Reducing body fat and proper nutrition go hand-in-hand when working toward a flat stomach and weight loss goals. Both protein and fiber provide benefits that aid in reducing fat, but burning more calories than you consume is the only way to achieve long-term weight loss.
Fiber is a nutrient that doesn’t break down during digestion. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber does not, which is why it moves through your digestive system unchanged. A combination of both types of fiber is needed for weight loss. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men daily. To increase the amount of fiber in your diet, consume more plant-based foods such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
Fiber and Stomach Fat
Fiber does not burn belly fat, but consuming more fiber can contribute to a flatter stomach. Insoluble fiber has a laxative effect and moves food through the body to form stool, which eliminates waste from the body. Soluble fiber makes you feel full by slowing down digestion and regulating sugar levels to reduce the amount of calories you consume. Wheat bran, kidney beans and lentils are examples of foods that provide insoluble fiber. Foods such as oats, black beans and avocados provide soluble fiber.
The body breaks down proteins that you consume into amino acids. The amino acids are the building blocks for your body’s muscle. The FDA recommends 50 grams of protein daily based on a 2,000-calorie diet. However, not all protein sources are created equal. Complete protein sources, such as meat products, dairy and eggs, supply all the essential amino acids. Vegetarians can eat complete protein sources, such as tofu or quinoa, to get the essential amino acids needed for optimal health, or combine foods with partial amino acids, such as corn, beans and whole grains.
Protein and Stomach Fat
Like fiber, protein does not directly burn fat. However, protein boosts your metabolism, and your body burns more calories processing protein when compared to carbohydrates or fat. Another contributing factor to losing belly fat is that protein is an essential building block for muscles. In a sedentary state, muscle burns more calories than fat. All of these factors contribute to weight loss to help you achieve your fitness goals.
- Jackson Gastroenterology: Losing Weight, Healthy Eating and Fiber
- Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases: High Protein Diets Decrease Total and Abdominal Fat and Improve CVD Risk Profile in Overweight and Obese Men and Women with Elevated Triacylglycerol
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Science Daily: Soluble Fiber Strikes a Blow to Belly Fat
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- Wellness Resources: How Protein Helps Weight Loss
- Muscle and Fitness: 12 Laws of Fat-Burning
- Fiber 101: Soluble Fiber vs Insoluble Fiber
- Columbia Health: Complete and Incomplete Proteins in Grains and Vegetables
Ann Daniels has been a professional writer for more than 10 years. Her work has been published in many national health and wellness publications. Daniels holds a Master of Arts in communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder.