Here is the ultimate list of 32 foods that burn belly fat fast! In this post I will teach you about the connection between gut health and the appearance of belly fat. I’ll go over 32 foods that help improve gut health and reduce over all fat along with recipes for many of the foods listed. We will also go over best drinks to burn belly fat, foods to avoid and other common misconceptions, questions and answers.
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Is It Belly Fat? Or Are You Just Bloated?
I generally don’t like writing about weight loss on Eating Works. I try to keep the language on my blog health based, positive and productive. There’s so much disordered eating, fat shaming and eating disordered content on the internet that I haven’t wanted to add to the “noise.”
However, I feel it’s important to write this article in order to demystify belly fat. People seem to believe that around your middle is some how different than other fat. They even believe they are fatter than they are due to belly fat. This simply isn’t true. I know this sounds crazy but let me explain.
Yes, of course you can gain weight around your middle. Everywhere there’s a fat cell there is the potential to gain fat. We have fat cells in the skin around our abdomen just like we do on our thighs.
However, most people with a belly fat issue are not as fat as they think they are. A lot of the issue actually comes from gut health. Yes, you probably aren’t fat you are just bloated or constipated.
The average person has anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds of extra poop in their intestine. They just don’t realize it because it’s been in there for years. If you’ve been walking around with something for years you don’t recognize it anymore because you are used to it.
Most people don’t even know what it feels like to not be bloated or constipated. This is where the food comes in. These 32 foods don’t specifically target burning belly fat. That simply isn’t possible. No food can target fat loss anywhere specific in the body.
How These 32 Foods Burn Belly Fat
The reason these 32 foods work to reduce what looks like belly fat is because they help do the following:
- Reduce inflammation in the small and large intestine.
- Release waste and reduce constipation.
- Help pass gas which also causes constipation.
- Improve your body’s gut micro biome to improve digestion. In other words these foods are alkaline and probiotic rich (The more probiotics and digestive enzymes that can survive in your gut the more effectively you can break down food). Leading to more complete digestion which will reduce bloating.
What is Belly Fat?
Before you jump out of your chair and call me a quack because belly fat is real let’s talk about it. Yes belly fat is a thing. There are two types of fat in our bodies. Visceral and Subcutaneous fat.
- Visceral Fat is the fat found around the organs. This is the type of fat that people think can cause a potbelly. Though skinny and heavy people can both have a lot or a little visceral fat. It’s impossible to figure out how much visceral fat you have without getting a CT scan or MRI. This fat is linked to increased health risk factors for heart disease.
- Subcutaneous fat is the fat that sits right underneath the skin to act as padding. This is the actual kind of fat that gathers around your middle and makes you look well, fat.
Can you Burn Belly Fat For Real?
Your body cannot burn one type of fat over the other. You loose both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat through a calorie deficit and working out. No specific food or diet can target one type of fat. The only way to target visceral fat directly is to remove it surgically.
The right diet program and improving your gut health will help you loose the appearance of a pot belly by reducing bloat and by loosing subcutaneous fat around your waist.
32 Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast
Before I jump into the list of 32 foods that burn belly fat fast let’s talk about how they work. These foods work well for a few reasons
They are Negative Calorie Foods
Negative calorie foods is an unofficial term for foods that are so low in calories that your body expends more energy to burn them than they get out of eating them. These foods are usually vegetables that have a high nutrient/water content that your body can utilize without a lot of calories from protein fat or carbs.
These Foods Help Reduce Bloat
By increasing your consumption of low calorie natural foods you’ll be adding more fiber and moisture to your diet. In the beginning excess fiber can make you more bloated but that’s only because it’s kicking up old stagnant waste that has been sitting in your gut for a long time.
Once it’s kicked up the fiber helps push out the old waste increasing the amount of bowel movements you have. Once you start going to the bathroom more regularly you won’t look or feel as bloated. I’ve had clients who went down a size in jeans after just a week of eating a cleaner diet.
Whole Foods Can Cure Constipation
Constipation is one of the most common diseases in the United States. Even though people don’t talk about it. IBS-C is common. If you want proof just take a walk into your local pharmacy. The staggering amount of laxatives for sale speaks for itself. America is constipated. But no one talks about it so the general population is uneducated. Ths is why people blame belly fat and go on crash diets and take pills.
Heal your gut and cure constipation and you will reduce your pants size.
Eating these 32 foods that burn belly fat will inevitably cause your body to go into a detox. If you get headaches, bloat, skin irruptions, irregular sleep or breakouts this is a sign that your body is detoxifying. But not eliminating enough of the waste products your body is trying to expel. Check out this post I wrote to learn a bit more on detox and my favorite supplements to help your body detox more easily.
Best Supplements for Detox
In short the best supplements for detoxification I’ve compiled based off of working as a detox nutritionist, health supportive chef and certified colon hydrotherapist over 15 years. I recommend reading below this section to learn why these supplements work, how to use them properly and which brands I recommend.
- Digestive Enzymes
- Liquid Chlorophyll
- Magnesium Powder
- Sun Chlorella
32 Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast
Lean protein is great for to burning belly fat. Since animal protein is high in protein but has zero carbs it helps encourage the body to burn ketones for energy instead of using glycogen which is the energy we get from carbs.
It’s much easier for the body to burn glycogen for energy than ketones. In order to get energy from ketones the body has to break down fat. That’s why eating high protein/fat low carb foods will help reduce body fat.
This is the main premise behind a keto diet. Let’s take a look at some of the proteins that help burn belly fat.
1. Egg Whites
Egg whites are high in protein and low in calories. The whites from one egg have only ten calories. So eating them is a great way to get energy without eating carbs. Egg whites are easy to digest and don’t have much fiber so they can help reduce bloating when eaten with other fiber rich foods like salad.
Salmon is a great food to help burn belly fat. Of course salmon high in protein, low in calories and rich in nutrients which is why it’s popular on keto diets. But it’s also one of the easiest kinds of animal protein to digest. Animal protein comes from muscle fiber. Muscle fiber is generally dense and hard to chew.
The harder a food is to chew the harder it is for the body to digest it. The harder food is to digest the more gas and constipaton it causes.
Salmon swim in water and the muscle tissue is not dense and has a lot of moisture. Making it easy to break down. So salmon is easy to digest and can cause less bloating than other types of animal protein.
Here are some healthy salmon recipes you can enjoy that will also facilitate gut health and weight loss.
3. Arctic Char
Arctic char has the same digest ability and health benefits of salmon. It’s simply a healthier fish because it eats a vegetarian diet. So it tends to have less inherent toxicity.
4 & 5. Chicken and Turkey
Poultry is another low calorie, high protein, low carbohydrate food that is commonly enjoyed by people who want to burn belly fat.
These chicken kabobs are a flavorful way to enjoy chicken.
Shrimp is a type of crustacean that comes from the sea. They’re rich in protein and low in calories. Four large shrimp have only 30 calories with 6 grams of protein and almost no fat at all! Shrimp is also rich in B and D vitamins. Eating shrimp is a great way to feel full while eating low calorie foods that will support your efforts to burn belly fat.
Here is a gut friendly shrimp recipe that uses tons of belly fat burning veggies!
7 & 8 Goat and Sheep Yogurt
Goat and Sheep Yogurt are great for gut health! There is a lot of discussion around the health benefits vs. draw backs of dairy in general. The scope of that topic is too big for this particular post. If you want to read more about how diary is actually bad for your bones and learn more about why goat and sheep yogurt is good for you read this post:
“Why Cheese and Dairy Lead to Calcium Loss and Osteoporosis”
In short, casein is a protein found in dairy that is hard to digest. It slows down the metabolism and leaches calcium from the body to help break it down. The larger the animal is that the dairy comes from the bigger the casein molecule in that diary will be. The bigger the molecule the harder to break down. Since sheep and goats are small the casein molecule is closer to the size of the one found in human breast milk. So it’s easier to break down.
Lots of people who are lactose intolerant can eat goat and sheep yogurt and cheese without side effects.
Goat and sheep yogurt will help reduce bloating because it’s rich in probiotics and it’s easier to digest.
9 & 10 Raw Sheep and Goat Cheese
Just like goat and sheep yogurt, cheese is a fermented food with a smaller casein molecule that’s easier for people to digest over cow dairy. Raw cheese is even better for burning belly fat because it has live enzymes in it.
What is the Benefit of Raw vs. Pasturized Cheese?
Pasteurization kills the live enzymes in cheese. These enzymes help our body break down the cheese on its own. So essentially these enzymes make the cheese self digesting. By eating dairy that helps digest itself we can eliminate a lot of the inflammation, bloat and gas associated with eating dairy and belly fat.
Fruit that Helps Your Body Burn Belly Fat
There aren’t many fruits on this list because generally fruit has a lot of sugar and can cause more bloating in people who are already struggling with a belly fat issue. Although, if you are a man chances are that fruit will actually help you burn belly fat more than if you’re a woman.
Woman are more prone to yeast and fungus which can be aggravated by fruit. Men have stronger intestines and less fungus which allows fruit to have more of a laxative effect. Here is a list of some safe fruits that both men and women can enjoy while reducing belly fat.
Raspberries and berries in general are lower in sugar and carbohydrates than other types of fruit. Since they’re low in sugar they will not cause as much inflammation as other types of fruit. Their low calorie and high nutrient nature makes them a safe choice for people who want to eat fruits that will help burn belly fat.
Blueberries are also low in sugar and carbohydrates making them a good safe choice for people trying to reduce belly fat.
One cup of blackberries is only 63 calories! That means that they’re low in sugar and carbohydrates. Generally speaking sugar and carbohydrate rich foods will increase the look of excessive belly fat because they cause bloat.
When it comes to foods that help burn belly fat fast, vegetables are on the top of the list! Vegetables have the most fiber, water, and are the lowest in calories compared to all other foods. The high fiber and moisture content helps sweep excess poop out of the intestines and reduce the look of a pot belly.
Cucumbers are one of the best vegetables for reducing belly fat for a bunch of reasons:
- These little green veggies are filled with a ton of moisture and not a lot of fiber. They’re hydrating to the body and help moisten dry waste and increase metabolism.
- They are cooling so they help combat internal inflammation which can increase the look of belly fat and slow down digestion.
- Cucumbers are a natural source of pectin. Pectin has a laxative effect.
Check out this cucumber gazpacho soup I made! It’s perfect for healing the gut and burning fat.
Zucchini’s are almost identical to cucumbers. They just have a bit less moisture. So the belly fat busting benefits of zucchini are the same as cucumbers.
Here is a healthy zucchini salad that uses other gut friendly foods from this list!
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable so it has tons of fiber. The fiber in cruciferous vegetables aggressively cleans the body out. Eating broccoli will help reduce constipation and the belly fat associated with bloating and constipation.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable so it has tons of fiber. The fiber in cruciferous vegetables aggressively cleans the body out. Eating broccoli will help reduce constipation and the belly fat associated with bloating and constipation.
Cauliflower is also really low in calories and carbs. Its bland flavor and tough texture makes it a great alternative for rice and pizza crust.
Carrots contain a ton of nutrients and fiber. Paired with a sweet taste eating carrots can be a great way to satisfy some sugar cravings while eating your way to a flatter stomach.
Foods with a red pigment are excellent for gut health. This red pigment is called betacyanin. I’ve noticed that when clients eat foods with a high amount of betacyanin their bowels become much more regular. I believe that this is partially why beets are so good for getting rid of belly fat!
Beets have a tough texture since they’re a root vegetable. Root vegetables tend to be tougher and have more carbs. To combat this cook the beets. Cooking the beets will make the cellulose easier to digest and the pigment easier to absorb. If you’re constipated some roasted beets will do the trick.
Check out this post I wrote on how to roast beets the easy way!
One cup of asparagus has 2.6 grams of dietary fiber! Dietary fiber helps keep your intestines moving regularly which helps gut health, fat loss, hemorrhoid prevention and colon cancer.
22. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are a great food for fat loss because they’re high in fiber, high in moisture and low in calories. They’re also packed with lots of vitamins and minerals. What makes bell peppers extra powerful is that they are a great source of capsaicin. Capsaicin is a natural compound that increases fat burning and suppresses appetite.
The benefits of drinking celery juice for weight loss are claimed by many people. Celery and celery juice was made popular by the Medical Medium. According to Scientists from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and the University of Warwick eating celery causes the body to burn more calories than it is taking on. That is as long as you don’t dip it into a fattening dip first!
In my professional experience as a colon hydrotherapist and certified chef specializing in gut health I’ve noticed that leafy greens are the most powerful way to reduce waist size. Leafy greens act like a broom that sweep the walls of the intestine and make them larger.
The broom like effect of leafy greens cleans the intestine out. It also makes it larger so that heavier foods can move through more easily without getting stuck. Here are a list of my favorite leafy greens to help burn belly fat.
Arugula is a popular leafy green used in salads. It has a peppery flavor and a soft texture. It’s one of the easiest greens to digest along with butter lettuce and iceberg! Arugula pairs really nicely with this Dijon Mustard sauce that I like to use as a simple salad dressing.
25. Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce is one of the most popular leafy greens because of its palatable taste and crunchy texture. I like to use romaine lettuce leaves as a replacement for taco shells! This makes even your favorite tacos good for burning belly fat.
Check out this keto Greek Salad for a great belly fat burning salad using romaine lettuce!
26. Collard Greens
Collard greens are the ultimate colon detoxifier. These super dark leafy greens are amongst the most nutrient dense greens out there. They’re leaves also stiff and large. This makes them great to use as an alternative to wheat wraps to make sandwich wraps. I used collard greens to make a wrap in this Mexican Wrap recipe. Check out the recipe to learn how to use collard greens as a replacement for tortillas in burritos and sandwiches.
Spinach is another popular leafy green that can help burn belly fat.
27. Butter Lettuce
Butter lettuce is a soft delicate lettuce that works well for people who have trouble digesting greens.
28. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes have a special type of fiber called resistant starch that helps the body with weight loss. Keep in mind that sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates and don’t work well with a keto diet.
Kombucha is a drink made by fermenting tea with sugar and probiotics. The tea is rich in gut healthy probiotics that help your body digest and break down food more easily. Other fermented foods like pickles and sauerkraut also help with belly fat loss.
30. Apple cider Vinegar
Some studies have shown that acetic acid which is found in apple cider vinegar can help you loose weight. Keep in mind that these studies were preformed on mice and rats not people. The results may not carry over to humans.
Avocados are a great source of food for those who want to burn fat. Even though avocados are high in fat they have lots of nutrients! We need fat in our diet to make us feel full. Avocados provide us with a healthy source of fat that is easy to digest. Many fats are hard for the liver to break down. Avocados also don’t have a ton of dietary fiber so they don’t cause bloating.
The caffeine in coffee has a laxative effect on the bowel. Drinking one cup of coffee in the morning can help regulate your bowel movements and reduce gas and bloating. The caffeine in the coffee irritates the nervous system in the large intestine. This causes the intestine to contract and increase peristalsis.
Foods to Avoid When Trying to Loose Belly Fat
Foods that you should avoid when trying to loose fat are highly processed foods with a lot of carbohydrates, and constipating foods. The list is too long to write in one post but if you’re trying to burn belly fat stay away from these top offenders
- Foods with Trans Fat
- Processed Food
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- White Bread
- Peanut Butter
What Foods Shrink Your Stomach?
No foods technically shrink your stomach. Our stomachs are a muscle that is made to contract and expand based on how much food is in it. Of course the stomach has a maximum capacity. The stomach can expand to hold up to 1 quart of food! In theory cold water will cause the muscles in the stomach to contract and lead it to “shrink up.” Hot water will relax the intestinal muscle and cause the stomach to expand.
I don’t see how shrinking your stomach will reduce hunger. If anything shocking your stomach with cold food will only make you feel hungry. Warm liquids that expand the stomach make it feel relaxed and full.
Ultimately you shouldn’t try to manipulate your stomach into feeling full or empty. Just focus on eating a healthy diet and your body’s weight will regulate itself.
What Food Burn Fat Immediately?
No foods burn fat immediately. All food is digested and stored as energy. Our body uses this energy on an as needed basis. The best way to break down fat is to burn ketones for energy by eating an alkaline keto diet. Theoretically exercise will burn fat immediately but eating food will not.
What Drinks Burn Belly Fat Overnight?
There are two categories of drinks out there that can help burn belly fat. These drinks are beverages with caffeine and drinks that are fermented.
Caffeinated Drinks Burn Belly Fat
The caffeine in coffee and green tea irritates the nervous system in the large intestine. This causes the intestine to contract and increase peristalsis. This increase in muscle movement creates additional bowel movements from the colon, helps the liver dump toxins and increases speed of the small intestine.
Some caffeinated drinks that burn belly fat include:
- Green Tea
- Black Tea
Fermented Drinks that Can Help Burn Belly Fat
Fermented drinks can help burn belly fat. This is because fermented drinks have lots of probiotics in them without any fiber. The presence of probiotics without fiber to slow down absorption means that fermented beverages will increase your micro biome almost instantly. Some fermented drinks include:
Keep in mind that not all fermented drinks help burn fat. Some actually will lead to weight gain. These drinks include beer and wine. Beer can lead to weight gain because it’s very high in carbs and sugar.
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