Top 5 Foods to Get Rid of Belly Fat

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Just like your first car or your first job, the first time you look down and realize you can’t see your feet is an unforgettable life moment. With age, hormone balances change, causing a loss of muscle mass and migration of fat to the central core, otherwise known as the belly. MayoClinic.com warns that excess fat around the midsection can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. No food or exercise can specifically reduce fat in one part of the body, but some foods will speed up the metabolism and burn fat over your entire body, including your belly.

5 Oatmeal

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Boring, bland breakfast food, oatmeal turns out to be a great fat burner and weight loss aid. Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which helps to burn fat and improve digestion. Avoid adding sugar and butter and instead eat oatmeal with nuts and a few raisins to help boost its flavor, fiber and fat-burning potential. A side bonus is that oatmeal helps to reduce blood cholesterol through its soluble fiber and digestive cleansing properties.

4 Green Tea

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Out of the three main varieties of tea—black, oolong and green—green tea has the most health benefits because it is made from unfermented leaves. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, of all types of tea, green tea has the highest concentration of antioxidants that help stave off the negative effects of aging. Clinical studies have shown that green tea with caffeine improved weight loss. Both caffeine and substances in green tea called catechins promote fat burning effects.

3 Protein

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On average, it takes about 10 percent of the calories we eat to do the work of digesting the food. Proteins take about 30 percent of their calorie value to digest. Proteins like lean chicken and turkey breast, lean red meat, fish and egg whites are all thermogenic foods that take work to digest. Digesting fat has a thermogenic effect of only 3 percent, so low-fat proteins are best to burn off belly fat.

2 Citrus

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Citrus fruit like oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons and limes contains Vitamin C, which naturally speeds up the body’s processing of stored fat. Vitamin C also stimulates the body’s use of the amino acid carnitine, which burns fat. The high fiber found in citrus also helps to burn fat, which is why it’s more beneficial to eat the whole fruit instead of drinking juice.

1 Chili Peppers

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Hot peppers don’t just burn your mouth while you’re eating them; they will speed up your metabolism and burn fat for up to 20 minutes after a meal. The active ingredient in chili pepper is capsaicin, which has been proven to be a thermogenic, or body temperature-raising food. Hot peppers that include a lot of capsaicin include jalapeno, serrano and habanero chilis and cayenne pepper.

Amy Sterling Casil is an award-winning writer with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chapman University in Orange, Calif. She is a professional author and college writing teacher, and has published 20 nonfiction books for schools and libraries.

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