October 06, 2011

By Heather Dale, FitSugar

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There are exercises that target your abs to help you get the rock-hard stomach you've always dreamed of. But if you really want to double-team belly bulge, you'll need to eliminate sugar and processed carbs while also incorporating fat-burning foods into your diet. Keep reading to see which foods can help trim inches from your waistline!

You may think that eating less will help you lose weight, but you should never skip meals, especially the first meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast jump-starts your metabolism, regulates your blood sugar levels, and gives you energy to carry you through lunchtime. Fiber-rich oatmeal is a great option because it's filling, so you won't indulge in a muffin or bagel by midmorning. Opt for plain oatmeal since the flavored brands can be full of sugar.

Try this delicious Berry Cinnamon Oatmeal recipe.

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Research has shown that a diet rich in blueberries may help diminish belly fat. Even if blueberries are frozen, they maintain most of their nutritional benefits.

It's said that MUFAs (monounsaturated fats) are a secret ingredient that helps burn away belly fat. Almonds are a good source of monounsaturated fats and help curb cravings since they are a good source of vegetable protein and fiber.

No need to eat the nuts straight! Give this Almond Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie a whirl.

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Cutting down on fried, fatty, calorie-rich foods in order to obtain lean abs is a must. What's great about lean proteins like fish, tofu, or turkey meat, is that they provide you with lots of energy and burn more calories when digested.

When choosing a fish, try salmon or tuna since they are both high in omega-3s, which reduce inflammation in the body and can help regulate your hormones.

Green veggies like romaine lettuce, arugula, spinach, and broccoli are not only packed with vitamins and minerals, low in calories, but contain a high amount of fiber as well. Make yourself a ginormous salad for lunch and it'll keep you filled throughout the afternoon. Or have a smaller salad before a meal, and you'll find yourself eating less of the main course.