Whether you’re dealing with endless bloating or you just can’t make your middle look the way you want it to, your diet really does matter. What you put into your body affects more than just the way your belly looks, but it’s all related. If you want to lose belly fat, you’re going to have to make some changes.
There is no one specific diet plan that will guarantee you the results you want. But experts have found several evidence-based solutions that can help you achieve your goals.
Best fiber foods for weight loss
Fiber is a nutrient you’ll find in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. It’s one of the most important things you should consider when trying to lose weight. It not only helps keep your digestive system healthy — it also triggers feelings of fullness, which can help you eat less.
Foods high in fiber and other nutrients include:
- Fruits such as bananas, berries, and citrus
- Vegetables, including spinach, kale, carrots,
- Legumes such as beans
- Whole grains such as brown rice and bread made with whole grains.
Most people need at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Among other things, meeting that minimum can help you beat food cravings, eat less, and lose weight.
Best sources of protein for fat loss
Research has shown that eating a sufficient amount of protein can help you lose and maintain weight and avoid belly bloat.
- Chicken and turkey
- Lean beef and pork
- Fish (such as tuna)
- Quinoa, chickpeas, and other plant proteins
- Nuts (especially almonds and walnuts)
- Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and some other dairy-based products.
You can get protein from both plant and animal sources, or just plants, depending on your preferences. Here’s how much protein you should be eating every day.
Foods to avoid for a flat stomach
You may have heard the recommendation that to lose fat and/or weight, you should cut back on (or cut out) refined carbs.
This refers to foods made with sugar that lack other nutrients. Fruit, for example, is technically a carb — it has sugar in it. But it also contains fiber, while fruit juice (a high-sugar beverage) does not.
Try to eat fewer of the following foods high in refined carbs:
- White rice, white bread, and white pasta
- Chips, crackers, and other snack foods
- Sweets, pastries, and desserts.
You should also — as much as possible — drink water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, fruit juice, and certain types of alcohol.
Best workouts to burn belly fat
Changing your diet is important — and following the suggestions above can make a huge difference. But it isn’t usually the only necessary change. It’s also important to keep your body moving if you want to tone up, lose weight, or improve your overall health in other ways.
- Weight-lifting can help you target specific muscle groups in a given workout
- Bodyweight exercises can tone your full body and help you build muscle
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT) requires quick bursts of energy that help burn fat.
A combination of the right workouts and the best foods for your belly (and your whole body) can change everything. One small shift at a time might leave you wondering why you waited so long to make it happen in the first place.