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Moderate nut consumption supports weight loss.
Abdominal fat affects more than your appearance. Carrying extra belly fat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases, according to New York University. Nuts definitely have a place in a healthy diet. They also possess qualities that help you lose weight. Just keep in mind that nuts alone won't make you lose belly fat.
Targeting Belly Fat
The way you lose weight depends on genetics, which makes spot reduction impossible, according to the University of Utah. But you can find some encouragement from the Harvard Medical School. The August 2010 issue of вЂњHarvard Health PublicationsвЂќ reports that belly fat responds to diet and exercise more efficiently than fat carried on your hips and thighs. Some diets tout nuts, seeds and olive oil as effective foods for losing belly fat due to the amount of monounsaturated fat they contain, but researchers have not proved these diets work better than any other low-calorie diet plant, according to MayoClinic.com.
Nuts Support Weight Loss
Nuts are good sources of two nutrients that help you lose weight: protein and fiber. Protein increases satiety better than carbohydrates or fat, according to a review published in the May 2008 issue of the вЂњAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition.вЂќ The same review also noted that protein digestion boosts your metabolism more than other macronutrients. Fiber fills up your stomach so you feel full quickly and then maintains that feeling longer by slowing down the movement of food out of your stomach. It may also delay an increase in ghrelin, which is the hormone that makes you feel hungry, according to a review in the June 2012 issue of вЂњCurrent Obesity Reports.вЂќ
Watch Your Portions
Nuts contribute a variety of nutrients and heart-healthy unsaturated fats, but you'll have to watch the amount you eat. A 1-ounce serving has 162 to 204 calories depending on the type of nut. Eating two or more 1-ounce servings of nuts weekly does not cause weight gain, according to the June 2009 issue of the вЂњAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition.вЂќ Researchers collected information about the eating habits of a large number of nurses over eight years. They found that nurses who ate a 1-ounce serving of nuts at least twice a week experienced some weight loss but no weight gain compared to those who didn't eat nuts.
Plan to Lose Belly Fat
As you gain fat on your belly, it also accumulates deeper in your gut around organs. This deeper fat, called visceral fat, is especially dangerous for your long-term health. A waist circumference of more than 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men indicates that you've developed a risky amount of visceral fat, notes New York University. Visceral fat responds well to diet and exercise. Eat a balanced diet that includes nuts, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein, and exercise for 30 minutes daily to lose visceral fat.