What Are Benefits of Eating Watermelon to Lose Belly Fat?

In the battle of the belly bulge, food plays a starring role. Rich, fatty, high-calorie and high-sugar foods will obviously cause you to pack on pounds -- often around your midsection. Some foods, however, can actually help you lose total body weight, which will help slim your stomach. Look for foods that are high in water and fiber content and low in calories -- like watermelon, for example.

Weight-Loss Basics

Beating belly bulge is a matter of reducing overall body fat. Everyone loses fat differently, but eventually, if you reduce your total body fat, your stomach will become smaller. The best way to do this is by lowering your calorie intake and increasing your calorie burn through regular exercise. Substituting foods like watermelon in your diet for higher calorie foods like sweets can help you create a calorie deficit. If you create a calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per day, you could lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Low-Energy-Dense Foods and Weight Loss

Foods that are low in calories per gram should be the focus of a weight-loss diet, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These foods are normally high in fiber or water content, or both. Neither fiber nor water contributes calories, but both help fill you up. This creates a lasting feeling of fullness, which can help you eat less of higher calorie foods so you reduce your total calorie intake and lose weight. Fresh vegetables and fruits, such as watermelon, are the lowest energy-dense foods around because they're typically highest in fiber and water content.

Watermelon Stats

Watermelon is a little more than 91 percent water by weight. It's not a very good source of fiber, with only 0.6 gram per cup of diced fruit, which is a normal serving size, but it's still a very low-energy-dense food with only 0.3 calorie per gram. One 152-gram cup contains only 46 calories. Compare that to one ounce of sour cream-and-onion potato chips that have an energy density of 5.3 calories per gram, or 151 calories total and you can see why snacking on watermelon is a better choice when you have some extra padding to lose around your midsection.

Watermelon in Your Diet

Watermelon will only help you lose belly fat if you eat it instead of other higher calorie foods -- and not in addition to those foods. Next time you're craving something sweet, sink your teeth into a slice of watermelon. You can also get a little more creative with your melon. Make a fresh salad with watermelon chunks, basil and a small amount of feta cheese, or use diced watermelon in a fresh salsa with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and diced green pepper.