Based on my experience in nutrition counseling, most of us tend to snack on foods that aren’t nutrient-dense, but are high in calories. For example, skipping sugary beverages is often the easiest way to lose weight faster. You don’t feel full from drinks — even the ones that do contain calories — so swapping those out for sparkling water or unsweetened tea and coffee is the best place to start. Other major culprits often come in refined grains like cereals, chips, crackers, and cookies.
Sometimes, I find it hard to stick to my weight loss plan. Maybe it’s that I’m not committed, but I don’t think that’s the problem. I know that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels! More likely, it’s because I live a pretty busy, on-the-go life. I don’t always have time to whip up from-scratch meals, which leads to what I call take-out derailment. This 30-day weight loss meal plan changes all of that.
Ideally, health experts recommend that you aim for a loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week (7 days). Aiming to lose 2 pounds in a day is extreme and potentially dangerous; it is neither recommended nor guaranteed as an outcome. However, there are unusual times when a person considers this necessary, such as before a weigh-in for sports, so there are plans for achieving this in existence for those rare, one-off occasions. For details on this topic, see How to Lose 2 Pounds in One Day.
While many people turn to artificial sweeteners in a misguided attempt to whittle their waistlines, those fake sugars are likely to have the opposite effect. According to Yale researchers, artificial sweeteners are actually linked with an increased risk of abdominal obesity and weight gain, possibly because they can trigger cravings for the real stuff and spike insulin levels in a similar fashion to real sugar.
While it's often assumed that bread is off-limits when you're trying to lose belly fat, the right bread may actually expedite the process. Switching to sprouted bread can help out carb-lovers eager to get their fix without going up a belt size, thanks to the inulin content of sprouted grains. The results of a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism reveal that found that pre-diabetic study subjects whose diets were supplemented with inulin shaved off more belly fat and total weight than those whose meal plans didn't pack this healthy prebiotic fiber.
Add a cup of low-fat milk, a part-skim mozzarella stick, or a half cup of low-sodium cottage cheese to breakfast, and you may have a belly-busting win. While lots of research links calcium with lower body weights, results from a 2014 study suggest that calcium-containing foods may reduce waist circumference in those genetically predisposed to carrying weight in their midsection.