15 Foods Proven to Flatten Your Belly Best Health Say hello to a slimmer waistline 1 / 15 Fascinadora/Shutterstock Oats and nuts One sure way to zap belly fat is to increase the amount of soluble fiber you consume, says Jessica Crandall, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include oats, nuts, beans, and berries
You should aim for 25-35 grams per day, especially if you’re diabetic.
Soluble fiber does a much better job controlling your blood sugar than carbs, like a piece of bread, which can make your blood sugar spike then drop 2 / 15 Gaukhar Javarova/Shutterstock Bananas Bananas get a bad reputation (too carby!) as far as healthy foods are concerned, but they’re actually a good source of nutrients In particular, the potassium in bananas can help flush extra fluids out of your system “If you’re carrying too much water weight, like if you ate a lot of salty foods the night before, high-potassium foods can help get rid of that water weight,” Crandall says You might also want to add in some of the world’s most nutritious foods 3 / 15 P-fotography/Shutterstock Watermelon Watermelon is another fruit that’s high in potassium to cut down on water weight A study from the University of Kentucky also found that drinking watermelon juice can decrease body fat and even reduce cholesterol And definitely pass on these foods that nutritionists never eat 4 / 15 mama_mia/Shutterstock Probiotic yogurt Probiotic foods contain “good” bacteria that can regulate digestion Researchers from the University of Manitoba led a study that fed one daily serving of yogurt to overweight volunteers Half of the participants ate yogurt spiked with one of two bacteria In a month and a half, those who had probiotic yogurt lost 3 or 4 percent of their body fat, depending on which bacteria they were given Crandall recommends one probiotic-rich food each day for healthy digestion, like one of these probiotic-filled foods 5 / 15 Moving Moment/Shutterstock Cucumbers If you regularly opt for salty or sugary snacks, extra belly fat can sneak up and surprise you once you step on the scale Resist the urge to open that bag of potato chips and much on cucumber slices instead Their high water content and low-calorie count make them a guilt-free snack, plus their soluble fiber will fill you up and keep you full Burn more fat with these tips from weight loss coaches 6 / 15 Stefanie Metzger/Shutterstock Papaya Papayas are often overlooked for more conventional fruits, but they’re worth adding to your grocery list They contain many proteolytic enzymes that make digestion easier and are good sources of fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C (they have twice the vitamin C of oranges!) On the flip side, make sure to avoid these foods not worth the calories 7 / 15 barmalini/Shutterstock Asparagus Yes, asparagus can make your urine smell, but since it has such great health benefits, you should keep eating it anyway
High levels of the amino acid asparagine make asparagus a natural diuretic.
Plus, just one cup of asparagus contains three grams of fiber, so it’ll keep you full in between meals.
Other fiber-rich veggies include bell peppers, broccoli, and snap peas Don’t miss these ways to get more fiber into your diet
8 / 15 Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock Peppermint Feeling bloated? Suck on a candy cane.
Crandall notes that peppermint extract is known to decrease gas and ease digestive irritation Even sniffing peppermint may make you less hungry and prevent overeating And here’s what to know about calories to prevent weight gain 9 / 15 ConstantinosZ/Shutterstock Chamomile tea If you’re overworked, your job could explain why your pants are tighter than normal
Research shows that stress can actually make you sick and even affect your weight.
“Stress really does increase belly fat,” Crandall warns
Chamomile tea naturally calms your body and eases bloating.
Staying hydrated is another way to fight belly fat, and drinking tea can help you reach the recommended ten glasses of fluids each day 10 / 15 Aleksandrova Karina/Shutterstock Dark chocolate Be sure to check the label before you buy chocolate bars; they could be healthier than you think Dark chocolate that contains more than 60 percent cacao has high antioxidant properties “It can decrease inflammation and curb your sweet cravings,” Crandall says, “so you’re not just reaching for that milk chocolate bar” A UC San Diego study also found that people who ate chocolate on a regular basis had a lower body mass index than people who indulged less frequently Keep a few ounces of dark chocolate in your bag for a sweet treat, along with these snacks that will help you lose weight 11 / 15 vladibulgakov/Shutterstock Lentils Seeds that grow in pods (like lentils, chickpeas, white beans, and dried peas) are packed with filling protein and fiber, which will stop you from reaching for a fattening midday snack And as good sources of iron, they will also keep your metabolism running smoothly, experts say Try pairing lentils with a salad or lean protein, such as these proven foods that make you feel full
12 / 15 ViChizh/Shutterstock Chili peppers Spice up your dinner plate with chili peppers tonight; trust us, your belly will thank you.
Not only do chili peppers boost your metabolism, but capsaicin—the active component that make them taste hot—may help prevent cravings and overeating Health ‘s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, recommends adding chili peppers to an omelet, salad, or stir-fry to maximize your flat-belly gains 13 / 15 haireena/Shutterstock Avocados Avocados are all the rage these days, and for good reason Just one of these superfoods packs a huge nutritional punch, with 13 grams of fiber and 20 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids—both of which have waist-whittling benefits In a 2015 study at Penn State , people who regularly consumed a dose of monounsaturated fat had 16 percent less belly fat than those who didn’t You might also want to check out these benefits of intermittent fasting
14 / 15 MarcoFood/Shutterstock Almonds If your tummy starts rumbling between meals, a handful of almonds might do the trick.
Like dark chocolate and avocados, the nut contains heart-healthy (and hunger-fighting!) monounsaturated fats to help you slim down The science backs it up, too: One recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that when people who snacked on 15 ounces of almonds a day lost more weight than those who ate a high-carb snack Don’t miss more healthy snacks that can satisfy any craving 15 / 15 Nishihama/Shutterstock Green tea Good news, tea drinkers: Your daily sip can do wonders for your waistline
The antioxidants found in this ancient beverage can increase your energy levels, aid digestion, and burn fat, for starters.
What’s more, research shows that green tea can also kick-start weight loss According to a massive study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , participants who drink green tea can lose around 3 pounds, on average Next, find out 13 things everyone gets wrong about the keto diet Originally Published on Reader's Digest Reader Interactions