While no single food can "spot train" belly fat, some smart swaps can also improve gut health (eliminating cramps and gas!) and help you feel less puffy. Veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, fish, whole grains, and other smart choices loaded with fiber and protein will keep you fuller longer, all while working their nutrient-powered magic. When it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, these plant-based foods loved by registered dietitians have your back.
Create a seven-day meal plan. This meal plan should include three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), scheduled at the same time of day, as well as two small snacks (between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner), also schedule at the same time of day. This will ensure you eat at a consistent time for all seven days and do not skip or miss a meal. Eating about 1,400 calories a day, combined with daily exercise, can lead to healthy weight loss.
Carbohydrates are the preferred form of fuel for your body's energy needs. Simple or sugary carbs have their place when you need fast energy, but for the most part you should eat complex or slow-burning carbs (we'll give you examples of these later). The thing about carbs, though, is that after you consume all the carbs your body needs for immediate energy, any excess carbs will be stored as body fat.
Do high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is an exercise program that alternates intense exercises with short intervals of recovery or rest. This type of exercise will help you burn fat fast. High intensity exercises force your body to use the sugars in your body and allows you to burn fat faster than low intensity workouts. You will also use stored body fat during the recovery phase, which will reduce your stored body fat. You can perform HIIT exercises with gym equipment, or an exercise mat and a few free weights. There are several popular HIIT programs, including:
And maybe a new mattress, because it’s not just the amount of time you spend sleeping that keeps you lean, it’s also the quality of your sleep. Fat cells in your body produce a hormone called leptin that helps the body keep track of how much potential energy (i.e. fat) it has stored. But leptin is only produced during certain stages of sleep. Miss out on those stages because you’re not resting soundly enough, and you’ll disturb levels of the hormone, leaving your body with no real idea of its energy reserves. Consequently, you’ll end up storing calories rather than burning them.