Doing a billion crunches, sit ups, planks and rotations is one thing, but helping your six pack along by eating your way to a flatter stomach is another. And the key here is to eat. Don't skimp on anything. Just make sure what you eat helps burn that belly fat. And here's the good news. Not only are there plenty of foods you can choose from to help you along the way, but belly fat is an area we can lose weight from quickly, if you target it properly.
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You have free rein here to pick anything from grapes, raspberries and strawberries to cherries, blueberries and cranberries. The key ingredient that they all possess is anthocyanins, which are pigments that give the different berries their varied colours. But these plant chemicals also attack belly fat, which means they taste great and give you a flatter stomach. Plus they are full of fibre and vitamins.
Low fat yogurt
According to a study in the International Journal of Obesity, people who take on board calcium from low fat yogurt may lose more weight from their tummies. It's because of the probiotic content of yogurt, which keeps your digestive system happy and healthy, which means reduced bloating, wind and constipation.
People who eat eggs for breakfast claim they just don't feel as hungry throughout the day and the research would seem to substantiate that. A study from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, found that people who opted for eggs at breakfast felt less hungry all day than they did when they ate complex carbs like bread, buns and bagels first thing. They're also packed with protein and help your body produce more muscle too. Marvellous.
Now this might seem insane, but plain chocolate is actually a secret weapon in the battle of the bulge. This doesn't give you carte blanche to tuck into bars of it, but small amounts can stimulate weight loss because unlikely its dairy cousin, milk chocolate, it contains monounsaturated fats. So it's all good. Just don't go too mad.
All types of fatty fish, particularly tuna, salmon and mackerel, are a tiptop source of all things healthy, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Now while it may sound slightly counterintuitive to be eating fatty acids, they work for you because they kick start your metabolism and with it, fat burning. They all also pack a protein punch and help suppress any cravings.
The true genius of almonds lies in that fact they are full of fibre, monounsaturated fats and have the ability to regulate your blood sugar levels, so you won't succumb to those mid-morning or mid-afternoon attacks of the munchies. But they're also a great source of anti-oxidants, potassium, protein and vitamin E. And to top it all off, recent research has revealed that they have an in-built calorie inhibitor, because they reduce absorption of the fat they contain. Could they actually be any more perfect?
Like almonds, they are rich in potassium, monounsaturated fats and fibre. And just like our new favourite nut, they make you feel fuller for longer, so you don't nibble on rubbish. So even though they have a high fat content, it is healthy fat, and this fruit will do wonders for a jelly belly.
Apart from the fact that one a day will keep the doctor away, apples are brilliant for making you feel full. They also contain a ton of fibre and vitamins and other healthy things that will make you look and feel like a fitness god/goddess.
Green leaf vegetables
Vitamins and minerals are a slam-dunk with a healthy green salad. But its fibre and nutrient content means it is also brilliant at helping to reduce water retention, and that will have a knock on effect in terms of bloating and other tummy issues. So treat yourself to a lovely plate of salad and watch that stomach disappear.
Research in the Journal of Nutrition discovered that people who incorporated three servings a day of whole grains had less overall body fat and less belly fat than people who ate less than a quarter of a portion. Whole grains are simply great for the digestive system and are full of fibre. They also fill you up and you can get creative about how you eat them, both as a snack and in your meals generally. As a snack idea, how about taking some dry cereal and sprinkling it with seeds and nuts?
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