Want to lose weight? Everyone knows that the most basic step to losing weight is to eat a healthy diet. Eating healthy foods is great and all, but if nutritional science has revealed anything recently it is that not all foods were created equal. A calorie is not just a calorie, and what foods you get those calories from can have a major effect on your belly.

So without further ado, here are the top 13 best belly-fat burning foods:

1. Whole Grains

Whole grain bread

Yup, we’re starting our list with a bit of a controversial topic. Recently grains have been getting a really bad rep in the dieting world, but the secret is that it is refined grains that lead to bigger bellies. Whole grains, on the other hand, are great for reducing bloat.  Not only does your body burn twice as many calories breaking down whole foods, but whole grains are also packed with minerals. Brown rice, quinoa, wheat, and barley are some great whole grain foods.

2. Nuts

mixed nuts almonds peanuts cashews

Start stocking up on almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios because studies show that people who snack on nuts may have lower abdominal fat than those who munch on carb-based snacks. Nuts are a great fat burning snack because not only do they reduce cravings, but are also rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

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3. Berries

berries berry blackberries

The first step to eating healthy is to cut out the sugar, but what if you still have that sweet tooth? Well, put down the apple and pick up some berries. Berries contain less sugar than most fruits while also being packed with fiber and antioxidants. This combo means that berries improve satiety and prevent cravings.

4. Bananas

a bunch of bananas

While your shopping in the fruit section, why not pick up some bananas? Bananas come up a lot in dieting and workout advice, and for good reason. Bananas are filled with potassium and magnesium, with can help reduce bloating. Bananas are also packed in plant-based prebiotics, which “feed” the good bacteria in your gut.

5. Green Tea

green tea leaves next to a cup of green tea

Drinking green tea can provide a big boost to your metabolism, thanks to the compound EGCG that is found in brewed green tea. In fact, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people lose weight in just a few weeks.

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6. Eggs

4 eggs in a bowl

High-protein breakfasts help you feel full throughout the day and can help with weight loss. And what better, tastier way to add some protein to your breakfast than with eggs? Eggs are a great way to add protein to your diet because they are such a versatile food; you can boil them, poach them, scramble them, or fry them (preferably in healthy olive oil). You can also add eggs to many dishes like salads, stir-frys, sautés, or some whole-grain toast.

7. Beans & Lentils

Beans and lentils are packed with fiber, plant-based protein, minerals, and B-vitamins, which help reduce bloating. One cup of lentils packs 35% of your daily iron needs. Having enough of these nutrients in your diet can help boost fat burn because when your body lacks a nutrient it will slow down your metabolism.

8. Hot Peppers

Capsaicin, the compound found in peppers that makes your mouth burn, also helps burn fat. The capsaicin heats up your body, causing you to burn additional calories. Get some capsaicin by eating raw, cooked, dried, or powdered peppers. Try adding some cayenne peppers or hot sauce to soups, eggs, and meats.

9. Fatty Fish

cooked salmon

Like we mentioned when we talked about eggs, protein is great for making you feel full for longer and reducing cravings. A great source of healthy protein is fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. In addition to lean protein, fish is also filled with important omega-3 oils.

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10. Low-Fat Dairy

various dairy products

Dairy such as milk, cheese, yogurt is a great source of calcium, a mineral that has been linked to lower body weight. Dairy is also rich in vitamin D, with calcium and vitamin D helping to preserve and build muscle mass. You can add some dairy to your breakfast with a cup of milk and whole grain cereal, some plain yogurt, add some cottage cheese to your eggs. Dairy is a versatile and delicious addition to your fat burning diet.

11. Leafy Greens

Arugula Swiss Chard Vegetable Kale Leafy Greens

Leafy greens such as spinach and cauliflower can really help reduce bloating and slim down your waist. This is because they are packed with minerals like potassium and plant-based omega-3s.

12. Lean Meats

chicken breast food ingredients chicken

We’ve talked a lot in this article about how protein can help burn belly fat, and for good reason. Protein has a high thermogenic effect. This is because during digestion your body burns about 30% of the calories the food contains. So if you eat a 300-calorie turkey breast, your body burns about 90 calories to break it down. Chicken and turkey are some great lean meats.

13. Fermented Foods

kimchi fermented food

Fermented foods are full of probiotics, which are friendly bacteria that are good for your gut, boosting your immunity, helping digestion, and reducing bloating. Unsweetened plain Greek yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and fermented cheeses (such as blue cheese), are some great, delicious examples of fermented foods that you can add to your belly burning diet.

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So there you have it, 13 great foods for burning belly fat and getting slim. Don’t forget to add them to your shopping list. If you want to learn more about diet and healthy foods why not check out our article on how food colors hold the secret to a nutritious diet?