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How To "Buckle Down" On Belly Fat

As we head into the hot weather and get ready to bare some skin, many are in search of a plan to get rid of stubborn belly bulge, which can be tough to lose and is particularly unhealthy.

"The Belly Off! Diet" on The Early Show Friday.

According to Bean, the magazine surveyed more than 300 men and women, who shared their success stories and put together the best strategies for weight loss.

Belly fat is the most dangerous fat you carry.

"It's a barometer to the overall health of your body," he said. "Not only on the outside, but on the inside, as well. That fat clogs your organs, sort of makes your body slow down."

What are some of the foods we should be eating?

"Let's start with this tip. Ninety-six percent of the people we surveyed followed this tip and it's basically to get more protein in your diet.

"You want it to be 30 percent to 35 percent," he noted. "You can obviously get it from lean sources like chicken, turkey breast and eggs."

Bean gave some more examples:

  • Ezekiel: Sprouted Whole Grain Bread: you may be surprised to see bread as a source of protein, but this bread is packed with barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt and actually gives you more you the protein equivalent of eggs and contains nine essential amino acids.
  • Edamame: A terrific way to boost fiber and protein while reducing saturated fat is to eat edamame. Not only will you reap the benefits of protein, but soy protein has also been found to prevent belly fat.

    Bean also suggests that you pack in the monounsaturated fats, because they speed up your basal metabolic rate and, more importantly, keep you from overeating by delivering a quick feeling of fullness.

    He suggests:

  • Avocados:
  • Are high in monounsaturated fats and, as an added bonus, they are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol.

    "You don't want this to be your entire diet -- 15 percent of your diet, " Bean explained. "Take an avocado, slice it up in your eggs this morning."

  • Nuts:
  • are also a great source of monounsaturated fats. Another hint is to buy nuts in their shells -- the more time you spend shelling, the less time you will spend shoveling handfuls into your mouth.

    Having fiber in your diet is also essential when trying to lose belly fat. Fiber binds with other foods and helps hustle calories out of the body by slowing your rate of digestion. Bean says, when you're trying to lose weight, you should aim for five grams of fiber in every meal.

    He suggests:

  • Barilla Plus Multigrain Spaghetti:
  • A far better choice than regular pasta, this spaghetti is based on flour made from lentils, chickpeas, barley, flaxseed, wheat, and oat fiber. A 100-gram serving (about 1-cup) provides 7 grams of dietary fiber, on top of 17 grams of protein.

  • Kashi GoLean and Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal:
  • If you eat a lot of breakfast cereal, and are bored with the high fiber options out there, give these cereals a change.

    GoLean is made with seven whole grains and packs 10 grams of dietary fiber in every serving.

    Honey Sunshine has six grams of fiber in a serving and has a sweeter taste, without a huge does of sugar.

    But if it's the sugar that you crave, Bean suggests adding fresh fruit to it.

    Although fiber doesn't help burn the fat, he says, "it hustles the calories."

    One of the least favorite tips when trying to get rid of belly fat is getting rid of alcohol.

    "Alcohol blocks your ability to metabolize fat. So if you want to lean up, cut down on the drinks, especially the carbohydrate rich drinks," he said. "Go with wonderful (unsweetened) iced tea. So you know, remember that -- it's Friday night, go out with all your buddies, have the iced tea. See what they say!"

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