These 10 Foods Flatten Your Belly Fastest

Here’s what to eat if washboard abs are on your wishlist.

For many people striving to lose weight, shifting the scale is all about fitting into a particular pair of jeans or liking the reflection in the mirror. Yet experts say that the benefits of losing belly fat go more than skin-deep.

"No matter what your body shape, excess fat isn't good for your health," explains Harvard Health Publishing. "But saddlebags and ballooning bellies are not equivalent. When it comes to body fat, location counts, and each year brings new evidence that the fat lying deep within the abdomen is more perilous than the fat you can pinch with your fingers," their experts note.

Eating a healthy diet rich in foods that blast belly fat can help you achieve a toned tummy—and more importantly, all of the health benefits that come with it. These are the 10 foods that will flatten your belly fastest, according to nutrition and fitness experts.

RELATED: 5 Surprising Foods That Are Sabotaging Your Diet, Experts Say.

1
Leafy greens

Lemons and kale
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Leafy green vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that pack a major nutritional punch. Besides being great for your overall health, they can also help curb your appetite and flatten your belly, experts explain.

"Foods like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are low in calories but loaded with fiber, which helps keep you feeling full," says Andrew White, CPT, a certified personal trainer, fitness expert, and co-founder of Garage Gym Pro. "This can prevent overeating and snacking on higher-calorie foods," he tells Best Life.

To enjoy optimal benefits, White recommends aiming for at least three cups of leafy greens per day.

RELATED: 4 Foods That Spike the Same Weight Loss Hormone as Ozempic, Experts Say.

2
Lean meats and fish

Balsamic grilled chicken breast with fresh herbs sliced on a rustic wooden board
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Eating lean sources of protein can also help you drop unwanted pounds. "Chicken breast, turkey, and fish like salmon not only help you feel satiated but also have a high thermic effect, meaning your body uses more energy to digest them. This can increase your metabolic rate and help with weight loss," explains White.

However, he notes that many people overestimate how much protein they need. "For lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish, a standard serving size is about three to four ounces per meal, which is roughly the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand," he says.

3
Legumes

Various Bowls of Legumes
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Legumes are another great source of protein that are also loaded with fiber. This makes them an excellent addition to your weight loss diet, the experts say.

"Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are lunchtime heroes, whether tossed in a salad or pureed into a dip," says Tamba Monrose, CN, an MIT-educated chemical engineer and ISSA certified trainer and nutritionist. "They're a powerhouse of fiber and vitamins that can stabilize blood sugar, combat hunger pangs, and support muscle maintenance, all contributors to a flatter abdomen," he tells Best Life. 

To reduce fat accumulation around the belly, White suggests including half a cup or 100 grams of cooked beans, lentils, or peas to each meal.

4
Eggs

deviled eggs on cutting board
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Looking for a breakfast food that will bust belly fat fast? Start the day with eggs, Monrose recommends. "Their high protein content sets the tone for sustained energy. Whether it's a veggie-filled omelet, a soft-boiled egg atop whole grain toast, or a quick scramble, eggs are a versatile choice that pairs well with countless ingredients and helps prevent mid-morning cravings."

Krutika Nanavati, MSc, RDN, a registered dietitian and a medical advisor at Clinicspots, agrees that eggs make an ideal addition to your diet if you're hoping to lose weight in your midsection. "Eggs are a great source of protein, which is known to boost metabolism and aid in fat loss. Eating eggs for breakfast can help you feel fuller for longer, which in turn can reduce calorie intake throughout the day," she says.

5
Whole grains

Assorted whole grains
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Filling up on healthy and hearty whole grains can also help you lose belly fat, White says. "Whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, and oats, have a low glycemic index, which means they don't spike your blood sugar as much as refined grains. This steadier blood sugar helps control appetite and delays hunger cues," he explains, recommending quinoa, brown rice, or oats.

6
Nuts and seeds

Assorted nuts, seeds, and dried fruits
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Looking for a hunger-busting snack that will keep you fuller for longer? A small handful of nuts or seeds should do the trick, White suggests. "Almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds contain healthy fats and protein, which are essential for weight management. They're energy-dense and nutrient-rich, providing antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation," he says.

However, it's important to note that it's easy to go overboard with these calorie-dense snacks. White recommends limiting your intake to about one ounce of nuts or seeds per day to keep your calorie intake within a healthy range.

7
Green tea

green tea in glass
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Research suggests that drinking green tea can help protect cognitive function, prevent certain types of cancer, help manage blood sugar, and more, thanks to its ample antioxidants. As if you needed another reason to add it to the menu, it may also help burn belly fat and accelerate weight loss.

"Green tea is widely known for its ability to boost metabolism and burn fat, especially in the belly area. This is due to the presence of a powerful antioxidant called EGCG," Nanavati explains.

8
Probiotic foods

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Next, White recommends eating probiotic foods, which he says can help you lose belly fat and reduce belly bloating. "Yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut are rich in probiotics, which help in maintaining a healthy gut. A well-functioning digestive system is crucial for weight loss and can prevent bloating that makes the belly look larger," he explains.

In particular, Monrose recommends unsweetened Greek yogurt. "A perfect post-workout or afternoon snack, Greek yogurt can be transformed with the seasons—mix with cinnamon and apples in the fall, or fresh berries in the summer. It's not only rich in protein but also contains probiotics that aid gut health, crucial for a flat belly," the nutrition expert says.

9
Berries

a cup of fresh strawberries on a wooden table
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Another nutrient-packed superfood, berries can also help flatten your belly. "Berries are nature's candy, perfect for snacking, as a dessert topping, or blended into smoothies," says Monrose. "Their fiber content aids in fullness and digestive health, while their antioxidants can help reduce inflammation, which is often associated with weight gain and bloating," he says.

10
Avocados

Closeup of a person slicing an avocado on a cutting board
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Rich in fiber and healthy fats, avocados can help fill you up and curb your cravings for less healthy foods.

"Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, fiber, and potassium, all of which target visceral fat, linked to diabetes and heart disease," Nanavati says. "Eating avocados can also help flatten the stomach. Overall, adding these nutrient-dense foods to a balanced diet boosts weight loss," she adds.

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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