You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on a weight loss regimen that hasn’t heard the phrase “Abs are made in the kitchen” at least a dozen times. But that’s because what we eat plays as big a role in weight management as exercise does. And it’s not just about cutting junk food out of your diet — it’s about incorporating superfoods that help whittle your waistline. Want to make sure you’re eating the right things to battle belly fat? Check out these superfoods. (And make sure to read page 7 extra carefully.)
Apples | YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images
An apple a day doesn’t just keep the doctor away — it can also help you trim down your middle. Healthline explains that apples are made up of mostly water, so their low-calorie nature makes them a great snack or additive to a meal. Plus, a medium-sized apple contains 16% of your daily fiber requirement, so it will also help keep you fuller for longer. (Helping you stop from reaching for a fattening or sugar-packed snack later.)
Next: Not just great on pasta …
Olive oil | Dulezidar/iStock/Getty Images
If you don’t have this good fat in your diet, you should change that immediately. As Livestrong tells us, olive oil contains 77% monounsaturated fat which helps balance good and bad cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. “The better your body functions, the better you feel, and the more likely you are to exercise and make healthy choices,” the article summarizes. Plus, having balanced cholesterol can also help fight off heart disease.
Next: No wonder West Coasters love this fruit so much …
Avocados | Locknloadlabrador/ iStock/Getty Images Plus
This green eat does more than punch up salads and top overly-priced pieces of toast. This single-seed berry — yes, avos are fruits — is a vitamin-packed superfood that can help you cinch your waist by keeping you full. Eat This, Not That! points out that avocados also contain components that fight the free radicals in your body that can screw up your metabolism. Plus, people who regularly eat half an avocado a day are heavily linked to better overall diet choices, Eat This says.
Next: What a nut …
Almonds | YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images
This nut is proof that not all calories are created equal. “Researchers found that people eating a diet rich in almonds lost more weight than those on a high-carb diet with the same number of calories,” WebMD explains. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that obese adults lost more weight from their midsection when they had almonds incorporated into their daily menu. If you’re looking to add them to your diet, consider a quarter cup daily.
Next: Beyond boring salads …
Dark leafy greens
Spinach | Istetiana/iStock/Getty Images
Shoveling spinach and kale into your face doesn’t sound very fun. But these leafy eats work overtime when it comes to keeping you trim and healthy. Women’s Health Magazine tells us spinach and company has components to fight free radicals and help fight cancer and heart disease. Leafy greens are also packed with fiber, so they keep you fuller for longer and help you fight obesity. Add other superfoods like olive oil and avocado, and you’ll have the ultimate weight loss meal.
Next: A superfood that shouldn’t be skimped on …
Lentils | Svetl/Getty Images
Legumes are great for rounding out a weight-loss-friendly menu. (Think beans and peas.) And for those looking to even out their carb intake with more of these high protein foods, lentils are easily the answer. SFGate points out studies have found lentils are great for combatting hunger. Plus, lentils are low in carbohydrates, so those on a low-carb diet don’t have to shy away from them.
Next: Last but not least …
Chicken | iStock.com/Magone
Protein is a big part of weight loss — it keeps you full, boosts your energy, and helps shrink your waistline. But beware — not all sources of protein are created equal. While lean meats can help you manage your waistline, fatty choices like deli meat can have the opposite effect. “Deli meats like salami are high in fat and calories,” Men’s Journal says. “They’re also typically paired with other not-so-healthy foods like bread, cheese, and condiments when crafting a sandwich.” Opt for lean cuts of meat and fish if you want to reap the superfood benefits.
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