 grams|
|1 cup fat-free milk||8 grams|
|1 cup quinoa||8 grams|
|3 ounces skinless chicken breast||10 grams|
|1/2 cup cottage cheese||14 grams|
|2 eggs||14 grams|
|1 cup lentil soup||18 grams|
|1 cup soybeans||22 grams|
|3 ounces beef tenderloin||23 grams|
And when it comes to drinks... go with green tea. A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition found that exercisers who drank the equivalent of about four cups of green tea a day for 12 weeks lost more than eight times more ab fat than those who drank an ordinary caffeinated beverage—nearly 8 percent versus less than 1 percent. Researchers speculate that catechins (phytonutrients in green tea) may help speed the breakdown of fat. We'll drink to that!
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