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For many of us, it seems that the first place that any ounce of fat on your body goes to is the belly. Even those of us that have successfully lost weight might find that it’s gone away from all other parts of the body, but yet still clings to the waistline. One of the reasons that people have belly fat is because of hormones. When your body isn’t producing as much testosterone or estrogen as it used to, this can cause fat to redistribute in the body, storing in the belly.

Belly fat is the most dangerous in your body, because it’s typically visceral fat. Whereas fat that accumulates in other areas like the hips and thighs (known as less dangerous subcutaneous fat), visceral fat surrounds your organs and can be very dangerous if you have too much. The other big reasons why some people store more belly fat than others is because of poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. If you want to know how to trim your waistline to ensure better health, here is what your diet should consist of.

Avocado

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You might notice that the fat content in avocados is quite high when looking at the nutritional information, so how could they possibly burn your belly fat? Avocados are helpful because they contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats, which don’t store around the stomach and actually help your body shrink fat cells, even around your stomach. This makes guacamole a good condiment to help burn belly fat, but just make sure you’re not eating a bunch of chips with it, or else it’s going to negate the benefits.

Almonds

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Just like avocados, almonds are incredibly high in the healthy fats department. A study by the American Heart Association showed that people who ate 1.5 ounces of almonds per day were able to lower their cholesterol overall thanks to the healthy fats. Not only that, but their waistlines also decreased considerably, even if they didn’t lose any weight or body fat. For those looking for thinner legs, almonds were also found to trim your thighs, too.

Oats

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If you’re looking to get your day started off on the right foot, try eating oatmeal or a cereal containing whole-grain oats, but stay away from the brands that are packed with sugar. Oats, when eaten on a daily basis, were able to shrink waistlines more effectively than other types of cereals that contained the same amount of calories. The weight loss overall was about the same, but trimmer waistlines in the oat eaters also produced better heart health readouts than the people who ate other types of cereals.

Cayenne Peppers

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We talk at length about burning belly fat, but some spicier foods can literally help you melt the pounds away. Cayenne peppers are notorious for having a burning sensation due to the high amount of capsaicin within. Interestingly enough, the same thing that happens to your body when your cold is what happens when you eat capsaicin. It’s called thermogenesis, and it allows your body to increase the amount of fat burned as fuel to regulate temperature. Studies showed that cayenne peppers were beneficial not only in burning belly fat, but promoting overall weight loss.

Whole Grains

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An increase in belly fat is commonly associated with a higher risk of heart disease. If you want to cut both of those down, you should be focusing on eating whole grains. Whole grains work as an anti-inflammatory in your body, lowering your risk of heart disease and getting the blood pumping. In one study, people were given the same amount of calories, with one group avoiding whole grains while the others ate more than they ever had. While the non-whole grain eaters lost an average of three more pounds, they actually had larger waistlines than those that did eat more whole grains.

Blueberries

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Blueberries have a long list of benefits because they’re so nutritional, including being packed with disease preventing antioxidants. Research was conducted on the blueberry’s effect on body fat, and it was found that blueberries had a positive impact on how your body stored and processed glucose and sugars. The result was a massive reduction in body fat over a 90 day period, with lower cholesterol numbers and better blood sugar levels, reducing the chances of diabetes.

Beans

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A lot of experts will tell you that if you want to cut down on belly fat, you need to focus on foods that are high in protein and fiber. Just about any type of bean will do the trick, while also reducing your chances of diabetes. The protein that’s slowly digested from beans allows for better lean muscle growth, while also getting rid of omentum fat that accumulates on your stomach, flushing out toxins in the process.

Water

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Yes, it’s not a food, but one of the reasons your stomach might not be as flat as you’d like it to be is because you’re not drinking enough water. Drinking too much water in one sitting can have you feeling bloated and leaving your stomach looking bigger than ever, but drinking the right amount of water per day tends to lead to fewer calories and fat consumed throughout the day. Water also helps your digestive system to prevent bloating overall, so you’re getting rid of fat while also alleviating stomach problems!

Foods to Avoid

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You’re probably able to guess some of the foods that can cause you to store belly fat. After all, we typically refer to people that have larger stomachs but tend to be thin in other areas as having a “beer belly.” With that said, cut down on the alcohol if you really want to flatten out your stomach, as this is the biggest cause of belly fat storage. The other obvious ones include fried foods and processed snacks like potato chips.

Some studies have surprisingly found that drinking diet soda might cause you to store belly fat more than others. It’s not the soda itself that causes belly fat, though, it’s because people tend to eat more calories thinking that they’re saving themselves in the soda department. This leads to more pizza and burger binges. Most types of lean meat and fruits are going to be good for your waistline, but researchers say that you should avoid cuts of meat like rib eye, T-bone and New York Strip beef, as these are fatty and can cause you to store belly fat. As for fruit? Experts say that fruit juice is actually the big culprit here, as even natural juices cause you to take in a lot of fructose sugar.

Other Ways to Trim Belly Fat

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You could eat all of the healthy foods in the world to try and burn belly fat, but it’s not going to mean much if you’re still spending most of your time simply sitting on the couch or at your desk. Experts say that you should be getting 2.5 hours of exercise per week at a minimum to help shrink fat cells in the stomach. Obviously, the more you do, the less likely you are to store belly fat. It doesn’t matter which type of exercise you do, as long as you get up and moving.

Another key component of losing belly fat is getting the right amount of sleep. Those that sleep for five to eight hours per night are shown to have slimmer waistlines and carry less belly fat. That’s because this amount of time spent sleeping prevents your body from producing cortisol, a hormone that causes you to store visceral fat on your waistline. So remember to just relax, get some exercise, eat right and you’ll be burning belly fat in no time!


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