“Abs are made in the kitchen”. This is a fact that many people who are looking to lose belly fat fast must contend with. Exercise alone might not help you achieve the desired results. The secret to the fastest way to lose belly fat is a combination of a healthy diet and a good workout routine.
While you may be aware of the best workouts to get rid of belly fat, figuring out the best foods for weight loss, particularly belly fat loss, can be a little tricky. Below, you’ll find the best 32 foods that could help you burn belly fat fast.
How To Lose Belly Fat With Healthy Foods: The Best Weight Loss Foods For Your Diet
An overall healthy balanced diet and calorie deficit is what matters when you want to lose weight or build muscle. The foods in this list are examples of healthy foods that can be incorporated into a balanced diet for weight loss. Be sure to add these foods to your grocery list and add them to your daily or weekly meal plans:
Not only are mushrooms low in calories, they are also a great alternative for non-meat eaters who crave the texture of meat. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein and are also loaded with minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, selenium, folate, and choline (30), all of which are good for your overall health.
Consuming mushrooms could also prevent your waistline from growing. In a review that was published in 2018, researchers claimed that edible mushrooms have anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity effects that may treat metabolic syndrome, while also preventing obesity-related hypertension and dyslipidemia (4).
These low-calorie vegetables can be used in anything from salads to pasta dishes, and even in vegan burgers.
They are delicious and add a pop of color to any dish, whether it’s a salad or a bowl of oats, but this is not all they are good for. Raspberries are full of fiber, vitamins, and nutrients such as vitamin K, manganese, and vitamin C.
Fiber plays a role in burning belly fat by helping to keep you full for longer, which ensures that you eat fewer calories in the day.
Raspberry ketone is a naturally occurring chemical found in red raspberries that is claimed to help with burning belly fat, weight loss, and preventing obesity, although more research is required to substantiate these claims (3, 24).
Some people may shy away from nuts as they are high in calories and fat. While this can be true, research over the years has suggested that not only will the consumption of nuts not lead to weight gain, it may actually prevent obesity and other chronic illnesses (27, 31, 9).
Nuts may help with belly fat reduction and weight loss due to their high protein and fiber content. As previously mentioned, fiber keeps you feeling fuller for longer, as does protein. Protein goes a step further to help boost your metabolism and preserve muscle mass,, helping burn extra calories and ‘melt’ away the fat in your midsection (1).
The recommended serving of nuts per day is just 30 g. This is enough to add to your diet without going over your daily calorie intake (26).
If you have not joined the avocado train, then it’s high time you did. Whether you eat it on toast, as guacamole, in your salads, or by making avocado boats, this fruit makes a great addition to the 32 foods that burn belly fat fast list and there are scientific studies to back this up.
One study published in 2013 showed that eating just half an avocado at lunch reduces your desire to eat or snack later (5). Monounsaturated fats in this fruit are heart healthy and can help you feel full and satisfied, although they do provide a fair number of calories.
An earlier study from 2007 came to the conclusion that monounsaturated fat may actually prevent body fat distribution around the belly by down-regulating the expression of certain genes. (28).
Best Foods For Weight Loss
If you are looking for a breakfast food that burns belly fat, then look no further than simple eggs. Contrary to the common misconception that consuming eggs leads to weight gain, research has shown that they do the opposite. Eggs are certainly not among the foods to avoid when you are trying to lose weight.
An eight-week study published in 2008 revealed that a combination of two eggs a day for breakfast plus a calorie deficit led to a more significant decrease in BMI, body fat percentage, waist circumference, and greater weight loss than eating bagels for breakfast (22).
A review of over 30 studies published this year (2023) also showed that egg consumption may be beneficial for BMI and weight loss, but only if it is combined with a calorie deficit diet (41).
This fruit has been hailed as one of the best foods for weight loss and for good reason.
Some, but not all studies have suggested that eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can help you lose more weight than if you don’t include the fruit or its juice in your diet. Some researchers have suggested that this fruit has some compounds that reduce insulin levels and encourage weight loss (43, 42, 13).
However, don’t be tempted to try the grapefruit juice diet. Find ways to add this fruit and its juice to a healthy, well-balanced diet instead.
7. Coconut Oil
If you have done or been around anyone who is doing the keto diet, you may have heard about bulletproof coffee, which is essentially a cup of coffee with a tablespoon of coconut oil in it.
Coconut oil also has medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are rapidly and directly absorbed into the bloodstream. MCTs have been suggested to reduce food energy intake (23). Eating less in a day because you feel fuller for longer will reduce your calorie intake, which can lead to weight loss.
That being said, you should keep in mind that coconut oil is as calorie-dense as any other fat and it should be consumed with moderation.
Chili peppers are great for weight loss. This is all thanks to capsaicin – the active chemical compound that is found in all kinds of peppers, with the exception of bell peppers.
Research on chili peppers and capsaicin has suggested that chili increases fat oxidation (the breaking down of fat), thermogenesis (heat production in the body), and energy expenditure (calorie burning) in the body (11, 16). A combination of these three factors might help weight and fat loss all over the body, including the belly.
9. Peanut Butter And Other Nut Butters
Instead of spreading sugar-filled jams and jellies on bread, switch to peanut butter (or other nut butters). Nut butters work great as a snack by themselves or as a kind of dipping sauce for your fruits and raw vegetables such as celery or carrots.
As stated above, nuts (and their butters) are an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber, both of which promote satiety. A review of peanuts showed that people who regularly consume this nut generally have lower BMIs than those who don’t (33).
Oats are among the 32 foods that burn belly fat fast due to their high fiber content, which as we have seen, helps increase satiety. Research on oats has consistently shown that they help manage appetite control and are also fantastic for body weight management, the prevention and reduction of abdominal fat, strengthening of the immune system, lowering cholesterol, improving lipid profiles and liver functions, and gut microbiota (40, 32, 25).
Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or a meat lover, if you want to get rid of belly fat, chickpeas should be on your grocery list. They are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. Research on chickpeas and other legumes has shown that they have a positive effect on BMI, waist circumference, and overall weight loss (45, 19).
12. Dark Chocolate
As with eggs, this is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that can satisfy your appetite. It is also rich in lean protein, which enhances satiety and your metabolism (39).
A 2014 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics linked dark green vegetables such as broccoli to decreased visceral and liver fat in overweight Latino youth. A diet rich in these vegetables also help improve insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of type II diabetes (47).
Best Foods For Weight Loss
Pumpkin makes it onto this list of the 32 foods that burn belly fat fast due to its high amounts of fiber and low calorie count.
Not only will it keep you satiated for longer, which prevents unhealthy snacking, but its low calorie content won’t threaten your daily energy requirement. One cup of mashed unsalted boiled pumpkin contains just 49 calories (35).
16. Chia Seeds
They are loaded with essential nutrients such as omega-3s, fiber, and proteins. A study published in 2014 revealed that consuming 35 g of chia flour over a period of 12 weeks promoted a significant yet discrete reduction in weight and waist circumference (10).
17. Tart Cherries
Cherries are often associated with sleep as they are said to help people who struggle with insomnia get some sleep.
However, according to a 2009 animal study, regular consumption of these fruits may also help get rid of belly fat, at least in rats. Tart cherry intake in the study was associated with reduced hyperlipidemia, percentage fat mass, and abdominal fat (38).
18. Sunflower Seeds
They contain nutrients such as polyunsaturated fats, protein, and fiber, which promote satiety and are also good for your heart health while decreasing the risk of type II diabetes.
Not only is this full of fiber, it also has all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete plant-based protein source and one of the best foods for weight loss.
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Best Foods For Weight Loss
Whether you choose green peas or split peas, both are great weight loss foods as they are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They also contain complex carbohydrates, which are an excellent source of energy and high in protein so they boost satiety and metabolism.
According to a study performed on rats, a diet that is rich in blueberries can contribute to abdominal fat loss. The rats that were fed blueberries in the study demonstrated a reduction in abdominal fat, triglycerides, and other markers of metabolic syndrome (7). Blueberries are also incredibly high in vitamins that may enhance your immune system.
Beans are a budget-friendly source of plant-based protein and complex carbs that provide your body with energy throughout the day. Research has shown that dietary pulses are also fantastic for weight loss and work even on diets that don’t intentionally reduce calorie intake (19).
Unless you are vegan or lactose intolerant, milk should definitely be part of your diet. Milk makes it onto this list of the 32 foods that burn belly fat fast due to its vitamins and minerals such as calcium and vitamin D3.
A randomized controlled trial from 2013 revealed that participants who typically consume very little calcium and supplemented their calorie deficit diet with 600 mg of elemental calcium and 125 IU of vitamin D3 lost more visceral fat and overall body fat than those who stuck to a calorie deficit diet without supplementation (8).
Milk is also a rich source of protein. In addition to promoting satiety, protein can also promote muscle growth, especially when it is coupled with weightlifting. More muscle in the body equals more energy expenditure, which leads to eventual belly and overall body fat loss.
Similar to milk, dairy products such as plain or Greek yogurt are also among the best foods for weight loss. According to a 2014 study, high-protein snacks such as yogurts work great for losing belly fat as they help control appetite, offset hunger, and decrease overall food intake (20).
Best Foods For Weight Loss
25. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are fantastic weight loss foods as they are rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that help fight disease. Bell peppers are also non-starchy, low-calorie vegetables that are great for dieting.
Whether you cut it up to have in a salad, eat it whole, or add it to your morning smoothie, consuming apples is an option for getting rid of belly fat. According to a 2012 study, the waxy coating on apples and other fruits contain ursolic acid, a compound that was found to increase brown fat (the good fat) and muscle mass (which boosts metabolism), while decreasing diet-induced obesity in rats (46).
Whether you consume green tea, black tea, or oolong tea, this drink makes it onto this list of the best 32 foods that burn belly fat fast due to the presence of catechins. Catechins have long been praised for their potential fat and weight loss benefits.
In one 2012 study, a group that consumed catechins in green tea lost more visceral fat than the control group (18).
If tea does not do the trick for you, you can consume blackberries for your daily intake of catechins. These berries are also low in sugar and calories, which makes them the perfect snack for any fat loss or weight loss diet.
Best Foods For Weight Loss
This spice may stain your hands and utensils, but it could potentially help you lose that muffin top.
According to some test-tube studies, turmeric’s main active ingredient, curcumin, may help suppress some inflammatory markers that play a role in obesity. In animals, curcumin has shown positive results in the promotion of weight loss, reducing fat tissue growth, curbing weight regain, and enhancing insulin sensitivity (14, 15).
A preliminary human study found that 800 mg of curcumin and 8 mg of piperine (a compound that is found in black pepper) led to significant reductions in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist and hip circumference (34).
Are you tired of the same old quinoa and brown rice? Farro is another great whole-grain, high-protein, high-fiber option that can help you lose belly fat.
31. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented or raw cheeses, raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother), kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage), natto, miso, or tempeh are great for weight and belly fat loss.
32. Kiwi Fruit
According to the findings of a six-week study that was published in 2020, the kiwi fruit may be one of the best foods for weight loss. Researchers found that the daily consumption of the golden kiwi fruit helped improve body fat mass and blood pressure and regulated inflammatory responses in overweight and obese young adults (6).
The Bottom Line
The above listed 32 foods that burn belly fat fast should be consumed with other healthy foods in a well-balanced calorie deficit. Remember that while abs are mostly made in the kitchen, you should also be sure to workout using cardio and strength training to enhance your weight loss.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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- 6 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Stubborn Belly Fat (2023, eatthis.com)
- Anti-obese action of raspberry ketone (2005, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Anti-Obesity Effects of Medicinal and Edible Mushrooms (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults (2013, nutritionj.biomedcentral.com)
- Beneficial Effects of Golden Kiwifruit Consumption in Overweight and Obese Young Adults (2020, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Blueberry intake alters skeletal muscle and adipose tissue peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor activity and reduces insulin resistance in obese rats (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation facilitated fat loss in overweight and obese college students with very-low calcium consumption: a randomized controlled trial (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Changes in nut consumption influence long-term weight change in US men and women (2019, nutrition.bmj.com)
- Chia induces clinically discrete weight loss and improves lipid profile only in altered previous values (2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Chili pepper as a body weight-loss food (2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Chocolate with high Cocoa content as a weight-loss accelerator (2015, researchgate.net)
- Consumption of grapefruit is associated with higher nutrient intakes and diet quality among adults, and more favorable anthropometrics in women, NHANES 2003–2008 (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Curcumin and obesity (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Curcumin rescues high fat diet-induced obesity and insulin sensitivity in mice through regulating SREBP pathway (2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Dietary capsaicin and its anti-obesity potency: from mechanism to clinical implications (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Does cocoa/dark chocolate supplementation have favorable effect on body weight, body mass index and waist circumference? A systematic review, meta-analysis and dose-response of randomized clinical trials (2019, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of catechin-enriched green tea beverage on visceral fat loss in adults with a high proportion of visceral fat: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial (2012, sciencedirect.com)
- Effects of dietary pulse consumption on body weight: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of high-protein vs. high- fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women (2014, nutritionj.biomedcentral.com)
- Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics on Weight Loss in Subjects with Overweight or Obesity: A Systematic Review (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Egg breakfast enhances weight loss (2008, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Food Intake and Satiety Response after Medium-Chain Triglycerides Ingested as Solid or Liquid (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Further research on the biological activities and the safety of raspberry ketone is needed (2016, sciencedirect.com)
- Impact of Oats on Appetite Hormones and Body Weight Management: A Review (2023, link.springer.com)
- Is a Handful an Effective Way to Guide Nut Recommendations? (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Long-term associations of nut consumption with body weight and obesity (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Monounsaturated fat-rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects (2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Monounsaturated fats reduce metabolic syndrome risk (2013, sciencedaily.com)
- Mushrooms, raw (2022, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Nuts, Energy Balance and Body Weight (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Oat prevents obesity and abdominal fat distribution, and improves liver function in humans (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Peanuts as functional food: a review (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Potential role of bioavailable curcumin in weight loss and omental adipose tissue decrease: preliminary data of a randomized, controlled trial in overweight people with metabolic syndrome. Preliminary study (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Quinoa Reduces High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity in Mice via Potential Microbiota-Gut-Brain-Liver Interaction Mechanisms (2022, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Quinoa’s Potential to Enhance Dietary Management of Obesity and Type-2 Diabetes: A Review of the Current Evidence (2021, mdpi.com)
- Regular tart cherry intake alters abdominal adiposity, adipose gene transcription, and inflammation in obesity-prone rats fed a high fat diet (2009, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Salmon Nutrition and Health Benefits (2023, healthline.com)
- Short- and Long-Term Effects of Wholegrain Oat Intake on Weight Management and Glucolipid Metabolism in Overweight Type-2 Diabetics: A Randomized Control Trial (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The effect of whole egg consumption on weight and body composition in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials (2023, systematicreviewsjournal.biomedcentral.com)
- The effects of daily consumption of grapefruit on body weight, lipids, and blood pressure in healthy, overweight adults (2012, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance: relationship to the metabolic syndrome (2006, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Essential Element Manganese, Oxidative Stress, and Metabolic Diseases: Links and Interactions (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Ursolic Acid Increases Skeletal Muscle and Brown Fat and Decreases Diet-Induced Obesity, Glucose Intolerance and Fatty Liver Disease (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)