20 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism for a Flat Stomach

By: Brian Wargula

The Science Behind Tummy-Flattening Foods

Ever notice that your stomach is usually the hardest thing to get toned? For some of us it's even the last thing to show any difference after putting in weeks of hard work at the gym. That's because to have a lean belly you have to go way beyond just working out––the key lies in your diet. Certain foods play a big role in how to make your stomach look slimmer. Achieving the flat tummy goals of your dreams ultimately can only be done with the right diet. There are two primary ways that foods impact how flat your stomach looks on a daily basis:

Bloat/inflammation: Your daily intake may actually have a lot more of these than you think. Many foods cause excess bloating and inflammation, depending on how your body reacts to them. In fact many people have food allergies or intolerances that they may not even be aware of. No two people are alike.

The best way to figure out which foods trigger bloating and inflammation for you is to trial a temporary elimination diet. This type of diet focuses on making small restrictions over a few weeks/months to see if certain foods might trigger bloating and inflammation for you. Keeping a journal of how you feel and which foods you cut out is key.

Metabolism: Foods that aid in boosting your metabolism can help you shed stubborn stomach fat that might be standing in your way. You want to target the right kind of foods that can help you lose weight. While the results might not be instantaneous, foods that boost your metabolism can help you make your stomach look smaller.

20 Delicious Foods That Can Help Boost Your Metabolism & Burn Fat

Good news is that healthy, metabolism-boosting foods don’t need to be boring, basic, or bland. In fact, there are plenty of options that deliver on taste and help shrink your tummy. We have the perfect round up for you of foods that increase metabolism and burn fat. Try using different combinations of these meals for flat abs to maximize your intake of metabolism-boosting foods.

  1. Eggs: Eggs are one of the best protein options out there, as they contain key amino acids that your body needs to keep that metabolism firing on all cylinders.
    • They also contain leucine, which has been known as foods that increase metabolism and burn fat.
    • Some studies have even shown that leucine can help your body focus on burning fat by stabilizing blood sugar levels.
  1. Oats: Oats are one of the best foods to boost metabolism and are a great source of natural dietary fiber.
    • A diet rich in fiber can help boost your metabolism by providing the nutrients you need for all-day energy.
    • Fiber also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, making it easier to resist snacks and stick to actually eating healthy.
    • Additionally, fiber is great for gut health and can ultimately reduce bloating.
  1. Berries: Berries are the fruit when it comes to how to make your stomach look slimmer. They provide a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can help you feel your best and get the most out of your flat tummy workouts.
    • Because they have a high GI index it takes more time and energy for your body to break them down into sugars.
    • This extra effort leads your body will burn more energy to digest them––as a result, your metabolism will be working for longer.
  1. Fatty Fish: Eating fatty fishes can help boost your metabolism. These protein-rich foods make you feel fuller, longer and are great for reducing bloat.
    • They help boost your metabolism because they have a higher thermic effect (TEF). TEF refers to the energy your body has to use to digest a food.
    • Great fatty fish to eat includes salmon, tuna, and anchovies
    • High thermic foods are generally proteins, since their higher TEF (15-30%) as compared to the other macros
      • Carbs - 5-10%
      • Fats - 0-3%
    1. Celery: Rich in potassium, celery can be helpful to replenish your electrolyte and hydration levels post workout.
      • When you’re well-hydrated, your body tends to reduce the amount of water weight it holds on to, eliminating bloat.
      • As one of the pro metabolic foods, celery keeps your metabolism busy as you use more calories to digest it than the celery itself provides.
    1. Yogurt: Yogurt packs a punch of probiotics which can help boost your metabolism, cut down on bloating and inflammation.
      • These little bacteria are what your body needs to maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
      • When your gut is out of balance, it can lead to bloating.
      • Adding probiotic rich foods to your diet can help squash belly bloat.
    1. Legumes: Legumes are another example of a protein-packed food that can also help increase your metabolism as they’ve got a higher TEF.
      • They can also help increase your metabolism because they’ve got a higher TEF.
      • Some even require more energy from your body to digest and absorb/process the nutrients from them.
      • Because they are also packed with fiber, they can reduce bloating by promoting gastrointestinal regularity. This is a great trick for how to make your stomach look slimmer.
    1. Nuts: Certain varieties of nuts are packed with healthy fats––one essential key to losing stubborn belly fat.
        • Many varieties of nuts deliver a load of healthy fats despite how small they are, making them a delicious healthy snack.
        • Because they are high in calories though, you need to watch your portion size. Otherwise you might not see the results you’re after for a lean belly.
        1. Coffee: Coffee is a great, low-calorie option to help kick your metabolic rate up a notch.
          • Caffeine in coffee stimulates your metabolism, to keep it going strong all day long.
          • One study showed that 3 cups of coffee per day is enough to burn an extra 100 calories per day.
        1. Tea: Tea is an ancient remedy when it comes to looking and making your stomach look smaller.
          • Tea contains chemical compounds called catechins.
          • Catechins work in conjunction with caffeine to help boost fat oxidation.
          • There have been studies that shown that oolong and green teas can help your body burn stored fat as energy in a more efficient manner.
        1. Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties in addition to boosting your metabolism. It’s one of the most important foods that boost metabolism for a flat stomach.
          • Some studies have shown that adding some extra spices - like ginger, chili, or even mustard––can actually increase the TEF of the foods in that meal.
          • Plus, it can help increase glucose resistance and stimulate the gastrointestinal tract.
        1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Incorporating apple cider vinegar into your daily diet can help boost your metabolism.
          • Some studies have shown that 1 - 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day can help reduce inflammation and make you feel fuller after a meal.
          • It can be an alkalizing force to help you keep bloating at bay and help your gastro-instinal tract.
        1. MCT-Rich Foods: MCT (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) are typically found in coconut product, i.e. coconut oil.
          • As a pro metabolic food, MCTs help you get more out of the calories you consume because of how your body processes it.
          • Regularly incorporating MCTs into your diet can help you achieve a flat tummy.
        1. Quinoa: Quinoa is a great gluten-free food packed with protein and fiber.  It makes for a great side dish and  ultimately good carbs for flat stomach.
          • Quinoa can also be substituted for less-healthy carb alternatives; ie wheat, pasta, and white rice.
          • Add quinoa to your diet gives you the bonus of feeling fuller for longer, which in-turn leads to weight loss.
        1. Leafy Greens: Specifically dark leafy greens are top among foods that increase metabolism and burn fat.
          • As one of nature’s most potent superfoods, they are packed full of vitamins and minerals––all while being low in calories. 
          • They also deliver a punch of fiber, which aids in digestion and can help beat belly bloat.
        1. Avocados: It's all about the healthy fats in avocados! Because they’re filled with tons of monounsaturated fats (i.e. healthy fats) that are good for your brain as well as weight loss.
          • They contain a healthy dose of potassium that can help balance out the sodium in your diet and beat belly bloat. 
          • Avocados have long been high on the list for foods that speed up metabolism and are in fact a must-add to your flat tummy diet.
        1. Edamame: Believe it or not, this is one of nature’s healthiest superfoods. They are low-calorie and offer plenty of all-natural fiber that can keep you full all day long.
          • It’s full of all the nutrients you need to keep your metabolism burning all day long and ultimately make stomach look smaller.
          • Edamame boasts all sorts of vital nutrients your body needs to get you through the day:
            • omega-3s
            • iron
            • zinc
            • vitamin c
            • folate
            • vitamin e
        1. Bananas: Bananas are a quick and easy way to get rid of belly bloat and keep your metabolism running on high.
          • They’ll provide long-lasting energy with a good dose of healthy carbs and fibers.
          • All the potassium they offer naturally balances electrolyte levels when your sodium consumption outpaces that of your potassium consumption. This makes them the ultimate healthy option for the body.
        1. Cacao / Dark Chocolate: Who doesn’t love chocolate? Some studies have shown that the antioxidant-rich unsweetened dark chocolate & raw cacao can help boost your metabolism.
          • For some people, cacao can actually stimulate the fat-burning process for your body.
          • The best way to consume these superfoods is without the added sugars though, so its best to be careful!
        1. Citrus Fruits: Grapefruit, lemon, lime, you name it these are all great options that can help boost your metabolism.
          • Citrus fruits are packed full of the kinds of vitamins and minerals to fuel your day and aid in digestion.
          • Although acidic, the way citrus fruits are processed by the body ultimately makes them an alkaizing force that can help balance your gut and reduce inflammation/bloat.

        Eating your way to a flatter stomach with metabolism-boosting foods & supplements can be easy. There are plenty of easy ways to work these delicious foods into your everyday diet. And doing so will help you kick your metabolism into high gear. But foods aren’t the only thing you should consider while on your flat-tummy journey. There are also plenty of superfood supplements that can help give your nutrition a boost and get you to the finish line.