What foods can I eat to get rid of belly fat?

Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics
There are no foods to help you lose belly fat. Just keep losing weight and do core exercises to tighten the area. Of course, it's very important to eat nutritious foods to stay healthy.
Studies have shown that people who eat six small meals a day have smaller waists than people who eat two or three large meals a day. Of course, "small" is the key. To nix belly fat for good, don't sustain it with sugar, syrups, and saturated and trans fats. Instead, sustain the rest of you with whole grains, lean proteins, fiber, exercise, and stress control. Your waist's loss is your life's gain.

Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing
Increase the fiber and whole grains in your diet; include omega 3 fatty acids, green tea, and alcohol in moderation, turmeric, jojoba beans, seeds, and coffee.

During my weight loss journey one of the most valuable lessons I learned was how some of the foods we eat actually make us fat while others actually help our metabolism and decrease inflammation.

There are five food felons that I learned to avoid and it was actually avoiding foods more than eating certain ones that helped me lose not just general fat but the fat around my middle known as the omentum or the dangerous belly fat.

The five food felons can be found by learning to look at the nutritional information on the packet as well as the ingredient list. I avoid all foods that contain the dangerous five outlined by the YOUdocs in their book YOU ON A DIET. Part of my mission as their YOUnurse has been to educate everyone to learn to read labels and avoid the following foods:
  • enriched, bleached or processed flours
  • simple sugars
  • high fructose corn syrup or any syrups
  • saturated fats (found in animal fats and palm and coconut oils)
  • trans fat ( partially hydrogenated vegetable oils)
Learning to replace these foods with natural sugars like honey, agave or pure maple syrup was the next step. Reducing my animal fat by eating white meats like chicken or fish and eating more plant-based meals instead of meat also helped me to start losing the belly fat. Switching to whole grains, brown rice and avoiding the processed foods and food additives was also key to my success.

If, you are trying to lose your spare tire or that dangerous belly fat, start first by reading food labels. Become aware of which foods trigger the hormones that lead to belly fat and which foods like the whole grains, high fiber foods and healthy fats actually help reduce inflammation and you to lose that spare tire forever. Start dumping your fridge and cupboards of all those foods that have the five food felons. My husband thinks the worst and the one that made the most difference in our lives was the high fructose corn syrup which is in diet salad dressings, breads, cereals snacks and so many of the daily food items that you may need to slowly replace your cupboards and give the bad stuff away.

You can never go wrong with stocking foods like legumes, brown rice, wheat pastas, beans etc. They will stretch your food dollar and be healthy too!
While there are no foods that really target belly fat (although there are plenty of opinions and theory!) following a healthy, whole foods based approach to eating helps maintain a trim mid-section. Labeled as "clean eating" or as I call it "lean eating," this nutritional intake consists of eating a variety of fruits and fresh vegetables, along with lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. In order to avoid storing excess fat in the abdominals, stay away from processed foods and fake sugars (Splenda, Sweet 'n Low, aspartame, saccharine, etc). These things lead to the body storing more belly fat which is unhealthy for your overall health and quality of life.

Go for unprocessed foods that are in season (which means they'll be cheaper at the store) and eat every 3-4 hours to keep the metabolism running high.

For a complete example of a lean eating meal plan check out www.michellecfitness.com.
Weight Watchers®
Your belly fat will disappear as you reduce calories and exercise on an overall weight-loss plan. You cannot reduce fat in a particular spot, although you can spot strengthen.

Body fat is systemic. As you lose weight, fat cells throughout your body give up fat and you get smaller all over, including your belly.

You can tone the underlying muscles of your belly and strengthen your core with abdominal exercises such as crunches. As you lose weight, you'll be able to see the work you've done.

Weight Watchers offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss that can help you reach your goals.

The most effective foods for losing weight (including belly fat) are healthy fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. These foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, satiety (feeling of fullness) and are low-calorie.

Genetics dictates where your body burns fat. For example, you may desire to lose weight in your abdomen, but very often, the place you most want to lose it is the last place it burns. This is known as spot reducing and it doesn’t work. You cannot burn fat in one particular area on your body. While it's true that you can build muscle in different locations of your body such as your legs and buttocks based on what strength-training exercises you do, there's no way to "spot reduce" fat. But by keeping a consistent healthy-diet and regular exercise plan eventually you will achieve a flat midsection.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
More than half of all American women struggle with extra belly fat. One reason why it’s tough to burn fat around your middle is because of stress. Fight-or-flight hormones send the body a message telling it to hold onto excess padding. Try adding 1 cup of beans to every meal. Beans are loaded with soluble fiber, which promotes good bacteria in the gut, thus lowering inflammation linked to belly fat. Try adding beans to your diet, three times a day for seven days. Here are some suggestions: 
  • Breakfast: Eat 1 cup of chickpeas
  • Lunch: Mix 1 cup of black beans into a healthy frozen meal
  • Dinner: Add 1 cup of navy or other beans as a side dish

Continue Learning about Belly Fat

Belly Fat

Belly Fat

It may seem counterintuitive to think of food as one of the best ways to burn the fat around your middle, but it's true. Certain foods come packed with the nutrients you need to blast the fat around your belly and lose weight. Try ...

adding these belly fat burners to your diet: pickles, berries, bell peppers, yogurt and black beans. Interested in more ways to banish your belly fat, including Dr. Oz's wet food diet? Check out the questions below.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.