The most difficult thing to lose has to be your tummy. Honestly, we love to eat; the best thing to do is to identify foods that would allow us to eat our way to a flatter tummy. We had no clue where to begin so we asked some friends! 

My name is Gina Harper, and I run Harper’s Nurseries: a site that’s all about urban gardening. I grew up on a farm in Oklahoma. When I relocated to New York, I started an urban garden that sparked a local revolution. I now run my own business, teaching people about urban gardening. I like to keep fit and follow a healthy diet. However, as many of us know, tummy fat can be notoriously difficult to get rid of. Exercising is key, but certain foods can help speed things up. There are three foods I include in my diet that help burn belly fat; oatmeal, raspberries, and blueberries. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber that helps you feel full and regulates glucose levels. Raspberries contain fiber and polyphenols which help you burn fat and lose weight. Add blueberries into the mix which are packed with antioxidants and you have 3 ingredients for a flat-tummy friendly breakfast.  

As a coffee connoisseur and enthusiast, my suggestion has to be black coffee as the way towards a flat belly. Black coffee contains antioxidants known to boost weight loss. It also contains what’s known as chlorogenic acid which is known to help slow down the production of glucose. Drinking a cup after a meal means that your body won’t produce as much glucose or fat cells. Black coffee also boosts metabolism and can act as an appetite suppressant. The trick is to drink in moderation and not before bedtime if you want to get a good night’s sleep. If, like me, you like to add coffee to other foods try blending a cup of black coffee with a banana. Just remember to take it black and skip sugar and creamer. Ahmed Mir, Founder, Sip Coffee House

Coconut oil is a staple in my pantry. I use it to substitute regular cooking oil and as a moisturizer for my hair and skin. As I like to keep in shape, I was delighted to learn that coconut oil helps you burn fat and achieve a flat tum. Although high in saturated fats, those contained in coconut oil are metabolized in a different way to other kinds of saturated fat. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and these are known to be very effective in burning visceral abdominal fat. In addition to the fat-burning properties, adding coconut oil to your diet can help curb your appetite and boost metabolism. Given that it is high in calories, the recommended intake is 1 tablespoon per day. You can simply eat a spoonful but if that’s hard to swallow, try using it in place of butter. I like to add a tablespoon to my breakfast fruit and cereal smoothie. A healthy and tasty way to achieve that flat tummy. Piyush Dihr 

As much as I enjoy the holiday season, the downside is the tendency to over-indulge and pile on the pounds. Thankfully, some foods can help get rid of that stubborn belly fat and the good news is that chocolate is one of them! 1- Dark chocolate contains high levels of antioxidants known as Flavonoids which have been scientifically proven to reduce body fat. The key is to choose varieties that contain at least 70% cacao. 2- Chili peppers are a great food to include in your diet if you want to get rid of belly fat. They contain a compound called Capsaicin which encourages fat burning, so spice up a grilled chicken with a fresh chili sauce or add a few to a healthy vegetable stir fry. Or why not combine both chili and chocolate in your favorite recipes. The combination is mouthwateringly delicious and you’ll get double the fat-burning benefits. Brandon Wachs, an Eyewear Specialist with   SHARK EYES 

Darrian Wilkins here, Founder of Kitchen Fold, An innovative home cook and kitchen equipment researcher. For me, a combination of a good diet and increased exercise helped me lose my belly fat and now maintain my weight. A good tip I would say is to get enough fiber. Adding leafy greens to your smoothies helps and gives you a pep in your step. I use a Nutri Bullet because they are easy to clean, retain nutritional value and you can store the smoothies in the plastic cups you blend in. My favorite recipe has to be: Mixed fruit with lettuce which has 1/2 Iceberg lettuce, banana, avocado, orange, and melon. The avocado adds a creamy texture without using dairy and you can add some honey for extra sweetness.

I’m Lianne Sanders, content editor and a licensed yoga instructor at Total Shape. Cucumbers are great when it comes to targeting belly fat. It’s hydrating, and also a natural diuretic. This means that it helps remove water weight, which is a major factor when it comes to belly bloat.

Focus on the easier long-term habits. I’m a big believer in developing easy eating habits that provide long-term health benefits. Perhaps the easiest place to start when it comes to shedding the Christmas pounds is to replace breakfast with a freshly made smoothie that’s as filling as possible.

Start with a leafy green base (think spinach or kale), and then add banana, apple, and pineapple to add very palatable tartness/sweetness. Oats are another good filling, but the slow-burning source of energy. The options are limitless really, but whichever recipe you prefer I would recommend making a three serving batch ahead of time. These can then be stored safely in the refrigerator in separate containers. It’s much easier to develop a habit if you do the hard work ahead of time. John Bedford, Viva Flavor

Drinking more water helps reduce belly bloat. When we are bloated we tend to drink less water thinking it will make it worse but the opposite is true. Water helps counteract the effects of too much salt (sodium) in the diet and the more you drink, the more you will get rid of it. Cucumbers, asparagus, and warm water with lemon also act as diuretics. Bananas are also great as they are rich in potassium which also helps counteract the effects of too much salt (sodium).

Avoid sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks along with ultra-processed refined carbs (like cookies and cakes). Eating more protein and fiber is great too and helps you to feel good. Good fats like salmon and nuts have had a positive effect on reducing belly fat. Exercising regularly is also important. Lisa Young, Ph.D.

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