Weight loss: Low-carb and high protein diet can help burn belly fat – full list of foods

This Morning: Michael Mosley discusses 800 calorie diet

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When following a weight loss plan, many slimmers hope to target a specific body part, such as belly fat. While spot reducing fat is not possible, Dr Michael Mosley has shared how a diet high in protein and healthy fats can help shed excess pounds.

Dr Michael Mosley shared the foods inspired by his Fast 800 diet, which is based on the Mediterranean diet.

What should you eat?

Replace processed foods with whole foods

“Swap white pasta and white rice with lentils, beans, quinoa, wild rice and buckwheat,” the expert said.

“The ‘complex carbohydrates’ contain more fibre which supports the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut. Try to avoid eating potatoes and always choose multigrain or rye bread over white.

“Be careful when buying brown bread, as often the bread is just dyed brown and actually has more sugar than white bread.”

Eat plenty of vegetables

He continued: “Eat as many green and coloured vegetables as you can, especially dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale.

“Not only do they supply key vitamins and minerals – they also fight inflammation, which is a known cause of disease and low mood, as well as an obstacle to weight loss. Most vegetables are also very low in calories (especially the dark leafy greens), so you can essentially count these as a ‘free food’.”

Eat protein

Dr Mosley continued: “This means regularly eating foods such as oily fish, seafood, chicken, red meat, eggs, tofu, beans, pulses, dairy and nuts. These foods have been shown to curb carbohydrate cravings and will help you to feel fuller for longer.

“Eating enough protein is important. You should also try to restrict your intake of processed meats such as sausages, bacon and salami.”

Fill up on healthy fats

The expert explained: “Fats don’t make you fat! Healthy fats are essential: salmon, tuna, avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil are most definitely in.

“Opt for full-fat dairy products such as whole milk and Greek yogurt. Like protein, healthy fats will help you to feel fuller for longer.”

Cut back on sugary starchy foods

He added: “This includes completely cutting back on cakes, sweets, biscuits, crisps, fruit juices and soft drinks.

“These foods rapidly turn into sugar in your blood causing sugar spikes and weight gain – they are like the tip of the iceberg. You also need to watch out for hidden sugars, which lurk below the surface and sabotage weight loss (such as potatoes and white rice and bread).”

The expert recommended avoiding many breakfast cereals as these can be packed full of sugar.

Avoid certain fruits

He said: “Avoid too many sweet tropical fruits including mango, pineapple, grapes, melon and bananas, as these are full of sugar.

“Instead, opt for berries, apples and pears. Try to have a maximum of two pieces of fruit a day and always eat the skin.”

If drinking alcohol, pick red wine

The expert concluded: “Research shows that resveratrol, a compound present in red wine (as well as in blueberries, cranberries and cocoa) can contribute to the health benefits of the Mediterranean Style diet.

“Making progress means stepping away from junk-on-the-run and towards planned, pleasant mealtimes – so if you would like to complement your recipes with the occasional glass of red, go ahead.”

Following the diet tips can help slimmers lead a healthier lifestyle.

When trying to get fit, it is important to follow a healthy eating plan and to exercise regularly.

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