It’s December after all and it means it’s a month where we just don’t care about what we eat and drink.
I mean, my partner and I helped ourselves to a Domino’s pizza on Friday evening – plus a bottle of red wine!!
Is there something fraudulent about me – what with me being a Personal Trainer?!
Of course not!
I apply the 80-20 principle to my life – you know what I mean there, don’t you?
80% of the time, you are focused on what you eat and avoid the ‘bad’ foods. You eat well 80% of the time and enjoy your treats 20% of the time.
Now, your treat could be a pizza or red wine (both in our case!!).
Your treat could be ice cream or chocolate.
The thing is, you can have your cake and eat it, so to speak! Plus, don’t feel guilty about eating the odd piece of cake.
Anyway, back to the 80% – and how you can target your belly fat. I’m going to list the foods that I think can help you to combat excess belly fat.
These are real foods – as I call them – as they are not processed and are perfectly natural, one-ingredient foods.
You can eat a lot of these foods provided you don’t have an allergy to them (nuts for number 2 and dairy for number 6).
These foods work with your body not against it. Also, don’t believe anyone who tells you to stop eating fats – healthy fats, that is. Eating fats does NOT make you fat!
Number 1 on the list is an essential fat and you can’t really have too much of it.
So, here’s the list – my top 10 foods to target belly fat…
- Avocados: These are loaded with two nutrients that are key to targeting belly fat: fibre (11 to 17 grams per avocado) and monounsaturated fats, which studies have shown to actually ‘spot reduce’ belly fat.
- Peanut Butter: This also includes seeds (such as flaxseed, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame) and nuts especially pistachios, walnuts, almonds (or almond butter). Why? They keep you full and satisfied for long periods of time, and they’re stuffed with healthy fats and minerals. (Choose natural peanut butter as the regular stuff is full of deadly trans fats.)
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants (nearly eight times the number found in strawberries) and it contains stimulants that can have a positive effect on fat burning, including theobromine and caffeine. It also contains oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat. Make sure to choose 70% or higher cocoa levels for best results (the higher the % the better).
- Green Tea: Not only does it contain a potent antioxidant, many scientific studies have linked green tea to increased fat burning, including a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found green tea extract boosted the daytime metabolism of test subjects by 35-43%.
- Cinnamon: Researchers have found that cinnamon contains a type of antioxidant that increases insulin sensitivity and effectively helps to stabilise blood sugar, meaning better fat burning results.
- Greek Yogurt: Most regular yogurt is loaded with sugar (real or artificial) so will help to store body fat. However, Greek yogurts are loaded with probiotics that fight belly fat. Add some nuts and berries for an ideal snack.
- Lean Cuts of Meat and Fish: Any lean protein source is good to aid fat loss. This includes wild salmon and trout, free-range chicken or turkey, whey protein powders, and most especially grass-fed beef because it contains natural CLA—a fat that studies have actually shown to burn fat. The interesting thing about protein is your body will burn off as much as 30% of its calories to digest and process it.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: Contain phytonutrients such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C) that help fight against estrogenic compounds and therefore visceral fat. Examples are broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, kale and cauliflower.
- Coconut Milk/Oil: Both contain lauric acid, which can help lower cholesterol [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: although it raises LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, it raises HDL (‘good’) cholesterol even more]. Benefits include possible antiviral and anti-carcinogenic properties. They contain MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which are easily burned as fuel by the body. Buy coconut milk in cartons rather than tins. Use coconut oil for cooking.
- Olive Oil: One of the healthiest oils to cook with (low acidity). It is good for the skin, lowers LDL cholesterol, increases HDL cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, is high in antioxidants and therefore may decrease the chance of obtaining heart disease. It contains oleic acid, which can fight the toxins in your body.
Ps/ If you’re still struggling to find foods and recipes to help you with losing weight, my online 7 Day Weight Loss Kick-start may help you. You can use it any time and it only costs £10. I’ve already had fantastic feedback from the women who have tried it.
Here’s the link if you want to lose weight the healthy way: