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Fruits & Vegetables That Fight Abdominal Fat

Nearly everybody would like to take an inch or more off their waistline. Unfortunately, foods cannot directly burn body fat. Furthermore, it is difficult to target a specific area to lose fat from -- body fat loss tends to occur proportionately. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy weight-loss diet. While most fruits and vegetables will generally support your fat-loss effort, certain fruits and vegetables may be especially helpful.

Watermelon will support your fat-loss effort because it is low in calories and very filling. A cup of watermelon contains 50 calories. True to its name, watermelon contains large amounts of water. "Eating water" can help with weight loss, according to a Penn State University news report. Foods with large amounts of water satisfy your appetite and keep you full without requiring you to eat a lot of food. Water from food is digested significantly slower than water that you would drink as a beverage.

A medium grapefruit contains only 40 calories and compounds that improve your tissue sensitivity to insulin, which can help with fat loss, according to the American Council on Exercise and clinical nutrition specialist Dr. Jonny Bowden in his book "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth." A study published in the Spring 2006 edition of the "Journal of Medicinal Food" found that compounds in grapefruit improve your body's ability to control blood glucose levels. Researchers are not certain how this occurs but recommend grapefruit as part of a weight reduction diet.

The American Council on Exercise touts spinach as a good example of a healthy food that will support your fat-loss effort. In his book, nutritionist Jonny Bowden states that spinach is one of the most low-calorie, nutritious vegetables available. A cup of spinach contains only 7 calories and is packed with vitamins A, C and K, folate, iron, magnesium and a powerful antioxidant called quercetin. Substituting spinach for potatoes, corn, pasta or rice can significantly reduce your caloric intake. If the taste is not appealing, you can add herbs, spices or olive oil with salt and pepper.

Artichokes can support your fat-loss effort, primarily because they are high in dietary fiber. According to nutritionist Jonny Bowden, artichokes contain more fiber than just about any other vegetable. A large artichoke contains 9 grams of fiber and 76 calories. A medium artichoke contains 6.5 grams of fiber and only 60 calories. Dietary fiber is important for overall weight loss because, like water in food, it curbs your appetite without adding extra calories. Fiber also helps to keep your blood glucose levels stable and your pancreas from releasing too much insulin, which reduces glucose conversion into fat.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.