This zero belly diet promises a flat tummy in no time!

Most of us have hopes of whittling our waists down for aesthetic reasons -- we want to look good, and sculpting a svelte waist is a great way to do just that. But, appearances aren't the only reason to focus on your tummy. I've actually heard from various sources that excessive belly fat is a leading indicator of impending heart troubles and even cancer. Even if you're not overweight but carry your weight in your midsection, you could be at risk, since it's been proven that belly fat indicates an increased amount of fat surrounding internal organs. Kind of scary, right? Well, don't worry too much. It looks like there's an easy diet -- including lots of Latino staples -- that can help you banish the belly bulge.  



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The best part of this so-called "diet" is that it's not really a diet at all. It's more of a series of foods to incorporate into your diet and swap out for their less healthy counterparts. You know what that means? It means that it's actually sustainbale long-term, so you could seriously lose the belly fat for good! 

The key goals of the diet, which was developed by nutrition expert and author of "Zero Belly Diet" and "Eat This, Not That!," are to reduce inflammation, stop bloating and turn-off fat storage genes. How exactly are you supposed to do that? By eating certain non- and minimally-processed foods, which is pretty much a good switch to make no matter what your fitness goals are. Here's what you should be eating:

Healthy Fats: Healthy fats like those found in olive oil, avocado and fish, can help keep hunger at bay for up to four hours, so you won't feel so noshy throughout the day. 

Lean Proteins: Lean meat such as boneless skinless chicken breast and white-meat turkey are healthy sources of protein that aid in belly fat reduction

Red Fruits and Leafy Greens: Red apples and leafy greens can apparently control the obesity gene and the reservatrol found in other red fruits like grapes and strawberries help too.

Plant Proteins: Non-animal proteins like those found in nuts and nut oils have been shown to reduce belly fat. Plus, they also help keep you fuller longer.

Eggs: Whole eggs, not just the whites, contain choline which can help keep you from gaining visceral fat (the fat that is stored around internal organs).

Fiber: Brown Rice and beans, ladies. All that fiber helps switch off the obesity gene as well. Additional sources are oats and other whole grains and vegetables like broccoli.

Green Tea: Green tea reduces inflammation and is a great alternative to carbonated and sweetened drinks that cause weight gain and bloating.

Spices: Spices including our beloveds, cinnamon and ginger, work against the obesity gene and fight inflammation.

Bonus Tip: Smoothies are a great way to incorporate a lot of these things into your diet. You can combine any fruit, nut butters, greens, spices and even oils into a tasty and filling smoothie perfect for breakfast, lunch, snacks or dessert.

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: advice  bloating  diet  fat  obesity