10 Nutrisystem-Approved Foods to Lose Belly FatArticle posted in: FreshStart
If you’re like most dieters, you’re not just looking to lose weight. You want to lose belly fat.
In one survey published on Women’s Health, more than 60 percent of participants said that their belly was the body part they’re most self-conscious about. The fat around your belly isn’t just a confidence-buster, though. It’s also a health risk: People with rock-hard “visceral fat” around their bellies—a deeper fat that’s close to your organs—have higher risks of cancer and death, according to Hopkins Medicine. And one study from Norway, published on Reuters, found that for every 10 centimeters of excess belly size, your heart failure risk increases by 30 percent.
These 10 foods can help you lose belly fat —you’ll achieve your goal, improve your health and enjoy delicious meals that are Nutrisystem-approved.
1. Salmon and Other Fatty Fishes
Belly fat really can be made of fat: When scientists at Johns Hopkins studied 84 healthy adults in 2003, they found that those who consumed more than 30 percent of their daily calories from fat were more likely to have measurable visceral fat. Saturated fat in the diet was the key culprit: Monounsaturated fats, like those found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish—like salmon—have actually been found to help dieters lose belly fat, according to Science Daily.
How to enjoy it: Get those healthy fats, some fiber from squash, and one of your daily vegetable servings from a single pan. This One Pan Salmon, Brussels Sprouts and Squash dish is delish…and so simple to make.
As if you needed an excuse to eat more guac: The healthy fats that can help you lose belly fat are also found in these little green gems. According to Nutrition Journal, in one study of 26 overweight adults, those who ate avocado with their lunches felt more satisfaction from their midday meal over the following three to five hours than those who did not have avo at lunch. So in addition to those healthy, belly fat-fighting fats, including a few slices in your salad could help you consume fewer calories throughout the afternoon. Just be careful not to overdo it: Avocados are heavy on calories. One-eighth of a fruit (or one tablespoon of pureed avocado) counts as one Extra on Nutrisystem.
How to enjoy it: Pair 1/8 of an avocado with some rotiserrie chicken in this delicious, simple Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Another nutrient that can help reduce your middle: Fiber. Not only does it help with digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer, but it actually targets stomach fat. For 10 grams of fiber you eat per day, you could have as much as four percent less fat around your belly, according to Science Daily. Non-starchy vegetables, beans, fruits and other foods are loaded with belly fat-blasting fiber and so are sweet potatoes: A half-cup of the orange tuber is one SmartCarb on Nutrisystem, and includes 3.3 grams of fiber.
How to enjoy it: Get some vegetables, avocadoes, eggs and sweet potato into your morning routine with the surprising, flavor-packed and delicious Sweet Potato Hash Power Bowl.
4. Canola Oil
It doesn’t get the glamour that coconut, avocado or olive oils get, but canola oil can help you lose belly fat faster. In one study published on Science Daily, participants who used the oil in a daily smoothie lost a quarter-pound of belly fat in a month more than those who had another kind of oil each day. And it fits with your Nutrisystem plan as an add-in to salad dressings or for cooking at higher heats than olive oil can: One teaspoon of canola oil counts as one Extra on Nutrisystem.
How to enjoy it: Canola oil’s high-heat tolerance makes it perfect for sauteeing vegetables. Or for a crunchy, satisfying snack, use it in combination with sweet potatoes to lose even more belly fat with some homemade BBQ Sweet Potato Chips.
Oatmeal is a powerhouse: It’s got more soluble fiber than most other cereals, and also more protein than any other grain. Protein, like fiber, stays in your digestive system longer than other nutrients, meaning you’re fuller for longer. No wonder studies have found that oatmeal eaters are more satisfied by breakfast than those eating cold, ready-to-eat cereals. According to the journal Nutrients, oatmeal also undoes some of the bad effects your belly fat is doing to your health—the morning grain helps with insulin resistance after a meal, which is adversely affected by abdominal fat.
How to enjoy it: There’s plenty of ways to love oatmeal. Check out the 6 Oatmeal Recipes Nutrisystem Customers Love Most.
6. Greek Yogurt
One hundred calories of Greek yogurt has 17 grams of muscle-building, hunger-fighting protein, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It makes a fantastic substitute for sour cream in a taco dip, can be perfect in mashed potatoes for low-calorie creaminess, and, of course, is phenomenal with fruit. But, according to the British Journal of Nutrition, it also fights fat: If you’re already on a diet, increasing your intake of calcium can help more of the weight you lose come from fat.
How to enjoy it: In a fat-fighting cheesecake—really! This simple Birthday Cake Cheesecake is made in a mug, and is a perfect, Nutrisystem-approved snack for when you’re craving something sweet.
Even if you aren’t losing weight, swapping almonds in for a higher-carbohydrate snack can help you lose belly fat. In a study of 48 people published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, with elevated LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol, those who were given a daily snack of almonds lost fat in their bellies and legs, even when they didn’t lose weight. Like other foods on this list, almonds have monounsaturated fats, which could help you lose that belly fat. And they’re easy to snack on safely: A half-ounce, or two Tablespoons, of raw almonds is one PowerFuel on Nutrisystem.
How to enjoy it: Besides having them plain, almonds can add a little belly fat-fighting crunch to salads, as in this gorgeous Green Goddess Salad.
Like oatmeal, blueberries have soluble fiber that helps keep you fuller, longer. And some studies suggest they may target abdominal fat specifically: In one study on rats from 2009, those who were given blueberries as part of their weight loss diet lost more belly fat than those losing weight on a non-berry-enriched nutrition plan. The scientists behind the study theorize that some antioxidant compounds in the berries may help target the fat around your middle—even if you’re eating an otherwise high-fat diet.
How to enjoy it: Try any of these 10 Tasty Blueberry Recipes You Need to Bookmark Right Now.
9. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach are packed with great stuff your body needs: Fiber to keep you full, Vitamins like C and A, and antioxidants that help ward off disease. But they also have something your body probably doesn’t get enough of … and could help burn fat: Copper. According to Science Daily, scientists in California have found an important link between dietary copper and the body’s ability to burn fat for fuel. But only one in four Americans gets their daily recommended value of this mineral. It’s found in mushrooms, shellfish, seeds, nuts … and leafy greens. Pile some into your salad or onto a sandwich for a belly fat-fighting boost.
How to enjoy it: How about as chips? These Crunchy Kale Chips are loaded with flavor and antioxidants, and they’re super simple to make.
10. Dark Chocolate
Even for people who are at a normal weight, dark chocolate can help reduce belly fat. In one study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, scientists studied women who were “normal weight obese,” a condition where their body weights are in the “normal” range, but their body fat is in the “obese” range—which can lead to higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death. When they gave some of these women dark chocolate each day, the study participants saw an increase in their “good” HDL cholesterol and a reduction in their waist size—indicating a reduction in abdominal fat. And a square of dark might help you stave off cravings, too: Another study from 2011 found that dark chocolate helped calm cravings and increased feelings of fullness better than milk chocolate. So grab a square and satisfy that sweet tooth while targeting your belly.
How to enjoy it: With a Nutrisystem favorite: The Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Nut Bar.