Welcome to the nutrient guide for conquering belly fat! We all know how stubborn that little bulge can be, disrupting our confidence and making our favorite pair of jeans feel like a distant memory. But fear not, because today I'm diving headfirst into the world of nutrients that have the power to reduce that pesky belly fat.
Nutrients That Reduce Belly Fat
Know this - chances are, you're probably eating at least one of these nutrients in a reasonable amount. But when it comes to belly fat, it's all about getting enough and getting enough each and every day. Consistency counts.
The other thing that's important to remember when it comes to reducing belly fat is that it's not just eating more of the good stuff. It's about eating less of the bad stuff, too. But I'll save that for another article. Let's focus in on the good stuff for now.
In this article, I'll explore the science behind why these two nutrients are so effective, and how incorporating them into your diet can make a world of difference. Say goodbye to crash diets and endless hours at the gym – I'm here to show you a healthier, more sustainable path to a flatter tummy.
So, if you're ready to banish that belly bulge and reclaim your confidence, join me as I uncover the nutrients that can take you from flabby to fabulous. Get your taste buds ready, because eating your way to a slimmer waist has never been so delicious!
Soluble Fiber That Crushes Belly Fat
If you've been reading my articles or following along with me on Instagram or Facebook, you know I'm a BIG fan of fiber. Fiber helps our body in more ways than I can count. But when it comes to belly fat, research has shown that insoluble fiber holds a valuable key in keeping belly fat locked away.
The difference between soluble and insoluble fiber is fairly straightforward. Soluble fiber gets broken down and digested. This is the type of fiber that has been closely associated with lowering cholesterol. Insoluble fiber can't be broken down in the same way, but it doesn't make it any less important. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool, making elimination more productive and easier.
Research has shown that soluble fiber intake increases the amount of short chain fatty acids (SCFA). Why are SCFAs important when it comes to belly fat? Belly fat (aka visceral fat) produces inflammation in the body which make fat loss very difficult. Inflammation in belly fat is sort of like a net with magnets on it that traps fat and keeps grabbing more.
SCFAs reduce these inflammatory markers making it easier to lose harmful belly fat.
Where to Get Soluble Fiber
If you're thinking, "Soluble fiber is the ticket," fortunately, you don't have to look very hard.
Fiber, in general, is a pretty wonderful nutrient that helps belly fat. But given that the SCFAs created by soluble fiber help to decrease inflammation, it's important that you get some of this type of fiber, too! Here are a few easy go-tos when it comes to soluble fiber:
- black beans
- sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
Easy enough, right? Remember, it's consistency that counts. Eat plenty of foods with soluble fiber every day. It may take weeks to begin noticing a difference, but it will happen.
TIP: Aim to eat 25 to 35 grams of fiber, in general, each day. Don't worry so much if it's soluble or insoluble. Chances are, if you're getting a good amount of fiber in your diet, plenty will come naturally come from the soluble variety.
If you want to take the guesswork out of what to eat, download my Apple-Shape meal plan today for six weeks of higher-fiber meals that will help you burn belly fat. And yes, those high-fiber meals include plenty of soluble fiber, too.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid's Role in Belly Fat
Omega 3 fatty acids may sound like something complex, but they're really just another amazing nutrient that's found in a lot of less-processed foods available to us today. Omega 3s are a polyunsaturated fat that have been long-since recognized for having a beneficial effect on heart health.
The problem is, we don't get enough of these omega 3 fatty acids anymore.
Our modern diet may contain more polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), but these PUFAs are typically in the form of omega 6 fatty acids. It may sound like the difference between an omega 3 and an omega 6 is splitting hairs, but it means a world of difference to your body and whether or not your body stores more belly fat!
Omega 6 fatty acids are easy to come by; they're abundantly found in just about every processed food out there. In fact, nearly all processed vegetables oils are abundant in this type of fatty acid. Processed vegetable oils, such as corn and soybean oil, are cheap and keep foods shelf-stable - but they wreak havoc on our body by producing inflammation.
Omega 3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are associated with a decrease in inflammation and a significant reduction in belly fat. Unlike soluble fiber, the other amazing nutrient that helps reduce belly fat, omega 3s are harder to not quite as abundant. You have to make a little more of an effort to get this nutrient into your diet.
How to Increase Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet
Omega 3 fatty acids may not be the go-to resource of healthy fats in every food, but they can be found if you know where to look. Unlike fiber, you only need just over a gram of omega 3 fatty acids in your diet to make a difference. One gram...that's it!
If you're thinking, I'm sure I get a gram a day, don't I? Probably not. But you can make it happen.
These are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids:
- fatty fish (i.e. salmon and anchovies)
- ground flaxseed
- chia seeds
- soybeans (buy organic)
To a lesser extent, Brussels sprouts, navy beans and spinach also contain omega 3s.
You see what I mean? They're not exactly abundant.
TIP: what I usually do is make a meal including these foods. For example, I add ground flaxseed or chia seeds to my oatmeal in the morning, or to a smoothie in the afternoon. I also snack on walnuts with a little dark chocolate...because the combo is delicious.
If you're not up for that type of food, then you can supplement with either a high quality fish oil or a vegan source of omega 3 fatty acids. This is the omega 3 I take.
How To Use These Nutrients to Reduce Belly Fat
Wouldn't it be great if all we had to do was increase the amount of soluble fiber and omega 3s and poof...belly fat comes off? You and I both know that's not the case.
It's as much what you don't eat as what you do eat.
If you want to make this work for you, cut out (or at least significantly cut back on) refined and processed foods that increase inflammation, body weight and belly fat. Be mindful other exception or occasions where you make allowances for these types of foods. Usually, it's far too often.
On the flip side, increase the amount of fiber in general. You'll inherently eat healthier. Then, layer on your omega 3s. Remember, you only need a little over a gram of omega 3s to make a difference. Invest in getting that nutrient into your diet.
Still want more support? I made it as simple as possible for you by creating the apple-shape meal plan. Six weeks of high fiber meal plans with plenty of omega 3s always gets results. Download the meal plan today.