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Most Powerful Weight-Loss Fruits to Torch Stubborn Belly Fat

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: July 13, 2021

The good news:

You may eat fruit when trying to lose weight.

Not all sugar is equal, and fruits are among the best sources of essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

We’ve asked a group of nutritionists to provide more information and learn which fruit is best to indulge in moderation to stabilize your blood glucose, boost fullness, and aid weight loss naturally.

Read on to find out about the best nutritionist-approved fruit high in fiber, nutrients, and flavor and low in calories and carbs to help you lose weight.

Which Fruit Is Best for Burning Fat?

Fruit best for burning fat naturally and fast is nutrient-dense, low-calorie, low-sugar, and high in fiber.

The following delicious and nutritious fruits can be a great addition to your weight loss plan and healthy diet if you’re trying to lose weight.

1. Citrus Fruits

slices of lemon and grapefruit

Grapefruit is low in calories and rich in Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, Magnesium, Lycopene, and other phytochemicals ideal for reducing belly fat, lowering high cholesterol levels, blood pressure, fighting insulin resistance, and more.

One study has found that the bellies of people who ate half a grapefruit before every meal shrunk by up to one inch [1].

Another study has found similar satisfying results - overweight people lost around 5kg in 12 weeks [2].

More research has also proven that eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice before meals can help people decrease their calorie intake and weight by 7.1% on average, alongside other health benefits [3].

By eating half a grapefruit, you consume 2.5 grams of fiber and 65 calories [4].

So, add it to your morning oatmeal, smoothie, or Greek yogurt guilt-free.

Lemon is another rich source of Fiber, Vitamin C, Flavonoids, antioxidants, etc.

that help you keep optimal metabolism of carbs and stay full for longer while losing weight.

Drinking a glass of warm water flavored with lemon before breakfast may improve digestion, detoxify the liver, alkalize the body, and prevent fat accumulation.

Drinking lemon water instead of soda may save you up to 200 calories and 20 grams of sugar.

Limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits may provide the same gains as lemons.

“Avoid orange juice and eat a whole or cut-up orange instead. Also, oranges are packed with vitamin C, which offer several health benefits, like boosting your immune system, helping your body make collagen, and aiding with iron absorption.” -Maggie Michalczyk, R.D.

(Although non-citrus, kiwi also contains lots of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, Folate, and other beneficial compounds proven to trim your waist.)


2. Berries

bowl of fresh strawberries, and a stack of black berries

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, acai, and other berries are:

  • Extremely low in carbs
  • Super high in fiber and water
  • Loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Manganese, Potassium, and other vital antioxidants and polyphenols that may block fat forming

One cup of berries (serving) includes:

  • Strawberries: fiber - 3g, 48 calories
  • Blueberries: fiber - 3.6g, 86 calories
  • Blackberries: fiber - 8g, 65 calories
  • Raspberries: fiber - 9.8g, 78 calories

Besides the lowest GI of all fruits (making them effective fat-burning fruit picks), berries help overweight people lower inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure [5] [6].


3. Melons

freshly sliced honeydew, and a half cut of watermelon

Honeydew Melon and Watermelon are loaded with Fiber, Lycopene, Beta-Carotene, Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and other powerful antioxidants to support healthy digestion, keep you hydrated and help shed a few extra pounds (as long as you mind the portion size because of high Glycaemic Index).

Being over 90% water, watermelon fills you up quickly. In addition, it contains Arginine, an amino acid that supports belly fat burning, and Potassium, vital for normal muscle function.

A 150g serving (one cup) of fresh watermelon contains around:

  • 9g sugar
  • 11g carbs
  •  0.6g fiber
  •  50 calories

4. Apples and Pears

close up image of apples and pears

Compared to many other crunchy snacks, apples and pears have the highest levels of flavonoids and fiber (4-6g per apple or pear/serving), particularly pectin that breaks down slowly to curb hunger [7].

Pectin also improves gut health and supports weight loss by blocking fat absorption in cells [8] [9].

For extra fiber to feel full longer and burn more calories, chew raw, crunchy apples and pears with the peel.


5. Stone Fruits

peaches, nectarines and cherries in a collage

Stone fruits or drupes like peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries, plums, and other similar fleshy seasonal fruit with a pit or stone inside make a great Nutrient-dense, Low-calorie, Low-GI, Low-carb and Weight-loss-friendly snack.

Each fruit provides some essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to your overall health and weight loss.

A study has found that consuming tart cherries may reduce abdominal fat percentage, hypertension, and other metabolic or insulin resistance syndrome symptoms [10].

Another research has concluded that compounds from peaches, plums, and nectarines may lower the risk of inflammation, diabetes, and other obesity-related conditions [11].

Even better: 

They’re sweet despite being the lowest in fruit sugar.


6. Tomatoes

3 pieces of fresh tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed with flavonoids that fight leptin in your body, aiding weight loss.

Another powerful compound in a tomato that helps you lower lipids in blood and shed extra pounds faster is 9-oxo-ODA.

Tomatoes also stimulate carnitine production, an organic amino acid crucial for regulating your fatty acid and energy metabolism to help burn belly fat.

(But stay away from ketchup or canned tomatoes full of sugar and preservatives.)


How Can Fruit Help You Lose Weight?

man holding up an apple while thinking, and a woman holding up a thumbs up and her loose pants

Research shows that eating fruits and vegetables prevents weight gain and chronic diseases and can substantially promote weight loss [12] [13].

Although most types of fruit have anti-obesity effects despite containing simple sugars, different fruits contribute to weight reduction differently [14].

Here are a few ways fruit may promote weight loss if paired with regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet (which includes two cups of fruit per day according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025) [15].

  • High Fiber and Water Content from Fruit Can Increase Satiety and Improve Digestion.

Inefficient, sluggish metabolism and a digestive system clogged with refined sugar, processed foods, additives, and similar content often hamper a sustainable, healthy weight loss.

An important reason to bring fresh, whole fruit with high water content, fiber, and other nutrients to your healthy weight loss plan is that it helps:

  • Stimulate your metabolism
  • Make your digestive system work smoothly
  • Keep you hydrated and satiated for longer, preventing binge-eating and weight gain while enhancing weight loss.

Science links higher fiber intake with gut health and lower body weight due to increased satiety and reduced number of calories people consume [16].

One study published in The Journal of Nutrition has also concluded that “dietary fiber intake, independently of macronutrient and caloric intake, promotes weight loss and dietary adherence in adults with overweight or obesity consuming a calorie-restricted diet [17].”

  • Fruits with Lower Glycemic Index Help Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels.
medical person checking a person's sugar blood level with a glucose meter

The Glycemic Index (GI) ranks the number of carbs in foods on a scale from zero to 100, measuring how quickly a particular food changes sugar levels in your bloodstream.

High-GI fruits and other food can cause harmful rapid blood sugar spikes and declines than lower-GI food.

As a result of sudden blood glucose increase and decrease, you may overeat because you often feel hungry quickly even after eating.

So, experts recommend consuming food with lower to moderate GI (up to 55-69) that allows better control of your blood glucose levels, appetite, and body weight.

Studies have also reported that a low-moderate GI dieting may help prevent :

  • Diabetes
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Inflammation
  • Heart disease and various other diseases [18].

Luckily, most fruits have a low-to-moderate GI, meaning they can be on your dessert menu even throughout your weight loss process.

  • Natural Sugars from Fruit Can Help You Curb Sweet Cravings and Reduce Calorie Intake.

The natural fruit sweetness may help satisfy your sweet tooth and keep unhealthy carb and sugar cravings at bay.

Eating fruit salad or whole fruits as a substitute for fast foods, chips, cookies, cakes, and other high-calorie processed snacks and desserts with added refined sugar enables you to satisfy your desire for a sweet treat while significantly reducing the intake of calories and fat content.

“Beyond just being a healthier hit of sweetness, fruits are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, fiber, and water—which candy and candy-sugar doesn’t have.” -Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD

Consuming less food and fewer calories may promote weight loss.

FAQs

Which Fruit Burns the Most Belly Fat?

Fruits that help burn the most belly fat are those with high dietary fiber, low in calories and sugar, such as apples, strawberries, kiwi, tomato, grapefruit, etc.

Does Watermelon Help Burn Belly Fat?

Yes, watermelon can help burn belly fat as it’s an excellent source of Lycopene and Arginine, an amino acid that helps increase your body’s fat-burning potential.

With only 30 calories per 100 grams and 90% water, watermelon helps you feel fuller and stay hydrated, enabling you to curb cravings and avoid snacking between meals.

Does Pineapple Burn Belly Fat?

Yes, pineapple can help burn belly fat due to bromelain, a group of enzymes with anti-inflammatory properties in this tropical fruit that can improve digestion, among other health gains [19].

However, drinking too much pineapple juice may make you fatter as it’s rich in sugar and low in fiber.

Which Apple Burns the Most Fat?

Compared to other varieties, tart Granny Smith apples may help burn the most fat and best support weight loss due to their higher concentration of dietary fiber and water combined with few calories.

Is Banana Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, one banana per day is good for weight loss.

Bananas are loaded with fiber content that increases satiety, slows digestion, helps reduce bloating and the risk of weight gain, as research has found.

Which Fruits Should Be Avoided for Weight Loss?

Dried fruit (raisins, prunes, cranberries, etc.) and all the other excessively sweet, high-calorie fresh fruits like grapes, mangos, bananas, avocados, and similar should be avoided or consumed in moderation because they could slow down your weight loss process.

Best Fruits for Weight Loss - Key Takeaways

Not only are fruits an easily available, affordable, healthy snack you can eat anywhere and any time, but studies have shown they may:

  • Aid weight loss
  • Helping you control sugar cravings
  • Keep blood glucose stable
  • Enhance digestion, and
  • Provide a feeling of fullness and energy.

The best fruits that can help you burn fat efficiently include citrus, apples, strawberries, blueberries, stone fruits, and many others lowest in calories and highest in fiber, containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other valuable nutrients.

So, consult your nutritionist or doctor about adding these nutritious, yummy fruits to your daily meal plan.

To maximize the gains, strive to eat various refreshing, whole, raw fruits with skin rather than drink fruit juices, fruit smoothies, or similar alternatives.

Also, stick to a balanced diet and a regular workout routine.

Track your results and let us know how the fruit you’ve eaten influenced your weight loss.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16579728/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18617377/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3039556/
  4. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102591/nutrients
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22082311/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24670970/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7498104/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18439712/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26394033/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19857054/
  11. https://agrilifetoday.tamu.edu/2012/06/18/peaches-plums-nectarines-give-obesity-diabetes-slim-chance/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31256714/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3488810/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084020/
  15. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/
  17. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/149/10/1742/5512578
  18. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/1/27/4576555
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4998156/

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