On the list of places we don’t want fat, the belly is undesirable #1. Unfortunately, the belly is arguably the most popular fat-storage location. How can you prevent fat from taking up a permanent residence in your belly? Adding certain foods that burn belly fat to your diet will help you win the battle of the bulge.
Split peas are packed with fiber—they have 16.3 g per cup!—and fiber is a forceful fat fighter. Fiber contains substances that resist digestion, so it helps you feel full.
Professor Kristen Hairston, MD, told WebMD that people who eat 10 g soluble fiber per day build less fat over time.
Other “fiber-ful” foods besides split peas include raspberries, apples, barley, whole wheat spaghetti, lentils, beans, artichokes, and green peas.
Safflower oil is one of the most scientifically-proven foods that burn belly fat. It contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has shown to reduce belly fat in studies.
In one study, obese women took 8 g safflower oil a day for 36 weeks and reduced BMI and total adipose mass (fat around the stomach area).
In addition, safflower oil contains polyunsaturated fat; research subjects who ate a diet rich in polyunsaturated fat decreased fat in the abdominal area, compared with those who ate a diet rich in saturated fat.
Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which also prevent fat distribution in the stomach area.
In a study, 11 children of diabetic patients found a diet rich in monounsaturated fat changed fat distribution and led to less stomach fat. Diets rich in carbohydrates, however, had the opposite effect.
Like avocados, olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids that improve cholesterol and lower belly fat.
Olive oil also contains important vitamins, like vitamin E, which lowers risk of heart disease. Cooking with olive oil rather than saturated fats like butter could improve health and weight.
Yogurt is high in calcium, and a high-calcium, high-dairy diet helped obese patients lose weight, particularly from the stomach area.
Dairy foods are high in calcium and protein, which aid weight loss; however, Dr. Eric Braverman points out many dairy foods are also high in fat and calories, which reverses weight loss benefits. Yogurt is a great choice, though, because it’s high in calcium and protein and low in fat and calories.
Fish shouldn’t be an unexpected addition on the list of foods that burn belly fat. With polyunsaturated fat, fish has stomach fat-blasting properties similar to safflower oil. Fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which increase satiety and reduce food intake.
In fact, eating fish improves weight loss markers better than diet alone; overweight dieters who ate fish every day for 16 weeks improved cholesterol more than did those who dieted without fish.
WHOLE GRAIN BREAD
In contrast to refined flours, which are missing the healthy parts of the grain, whole grain bread contains the entire grain. Whole grain foods are also rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as satiety-inducing fiber.
In a study, a diet rich in whole grains correlated with lower stomach fat mass in older adults. It was also associated with lower percent body fat and BMI.
-  “Chart of high-fiber foods.”
-  “The Truth About Belly Fat.”
-  Norris LE et al. “Comparison of dietary conjugated linoleic acid with safflower oil on body composition in obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2009; 90 (3): 468-76.
-  L.K.M. Summers et al. “Substituting dietary saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat changes abdominal fat distribution and improves insulin sensitivity.” Diabetologia. 2002; 45 (3): 369-377.
-  J.A. Paniagua et al. “Monounsaturated Fat–Rich Diet Prevents Central Body Fat Distribution and Decreases Postprandial Adiponectin Expression Induced by a Carbohydrate-Rich Diet in Insulin-Resistant Subjects.” Diabetes Care. 2007; 30 (7): 1717-1723.
-  “Natural Weight-Loss Food: Olive Oil.”
-  Michael B. Zemel et al. “Calcium and Dairy Acceleration of Weight and Fat Loss during Energy Restriction in Obese Adults.” Obesity Research. 2004; 12 (4): 582-590.
-  Dr. Eric Braverman. “For Consistent Weight Loss, Eat Yogurt Every Day.”
-  Dolores Parra et al. “A diet rich in long chain omega-3 fatty acids modulates satiety in overweight and obese volunteers during weight loss.” Appetite. 2008; 51 (3): 676-680.
-  Trevor A. Mori et al. “Dietary fish as a major component of a weight-loss diet: effect on serum lipids, glucose, and insulin metabolism in overweight hypertensive subjects.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 70 (5): 817-825.
-  “Grains and Starchy Vegetables.”
-  Nicola M. McKeown et al. “Whole-Grain Intake and Cereal Fiber Are Associated with Lower Abdominal Adiposity in Older Adults.” J. Nutr. 2009; 139 (10): 1950-1955.