Avocados and oranges

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You can diet smart—not hard—when it comes to working on your problem areas. Much of winning the battle is in knowing what to eat to optimize your weight loss. Those who carry excess weight in their bellies need foods that can work together to fight cortisol, the stress hormone that slows metabolism and increases inflammation. Those who want to get rid of excess fat from a big bottom do well on a low-fat, high-calcium diet. And if you have fat distributed all over, your biggest challenge is igniting your body’s natural fat burners.

The following food combos work with your body type to melt away your unwanted pounds.

Oranges and Avocados for a Big Belly

People with big middles tend to have higher levels of cortisol, the body’s key stress hormone. Too much cortisol slows your metabolism and also breaks down muscle, making you hard-wired to store fat. Vitamin C is known to reduce levels of cortisol. Pair oranges with avocados, rich in monounsaturated fats (or MUFAs), which are known to reduce inflammation and decrease fat storage in the belly.

Slim-Belly Salad: Take 1 avocado, pitted and sliced, and mix it with 3 oranges, peeled and parted. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, another MUFA, and a dash of salt. Eat this every day for lunch; add grilled chicken for protein, which will provide prolonged satiety and satisfaction.
Cottage cheese and black beans

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Low-fat Cottage Cheese and Black Beans for a Big Bottom
Low-fat dairy is key. Research shows increasing calcium levels with a low-fat diet will actually speed up weight loss as calcium promotes fat breakdown. Pair low-fat cottage cheese with black beans; complex carbs will amp up weight loss further in women with this body type. Together, this combo will also decrease the amount of estrogen circulating in the body (estrogen is associated with carrying weight in your bottom).

Slim Bottom Dip: Mix one can of black beans (drained, low-sodium) and one 12-ounce container of low-fat cottage cheese. Mix together with 3 plum tomatoes, diced, a half-can of corn, and fresh chopped cilantro and hot sauce to taste. Eat with veggies or whole-grain crackers. Enjoy a quarter-cup as a snack between breakfast and lunch, and quarter-cup as a snack between lunch and dinner.
Brazil nuts and onions

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Brazil Nuts and Raw Onions to Slim You Down All Over
Brazil nuts are a great source of L-arginine. Studies show that people with excess belly fat actually have less growth hormone, without which they can’t properly distribute and break down fat. L-arginine is a super supplement that naturally boosts growth hormone levels and revs your metabolism, stimulating fat-burn all over. Raw onions are a natural diuretic, which can help to relieve bloating (cooking them will strip them of this property).

Slim All Over Side Dish: On your stove top, toast a quarter-cup of chopped Brazil nuts for about 2 minutes. Dice one raw onion. Add this mixture to quinoa, a whole grain and complete protein that is low on the glycemic index, a quality that helps to control the blood sugar spikes that lead to weight gain. Eat a half-cup of this as a side dish every night with dinner instead of any other starch.

Next: Dr. Oz reveals 5 diet myths making you gain weight
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.