The best eating habits for faster belly fat loss, experts say: eat this, not that

If the title caught your eye, you’ll love what Steve Theunissen, RDN, has to say about key eating practices for achieving a flatter tummy. He says: You should enjoy eating what you eat, it shouldn’t cost you more than you can affordAnd it should be a simple enough plan to follow throughout your life.

“Instead of following a diet, try changing your eating patterns,” says Theunissen, owner of Smart Fitness Results.

Oh, and Theunissen wants to clarify something about specific abdominal fat targeting. You can not.

“When you reduce fat, it is cut from all parts of your body and not just from the belly,” he says. “Your thighs, arms, waist and even your face will show the effects of fat loss.”

If you’re looking for quick results, “I highly recommend intermittent fasting,” he says. Intermittent fasting limits your eating to a defined time window. “Tremendously cuts fat from all parts of your body, including your abdomen.”

In the meantime, according to experts, you can try these other habits to quickly tighten your belt. So, for details, read about ways fasting can help you lose weight.

apple oatmeal

Recent research has challenged the long-held belief that breakfast is a reliable weight loss strategy. But many nutrition experts still advise clients not to skip their morning meal but to focus on eating healthy foods that promote weight loss.

“It’s not just about getting enough calories, it’s also about getting the right kind,” says Reda Elmardi, RD, certified strength and conditioning specialist for The Gym Goat. “Studies have shown that people who eat a high-fiber breakfast tend to have a lower BMI (body mass index) than people who skip breakfast.”

Get into the habit of eating cold fiber-rich cereals or hot oatmeal – both are good sources of fiber.

Another food that fights belly fat is protein. A 2020 study in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health compared two common types of breakfast: eggs and toast versus cereal bran with sugar, milk, and orange juice. Both types of breakfast were eaten by the same group of 50 overweight but healthy people on two different days.

Researchers found that the protein-rich egg breakfast improved satiety after the meal. Participants consumed less food at lunch and dinner after the egg breakfast than after the sugary breakfast cereal meal.

man looking in the fridge

One of the most effective ways to get rid of belly fat is to make it a habit to eat to satisfy hunger rather than out of habit, eat because you’re anxious or depressed, or eat because, well, you’re not actually hungry but thirsty.

“About 75 percent of people have confused thirst and hunger mechanisms,” says Bess Berger, RDN, who specializes in women struggling with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) at Nutrition by Bess. “This means that sometimes when they think they’re hungry, they’re actually just thirsty, but they end up eating more. If we make sure we’re properly hydrated, we can end up consuming less when we’re actually hungry.”

cooking with olive oil

When you cook your own meals at home, you should automatically eat healthier simply because restaurant meals are typically very high in extra calories, carbohydrates, fat and sodium – all names synonymous with unhealthy eating. By cooking, you naturally prepare foods more consciously. And it’s easier to get in the habit of avoiding unhealthy fats like refined oils, junk food, chips, cookies, and other preservative-laden packaged snacks, says Theunissen.

woman who refuses or says no to being poured a glass of alcoholic wine

It is not a food habit per se, but it does affect your eating habits. Getting into the habit of avoiding daily alcohol consumption can help you significantly reduce belly fat.

Why? “Consistently drinking beer, wine or cocktails will cause alcohol to be absorbed and quickly converted into fat, which tends to settle in the abdomen,” says FitnessClone nutritionist Juliana Tamayo.

Additionally, when you drink alcohol, you not only consume calories from the drink, but you often consume more energy-dense foods such as pizza, chips, buffalo wings, and cheeseburgers. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, check the number of calories you consume from your drinks. They can be sneaky. Instead, get into the habit of choosing water, fruit waters, and unsweetened iced tea as zero-calorie drinks.

eat salad after training

David Brendan, RDN and certified personal trainer with StartRowing, is another advocate of intermittent fasting to accelerate fat loss. He recommends fasting for 16 hours and scheduling end-of-queue resistance training, sometimes between the 13th and 16th hours of the fast before eating. This habit will speed up fat burning, he says. After the quick and exercise session, your body is ready to use that fuel.

“You also need to stay hydrated with water to the point where your urine is clear,” he says.

Good hydration is essential for a properly functioning body, which includes burning fat efficiently.

write the meal plan

Everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for another when it comes to losing weight. But some things are consistent across the board, says Johna Burdeos, RD, LC, CNSC.

“For weight loss, slowness and stability and realistic goal setting wins the race,” says Burdeos.

Since many of us need help sticking to a plan, he says teaming up with a dietician might be your best bet.

“Work with a registered dietitian who will work with you on a bespoke diet plan that you can actually live with for the long term,” she says.

vegan buddha bowl

You’ve heard this advice a million times, but are you doing it? Find out the next time you sit down for a meal and check your plate. Does it look like Monet’s Garden of the Artist in Argenteuil? In other words, is it full of color?

“Half of your plate should be filled with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables,” says Burdeos. These foods should also be your main snacks along with nuts. “They confer many important health benefits regardless of whether you are trying to lose weight or not.”

Because fruits and vegetables are typically low in calories, they reduce or prevent you from consuming extra calories between meals that are normally stored as fat deposits, says Daniel Boyer, MD, of the Farr Institute, a health-advocating research organization. public.

“In addition, consuming foods that improve metabolism such as foods rich in minerals, ginger and legumes can also create a calorie deficit, an important factor necessary for proper weight management,” says Boyer.


If you make it a habit to add non-starchy vegetables to every meal and snack you eat, you’ll automatically increase your fiber intake and lose body fat, says Blanca Garcia, RDN, a registered nutritionist nutritionist with HealthCanal. “Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that is not digested and not absorbed; it works like the broom of the intestine,” she says. “This allows your body not to absorb all the available carbohydrates, proteins and fats that can contribute to abdominal weight.”

Fiber also contributes to a healthy diversity of bacteria in the gut, which reduces inflammation and helps fight obesity. If you find it difficult to get more fiber into your daily diet, you haven’t read our story, Popular Foods With More Fiber Than Oatmeal.

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