Keto diet plan for belly fat is designed to make you lose belly fat quickly using only natural methods. There are no fad diets or weird food regimens. The goal of this diet is to feel great and have high energy throughout the day. You can try it for a few months and feel amazing, or you can make it your lifestyle for life – either way, the results will speak for themselves.
Food For Belly Fat Burning
Let’s face it: Belly fat can be stubborn. Despite your best efforts, you may be asking yourself “why am I losing weight everywhere but my stomach?”
Believe it or not, there’s a scientific explanation for why this is happening.
“The fat in your abdomen builds up around your organs and stomach and creates an inflammatory response in your body that can disrupt your hunger hormones and insulin sensitivity,” says Ashley Larsen, RDN and owner of AshleyLarsen Nutrition. “Belly fat, which is also called visceral fat, is more likely to cause chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes than the fat that lies underneath your skin.”
The bottom line: while being overweight and obese is harmful to your health, having excess belly fat is even more dangerous. We’ve all heard, “you are what you eat” and this is certainly the case with belly fat. So which foods actually burn belly fat? Here’s everything you need to know.
Foods that burn belly fat
Getting rid of stubborn belly fat may come down to simply shifting your diet a bit and incorporate more belly fat-burning foods. Start with these ones.
Oats are high insoluble fiber, specifically a fiber called beta-glucan, which absorbs water and slows digestion and glucose, or blood sugar absorption.
“Soluble beta-glucan fiber has been shown to be beneficial for insulin resistance and weight loss, specifically abdominal fat loss because it helps to keep you full and reduces hunger cravings,” Larsen explains. “A bowl of oatmeal in the morning with high fiber fruit and flaxseeds can provide a good dose of soluble fiber and manage your appetite throughout the day.”
Barley is a whole grain with a chewy consistency and nutty flavor. Barley is high in soluble fiber and resistant starch, which is not digested by our body.
“Resistant starch slows digestion which curbs appetite and lowers blood glucose,” says Larsen. “Resistance starch is also a beneficial prebiotic, helping the beneficial bacteria flourish in our gut. A healthy gut is associated with improved satiety and weight loss.”
Larsen recommends swapping out your white rice with wholegrain barley as a dinner side to boost your fiber intake and help with belly fat loss.
Apples are one of the highest-fiber fruits, packing 4.5 grams of fiber (17% of the daily value) in one medium apple.
“The fibers in an apple are called pectin, which breaks down in your gut and slow digestion, helping you feel full longer after eating,” Larsen explains. “An apple a day can keep the belly fat away! Although apples contain sugar, you don’t need to be worried about this increasing blood sugar because of the high fiber content which slows blood sugar absorption.”
Flaxseeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and the antioxidant lignan.
Diets rich in lignans can help to reduce inflammation and fight against metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that can increase the risk for chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood glucose, and large waist circumference,” Larsen states. According to one study, men who consumed flaxseed daily at breakfast lost significantly more weight than those who did not eat the flaxseed.
To incorporate more flaxseeds in your diet, Larsen suggests adding them to a smoothie or sprinkled on cereal, avocado toast, or yogurt parfait.
This can be found in cayenne pepper, chili peppers, chili powder, curry powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes.
“Capsaicin has not only been found to suppress inflammation caused by obesity, but it has the potential to decrease food intake, burn fatter, lower body fat stores, increase metabolism, and reduce appetite,” says Melina B. Jampolis, MD, internist, board-certified physician nutrition specialist and author of Spice Up, Slim Down: A Guide To Using Herbs and Spices To Live A Longer, Healthier, and More Vibrant Life. “Chili peppers and cayenne, in particular, can help us burn more calories by about 5 percent.”
Nicknamed the “Queen of Spices” (black pepper is the “King”) because it was a favorite of the elite, and because its flavor is almost feminine compared to other spices – floral, lemony, with a hint of mint, Dr. Jampolis explains. That might be why it was once considered an aphrodisiac.
The health advantages of cardamom ran the gamut.
“People used it to remedy inflamed eyelids, tooth and gum infections, lung congestion, and more. The benefits we see today are broad, too, but relevant because Americans eat so poorly. In essence, cardamom may help counter the effects of our bad diets, especially when we tend to eat too many carbohydrates,” says Dr. Jampolis.
One study showed that subjects who ate cardamom gained less extra weight (and, importantly, less belly fat) and avoided increases in their blood sugar, cholesterol and inflammation levels. Cardamom also helps relax the gut to help improve digestion and may improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and preventing blood clots according to animal and test-tube studies.
“These fruits are full of fiber, vitamins and nutrients that help you stay fuller and eat less throughout your day,” says Courtney D’Angelo, RD and author at Fit Healthy Momma. “The vitamin C is an added bonus that’s great for your immune system.”
Diets You Can Follow
Ketogenic (Keto) Diet: The idea of a Ketogenic diet is to consume more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. The reduction in carb intake puts your body in a metabolic state called ketosis which helps burn belly fat. It means mostly cutting back on sugar, soda, pastries and white bread. It is a very low-carb and high-fat diet.
All You Need To Know About The Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet with a list of health benefits. Because of the low-carb, moderate protein, higher-fat ratio, the ketogenic diet helps you burn fat more effectively. Besides benefits weight loss, it also has many health benefits.
In a ketogenic diet, you eat far fewer carbohydrates, but maintain moderate levels of protein intake and increase your intake of fat. When you reduce the carb intake, your body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis, where your body fat and the consumed fat from your diet is burned for energy. When your carb intake is low, the liver produces ketones from fat, which work as a source of fuel throughout the body. On a ketogenic diet, your body’s fuel system run mostly on fat. When insulin levels become very low, fat burning can increase, it becomes easier to access your stored fats and to burn them off. Even though it is one of the most effective diets, people with blood sugar, blood pressure and other medical conditions should not try it.
The Dos And Don’ts For The Beginners Of The Ketogenic Diet Plan
Avoid eating too many carbs when you’re on ketosis. Keep your carb intake under 50 grams per day of net carbs. The lower your carb intake, the more effective it will be to reach ketosis and lose weight. If you’re a beginner, calculate your carbs, and create a set meal plan so that you are aware of your carb intake. Once you’re used to the process, it will be easier for you to create ketogenic meals.
Ketogenic diet basics
The keto diet, as a rule, is very low in carbs, high in fat, and moderate in protein.
When following a ketogenic diet, carb content is between 5–10% of calories consumed, though looser versions of the diet exist.
Fats should replace the majority of cut carbs and deliver approximately 60–80% of your total caloric intake.
Proteins should account for around 10–30% of energy needs, while carbs are usually restricted to 5%.
This carb reduction forces your body to rely on fats for its main energy source instead of glucose — a process known as ketosis.
While in ketosis, your body uses ketones — molecules produced in the liver from fats when glucose is limited — as an alternate fuel source. Plus, keto diets reduce hunger and increase satiety, which can be particularly helpful when trying to lose weight.
Research shows that ketogenic diets are effective at promoting weight loss — though they may be no more effective than other weight-loss diets.
The ketogenic diet relies on a very low carb routine. Carbs are typically restricted to 20–50 grams per day, replaced mostly with fat and moderate amounts of protein.
Even though research shows the keto diet may be effective at promoting weight loss, other weight loss diets may be just as effective.
Ketogenic diet meal plan
Switching to a ketogenic diet may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Your focus should be on reducing carbs while increasing the fat and protein content of meals and snacks.
In order to reach and remain in a state of ketosis, carbs must be restricted. While certain people might only achieve ketosis by eating 20 grams of carbs per day, others may be successful with a higher carb intake.
Generally, the lower your carbohydrate intake, the easier it is to reach and stay in ketosis.
This is why sticking to keto-friendly foods and avoiding items rich in carbs is the best way to successfully lose weight on a ketogenic diet.
When following a ketogenic diet, meals and snacks should center around the following foods:
- Eggs: pastured, organic, or conventional all work fine
- Poultry: chicken and turkey
- Fatty fish: salmon, herring, and mackerel
- Meat: beef, venison, pork, organ meats, and bison
- Full-fat dairy: unsweetened yogurt, butter, and cream
- Full-fat cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, brie, goat cheese, and cream cheese
- Nuts and seeds: macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, and flaxseeds
- Nut butter: no-sugar-added peanut, almond, and cashew butters
- Oils rich in healthy fats: olive oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil
- Avocados: whole avocados can be added to almost any meal or snack
- Non-starchy vegetables: greens, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers
- Condiments: salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and spices
Foods to limit
When possible, it’s best to avoid or limit foods rich in carbs while following a keto diet.
The following foods should be limited:
- Bread and baked goods: white bread, whole wheat bread, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, and rolls
- Sweets and sugary foods: sugar, ice cream, candy, maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, and coconut sugar
- Sweetened beverages: soda, juice, sweetened teas, and sports drinks
- Pasta: spaghetti and other noodles
- Grains and grain products: wheat, rice, oats, breakfast cereals, and tortillas
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn, peas, and pumpkin
- Beans and legumes: black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans
- Fruit: citrus, grapes, bananas, and pineapple
- High carb sauces: barbecue sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, sugary salad dressings, and dipping sauces
- Certain alcoholic beverages: beer and sugary mixed drinks
Though carbs should be restricted, you can enjoy low glycemic fruits, such as berries, in limited amounts as long as you’re maintaining a keto-friendly range of macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat).
Be sure to choose plenty of whole foods and steer clear of processed foods and trans fats when possible.
Sugar can be found in a wide variety of beverages including juice, soda, iced tea, and coffee drinks. While on a ketogenic diet, you should limit or avoid high carb drinks, just like high carb foods.
It’s no small matter that sugary beverages have also been linked to various health concerns — from obesity to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
There are many tasty sugar-free options for those on the keto diet. Keto-friendly beverage choices include:
- Water. Water is the best choice for hydration and should be consumed throughout the day.
- Sparkling water. Sparkling water can make an excellent soda replacement.
- Unsweetened coffee. Try using heavy cream to add flavor to your cup of coffee.
- Unsweetened green tea. Green tea is delicious and may provide many health benefits.
If you want to add some extra flavor to your water, try experimenting with different keto-friendly flavor combinations. For example, tossing some fresh mint and a lemon peel into your water bottle can make hydration a breeze.
Though alcohol should be restricted, enjoying an occasional low carb drink like vodka or tequila mixed with soda water is acceptable on the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet revolves around high fat, low carb food choices and limits highly processed foods and trans fats. Keto-friendly beverage options should be sugar-free when possible. Consider water, sparkling water, or unsweetened green tea and coffee.
A sample keto menu for 1 week
The following menu provides fewer than 50 grams of total carbs per day. As mentioned above, some people may have to reduce carbohydrates even further in order to reach ketosis.
This is a general, 1-week ketogenic menu that can be altered depending on individual dietary needs.
- Breakfast: two eggs fried in butter served with sauteed greens
- Lunch: a bunless burger topped with cheese, mushrooms, and avocado atop a bed of greens
- Dinner: pork chops with green beans sauteed in olive oil
- Breakfast: mushroom omelet
- Lunch: tuna salad with celery and tomato atop a bed of greens
- Dinner: roast chicken with cream sauce and sauteed broccoli
- Breakfast: bell pepper stuffed with cheese and eggs
- Lunch: arugula salad with hard-boiled eggs, turkey, avocado, and blue cheese
- Dinner: grilled salmon with spinach sauteed in sesame oil
- Breakfast: full-fat yogurt topped with Keto granola
- Lunch: steak bowl with cauliflower rice, cheese, herbs, avocado, and salsa
- Dinner: bison steak with cheesy broccoli
- Breakfast: baked avocado egg boats
- Lunch: Caesar salad with chicken
- Dinner: pork chops with vegetables
- Breakfast: cauliflower toast topped with cheese and avocado
- Lunch: bunless salmon burgers topped with pesto
- Dinner: meatballs served with zucchini noodles and Parmesan cheese
- Breakfast: coconut milk chia pudding topped with coconut and walnuts
- Lunch: Cobb salad made with greens, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, cheese, and turkey
- Dinner: coconut chicken curry
As you can see, ketogenic meals can be diverse and flavorful.
Although many ketogenic meals are based around animal products, there is a wide variety of vegetarian options to choose from as well.
If you’re following a more liberal ketogenic diet, adding a cup of berries to your breakfast or a small serving of a starchy vegetable to your dinner will increase the number of carbs in this meal plan.
A ketogenic meal plan, like any nutritious diet, should include whole foods and many fiber-rich, low carb vegetables. Choose healthy fats like sesame oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and butter to increase the fat content of dishes.