Is your belly fat stopping you from having summer fun? Did you know that trying to burn belly fat by doing endless sit-ups is as effective as climbing Mount Everest in flip flops!?
Or that doing hours of cardio in the gym you can actually store MORE belly fat?
We are mislead into believing that in order to burn belly fat we need to eat less fat, less calories and exercise more. This could not be further from the truth. To burn belly fat you need to optimise hormones first. This means you will need to manage stress, prioritise sleep and ditch what I call processed and #beigedeadfoods. You will also be forgiven for thinking that you can burn belly fat by doing endless sit-ups but this is as effective as climbing Everest in flip flops!
So what surprising belly fat burning foods should you eat everyday to help you along the way?
Nuts (almonds and walnuts)
Eating nuts does not create the caloric intake that you might expect. 5-15% of the calories are not absorbed in the intestines. This is partly because of the nuts’ skin and partly down to how much more we chew them. This slow release of energy leads to prolonged satiety and therefore are brilliant at keeping you fuller for longer and therefore a top belly fat burning food. Have a handful before a meal to reduce the appetite and overeating.
Oily fish contains essential fatty acids. These are not produced in the body and therefore we need to consume them on a regular basis. These fatty acids are important for cellular health, hormonal balance and help turn on fat burning genes. Especially around the belly. Oily fish is the perfect belly fat burning food. Take as a supplement if you don’t eat fish.
Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid (MCT) making this belly fat burning oil perfect for anyone reducing their starchy carbohydrate intake. This is because it is used preferentially as a source of energy without spiking fat storing insulin. Many studies show that medium chain triglycerides can boost metabolism. One such study showed an increase in energy expenditure by up to 120 calories per day.
Whey protein powder
High in protein and low in calories, whey protein powder is king at reducing appetite and is a top belly fat burning food. It also promotes and increases insulin sensitivity which in turn helps regulate blood sugar levels and therefore reduces fat storage. Whey helps lower blood levels of the hunger hormone Ghrelin further reducing the appetite and overall calorie intake. Whey has also been shown to decrease levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. When chronically elevated Cortisol can reduce the bodies ability to burn fat from the belly and can in fact increase belly fat!
Along with other lean high protein sources, eggs are a rich source of amino acids. In particular one called Leucine which can act as a catalyst for burning fat. People who eat eggs for breakfast are shown to eat less over the course of the day. To burn belly fat you need to optimise your fat burning metabolism. The ideal time is at your first meal of the day and eggs do this perfectly meaning it is a perfect belly fat burning food.
Avocados are a monounsaturated fat (MUFA) which appears to help deter belly fat. They also contain oleic acid, a fat that activates the part of your brain that makes you feel full for longer, making avocados an ideal summer belly fat burning food to add to your salads.
A study from the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate lessens our cravings for other sweet, salty and fatty foods plus it activates the pleasure centres of the brain. Treating yourself to 1 or 2 squares of the dark stuff (70% and above) a day can really help keep motivation levels up for healthy eating and exercise. Therefore dark chocolate is the perfect ally in an overall quest to burn belly fat!
This spice is becoming known for its blood sugar regulating properties. By adding cinnamon to your food you will help your body to control blood sugar levels at the same time as allowing your body to produce less insulin. This belly fat burning food will help you manage hunger, energy and cravings better meaning you are less exposed to insulin spikes and fat storage.
Having warm lemon water first thing in the morning will help alkalise your body and balance its Ph level. Our modern diets and lifestyles are far to acidic now meaning the body has to work at protecting cells from acid exposure. Your body may store extra fat in the cells in order to store unwanted acid for its own protection. By alkalising your body you can help it release the protective stores from the fat cells, making it the perfect belly fat burning food first thing in the morning.
Try incorporating just some of these suggestions along side other belly fat burning techniques such as weight training, reducing the processed foods (#beigedeadfood), sugars and other lifestyle changes such as improving sleep and stress levels.
Big love, small tummies!
Also check out a full 21 day diet and workout plan that will help you easily incorporate these foods into your daily meals.