Losing weight is an ongoing process that involves positive lifestyle choices and smart dieting. The most significant change you can make has everything to do with the food you eat"cutting out the
bad and loading up on the good.
While no food (or exercise, for that matter) is going to only target specific problem areas of your body, there are plenty of healthy snacks that will work with your weight loss goals, not against them. The good news is that when you start shedding the pounds you'll find that it's your entire body that is toning up.
It may seem contradictory in the face of fad diets and cleanses, but the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat, frequently and responsibly. You may find quick results with diets that border on starvation, but depriving yourself of food is only going to slow down your metabolism and create a yo-yo of fluctuating weights, propelling you from one bad decision to the next.
They key is to make every meal count. The food you choose should provide you with vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. These are the building blocks of a successful and healthy nutrition plan, and will keep you feeling satisfied.
Snacking between meals is a great way to regulate blood sugar, stave off sugary cravings and keep yourself alert and focused on the go. If you're looking for foods to blast fat, belly and otherwise, look no further.
Greek Yogurt is one of the best weight loss snacks
Calcium, protein, probiotics and amino acids make Greek yogurt is a fat burning superfood. Try it unsweetened and load it with fresh berries, mango or peaches. You can also use it to add a creamy element to a smoothie, or to whip up some tzatziki for a savoury dip for your fresh vegetables.
Pistachios are another great fat burning snack
The ideal combination of protein, fiber and healthy fats, pistachios are a delicious and nutritious snack. Although commonly hailed as nuts, pistachios are actually a kernel and have been hailed for their clear connection to health and wellness.
Packed with a powerhouse of vitamins, pistachios are rich with B-vitamins, vitamin E, potassium, zinc and copper. This is delicious proof that great things can come in small packages.
Celery is rich in fiber and a great weight loss snack
Although it sometimes gets a bad rap of being the stereotypical negative-calorie diet food, celery is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a satisfying crunch in their snack. With anti-inflammatory health benefits, it is also a fantastic choice for a quick bite to eat.
Chock full with vitamin K, folate and potassium, you can also count on celery to help freshen your breath. A good way to add some flavour to your celery is to eat it with hummus, peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese.
Oatmeal is rich in fiber and a good source of carbs
What was once condemned to childhood memory of a watery gruel-like breakfast, oatmeal has become incredibly popular a food you can snack on any time of the day. Oats boost your energy, help maintain blood sugar levels and have enough fiber to keep you from chowing down on that mid-afternoon pick-me-up candy bar.
Use a pint size mason jars to store portions of cooked steel-cut oats. You can make a large batch on Sunday night to divide into quick snacks for the upcoming week. When you're ready to enjoy, pop them in the microwave for a few moments until hot.
Go crazy with healthy mix-ins: cinnamon, dried fruit, or fresh berries, with jam or honey for a touch of sweetness. Try different types of milk as well"almond, soy and coconut are all low in fat and pack a powerful nutritional punch.
Watermelon is low in calories and has a high water content
During the summertime, watermelon is one of the best thirst quenching snacks around"but did you also know it can lower your risk of developing belly fat? Not only is this delicious treat a great way to satisfy sugary cravings, but it is also backed with scientific research that shows it can be a great way to promote weight loss.
The University of Kentucky ran a study in which animals on high cholesterol diets were divided into two groups. One was given a supply of watermelon juice each day, and the other was not. In only eight weeks the animals that had been ingesting watermelon had a lower body weight compared to the control group, even though the rest of their diet remained the same.
Avocados are fully of healthy fats and can help you burn fat
As one of the world's healthiest foods, avocado boasts incredible nutritional benefits. They have more potassium than bananas, are filled with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and studies have even shown that people who include them in their diet have a better chance at losing weight.
Avocados have a rich creamy texture that makes them extremely versatile as a snack food. Probably the most popular way they're enjoyed is in guacamole, which is extremely easy to make and widely available in grocery stores. They can also be spread on toast as a quick snack (or, to give a healthy boost to your sandwich) or simply cut in half and eaten with a spoon.
Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants and can help burn fat
Low in calories and high in nutrition, tomatoes are one of the best choices there is when selecting a fat fighting snack. Known for their incredible antioxidant content, tomatoes are just as good for your heart, bones and skin as they are for your waistline.
A great way to enjoy tomatoes is by whipping up a quick tomato, basil and bocconcini salad. Not only is it delicious, but you're getting the added benefit of calcium, making it an excellent choice for banishing belly fat.
Salsa is also delicious way to enjoy the benefits of tomatoes" just remember if you're not making your own, be wary of the salt content on grocery store purchases. Enjoy with whole-grain crackers or crostini.
Bananas are an easy snack that won't make you fat in moderation
A banana is probably the easiest grab-and-go snack you can find. Packed with potassium, fiber and vitamin C, it may also be one of the healthiest. Bananas contain pectics, a type of fiber that promotes healthy digestion and can help alleviate constipation, bloating and gas.
Bananas are most often eaten on their own, but they can provide a sweet touch in a number of different recipes and snack. They're the perfect base for a creamy delicious smoothie, which can be a great way to fit some fat fighting ingredients into your mid-morning nibble. Try mixing a frozen banana, Greek yoghurt and strawberries in a blender for a truly decadent treat.
Peanut butter is rich in healthy fats
Although it would never be considered a low calorie food, peanut butter can be a beneficial addition to the diet of anyone trying to lose weight. The star ingredient is the high content of monounsaturated fat, which can help satiate any cravings you might have for junk food. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders revealed that peanut butter can actually boost your metabolism as well.
A little can go a long way, so watch your portion sizes. Enjoy a portion of two tablespoons to fully reap the fat fighting benefits without adding too many calories n your diet.
Dark chocolate can help you lose weight
While milk and white chocolate bars could never be considered a health food, dark chocolate that is made of at 70 percent cocoa is an entirely different story. In a study for the University of L'Aquila in Italy, participants who consumed dark chocolate daily for two weeks reduced their potential for blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance by nearly 50 percent.
Researchers suggest that this can be attributed to the high flavonoid content of dark chocolate, as well as the healthy fats that limits how quickly the body absorbs the sugar into your bloodstream. Moderation is the key with this particular snack, so remember to enjoy responsibly.