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Guide to Losing Abdominal Fat   ( Home | Diet | Foods | Recipes )

Best Diet Tips for Reducing Abdominal Fat (Cont'd)

Discover the best diet tips for reducing abdominal fat! Note that this is the second page of a two-page article on diet and abdominal fat loss. If you missed the first page of the article (tips 1-7), click here.

#8:  Be Sure to Get Enough Vitamin D to Fight Fat Accumulation in Winter

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in a few foods such as liver, egg yolks, fish, and dairy products fortified with vitamin D. However, most people meet their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight which triggers the body to synthesize its own vitamin D. A deficiency of vitamin D has been associated with increased fat accumulation and obesity.

Lack of vitamin D may be responsible for increased fat accumulation in winter.

However, researchers have not been able to determine whether it is the low levels of vitamin D that cause weight gain or whether it is the excess fat that leads to lower blood concentrations of vitamin D. It has been hypothesized that a lack of vitamin D, associated with negligible levels of sunlight in winter, could in fact be the key trigger for the so-called winter response in humans. This winter response is characterized by increased fat accumulation, which was critical to the survival of our ancestors in cold ambient temperatures.

#9:  Consume Catechins to Boost Fat Burning

In recent years, catechins – phytochemical compounds that appear predominantly in green tea – have received a tremendous amount of attention for their ability to help burn fat, particularly abdominal fat. In one clinical trial, 132 overweight or obese adults were given either a beverage containing approximately 625 milligrams catechins and 39 milligrams caffeine or a beverage containing the same amount of caffeine but no catechins. All subjects were requested to follow a similar diet in terms of caloric intake and to exercise at least three hours per week. During the twelve week trial period, both groups lost weight; however, weight loss was more pronounced in those who consumed the catechins than those who were given the control beverage. Furthermore, the group who received green tea catechins experienced a much greater loss of subcutaneous abdominal fat. The effects of green tea catechins on body composition are believed to result from these substances' ability to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation.

#10:  Ensure a Sufficient Intake of B Vitamins

If your goal is to lose belly fat, another good tip is to make sure your diet contains enough B vitamins. Many B vitamins play an important role in converting dietary fat, protein and carbohydrates into energy. In addition, several of the B vitamins have additional benefits that can help some people lose weight. For example, vitamin B3 may help those whose expanding waistline is linked to insulin resistance, a condition in which the body does not respond properly to insulin produced by the pancreas. Vitamin B6, on the other hand, is necessary for the proper absorption of zinc, another important fat loss nutrient.

#11:  Consume Plenty of Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Research has shown a direct link between low blood levels of vitamin C and increased fat accumulation, particularly around the waist.

Higher levels of vitamin C help the body burn more fat during a workout.

However, it is not clear whether it is the low levels of vitamin C that cause weight gain or whether excess fat depletes the body of vitamin C. In any case, it makes sense to consumer a diet rich in vitamin C if you wish to shed off some pounds: evidence strongly suggests that higher levels of vitamin C help the body burn more fat during a workout. One study found that people with low blood concentrations of vitamin C burned 25 percent less fat during a 60-minute walking session on a treadmill than people with adequate amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of carnitine, a compound that encourages the body to turn fat into fuel, rather than store it in the body, and to maintain energy levels.

#12:  Get Enough Calcium to Regulate Body Composition

Calcium has for long been known for its role in supporting strong bones and teeth, but in recent years the scientific community has established that this important mineral has a much broader role. New evidence suggests that calcium plays an important role in energy metabolism and in the regulation of body composition and that it may help reduce body fat and maintain an ideal weight. A diet high in calcium has been associated with increased weight loss / a lower body mass index (BMI) as well as a shorter waist circumference and lower total abdominal adipose tissue. A difference of 1 gram in daily calcium intake was associated with an average difference in body weight of 8 kilograms! Furthermore, people who consume medium to high amounts of calcium (more than 6 grams per day) have been shown to have a lower body fat percentage. Good sources of calcium include milk and other dairy products but also many green leafy vegetables and seafood.

Here's a bonus tip: To get the most out of calcium's health benefits, combine calcium rich foods with foods high in vitamin D. vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium from food in the intestines.

#13:  Cut Down on Salt to Reduce Water Retention

While salt (sodium) is required to regulate certain bodily functions, too much causes water retention. Tissues around the abdominal area or particularly prone to water retention, creating an impression of a fat belly. If you feel the food is lacking flavor, try using spices and herbs instead of excessive amounts of salt. Be also aware of the "hidden" salt that is present in many packaged and processed foods, such as commercial cereals, canned vegetables, and frozen meals.

#14:  Consume Iodine-Rich Foods to Prevent Sluggish Thyroid Activity

Iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which controls the basal metabolic rate (BMR), or the rate at which the body consumes energy at rest. Iodine deficiency can result in sluggish thyroid activity which in turn can lead to weight gain or hinder weight loss. Iodine-rich foods include sea vegetables, sea fish, yogurt, milk, eggs, and strawberries.

#15:  Eat Foods Rich in Zinc to Regulate Fat Storage and Appetite

Zinc supplementation of zinc deficient subjects has been shown to increase the levels of circulating leptin. Leptin, a hormone discovered as recently as in 1994, plays a key role in regulating the body's energy expenditure, fat storage, and appetite. It directly communicates to the brain when you should feel full and stop eating. Insufficient leptin levels are believed to be the primary cause of food cravings, overeating, and obsession with food. Zinc, which requires vitamin B6 for proper absorption in the intestines, is found in a variety of foods, the richest dietary sources being oysters, red meat, and poultry.

#16:  Ensure a Sufficient Intake of Chromium to Maintain Lean Body Mass

There is some research suggesting that chromium may help increase or maintain lean body mass and aid in fat loss, when combined with exercise. These effects of chromium on body composition are believed to result from the ability of this important trace mineral to enhance insulin's activity and to improve insulin sensitivity in the body. Mild deficiencies in chromium are fairly common in Western countries where consumption of processed foods are common as processing significantly decrease the chromium content of foods. Also physically active people and people who consume lots of coffee, tea, or sugar have an elevated risk of being deficient in chromium. Good dietary sources of chromium include romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, whole grains, and potatoes. To get the most health benefits from these foods, combine them with foods high in vitamin C which increases the absorption of chromium.

More on Abdominal Fat & Nutrition:

For more information on nutrition and fat loss around the waistline, see: