- But First, How Can Fruit Reduce Belly Fat?
- 10 Fruits That Burn Belly Fat Fast
- What Fruit Burns Belly Fat While You Sleep?
- The Bottom Line
Fruit can be a part of your diet if you're trying to cut belly fat! As a registered dietitian (RD), I've seen many people cut fruit from their diets in pursuit of no-sugar diets. The problem with this is that you may also be eliminating important natural fiber sources that fight belly fat.
It's estimated that 90% of Americans aren't eating enough fruit!
The natural sugar contained in fruit is very different from the refined sugars in prepared and processed foods. Fruits are also filled with nutrients and vitamins that help to balance everything from digestion to metabolic function. You might be leaving giant black holes in your diet if you're shunning fruit.
A handful of fruits are especially powerful for dropping belly fat. These are the fruits I'll be discussing here. Keep reading to learn about the science behind fruits that burn belly fat straight from the mouth of a registered dietitian.
But First, How Can Fruit Reduce Belly Fat?
I know it's hard to believe that “nature's candy” can play a role in making your waistline slimmer. The sweetness of fruit makes many diet-conscious people assume that fruit leads to weight gain. There's also been some bad messaging about fruit in recent years that has caused some people to believe that natural sugar from fruit is the same as sugar from candies, sweets, and baked goods. It's not.
Let me break down how fruit can help you reduce belly fat.
Fruit Is High in Nutrients, but Low in Calories
You can get lots of “nutrient mileage” off of a single serving of fruit. While fruits are generally very low in calories, they are very high in nutrients. You can often get an entire day's worth of vitamin C with just a single serving of fruit. That's great news if you want a way to get in many of the core nutrients needed daily without feeling full and bloated.
Fruit Can Keep You Feeling Full
The secret behind why some fruits keep you feeling fuller longer has to do with fiber content. First, high-fiber foods tend to offer more volume than low-fiber foods. That means you're getting that “belly satisfaction” that makes you feel like you're truly eating something. Look no further than the satisfying experience of eating a juicy apple down to the core.
In addition to providing satisfaction while you're eating, high-fiber foods take longer to digest. Soluble fiber foods for weight loss, help to extend the feeling of being full because they delay stomach emptying.
Scientists have also figured out that fiber contains an anti-appetite molecule called acetate. As the fiber we eat is being digested in the gut, it releases acetate that eventually travels to the brain to signal to us to stop eating. While many processed foods today are engineered to hijack the brain's hunger response to keep us eating long after we're full, fruit is a natural appetite suppressant.
Eating Fruit Is Associated With Weight Loss
While it's important to be vigilant about overdoing it with the simple sugars found naturally in fruit, studies show that the anti-obesity effects of fruit are greater than their pro-obesity effects.
There may be two key reasons behind why fruit helps with weight loss. The first is purely behavioral. When we replace desserts and snacks with fruits, we're automatically reducing our intake of fat, calories, sugars, and additives that contribute to weight gain. The second reason involves compounds called polyphenols.
“Cell culture, animal, and limited human studies suggest that consumption of foods containing certain polyphenols or their corresponding supplements changes lipid and energy metabolism and may facilitate weight loss and prevent weight gain,” according to a 2010 study. Found abundantly in fruits, polyphenols are compounds packed with antioxidants. Researchers have discovered that some polyphenols actually interfere with a major enzyme that causes your body to store fat. This means that eating polyphenols may actually help your body to burn fat.
Even more exciting is the fact that polyphenols have actually been shown to increase the body's glucose uptake to produce health benefits that are similar to the benefits enjoyed after exercise.
I'll end my little lesson on fruit and weight loss by pointing out that fruits are generally very high in vitamin C. According to researchers, vitamin C status is inversely related to body mass. People with adequate vitamin C status oxidize 30% more fat during a moderate exercise bout compared to individuals with low vitamin C status.
Fruit Contains Natural Sugars
Sugar isn't always a dirty word. As a dietitian, I am constantly reminding my clients that they need to cut out “the white stuff.” I am referring specifically to refined sugars when I say this.
Natural sugars are found as fructose in fruits. Natural sugar is digested slowly to provide energy, help you stay full, and stabilize your metabolism. It can do all this while also satisfying your sweet tooth.
By contrast, refined sugars are found as sucrose in processed foods. Refined sugars are broken down by the body rapidly after consumption. This means that you're getting spiking insulin and blood-sugar levels that crash shortly after you're done eating. What's more, refined sugars leave you hungry because they are digested by the body so quickly.
Refined sugar is linked with a variety of health issues that aren't associated with natural sugar. The risk list includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, dementia, and liver disease.
10 Fruits That Burn Belly Fat Fast
I've been helping my clients cure a sweet tooth without giving into cravings for sweets for years! The secret is to focus on naturally sweet and juicy fruits that provide sustained nourishment without crashes. I'm about to share the 10 fruits I always recommend to my clients who are trying to slim down. These are the 10 fruits that burn belly fat.
Apples are my favorite for burning belly fat because they are relatively cheap, highly accessible, and easy to eat on the go. Remember the fat-busting polyphenols I talked about earlier? Apples are known as a major source of polyphenols. According to a clinical review on weight loss associated with the consumption of apples, the fruit polyphenols in apples likely promote anti-obesity effects by altering signal transduction in fat tissue. A total of five experiments on humans have revealed that consumption of either the whole apple or apple juice causes weight loss in four to 12 weeks.
A peach is a round stone fruit that's famed for its juicy yellow flesh covered by a soft, flavorful skin. Peaches have bioactive compounds that can potentially fight off obesity-related diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to research that was presented to the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia. Peaches are also superstars when it comes to fiber. In fact, I suggest them regularly for clients struggling with digestive issues. One large peach can provide 3 grams of fiber.
Peaches also contain notable amounts of flavonoids called catechins. In studies, catechin consumption is linked with significant weight loss. Researchers actually believe that catechins are responsible for the weight-loss benefits of green tea.
The pineapple is a tropical plant with a juicy and delicious edible fruit. A 2018 study on the anti-obesity effects of pineapple shows pineapple juice suppresses high-fat-diet-induced obesity via decreasing body serum lipids.. Pineapple is also very high in vitamin C!
Grapefruit is a subtropical citrus fruit known for its tangy flavor. Grapefruits contain a range of essential vitamins and minerals.
I am in no way promoting fad “grapefruit” diets that require you to starve yourself by eating only grapefruit for weeks at a time. However, multiple studies link grapefruit consumption with weight loss.
“Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that obese adults who consumed half a grapefruit, about a half-cup (4.5 ounces) of 100 percent grapefruit juice or about a half-cup (4.5 ounces) of water before three main meals, while on a reduced-calorie diet, experienced significant decreases in weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference,” according to information shared by the Florida Department of Citrus. The final results of this study translated to an average of 15 pounds lost per person!
A strawberry is actually a “multiple fruit” consisting of many tiny individual fruits within a fleshy receptacle. The high soluble-fiber content of the strawberry is the secret to its power for fighting belly fat. In fact, adding strawberries to yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, and other foods can help you to stay fuller longer when you want to avoid overeating.
Raspberries are edible soft fruits containing clusters of pinkish-red drupelets. Raspberries have quite a reputation in the weight-loss world. That's because raspberry ketone (RK) is an aromatic compound found abundantly in red raspberries that's sold as an over-the-counter weight-loss product. The problem with these products is that they mostly contain concentrations that are way beyond the limit of what's recommended. The truth is that simply eating red raspberries as part of your normal diet can help you enjoy weight-loss benefits alongside all of the other nutritional benefits of juicy, fresh berries.
Many dietitians consider the blueberry to be the ultimate superfood. Rich in phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K, the blueberry has been linked with everything from heart health to boosted brain power. Can blueberries also burn belly fat?
Recent studies have found that blueberries influence genes responsible for regulating fat burning and storage. Blueberries appear to be especially effective at reducing abdominal fat. In rat studies, rats who remained on high-fat diets still demonstrated some of the weight-loss benefits of blueberries.
Grown on the vine, grapes are packed with “superfood” properties associated with preventing type 2 diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and preventing some cancers. The skins of grapes are packed with a compound called resveratrol. In studies, resveratrol intake has been found to significantly reduce weight, BMI, and fat mass. Resveratrol is also associated with increases in lean muscle mass.
The orange is a citrus fruit known for its high level of vitamin C. There's been lots of buzz about oranges being the ultimate weight-loss food following a study out of the University of Western Ontario. According to researchers, a compound called nobiletin that is found abundantly in orange peels can reverse symptoms of obesity in mice tests.
If you're looking to get the biggest benefits for belly fat from oranges, try to get your hands on Sicilian blood oranges. Studies involving humans show that these oranges can produce significant benefits for weight management.
Kiwis have proven to be one of the best fruits to eat if you are looking to lose belly fat. They are low in calories, have a high water content and are a good source of fiber. Kiwis are also high in vitamin C, which is the key to weight reduction.
What Fruit Burns Belly Fat While You Sleep?
All of the fruits I covered above can be useful for getting your body into fat-burning mode. However, I especially like oranges due to the nobiletin that helps to reduce white adipose tissue weight.
Grapes can also help you to burn belly fat while you sleep due to resveratrol's proven ability to increase lean muscle mass. This is significant for “passively” burning more fat because lean muscle burns more calories than fat.
Finally, peaches may help you to burn belly fat while you sleep due to their high concentrations of catechins. As I mentioned earlier, researchers believe that catechins may be what give green tea its fat-burning properties.
The Bottom Line
The fiber, vitamin C, and compounds found in fruits supercharge the body's fat-burning abilities. The 10 fruits I shared above are packed with nutrients that help the body to burn fat. They also happen to be sweet, delicious, and satisfying.
Take Home Tips From The RD
You won't wake up with a slimmer belly tomorrow if you cram in a bunch of fruits tonight. Using fruit to fight belly fat should be part of a “whole lifestyle.” My big tip is to start swapping your ordinary snacks with at least one serving of one of the fruits on my list above. While these fruits can generally introduce fat-burning benefits for everyone, you're going to see faster, more dramatic results if you're using them to replace processed foods instead of simply adding them to your existing diet.