Half of the challenge of maintaining your weight or losing weight starts in the kitchen. Not only is the kitchen a place where we prepare and have most of our meals, but it is also a place where we snack. It’s the place we find ourselves in between meals or late at night munching on potato chips or boxed cookies. So check out these five foods to help you burn stubborn belly fat.

It’s true. We all get hungry in between meals sometimes, there is no denying it–but it is important to munch on healthy snacks that are beneficial to your body. If you are exercising, but don’t see results, there is a good chance you’re sneaking foods into your diet that are preventing you from reaching your goals (hint: salt!). Swap out those unhealthy choices for these snacks that will keep you full, give you a nutritional boost and help you with your weight loss goals.

Almonds and walnuts
Almonds are high in magnesium, vitamin E, protein and fibre, making them a perfect snack, but they are high in calories – so portion control is important. According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating a handful of almonds daily can help you lose weight in your midsection. The study found that the subjects who ate almonds daily actually lost more body fat over time than those who didn’t.

Walnuts are also a great nut option because they contain omega-3 fatty acids (the “good” fat). Studies show that eating walnuts (in moderation) can also help decrease abdominal fat. A study by Dr. Cheryl Rock of the San Diego School of Medicine at the University of California found that although walnuts are high in fat and calories–the walnut-rich diet was equally as effective with weight loss as a low-fat diet. The study found women who ate just over a handful of walnuts every day for six months lost an average of nearly 8% of their initial weight. The study also found that those who ate the walnuts had an improvement in their cholesterol levels.

Egg whites
Eggs are protein superheroes in the food world. Their low calorie paired with their high protein content helps you feel more full after eating them. A 2006 study in the Nutrition Bulletin found that women who ate eggs for breakfast every day for 8 weeks compared to women who ate a bagel for breakfast had 65% more weight loss because they felt less hungry throughout the day.

If you are watching your cholesterol or want fewer calories–try eating just egg whites, they’re still high in protein and have lesser fat and calories overall. Eggs are not only a great choice to have for breakfast, but they are also a great snack food to hold you over between meals.

Grapefruit
Eating grapefruit slightly lowers the insulin levels in the body which prevents it from storing sugar as fat. These low insulin levels help curb hunger. Additionally, grapefruit is high in fibre, low in calories and is a well-known negative calorie food, meaning it takes more calories to digest than the number of calories in the food itself. According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Medicinal Food, eating half a grapefruit before a meal (three times a day) has been associated with sufficient weight loss.

Blueberries
Blueberries contain the right vitamins, minerals and antioxidants required to help lose fat and lower cholesterol in the body. In a study at the University of Michigan, rats on both high-fat and low-fat diets got 2% of their calories from blueberry powder for 90 days and all managed to lose abdominal fat. According to the researchers, the anthocyanins-phytonutrients in blueberries regulated fat metabolism in the rats–so, one cup of blueberries a day can yield similar results in people.

Celery
Since celery is 95% water, it is no surprise that it is the perfect negative-calorie snack. Even though it may not burn a significant number of calories, it does still burn some. A cup of raw celery only takes up about 1% of your daily calorie intake, but it offers 6% of your daily fibre. Boiled celery is actually higher in fibre, having 10% of your daily fibre per cup. Add boiled celery to soups or stir fry’s to add more fibre to your diet. For the perfect snack, add nut butter to celery to give you an extra nutritious protein boost that will help hold you over between meals.

More Knowledge: Nuts can play a key role in heart health and keeping bad fats at bay. Check out this article.

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