What is belly fat?
Certain foods help weight loss, while others work against it. It’s commonly believed that bananas are good for reducing belly fat, but there’s more to know about this fruit and how it affects the body.
Belly fat and weight gain are mostly affected by how many calories you take in during the day, how many calories you burn during the day, and how old you are. Eating too much and not getting enough exercise will likely result in extra weight and, usually, belly fat. Meanwhile, your muscle mass will probably decrease as you get older, making it harder to burn calories and reduce belly fat.
Belly fat is difficult to get rid of because it isn’t just a layer of fat right beneath the skin, known as subcutaneous fat. Much of it is visceral fat, which surrounds your organs and is found deeper in your abdomen than subcutaneous fat. This extra, more established layer is particularly tough to lose.
Does eating bananas help weight loss?
Bananas are commonly eaten, widely available, and a versatile addition to your diet. An average-sized banana contains around 105 calories, three grams of fiber, and plenty of natural sugar. Additionally, bananas offer a good supply of vitamins, including potassium and carbohydrates. This yellow fruit contains very little fat or protein; one small banana offers around 1 gram of protein and a third of a gram of fat.
Compared to other fruits, like berries, bananas have more calories and are therefore higher in energy. A balanced diet should include three to five servings of fruit each day, and eating bananas in moderation is a great option to satisfy this requirement even if you’re trying to cut back on calories and lose belly fat.
Keep in mind that adding or removing any one food from your diet will not make you lose or gain weight. In fact, a well-thought-out diet complete with fruits and vegetables can make it easier to lose weight than cutting out certain foods completely.
You must combine physical activity with an all-around improved diet in order to see results in the long term.
Other foods that help weight loss
As mentioned, maintaining a healthy diet is important as you work to lose weight. Alongside bananas, foods that help weight loss include:
- Watermelon. This fruit is 90% water and contains only 30 calories per 100-gram serving. Watermelon also offers a lot of arginine, an amino acid that promotes fat burning. It will help you stay hydrated and full between meals.
- Guava. This fruit is packed full of nutrients and fiber, has no cholesterol, and is low in sugar compared to many other fruits. It is low-calorie and filling.
- Apple. This fruit offers a great amount of fiber if you eat it with the skin on. Eating apples right before a meal helps contribute to weight loss.
- Grapefruit. This fruit is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium. If you eat half a grapefruit before meals, you’ll have an easier time controlling your portions and consuming an appropriate amount of calories.
- Beans. This food is high in fiber and helps fight inflammation in your digestive system. Chronic inflammation can prevent weight loss.
- Salmon. This protein is a great source of one of the better types of fat – polyunsaturated fats. It won’t make you lose weight, but salmon is a healthier option than beef or other common meats.
- Yogurt. This dairy product, particularly the fat-free version, has been shown to promote weight loss when multiple servings are eaten per day.
Other tips for losing belly fat
As you try to lose belly fat, there are more things you can do than adjusting your diet. Consider these tips to accompany your improved diet:
- Stay active. Physical activity burns abdominal fat in particular by lowering the amount of insulin that circulates in your body. This hormone signals to your body that it can let go of fat. As a result, the liver starts to use fatty acids, especially the ones in nearby abdominal fat deposits.
- Try strength training. Combining cardio activity with lifting weights will help increase your lean muscle mass and therefore burn calories throughout the day, whether you’re physically active or resting.
- Pay attention to your clothes. Instead of becoming fixated on numbers on a scale, focus on how your clothes fit. As you lose belly fat and add muscle, your actual weight might not drop, but your clothes should become looser. This is a great way to measure progress!
- Surround yourself with the right people. Be open about your new health goals and find friends who will support you as you try to eat better and exercise more.
- Start slow. There are plenty of things you can do to lose weight, but chances are an abrupt, major lifestyle shift won’t be successful. Start with improving or changing one thing, focus on that, add another thing, and repeat.
- Get enough sleep. Studies show that not getting enough sleep, something that is different for everyone, contributes to weight gain and can prevent weight loss.
Healthy weight loss
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Johns Hopkins Medicine: "8 Ways to Lose Belly Fat and Live a Healthier Life."
Keck Medicine of USC: "6 Fruits That Can Help You Lose (Or Maintain Your) Weight."
Mayo Clinic: "Belly fat in women: Taking — and keeping — it off."
Penn Medicine: "Are Bananas Good For Weight Loss?"
Rush: "Losing Belly Fat."
Select Health: "7 Foods that Burn Belly Fat."
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