No one food will melt away your fat—only a well-balanced, healthy weight-loss plan along with plenty of exercise can help you do that. However, numerous studies have pinpointed several foods that can assist in your fat-blasting efforts.
A 2014 study found that dark green vegetables (like kale and spinach), plus orange and yellow vegetables (like carrots and sweet potatoes) are linked to decreased body fat, specifically belly fat. Researchers examined 175 study particpants and found that those who ate more orange, yellow, and green vegetables had 17% less belly fat compared to those who did not eat these vegetables.
What's more, a recent study published in Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease found that a diet that contains higher-quality foods (like fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, yogurt, and less-processed meat) is associated with less belly fat, and can also help decrease the risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
So, we're bringing you a day's worth of meals—a breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe—that includes foods that can help you shed those love handles. Each recipe includes fat-blasting foods like sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, quinoa, broccoli, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, kale, and sesame seeds.
These three meals contain a total of 1,220 calories with 65g of protein. To add more calories and protein to your "perfect" eating day, add a protein shake mid-morning and a protein-and-healthy-fat-rich afternoon snack. Since everyone has varying calorie needs based on height, weight, and activity level, you need to judge how much more to add in-between meals. If you're unsure, you can always find a registered dietitian nutritionist to help guide you. To find a credentialed RDN in your area go to EatRight.org and click on “Find an expert” in the green box.