A big belly is a common physical complaint among women and can be a difficult area to target with exercise alone. Excess belly fat is also harmful for your health, because it can increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Adding key foods to your daily balanced diet and a healthy active lifestyle, can help you lose inches around your middle.
Have Oatmeal for Breakfast
A traditional breakfast food, oats are high in beta-glucan, a soluble type of dietary fiber that helps to keep you feeling full long after eating. Research published in "Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition" reported that the type of fiber found in oats also helps to remove unhealthy fats from food before they can be absorbed by your body. Additionally, oats keep your energy levels stable longer because the fiber causes a slow release of energy. This helps to stop unhealthy food cravings later in the day and prevents weight gain, especially around your middle.
Eat More Fiber-Rich Foods
MayoClinic.com advises replacing refined staple foods such as white rice, bread and pasta with whole-grain varieties to help reduce stomach and body fat. Brown rice, whole-grain bread and pasta and other fiber-rich foods such as barley, quinoa and lentils are also high in vitamins and minerals. These foods are lower in calories, help to keep you feeling full longer and prevent hunger cravings and overeating.
Add Lean Proteins to Your Diet
Proteins are an essential part of your daily balanced diet; even eating some types of lean meat can help you to reduce inches around the waist. According to research published in the "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism," a diet high in lean protein can reduce stomach fat when it is combined with strenuous daily exercise. Lean meat includes poultry and fish. Other good sources of low-fat proteins include legumes such as beans and lentils.
Drink Green Tea
Tea is the most common beverage in the world, after water, and comes in a variety of types and flavors. A study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" reported that drinking green tea may promote fat-burning, especially around your abdomen area. This type of tea contains antioxidant compounds called catechins that promote fat release and burning and boost energy production. The study noted that though green tea also contains caffeine, the fat-metabolizing effects may have more to do with its high antioxidant content.
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fiber: Essential For A Healthy Diet
- Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: Effect of Beta-Glucan From Oats and Yeast on Serum Lipids
- International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism: Increased Dietary Protein and Combined High Intensity Aerobic and Resistance Exercise Improves Body Fat Distribution and Cardiovascular Risk Factors
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.