12 Best Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast Based on Science

Belly fat is not only extremely unhealthy but also badly affects your self-image.

While it is so easy to put on, getting it off is a completely different story.

Belly fat, also called visceral or intra-abdominal fat, is body fat stored within your abdominal cavity. It surrounds your liver, intestines, and other important organs around your midline.

Excess fat around your abdominal area can cause a variety of health problems. It strongly increases the risk of developing heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. [1, 2]

Getting rid of this pesky fat can often be a difficult tussle. For most people, belly fat is the hardest to lose.

While it might be difficult, there are certain foods you can eat to help you win this battle. These foods have some science backing their effective impact on the fat in your belly area.

Here are 12 foods you should eat to help you burn that belly fat – all evidence-based.

1. Eggs

Eggs Burn Belly Fat

Eggs contain one very important weight loss ingredient called arginine. In a 12 weeks study, published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements in 2013, 20 non-diabetic obese women took L-arginine.

The participants aged 18 to 40 years with BMI between 30 and 40 had waist circumference that exceeded 89 cm. The participants took three grams of L-arginine three times a day.

The researchers from Mayo Clinic noted that the participants had a 6.5 pounds weight loss on average. There was also a reduction in their BMI scores.

The recorded waist circumference at the start of the study was 116 cm. This reduced to 109 cm baseline measurement after the 12 weeks.[3]

The study authors noted that L-arginine may be effective in reducing visceral obesity in obese patients.

Egg Breakfast

Another egg study in the International Journal of Obesity involved 152 participants. Divided into four groups, they ate an egg breakfast having two eggs (340 kcal) or a bagel breakfast. All meals were similar in energy density and total energy.

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The first group ate an egg diet breakfast while the second had a bagel diet breakfast. Both of these groups followed a lower-calorie diet.

Also, the third group had an egg breakfast and the fourth a bagel breakfast. However, both of these groups made no changes to their energy intake. The participants ate these breakfast meals at least 5 days a week for an 8-week period.

After the 8 weeks, when compared to the second group, the first group had a 65% greater weight loss. They also had a 61% greater reduction in BMI as well as a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference.

The third and fourth groups had no significant differences in the study variables.

The researchers concluded that “egg breakfast enhances weight loss, when combined with an energy-deficit diet, but does not induce weight loss in a free-living condition.”[4]

Choline

Eggs are also a major source for another important healthy weight loss nutrient – choline. Researchers believe that choline help to lower body fat and increase lean body mass.[5] Most researchers believe choline turns off the genes that cause belly fat gain.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Burns Belly Fat

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar (ACV) is its main component. It is a short-chain fatty acid that suppresses belly fat accumulation.

Some weight loss benefits of increased apple cider vinegar ingestion include:

  • Increased feeling of satiety [6, 7]
  • Increased insulin sensitivity [8]
  • Improved metabolism
  • Improved colon health

A 12-week controlled study examined the effect of vinegar on reduction of body weight in 175 obese individuals. The subjects ingested 1 tablespoon (15 mL), 2 tablespoons (30 mL), or a placebo (0 mL) of vinegar in a 500 mL beverage daily.

Subjects who consumed 1 tablespoon lost about 2.6 pounds of weight. They also reduced their waist circumference by 0.5 in (1.4 cm).

Those who consumed 2 tablespoons experienced a 3.7 pounds (1.7 kg) weight loss. Their waist circumference also reduced by about 0.75 in (1.9 cm).

However, the placebo group added about 0.9 pounds (0.4 kg). The researchers noted that apple cider vinegar acts as both a fat suppressor and burner.[9]

Thus, the acetic acid in vinegar inhibits lipogenesis while stimulating fatty acid oxidation.[10, 11]

Consuming apple cider vinegar along with a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you remove that annoying belly fat faster.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli Burns Belly Fat

Broccoli has a very impressive vitamin and mineral profile. It also contains a good amount of fiber.

Several of the nutrients in broccoli can help you to lose weight. These include vitamin C, chromium, and calcium.

Also, broccoli is a good source of sulfur-containing phytochemicals – sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. In particular, sulforaphane shows high potential for breaking down fats according to a Kanazawa University animal study.[12]

During the study, mice fed a diet high in sulforaphane added 15% less weight than the control group. Interestingly, the mice also experienced a 20% reduction in belly fat.

The body needs vitamin C for the synthesis of carnitine – an amino acid. It is vital for metabolizing fats into energy. During exercise, people with reduced vitamin C levels burn less fat according to a 2007 study.[13]

Chromium plays a major role in regulating the activities of insulin. It influences carbohydrate metabolism thereby improving weight loss.

The calcium in broccoli also helps to inhibit the production of new fat cells. Research also shows that it equally stimulates the breakdown of stored body fats.[14]

Calcium can also bind to some dietary fats in the intestine thus preventing their absorption.

In 2014, the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published a study about the increased consumption of nutrient-rich vegetables (NRV) like broccoli. The study found a positive correlation between the increased intake of NRVs and insulin sensitivity.

The subjects who consumed increased amounts of NRVs had a 31% increase in insulin sensitivity. They also had a 17% reduction in belly fat and reduced risk for type 2 diabetes.[15]

4. Apples

Apples Burn Belly Fat

A medium sized apple contains about 85% water and has only 95 calories with a very good amount of fiber. Its low energy density induces fullness which helps to reduce calorie intake.

Research shows that consumption of low glycemic carbohydrates may reduce hunger. So, eating apples (a low glycemic index food) daily may reduce energy intake due to greater satiety.

The main nourishing fibers in apples are cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and pectin. These fibers make the daily consumption of apples to improve the intestinal area.

This is because the fermentation of these fibers produces short-chain fatty acids. They also help to reduce ammonia and sulfide.[16]

Apples are also a good source of polyphenols – micronutrients with antioxidant properties. Several studies show that polyphenols in apples have certain effects on body fat.

There are links between apple polyphenols and a decrease in leptin levels, visceral fat, total body weight gain, and adipose tissue weight.[16]

A 12-week study examined the effect of apple polyphenols on cholesterol metabolism. 71 subjects took 600 mg of polyphenol extracted from apples and hop bract daily.

Both extracts resulted in significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels. However, the effects of the apple polyphenol were more marked than those of the hop bract extract.

The apple polyphenol group also had a more improved visceral fat area than the control group.[17]

Also, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine carried out a 5-year study on lifestyle factors associated with changes in abdominal fat. The researchers found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber, the rate of visceral fat accumulation reduced by 3.7 percent.[18]

5. Milk

Milk Burns Belly Fat

Milk contains a lot of vitamin D and calcium. Also, low fat milk contains a lot of proteins which can help to sustain as well as build more lean muscle.

Dairy products – such as milk – also contain significant amounts of whey. Whey is a protein that promotes the development of lean body mass. This in turn helps the body to burn more calories.

The high protein content of milk also helps to keep you feeling full and satiated. This helps you to reduce your total daily calorie consumption. This satiety effect will make you to also consume less of other foods.

Milk and Calcium’s Effect

Milk also contains a good amount of calcium which plays a vital role in belly fat reduction.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a 16-week parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 2012. They looked at the effect of calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation on visceral fat.

The trials used regular or reduced-energy (lite) orange juice beverages. The test group had their orange drinks (regular or lite) fortified with vitamin D and calcium. The control group had unfortified (regular or lite) orange drinks.

Average weight loss did not differ much between test and control groups. However, in the regular orange juice trial, visceral fat decreased by an average of 11.4 cm2 more in the test group.

In the lite orange juice trial, the test group had notably greater reduction in visceral fat. While they experienced about 13.1 cm2 reduction, the control group had 6.4 cm2.[19]

However, several randomized controlled trials suggest that dairy based calcium intake has more beneficial effects on weight management.[20, 21, 22, 23]

This is because milk is also rich in other bioactive compounds. For instance, dairy protein has bioactive whey-derived peptides and branched chain amino acids.

These and other compounds can act independently of calcium. In this way, they can also contribute to the beneficial effect of milk on weight loss.

6. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes Burn Belly Fat

Sweet potatoes are classified as yellow vegetables along with carrots, corn, and pumpkins. This deliciously sweet starchy vegetable is full of nutrients.

100 grams of sweet potatoes contains about 33% vitamin C, 5% Potassium, 6% Magnesium, 4% iron, and 3 grams of fiber. Also, a medium-size baked sweet potato has about 103 calories.

Sweet potato is a “complex carbohydrate.” It has a medium glycemic index – 56 – and therefore does not raise blood sugar levels dangerously high. You must however consider the form in which you consume sweet potatoes.

For optimal weight loss effect, they are best when roasted, steamed, baked, or boiled. It is the deep and shallow frying that make sweet potatoes fattening.

Sweet Potato’s Fiber and Satiety

Sweet potatoes have a good amount of fiber especially when served with the skin on. Due to their high fiber content, they help to reduce your appetite.

Fiber absorbs water and becomes bulky, thereby taking up a lot of room in your stomach. They are also slow digesting and thus take a lot of time to leave your stomach and move in the digestive tract.

The Satiety Index List uses white bread – with an index of 100 – as a benchmark for other food items.

On this list, boiled potatoes have the highest satiety index score of 323. This is seven-fold higher than the lowest satiety index score of 47 for croissants.[24]

The Annals of Medical and Health Science Research published an animal study in 2014. In the study, the treatment rats fed on extracts made from chopped sweet potatoes.

They found that the rats ate less throughout the day. Their food intake reduced in a dose dependent manner when compared to the control group.[25]

Resistant Starch

Also, sweet potatoes have a particular kind of fiber called resistant starch. Resistant starch are naturally low-calorie, prebiotic dietary fiber. You can get them from starchy foods such as root vegetables and legumes.

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Resistant starch is generally not digestible in the small intestine. However, they undergo microbial fermentation when in the large intestine.

Resistant starch help to strengthen your gut biome as the “good” bacteria in your belly feeds on them. The good bacteria break down and digest the starch. This makes them more dominant thereby strengthening your entire gut.

According to a Biomedical and Environmental Sciences review published in 2015, resistant starch can help individuals reduce the risk of obesity.[26]

In another 26-week study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, the treatment group consumed resistant starch enriched flour. At the end, they had a 2.6 percent reduction in waist circumference and a 1.5 percent lower body fat.[27]

Besides the good fiber, sweet potatoes are also low in calorie and have high water content. These factors also contribute to the beneficial weight loss effect of sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes also have significant amounts of other nutrients. These include nutrients like beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid, and vitamins A and B6.

They are also full of vitamin C which has great antioxidant properties. This helps to protect your body tissues from damage.

In 2011, the Journal of Medicinal Food published an in vitro study. The study looked at the anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects of an extract of purple sweet potatoes. The scientists discovered that the extract had the ability to shrink fat cells.[28]

7. Garlic

Garlic Burns Belly Fat

Garlic is a diuretic and thus helps to increase metabolism. This aids weight loss as the body becomes more efficient in processing energy.

A 3.5 oz. of garlic also contains about 9-16 grams of inulin. This is a type of soluble fiber that is not very viscous. There are growing associations between inulin and belly fat reduction.

Inulin is a prebiotic – a food source for the beneficial bacteria that live in the lower gut. The gut bacteria convert inulin and other prebiotics into short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids help to nourish colon cells and also provide other health benefits.

Researchers in one study gave 21 grams of inulin to overweight and obese adults per day. They discovered that the hunger hormone levels in the participants decreased. Also, they had an increase in their fullness hormone levels.

During the 12 weeks of the study, the participants taking inulin lost over 2 lbs. (0.9 kg). On the contrary, the control group added about 1 pound of body weight (0.45 kg).[29]

In another 18-week study, individuals with prediabetes took either inulin or a cellulose supplement. While both groups lost weight, the inulin group lost about 7.6% of their body weight compared to 4.9% for the cellulose group.[30]

8. Almonds

Almond Burns Belly Fat

Almonds have a very rich nutrient profile which has a lot of health and weight loss benefits.

They are a highly concentrated food that is rich in protein, monounsaturated fats, and phytochemicals. The thin brown skin that covers the nut also contains polyphenols.

They are also a powerful plant source of protein – having about 20 percent protein. One-quarter cup contains about 7.6 grams of protein. These nuts also have a generous amount of fiber.

Almonds are a good source of vital minerals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Other minerals include manganese, copper and phosphorus.

Almonds also have a diverse array of phenolic and polyphenolic compounds. These include flavonoids like catechin.

Beside peanuts, they have the highest concentration of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E amongst nuts. The body absorbs this form of vitamin E much easier than others.

Also, almonds possess a good amount of biotin, a B vitamin. Biotin is vital for the metabolism of both sugar and fat. These nuts are also an excellent source of riboflavin – vitamin B2.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association focused on the effect of daily almond consumption. The study used 48 subjects with elevated LDL-Cholesterol levels.

The treatment group consumed 1.5 ounces of almonds per day. At the end of the study, there were no differences in total body weight between the groups. The almond consumers however had a reduction in both belly fat and leg fat.[31]

In another study, researchers compared the effect of almond consumption against other complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. A diet containing 84 grams of almonds was fed to the test group daily.

The test group lost 14 percent in waist circumference compared to 9 percent for the control group.[32]

Almonds and L-arginine

Almonds are also very high in arginine – a natural vasodilator. Arginine helps to increase blood flow by relaxing the walls of blood vessels.

The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a study on the effect of almond consumption on endurance training. The arginine increased both carb and fat burning during the workouts, the researchers observed.

They discovered that the almonds made the body to use previously reserved carbs instead of breaking down fat as an energy source during training and intense exercise.[33]

9. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil Burns Belly Fat

Not all oils are made equal and such is the case of coconut oil. This is one of the healthiest oils you can eat.

Coconut oil has been vilified for almost four decades. This followed upon the purported harmful effects of coconut oil observed in experimental animal studies.

These animal studies used hydrogenation coconut oil. This is an unnatural form of coconut oil. There had been alterations to make it completely devoid of any essential fatty acids. However, coconut oil is free of hydrogenated fat and hence trans fatty acids.

Several other coconut oil studies carried out involved African and South Pacific populations. These studies happened to reveal some vital facts about coconut oil. Oils in the diets of some of the populations studied comprised of about 80 percent coconut oil.[34, 35, 36]

These studies found that there was no link between the consumption of coconut oil and the occurrence of obesity and/or dyslipidemia.

A 12-week randomized, double-blind, clinical trial involving 40 women, studied the effect of daily consumption of about two tablespoons (30 mL) of coconut oil. The control group had the same quantity of soy bean oil daily.

While both groups had a reduction in their BMI, only the coconut oil group had a reduction in belly fat. The coconut group also had higher HDL levels and reduced LDL levels.[37]

Medium Chain Fatty Acids

Over 95 percent of coconut oil is fat. While the fat content of scrapped coconut oil is around 34 percent, coconut milk has about 24 percent fat. It is a fact that coconut fat has about 92 percent saturated fat.

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However, the saturated fat in coconut is different from that obtained from animal sources. More than 50 percent of coconut fats are “medium-chain” fatty acids (MCFAs) – mostly the SFA lauric acid.

This is unlike the saturated fats from animal sources such as meat and cheese. These saturated fats are “long-chain” fatty acids (LCFAs). And here lies the difference – medium-chain and long-chain!

The long-chain fatty acids are first broken down in the intestines. When transported to the blood, they can now be used for energy.

However, the medium-chain fatty acids metabolize very quickly. Their absorption takes place in the small intestine. Also, they do not undergo any degradation and re-esterification processes.

This way, MCFAs actually bypass the fat cells in which they might have been stored. The body therefore uses MCFAs to directly produce energy.

Therefore, the body does not store medium-chain fatty acids in fat deposits. This is why they are of high value to all dieters!

In one study, 20 subjects consumed a prescribed dose of 30 mL of virgin coconut oil per day. The subjects were to ingest them in three equal doses, half an hour before each meal.

The subjects were to make no intentional changes to their diets or exercise during the study. They were to drink adequate amounts of water daily during the study period.

After four weeks, the subjects had a significant belly fat reduction with a mean loss of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches).[38]

10. Yogurt

Yogurt Burns Belly Fat

Yogurt is an easy way to add calcium to your diet. Besides being a good natural source of probiotics, yogurt is also high in proteins.

It also possesses good amounts of minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. There are also significant quantities of vitamin B-12, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.

There are three types of yogurt – regular, low-fat, and nonfat yogurt – depending on the milk used in making them. Regular or whole milk yogurt has about 3.25 percent milk fat.

Low-fat yogurt – made from low-fat milk or part-skim milk – has between 0.5 and 2 percent milk fat. Nonfat yogurt, made from skim milk, has less than 0.5 percent milk fat.

The high protein content of yogurt can easily fill you up. This increases satiety and reduces the sensation of hunger. As a result, you are less likely to overeat thereby helping to reduce your total calorie intake.

Probiotics in Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the best natural sources of probiotics. These are microorganisms naturally present in the digestive tract.

These beneficial bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids. They help to repair and maintain the walls of the digestive tract. Besides that, they also provide other health benefits that include burning belly fat.

However, it is important to note that not all yogurts contain live probiotics. This is because the yogurt processing itself kills most of them.

Equally important is the fact that not all probiotics help with weight loss. This effect depends on the strain of probiotic and even varies between individuals.

Certain probiotics aid weight loss by inhibiting the absorption of dietary fat. This causes an increase in the amount of fat excreted with feces.

Most research claim that the Lactobacillus gasseri strain is the most effective. There are also indications that it not only aids weight loss but also reduces belly fat.

The British Journal of Nutrition published a study in 2010 that involved 210 healthy subjects who had large visceral fat areas.

They took 200 grams of fermented milk having the probiotic, Lactobacillus gasseri, daily. Two groups had different doses of the probiotic in their milk while the control group had none.

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After 12 weeks, both probiotic groups experienced an average of 8.5% reduction in their belly fat. They also had significant reductions in waist and hip circumferences, BMI, and body fat mass.

However, most of the effects reduced in magnitude one month after the subjects stopped using the probiotic. So, this suggests that constant consumption might be necessary to maintain these effects.[39]

Calcium in Yogurt

Dairy products have the highest concentration per serving of highly absorbable calcium. Non-fat (38%) and low-fat (34%) yogurts have more calcium content than both skim (23%) and whole milk (21%).

Human studies show that yogurt and milk have similar calcium absorption rates.

A healthy level of calcium helps you to reduce bone density loss and also to maintain your muscle mass. This in turn helps to increase your body’s metabolism and its fat burning ability.

Dairy calcium also helps to slow down the body’s fat-making process. This is because calcium promotes fat cell apoptosis (death) and reduces fat absorption. Thus calcium promotes fat burning on one side and at the same fat cell death.

A study published in the Nutritional Journal in 2013 confirmed this. The study results showed that diets rich in calcium and Vitamin D increased both body fat and belly fat loss.[40]

Another study in the April 2004 edition of Obesity Research noted similar effect of calcium on weight loss. Subjects consumed a standard low-calcium, high-calcium supplemented, or a high-dairy diet.

Body weight loss increased by 26% and 70% in the high-calcium and high-dairy groups respectively when compared to the standard group. They also had an increase in fat loss of 38% and 64% accordingly.

Also, 50.1% and 66.2% of the total fat loss came from belly fat of the high-calcium and high-dairy groups respectively.[41]

The calcium and magnesium in yogurt can also reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol directly causes the body to store fat especially in the abdominal areas. Reducing cortisol therefore helps to increase belly fat loss.

11. Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Burns Belly Fat

Chocolate is a prebiotic that is rich, among other chemicals, in polyphenols. Dark chocolate provides numerous health benefits besides helping you burn belly fat.

Dark chocolate is a marvelous healthy-fat food. It has three healthy fats that do not affect your cholesterol levels. These are oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat), and two saturated fats, palmitic and steric acid.

Eating dark chocolates also provides you with a lot of minerals. These include copper, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, calcium, and iron.

Dark chocolate is also rich in flavonoids, mainly flavan-3-ols (epicatechin and catechin). These antioxidants in dark chocolate hold the keys to its health and weight loss effects.

Dark chocolate has certain effects which help to promote reduction of belly fat. Some of these include:

  • improving insulin sensitivity
  • inducing a feeling of satiety
  • reducing stress and cortisol levels

However, there is still no full understanding of the exact mechanisms of dark chocolate’s health and weight loss benefits.

Regular intake of dark chocolate provides health benefits like:

  • decreasing systolic and diastolic blood pressure
  • decreasing insulin resistance
  • increasing insulin sensitivity

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association published a 2009 study about dark chocolate. The 18-week study involved 26 overweight and obese premenopausal women.

The participants ate a reduced-calorie diet. The diets included either a dark chocolate snack or a non-chocolate snack.

The study noted that both groups lost the same body weight of 5.1 kg with no loss in lean mass. However, the dark chocolate snack group lost 0.3 kg more in fat mass and a 0.3% more in body fat percentage.

Also, the dark chocolate group lost an extra 0.4 cm and 2.2 cm in hip and waist circumferences respectively.[42]

Dark Chocolate is Satiating

It is generally known that dark chocolates easily induce satiety. They make you feel more full and satisfied even when you consume a small quantity.

A University of Copenhagen research found that intake of dark chocolate had more satiety than milk chocolate. They also found that the dark chocolates lessened cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.[43]

Dark Chocolate’s Cholesterol Effect

Dark chocolate consumption can also help to decrease total cholesterol level. They also help to boost your good HDL cholesterol levels.

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The European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences published a dark chocolate study in 2013. The study involved fifteen normal weight obese women who ate dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa. They ate a balanced diet containing two servings of 50 grams of dark chocolate daily for seven days.

The study found no significant changes in weight and BMI compared to when they were on a cocoa-free meal. Also, there were no differences in waist and hip circumferences as well as waist/hip ratio.

The researchers however observed a decrease in abdomen circumference. There was a strong correlation between the reduction and certain changes in lipid profile. Noticeably was the favorable effect of the amount of HDL cholesterol concentrations.[44]

Dark Chocolate and Stress Reduction

Stress causes cortisol levels in the body to rise. In turn, this increases blood glucose levels leading to the secretion of more insulin.

This can easily become a vicious cycle with an increased tendency for belly fat storage.

Cortisol indirectly influences appetite by regulating other chemicals. There is usually a high level of neuropeptide Y and reduced levels of leptin during periods of stress.

This chemical interplay generally leads to an increase in the appetite and overeating.

Eating of dark chocolate raises the levels of serotonin and endorphin in the brain. This has the effect of lowering blood pressure and increasing circulation. Together, this creates a sense of satisfaction and makes you happy.

A 2-week study published in the Journal of Proteome Research, examined the effect of daily consumption of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) of dark chocolate on subjects feeling highly stressed.

The researchers found observable reductions in the levels of stress hormones. They equally observed changes in other stress-related biochemical changes.[45]

12. Green Tea

Green Tea Burns Belly Fat

Green tea will not help you instantly burn up all your belly fat. However, it has a lot of compounds that can help speed up the process.

Green tea contains high concentrations of antioxidants known as polyphenols. It equally comes with a healthy dose of your favorite caffeine.

The polyphenols in green tea appear to be the secret to its several health and weight loss benefits.

A 200 mL serving of green tea has about 130 mg polyphenols, including about 48-72 mg catechins. Green tea catechins are a class of low-molecular-weight polyphenols. They consist mainly of flavan-3-ol monomers.

Green tea leaves normally contains about 10-20% catechins. This is mainly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – the most important green tea catechin.

Several evidences suggest that green tea and its catechin extracts have certain weight loss effects. Most importantly are its effect on both subcutaneous abdominal fat and visceral fat.

How Catechins Aid Belly Fat Loss

Two main factors are responsible for the weight loss effects of green tea catechins.[46] These are green tea’s ability to:

  1. Increase energy expenditure through fat oxidation
  2. Inhibition of fat absorption in the intestine

A lot of researches suggest that green tea catechins and caffeine work synergistically. In this way, they enhance sympathetic nervous system activity. This effect stimulates thermogenesis thereby increasing energy expenditure through fat oxidation.[47, 48]

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2009, examined the effect of green tea catechin on body composition and fat distribution in overweight and obese adults.

The 12-week exercise-induced weight loss study involved 107 participants. Each one received either a catechin beverage (625 mg of catechins with 39 mg caffeine) or a control beverage (39 mg caffeine, no catechins).

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They were to maintain constant energy intake and engage in 180 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. This included three weekly supervised sessions.

The team found no differences in fat mass between the catechin and control groups. However, the catchin group had a greater reduction in total abdominal fat area and abdominal subcutaneous fat area.[49]

Another study published in the Journal of Obesity examined the effect of drinking a high-catechin green tea. The 90 days study involved 182 moderately overweight subjects.

The group that consumed the most amounts of green tea catechins had an average decrease in estimated intra-abdominal fat area of 5.6cm2. The same group also had an average reduction of 1.9 cm in waist circumference and 1.2 kg in body weight.[50]

And there you have it – 12 wonderful foods to help you melt away your belly fat for good!

The Bottom Line

The take-away message here is that you can successfully reduce your belly fat. The starting point is to make some vital adjustments to your diet. This is a MUST if you truly want to reduce your belly fat.

Another important truth is that your gut biome should have a balanced profile. Feel free to add more gut strengthening foods to make yourself a more colorful and healthy meal.

And forget about any spot-reduction – abs exercises – if you have not gotten the above in place first. Endless abs exercises will not make your belly fat melt away just like that.

Take for instance, a 6-week training that focused only on the abdominal muscles. The study found no measurable changes in waist circumference and amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.[51]

First Things First – fix your diet first and then build upon that.

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The truth of the matter is that losing belly fat can be a challenging process. Succeeding will often require significant changes in your diet and exercise habits.

However, the foods and beverages listed above can help to speed up the process by boosting your metabolism. Adding some of these foods to a healthy balanced diet is a great way to start reducing your belly fat.

With that said, they are unlikely to cause a significant loss in belly fat if used alone. This is very important to note.

And finally, always remember that the best way to achieve a sustainable and healthy weight loss is through the combination of a healthy diet and regular physical exercise.

12 Best Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast Based on Science