4 Foods to Burn Belly Fat

We all know the secret to weight loss is not in gimmicks or fad dieting. The truth is about working with your body's natural hunger, sleep rhythms to curb cravings, burn fat, and sky rocket your energy systems. Did you know our bodies' inner eat-and-sleep clocks have been thrown completely out of whack, thanks to cues we send it all day with the wrong foods? Whether you know it or not, you're caught in a "fat cycle": a constant flow of hunger hormones that makes your cravings almost irresistible. But if you tune into your body's natural eat and sleep schedules, you can actually say goodbye to that belly you've been trying so hard to get rid of. Try eating these food to sleep better, lose more weight and melt that belly fat away!

Fish

When your diet is deficient in omega-3s, your pineal gland (a gland in your brain that helps regulate your nervous system) is thrown off. This leads to alterations in the production of melatonin, your sleep hormone. People with an omega-3 deficit don't sleep during their usual rest periods. This can lead to all sorts of late-night snacking problems. Fish is also high in protein, which can satiate your appetite. You even burn more calories digesting protein than you do when you eat fats or carbs. Plus, eating more omega-3s can lower your risk of dementia and promote a healthy heart.

Nuts

Nuts are a great source of mood-boosting magnesium. More magnesium can help people who have sleep troubles sleep through the night. As a bonus, magnesium can lower levels of dangerous inflammation, a rogue reaction by the immune system that is implicated in heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Milk

Milk may actually do a body good when it comes to belly fat! A 2010 study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that among a group of more than 100 premenopausal women, fat was significantly reduced in those who consumed the most calcium-rich foods. For every 100 milligrams of calcium they consumed per day, they lost an inch of intra-abdominal fat. Normal terms? The really icky fat stuff tucked in and around your internal organs that has been linked to higher rates of heart disease and cancer. Calcium can also help you sleep if you're prone to waking up do to muscle soreness or cramps. The mineral, along with calcium, helps relax muscle nerves and fibers.

Cherries

Around bedtime, munch on a few tart Montmorency cherries. These guys are one of a number of plant-based sources of melatonin - the sleep hormone we discussed earlier. Studies have found that foods like these can raise melatonin levels in the body. Not only does melatonin help you sleep, but it's a powerful antioxidant, which promotes weight loss.

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