While spot-training your stomach muscles with
moves like crunches and sit-ups can’t exactly hurt, a combination of cardio,
strength training and eating right are really the only way to ditch pesky
midsection fat. The good news: There are quite a lot of foods that can speed up
the flat belly process without having to go on a strict diet.
all know that—much like carbs—certain fats are better for us
than others. What you might not know, however, is that monounsaturated
fat—a.k.a., the “good” fat—can flatten your abs! How? According to Self,
blood sugar peaks can signal your body to store fat around your midsection, but
monounsaturated fats stop the spikes, effectively stopping fat accumulation in
In fact, dieters who consumed monounsaturated fats lost more stomach fat than those eating the same number of calories but less of the fats, a study in Diabetes Care journal found.
Not to mention, it also can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol (which lessens your risk of heart disease and stroke), and are usually high in vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin we all could use more of. Below, the top foods that feature monounsaturated fats.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The holy grail of monounsaturated fat, EVOO is literally brimming with health boosters apart from minimizing your gut, including anti-inflammatory properties, cardiovascular benefits, brain-boosting benefits, and many others. Opt for around two tablespoons a day—an easy feat if you drizzle it over fresh fish or veggies, or mix it with a little lemon juice, garlic, and spices to create the perfect salad dressing. However, in order to reap the benefits, you shouldn’t cook or heat up olive oil for several reasons, including the fact that chemical changes take place in its compound and could be harmful to eat and breathe.
Another monounsaturated fat superstar, avocados have many of the same health benefits as EVOO. However, they too are high in fat, so don’t eat more than a quarter of a cup a day.
In addition to being high in monounsaturated fat, these little guys are packed with fiber, protein, and vitamin E, as well as magnesium, which helps your body stabilize its blood sugar levels. Most health experts suggest eating an ounce a day—roughly 23 almonds—which clocks in at 9 grams of monounsaturated fat and around 165 calories. A perfect snack.
- Dark chocolate
Did you know that real dark chocolate is brimming with health benefits? It is! Plus, in small quantities, it improves digestion and fights belly fat, too. The catch: The higher the cocoa content, the better it is, so look for bars that feature 70-85% cocoa, if not more (most are found at health food stores and specialty supermarkets, as opposed to drugstores and newsstands like other chocolate.)