Contents

7-Day Flat-Belly Meal Plan

Getting rid of belly fat isn’t just about fitting into skinny jeans—research shows that people with less visceral belly fat (the fat that surrounds your organs) have a decreased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So not only will losing fat help you look and feel better, it will also help ward off dangerous health issues.

Read More: Foods to Lose Belly Fat & How They Work

While there isn’t one magic food that will melt away belly fat, studies have reported certain foods have special belly-fat-burning benefits, such as avocado, artichokes, whole grains, kefir, green tea, eggs, peanuts and chickpeas. These foods work in different ways to help shrink fat cells and decrease waist circumference. This 7-day meal plan incorporates these flat-belly foods, plus vegetables, whole grains, fruits and healthy fats and protein, in delicious ways to help make it easier to lose belly fat and feel great.

Looking for more flay-belly meal plans? See our flat-belly diet plans for fall, winter, for a vegan diet and for a high-protein diet!

How to Meal Prep You Week of Meals:

  1. Meal prep the Spinach & Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette (made with flat-belly foods!) to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5. Store the salad in an air-tight container (To buy: amazon.com, $25.99 for 5) and the dressing separately in a small container (To buy: amazon.com, $12 for 8).
  2. Make the Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers to have for a quick grab-and-go breakfast on Days 1, 2, 3 and 7. Store in glass air-tight containers (To buy: amazon.com, $7.19 for 1) and reheat in the microwave on High for 20 to 30 seconds when ready to eat. Freeze any remaining egg muffins in the freezer.
  3. Make the Chile-Lime Peanuts and store in a glass air-tight container to keep fresh (To buy: amazon.com, $7.19 for 1 medium container) to have throughout the week.
  4. Meal-prep 2 batches of Basic Quinoa and store in an airtight container (To buy: amazon.com, $15 for 1 large container) to have throughout the week. Freeze any leftovers for easy use down the road.
  5. When making the Chickpea Pasta with Lemony-Parsley Pesto for dinner on Day 2, make the associated recipe for the Sheet-Pan Roasted Vegetables and store in an airtight container (To buy: amazon.com, $15 for 1 large container). You’ll use some on Day 2 and will use the leftovers on Days 4 & 5.

Day 1

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Flat-Belly Bonus: Research has found that eating nuts is associated with a slimmer waistline and lower BMI. And the kick of spice you’ll find in the Chile-Lime Peanuts recipe can help boost your metabolism, thanks to the compound capsaicin.

Breakfast (290 calories, 4 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers
  • 1 medium orange
  • 8 oz. green tea

A.M. Snack (214 calories, 11 g fiber)

  • 1 cup low-fat kefir
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

Lunch (345 calories, 8 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Whole-Wheat Veggie Wrap

P.M. Snack (221 calories, 4 g fiber)

  • 1/4 cup Chile-Lime Peanuts

Dinner (410 calories, 13 g fiber)

  • 2 cups Baked Vegetable Soup
  • 1 4-inch whole-wheat pita round, toasted and topped with 1/4 cup hummus

Daily Totals: 1,480 calories, 62 g protein, 153 g carbohydrates, 41 g fiber, 76 g fat, 2,367 mg sodium

Day 2

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Flat-Belly Bonus: Chickpeas are a flat-belly food with 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein in 1/2 cup. Those nutrients fill you up and stabilize your blood sugar to keep you satisfied. Plus, chickpea eaters have waists 2 inches smaller than people who don’t eat the bean. Today’s Chickpea Pasta with Lemony-Parsley Pesto and Flat-Belly Salad at dinner delivers belly-fat burning chickpeas and artichokes.

  • 1 serving Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers
  • 1 medium orange
  • 8 oz. green tea
  • 1 cup low-fat kefir
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

Lunch (324 calories, 4 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Spinach & Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette

P.M. Snack (46 calories, 2 g fiber)

  • 1 1/2 cups air-popped popcorn topped with 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Dinner (630 calories, 12 g fiber)

  • 1 3/4 cups Chickpea Pasta with Lemony-Parsley Pesto

Meal-Prep Tip: Save 1 cup of the Sheet-Pan Roasted Root Vegetables (part of tonight’s dinner prep) for dinner on Day 4.

Daily Totals: 1,504 calories, 62 g protein, 122 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 92 g fat, 1,940 mg sodium

Day 3

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Flat-Belly Bonus: Green tea contains compounds called catechins that can protect against obesity. Plus the caffeine slightly revs up your metabolism. Add in a cup or two of green tea to you daily routine, like we do in this meal plan, to get more of its health benefits.

  • 1 serving Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers
  • 1 medium orange
  • 8 oz. green tea

A.M. Snack (210 calories, 4 g fiber)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 serving Spinach & Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette

P.M. Snack (159 calories, 11 g fiber)

  • 1/2 cup low-fat kefir
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

Dinner (414 calories, 7 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Orange-Sesame Salmon with Quinoa & Broccolini

Evening Snack (103 calories, 3 g fiber)

  • 1 serving (2 rings) Apple “Donuts”

Meal-Prep Tip: Cook extra quinoa to have throughout the week. You will need 1/2 cup for lunch on Day 4 and 1/2 cup for lunch on Day 5.

Daily Totals: 1,500 calories, 78 g protein, 135 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 75 g fat, 1,558 mg sodium

Day 4

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Flat-Belly Bonus: Fiber-rich lentils feed healthy gut bacteria and keep things moving along smoothly in your gut to prevent bloating and constipation. And adding dark leafy greens (as we do in tonight’s dinner) helps you take in fewer calories without increasing hunger. As per Harvard University research, vegetables are the number one food that promotes weight loss.

Breakfast (380 calories, 10 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Matcha Green-Tea Latte
  • 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast
  • 2 kiwi fruit

A.M. Snack (113 calories, 1 g fiber)

  • 1/2 serving (1 muffin) Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers

  • 1 serving Spinach & Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup Chile-Lime Peanuts

Dinner (453 calories, 14 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils

Daily Totals: 1,491 calories, 65 g protein, 130 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 86 g fat, 1,753 mg sodium

Day 5

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Flat-Belly Bonus: Quinoa is a powerhouse whole grain, with protein and fiber. People who swapped out refined grains and ate more whole grains (like quinoa and brown rice) lost belly fat. Today’s Roasted Veggie & Quinoa Salad recipe for lunch delivers a healthy dose of this healthy grain.

Breakfast (490 calories, 18 g fiber)

  • 1 cup kefir
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened muesli
  • 3/4 cup raspberries

Top kefir with muesli and berries

  • 8 oz. green tea
  • 1/2 serving (1 muffin) Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers
  • 1 serving Spinach & Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette

P.M. Snack (95 calories, 4 g fiber)

  • 1 medium apple

Dinner (497 calories, 8 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Spaghetti Squash & Chicken with Avocado Pesto

Daily Totals: 1,519 calories, 77 g protein, 152 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 76 g fat, 1,449 mg sodium

Day 6

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Flat-Belly Bonus: People who eat avocado regularly are more likely to have smaller waists. True, avocados are high in fat but it’s the good kind that keeps your heart healthy and fills you up.

Breakfast (296 calories, 6 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Matcha Green-Tea Latte
  • 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast
  • 1/2 serving (1 muffin) Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers

Lunch (360 calories, 13 g fiber)

  • 1 serving White Bean & Veggie Salad
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Dinner (532 calories, 5 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Shrimp Paulista
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice topped with 1 tsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli florets topped with 2 tsp. olive oil and seasoned with a pinch each of salt and pepper

Daily Totals: 1,512 calories, 73 g protein, 156 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 70 g fat, 1,666 mg sodium

Day 7

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Flat-Belly Bonus: Protein from eggs can help you slim down and build muscle. Eating quality protein-just 10 grams-at meals throughout the day is linked with smaller waistlines.

  • 1 serving Greek Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers
  • 1 medium orange
  • 8 oz. green tea

A.M. Snack (200 calories, 5 g fiber)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (230 calories, 11 g fiber)

  • 1 serving White Bean & Avocado Toast

P.M. Snack (186 calories, 11 g fiber)

  • 3/4 cup low-fat kefir
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

Dinner (605 calories, 8 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Hasselback Caprese Chicken
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Daily Totals: 1,510 calories, 84 g protein, 174 g carbohydrates, 40 g fiber, 60 g fat, 1,704 mg sodium

The 20 Best-Ever Recipes for Zero Belly

In a study in the journal Public Health Nutrition, people who ate at a restaurant on any given day took in an additional 200 calories more than those who prepared all their own meals. Even if you eat just one meal a day from a restaurant, that’s enough to add 21 pounds of body weight every year. In fact, cooking at home regularly is so good for you that it helps you eat less even on nights when you do go out to a restaurant–probably because you become used to serving yourself sane portion sizes, instead of the mind-bending, monster-sized entrees most restaurants dish out.

These delicious recipes—each of them gluten-free, lactose-free, and packed with amazing flavor—combine the magic of cooking at home with the metabolism turbocharge of 9 insanely healthy superfoods, courtesy of the best-selling Zero Belly Cookbook—order now and get yours in time for Christmas. And to blast even more belly fat, don’t miss this essential list of 50 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds—Fast!

BREAKFAST

SPINACH and ONION STRATA

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 249 calories / 11 g fat / 24 g carb / 2 g fiber / 13 g protein

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, packed
4 slices gluten free bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 whole eggs
6 egg whites
1¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp sofrito
1 tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

HOW TO MAKE IT

Step 1

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and chopped onion, and cook until the onions become slightly translucent and soft. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a colander to remove any excess
moisture. Set aside to cool completely.

Step 2

Place the cubed bread in the bottom of a large pie dish, and top with the spinach and onion mixture.

Step 3

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, almond milk, sofrito, salt, and ground black pepper. Pour over the bread and spinach mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and place the dish in the fridge overnight, or at least four hours.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Step 5

Remove the plastic wrap from the strata, and cook uncovered for 45 minutes or until the eggs are fully cooked.

Step 6

Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.

APPLE PIE MUFFINS

Serves: 12

Nutrition: 133 calories / 7 g fat / 14 g carb / 4 g fiber / 5 g protein

1½ cups gluten free all purpose flour
2 tbsp vegetarian vanilla protein powder
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 whole eggs
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 red apple, grated (skin on)
¼ cup raw walnuts, toasted in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes) and roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, combine the gluten free flour, protein powder, rolled oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In another bowl whisk together the egg, applesauce, maple syrup, almond milk, olive oil, vanilla, and grated apple.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

Step5

Spray a muffin tin with olive oil spray. Pour the batter into the prepared
muffin pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean, 15-20 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Serve warm or at room temperature.

MEXICAN OMELET with FRESH SALSA

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 197 calories / 8 g fat / 21 g carb / 7 g fiber / 11 g protein

1 cup canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of half a lime
3 whole eggs
5 egg whites
½ cup ZBD salsa
¼ cup ZBD guacamole

Pulse the pinto beans and lime juice in a food processor until it has the consistency of refried beans.

Coat a small nonstick pan with olive oil spray and heat over medium heat.

Whisk together the eggs and egg whites.

Add one fourth of the egg mixture to the pan. Use a spatula to stir, drawing the cooked egg to the center of the pan to let the raw egg slide under.

When the eggs have all but set, spoon a quarter of the pinto bean mixture down the middle of the omelet. Use the spatula to fold over a third of the egg to cover the mixture, then carefully slide the omelet onto a plate using the spatula to flip it over at the last second to form one fully rolled omelet.

Top with 2 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon of guacamole.

Step 7

Repeat three times with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Check out these 55 Best-Ever Ways to Boost Your Metabolism!

PEACH COBBLER Oatmeal

Serves: 1

Nutrition: 233 calories / 7 g fat / 33 g carb / 5 g fiber / 7 g protein

½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup water
½ cup rolled oats
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup peaches, chopped (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 tbsp raw flaked almonds

Bring the almond milk and water to a boil. Stir in the oats and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.

Just before the oats are cooked, take off the heat and stir in cinnamon, followed by the chopped peaches. Top with flaked almonds.

LUNCH

CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD LETTUCE WRAPS

Zero Belly

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 251 calories / 13 g fat / 8 g carb / 3 g fibe / 24 g protein

½ rotisserie chicken
¼ cup ZBD mayo or storebought
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp curry powder
3 tbsp roughly chopped mint
3 tbsp roughly cilantro
¼ cup red grapes, halved
2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant (about 2 mins)
⅓ cup roughly chopped red onion
3 celery stalks, sliced thin into half moons
1 head Bibb lettuce leaves

Remove skin from rotisserie chicken. Pick meat, both white and dark, from the carcass and shred. Reserve ½ the meat for a future meal.

Mix together the ZBD mayo, lemon juice, curry powder, mint, and cilantro in a large bowl. Fold in the shredded chicken, grapes, toasted almonds, red onions, and celery.

Divide salad into four portions and serve with lettuce leaf “wraps.”

ENGLISH MUFFIN PIZZAS

Jason Varney/Zero Belly Cookbook

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 309 calories / 10 g fat / 29 g carb / g fiber / 35 g protein

2 gluten-free English muffins, toasted whole and sliced in half
½ cup ZBD Marinara
1 tsp dried oregano
12 Turkey Meatballs roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 oz white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ cup basil, roughly chopped
2 cups packed mixed greens
1 Tbsp ZBD Vinaigrette

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

Spoon 2 tablespoons ZBD Marinara on top of each toasted English muffin half for four individual pizzas. Divide the metaballs among the four pizzas, along with the sliced onions and mushrooms. Sprinkle with oregano.

Bake in oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Garnish with basil.

Toss mixed greens and ZBD Vinaigrette in a large bowl.

Divide mixed greens among four plates and serve with one pizza.

SHRIMP and SNOW PEA SALAD

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 248 calories / 5 g fat / 18 g carb / 2 g fiber / 25 g protein

3/4 lb snow peas
1 lb Poached Shrimp
5 radishes, thinly sliced
¼ large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tbsp roughly chopped mint
2 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
3 tbsp Asian Salad

To blanch the snow peas, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Place the trimmed beans in boiling water for about 30 seconds or until tender. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the snow peas directly into the ice water too cool completely. Once cool, take the snow peas out of the water and place on a paper towel to dry.

Combine the blanched snow peas and all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and divide between four plates.

Easy Chicken and Rice Soup


Serves: 4

Nutrition: 225 calories / 10 g fat / 18 g carb / 3 g fiber / 15 g protein

1⁄2 rotisserie chicken
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup finely diced onion
1⁄2 cup finely diced celery
1⁄2 cup finely diced carrot
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp kosher salt
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh herbs (your choice)
1 cup cooked brown rice

Remove skin from rotisserie chicken. Pick meat, both white and dark, from the carcass and shred. Reserve 1⁄2 the meat for a future meal.

Heat olive oil over a medium heat in a 4-quart sauce pot. Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, vegetable broth, and salt to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Add the chicken, rice, and the fresh herbs, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

IZZY’S WHITE CHICKEN CHILI

Serves: 8

Nutrition: 321 calories, 5 g fat, 13 g carb, 2 g fiber, 28 g protein

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
¼ tsp salt
2 x 4 oz cans green chilies, drained (can substitute with jalapeños)
1 x 2 lb rotisserie chicken, skin removed, white and dark meat cubed
1 x 15 oz can cannellinibeans, rinsed and drained
3 x 14 oz cans low sodium chicken broth

Heat oil in a large dutch oven on medium until shimmering.

Sauté onion until softened. Add garlic and sauté one minute. Add cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and cook for another minute. Add chilies, chicken, beans and stock. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes to blend flavors.

Dinner

OVEN ROASTED COD with TOMATO, QUINOA and CUCUMBER

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 358 calories / 13 g fat / 24 g carb / 5 g fiber / 35 g protein

2 cups cooked quinoa , cooled to room temperature
2 Tbsp ZBD Vinaigrette
½ avocado, diced
1 cup packed baby spinach
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ English cucumber, cut in half then in half moons
1 20 oz Oven Roasted Pacific Cod

Place the cooked quinoa ZBD Vinaigrette, avocado, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber in a large bowl and and mix well.

Divide the salad among four plates and top each with 5 ounces of oven-roasted cod.

SEARED TUNA with SHAVED FENNEL, GRAPEFRUIT and ARUGULA

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 231 calories / 8 g fat / 11 g carb / 3 g fiber / 29 g protein

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced in half moons
4 cups packed arugula
1 large ruby red grapefruit, segmented
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
3 tbsp ZBD Vinaigrette
1 lb Seared Tuna

Combine the fennel, arugula, grapefruit, parsley, and ZBD Vinaigrette in a large bowl. Mix well and divide between four plates. Top each plate with 4 ounces seared tuna.

TERRI’S TURKEY SKILLET

Serves: 6

Nutrition: 222 calories / 8 g fat / 19 g carb / 2 g fiber / 19 g protein

1 lb lean ground turkey (at least 93% lean)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3 tbsp tamari, divided
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
One 14.5 oz petite diced fire roasted tomatoes, no salt added
8 oz baby crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 cups baby spinach
1½ cups cooked brown rice
¼ cup chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Add the ground turkey and use a heatproof spoon or spatula to break into pieces. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the Italian seasoning and one tablespoon of tamari to the turkey and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the browned turkey to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess fat.

Keep the skillet on the heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, and green pepper, and saute until tender, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of tamari to the skillet, along with the fire roasted tomatoes and mushrooms. Leave to cook until the tomato juices begin to boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Return the cooked ground turkey to pan. Add the baby spinach, and heat until spinach is wilted and well mixed.

Garnish with chopped cilantro (optional).

Bonus: Find out the 30 Foods That Melt Love Handles

MINI CRAB CAKE ‘PO BOY’ with SWEET POTATO FRIES

Serves: 4 servings of 3 crab cakes

Nutrition: 480 calories / 25 g fat / 33 g carb / 6 g fiber / 29 g protein

Crab Cakes

½ large red bell pepper, minced
½ large yellow bell pepper, minced
1 small red onion, minced
¼ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
3 tbsp Zero Belly Mayonnaise or storebought
3 dashes Tabasco (optional)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup almond meal
1 large egg white
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 lb crab meat (fresh or canned), picked over for shells and cartilage

Sweet Potato Fries

20 oz sweet potato, washed of excess dirt (about 1½ medium)
½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp ground cumin

Aioli

¼ cup Zero Belly Mayonnaise , or store bought
Juice of ½ a lemon
¾ tsp smoked paprika
½ tbsp relish

Toppings

1 head bibb lettuce (or romaine)
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
½ avocado, thinly sliced

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the crab cakes except for the crab and mix well with a rubber spatula. Once mixed, carefully fold in the crab until just incorporated.

Use your hand to form twelve individual crab cakes (about ¾ inch thick and 1 inch wide). Flatten the crab cakes between the palms of your hands and set aside.

For the fries:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut each potato in half lengthwise, and then into wedges. In a large bowl, combine the cut potatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and spices. Toss to evenly coat the potatoes.

Spread potatoes in a single layer on a non stick sheet pan. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven until edges are crisp and potatoes are cooked through, about 35 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a non stick pan over medium high heat.

Using a wide spatula, carefully place each crab cake in the pan. Sear for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip each cake over, and cook for another 3 minutes or until browned. Transfer each cooked crab cake onto a sheet pan. When the fries have about 7 minutes left of cooking time, place in the oven with the fries to heat through.

Step 8

To prepare the aioli, mix together all ingredients in a small bowl.

Step 9

To assemble the po-boys:

Step 10

Place each crab cake on a bibb lettuce or romaine leaf, and top with dollop of aioli, a slice of tomato, and a slice of avocado.

Step 11

Divide the hot fries among four plates and serve with three ‘po boys.’

CHICKEN PROVENCAL with SWISS CHARD and BROWN RICE

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 300 calories / 3 g fat / 38 g carbs / 6 g fiber / 39 g protein

One 20 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 cups Zero Belly Marinara or storebought
½ lb swiss chard,* rinsed of dirt and patted dry
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup water
½ lemon
½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped (optional)
2 cups cooked brown rice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat a nonstick pan, lightly coated with olive oil spray over medium heat.

Season the chicken breast with a pinch of salt and pepper, and sear in the pan until lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken breast all the way through. Place the seared chicken in a glass casserole dish.

Pour the Zero Belly Marinara over the chicken breast and cover the dish with foil. Place in the oven and cook
for 15 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, prepare the swiss chard. Take the green leaves of the stems and roughly chop.
Thinly slice the stems and set aside.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the swiss chard stems and sautee until tender, about two minutes. Add the chopped swiss chard leaves and add ¼ cup of water. Steam until tender, about 2 minutes. Finish with a squeeze of half a lemon.

Divide the cooked swiss chard among four plates. Top with one chicken breast and marinara. Serve with ½ cup brown rice. Garnish with basil.

TURKEY MEATLOAF MUFFINS with APPLE CIDER DIJON GLAZE and WILTED KALE SALAD

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 349 calories / 13 g fat / 31 g carb / 3 g fiber / 30 g protein (with 93% lean ground turkey)

1 lb ground Turkey breast (93% or leaner)
¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Zero Belly Sofrito
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
1 large egg white

Glaze

½ cup apple cider
3 tbsp raw manuka honey
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Salad

1 bunch of Tuscan kale, rinsed, dried and roughly chopped
1 tbsp Zero Belly Vinaigrette
¼ cup Grape tomatoes
2 Tbsp raw walnuts, toasted in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor or large bowl,
add the turkey, oats, onions, garlic,
sofrito, worcestershire, ketchup, and egg white. Pulse or mix until just
combined. Do not over mix.

Roll the mixture into 8 individual
balls and place them into 8 holes of a 12-hole muffin tin.

For the glaze, whisk together the apple cider, honey, and the Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Pour half the glaze into a fresh bowl and set aside.

Brush the top of the uncooked turkey muffins with ½ of the glaze and place in the oven.

Cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and use a clean brush and the remaining glaze to brush the cooked muffins. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.

When the muffins have about 10 minutes
left of cooking time, toss the kale and Zero Belly Vinaigrette and set aside.

Transfer the muffin pan to a cooling rack and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Right before serving, mix the grape tomatoes and the walnuts into the salad.

Divide the salad among four plates along with two meatloaf muffins.

VEGETABLE LASAGNA with BASIL PECAN PESTO

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 348 calories / 21 g fat / 29 g carb / 8 g fiber / 15 g protein

1 lb eggplant (1-2), sliced into rounds into ⅛th inch “noodles”
1 lb yellow squash (1-2), sliced lengthwise into ⅛th inch “noodles”
1 lb zucchini (1-2), sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch “noodles”
1½ cups part skim ricotta
1 large egg white
⅓ cup Zero Belly Pesto or storebought
1 8 oz jar roasted red pepper, drained and sliced into strips
1½ cups Zero Belly Marinara or storebought

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lay the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet and salt generously. Allow eggplant to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse with water and dry well. Spray baking sheet with olive oil spray; spread eggplant out in a single layer and spray with more olive oil. Place in oven for 5 minutes.

While the eggplant cooks, spray another baking sheet with olive oil. Spread a single layer of zucchini and summer squash slices. After eggplant has cooked for five minutes, add baking sheet with zucchini and yellow squash to oven. Bake for another five minutes. Remove both trays from the oven.

While vegetables are cooking, in a large bowl mix the ricotta, egg white, and Zero Belly Pesto together using a plastic spatula.

Lightly coat an 11 x 7 glass baking dish (at least 3 inches deep) with olive oil spray. Lay slices of summer squash side by side to create a single layer on the bottom of the dish. Follow with a single layer of zucchini, then a layer of eggplant. Spread ⅓ of the pesto-ricotta mixture on top of the eggplant, followed by ⅓ of the roasted peppers. Top with½ a cup of Zero Belly Marinara. Repeat this 2 times. Finish with a layer of Zero Belly Marinara.

Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Once cooked, let rest on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Desserts

CHOCOLATE BARK

Serves: 10

Nutrition: 190 calories / 12 g fat / 22 g carb / 2 g fiber / 3 g protein

10 oz semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup dried art cherries
¼ cup raw pepitas, dry roasted in a pan over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes), and cooled
¼ cup raw almonds, dry roasted in a pan over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes), cooled and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the chocolate chips onto the parchment paper and spread to form a rectangle, about 8 by 8 inches.

Bake the chocolate chips in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, just until they start to melt.

Transfer the pan to a cooling rack, and use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate into smooth, even rectangle. While the chocolate is still hot, evenly sprinkle with the dried cherries, toasted pepitas, and toasted almonds. Transfer the parchment paper to a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Break the bark into small pieces and serve.

APPLE CRUMBLE

Serves: 8

Nutrition: 234 calories / 9 g fat / 39 g carb / 2 g fiber / 5 g protein

6 red apples, skin on, diced into
½ inch cubes
1 orange, zested and juiced
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

Crumble Topping

¾ cup rolled oats, ground to a flour in food processor
¾ cup rolled oats
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup coconut oil, melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spray a 9 inch square pan or baking dish with olive oil spray.

Combine the diced apple with the fresh orange juice, orange zest, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well and spread evenly in the prepared baking dish.

Place the crumble topping ingredients in a separate bowl, and mix with your hands, pinching together clumps.

Evenly spread the crumble topping on the apples.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 45 minutes until golden brown.

Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES

Jason Varney/Galvanized

Serves: 12

Nutrition: 176 calories / 10 g fat / 20 g carb / 2 g fiber / 3 g protein

1⅓ cup gluten free all purpose flour mix (like Bob’s Red Mill)
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
1 egg
1 egg white
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup grated carrots
1 cup Whipped Coconut Cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line a 12-hole standard-size muffin with cupcake liners.

Mix together the almond flour, rice flour, baking soda, kosher salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix together the egg, egg white, coconut oil, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix to incorporate. Do not over mix. Fold in the grated carrots.

Spoon the batter into the 12 cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the Whipped Coconut Cream.

Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Top the cooled cupcakes with a dollop of Whipped Coconut Cream. Serve immediately.

BLACK FOREST COOKIES

Serves: 24

Nutrition: 211 calories / 17 g fat / 14 g carb / 3 g fiber / 3 g protein

2¼ cups finely ground almond meal/flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed or alkalized)
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the almond meal/flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda.

In another bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, light brown sugar, and eggs.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to incorporate. Mix in the chocolate chips and dried cherries.

Use a spoon to scoop out two tablespoons of cookie dough onto the sheet pans, leaving about two inches between each scoop.

Bake for 12 minutes. Let cookies sit for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool.

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Abdominal Fat Burning Recipes

Guide to Losing Abdominal Fat ( Home | Diet | Foods | Recipes )

Wondering how to create delicious abdominal fat burning dishes that can help you lose stubborn belly fat without compromising your health? This section of our Nutrition Guide to Losing Abdominal Fat provides dozens of exciting recipes that call for foods rich in nutrients that are thought to be particularly beneficial for those who want to lose belly fat. In addition to containing belly fat burning nutrients and phytochemicals such as vitamin D, chromium, calcium, pectin, vitamin C, zinc, and capsaicin, the recipes included in this section are usually low in calories and/or have a low glycemic index (GI) rating. If you’re not familiar with how specific fat loss nutrients, low glycemic ingredients and low calorie foods help burn belly fat, you may want to take a look at the diet section of this guide before diving into the belly fat burning recipes in this section.

If you are already familiar with the guidelines of the abdominal fat burning diet, go ahead and start browsing the recipes in this section. To get started, simply select one of the recipe categories below.

How to Lose Belly Fat In 2 Weeks with the Zero Belly Diet

“I can’t do this. I can’t face another diet.” My friend Kimberly was making yet another series of desperate New Year’s resolutions. “Every year, I starve myself for months, I lose maybe 5 pounds, and by springtime it all comes back,” she complained. “What’s the point? I’m just destined to be overweight.”

I understood how she felt. Obesity shortened my own father’s life, and for most of my childhood, I struggled with an extra 25 pounds as well. I figured it was my genetic destiny to be fat, too. But then I got sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I’ve made it my life’s work to learn everything there is to know about belly fat. But nothing in my 20 years of health journalism has prepared me for the groundbreaking research that has emerged in just the last year-new science that shows exactly how we can turn off our fat genes and lose weight almost automatically.

“What would you say if I told you that you didn’t need to go on a diet for months or even weeks?” I asked Kim. “What if you could lose much of that belly fat in just two weeks?”

That’s exactly what happened when last summer I shared Zero Belly Diet with a test panel of more than 500 people, some of whom lost as much as 16 pounds in just 14 days, and up to three inches off their waist. The secret to Zero Belly Diet is the new science of nutritional genetics, the study of how our genes are turned on and off by the foods we eat. Simply making a handful of tweaks to your diet and lifestyle can help improve your gut health, dampen inflammation, turn off your fat genes and start your body shedding fat-in particular, belly fat-almost automatically.

Start with these simple day-by-day changes to your daily routine to lose belly fat in two weeks, and check out the Zero Belly Diet to start losing weight while eating the foods you love.

Take a Brisk Walk Before Breakfast

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Zero Belly Diet panelist Martha Chesler did just this as part of her Zero Belly program, and the results were astonishing. “I saw changes immediately,” she reports. In less than six weeks on the program, Martha dropped over 20 pounds and an astonishing seven inches from her middle by combining the Zero Belly Foods with a pre-breakfast walk.

This easy a.m. ritual works on two levels. First, a recent study found that exposure to sunlight in between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon reduced your risk of weight gain regardless of activity level, caloric intake, or age. Researchers speculate that the morning light synchronizes your metabolism and undercuts your fat genes. And burning calories before you eat means you’re exercising in a fasted state-the energy you burn comes right from your fat stores, instead of from the food you ate. But what really stunned Martha was the improvement in her heart health. Before starting Zero Belly Diet, Martha’s heart rate would typically soar to 112 beats per minute (bpm) within moments of starting her exercise bike workout. “After the first week and a half I could not raise my heart rate over 96 bpm with the same workout. It was great to see change in the mirror, and even better to know good things were happening that I couldn’t even see.”

(For more ways to lose weight before noon, try these 10 daily habits that blast belly fat.)

Start with Some Fiber-Loaded Oatmeal

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Naturally sweet oatmeal recipes in Zero Belly Diet were the key to test panelist Isabel Fiolek’s dramatic 13-pound weight loss. “I happen to have a big sugar addiction,” Isabel admits. “But the recipes have been surprisingly satisfying for my sweet tooth.” Isabel also made dramatic health strides: A checkup after her six weeks on Zero Belly Diet revealed she’d dropped her total cholesterol by 25 percent and her blood glucose level by 10 percent.

So cook up some oatmeal-and top it with some fruit. What’s so magical about this combination? Each provides insoluble fiber that helps reduce blood cholesterol and feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. By doing so, you trigger your gut to produce butyrate, a fatty acid that reduces fat-causing inflammation throughout your body. In a Canadian study, researchers discovered that those whose diets were supplemented with insoluble fiber had higher levels of ghrelin-a hormone that controls hunger. (Try these two-minute oatmeal recipes that’ll make you an oatmeal fan forever.)

Choose Red Fruit Over Green

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That means Pink Lady over Granny Smith, watermelon over honeydew, red grapes over green ones. The higher levels of nutrients called flavonoids-particularly anthocyanins, compounds that give red fruits their color-calm the action of fat-storage genes. In fact, red-bellied stone fruits like plums boast phenolic compounds that have been shown to modulate the expression of fat genes. To learn more about turning on and off your fat genes, check out the essential list: 21 Nutrition Myths-Busted!

Load Up On Avocados

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For test panelist June Caron, incorporating fresh produce like avocados was a life-changing lesson from Zero Belly Diet. The 55-year-old lost 6 pounds in the first week on the program. “Learning to eat real, chemical-free, fresh foods has been the best thing that ever happened to me. I am never hungry. And the weight just keeps coming off!” Glowing skin, healthy nails, and better sleep were Zero Belly bonuses, June said. “I’m well on my way to getting my sexy back. Everyone says I look much younger!”

Avocados are a double-whammy to belly fat. First, they’re packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that dim your hunger switches; a study in Nutrition Journal found that participants who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward. Second, unsaturated fats like those found in avocados seem to prevent the storage of belly fat. (These creative ways to eat avocado will help you up your intake.)

Mix Up a Plant-Protein Smoothie

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Test panelist Bryan Wilson, a 29-year-old accountant, lost 19 pounds and an astounding 6 inches from his waist in just six weeks on the program, and he attributes his success to the Zero Belly shake recipes in the program. “I love the shakes. I added them to my diet, and almost immediately I lost the bloat,” Bryan said. “I’m a sweet craver, and the shakes were an awesome alternative to bowls and bowls of ice cream I would have had.”

Protein drinks are great ways to get a monster dose of belly-busting nutrition into a delicious, simple snack. But most commercial drinks are filled with unpronounceable chemicals that can upset our gut health and cause inflammation and bloat. And the high doses of whey used to boost protein levels can amplify the belly-bloating effect. The Zero Belly solution: Try vegan protein, which will give you the same fat-burning, hunger-squelching, muscle-building benefits, without the bloat. (Here’s a complete guide to easy-to-digest plant proteins.)

Shake up your own flat-belly fix with the essential eight foods that beat the bloat.

Power Up with Eggs

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You’ll find lean, satiating protein in every single bite you take on Zero Belly Diet. The muscle-building macronutrient is fundamental to the plan, and eggs happen to be one of the easiest and most versatile delivery systems in the universe. Not only that, they’re also the number-one dietary source of a nutrient called choline. Choline, which is found also in lean meats, seafood, and collard greens, attacks the gene mechanism that triggers your body to store fat around your liver. (That’s why eggs are one of the best foods for weight loss.) One Zero Belly Diet recipe-a breakfast hash with sweet potatoes and fresh farm eggs-became test panelist Morgan Minor’s go-to breakfast, and after just three weeks on the program, the female firefighter lost 11 pounds and 4 inches from her waist! The more eggs you eat, the less egg-shaped you get.

Drink Citrus-Infused ‘Spa Water’

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Start each day by making a large pitcher of “spa water”-that’s water filled with sliced whole lemons, oranges, or grapefruits-and make a point of sipping your way through at least eight glasses before bedtime. Citrus fruits are rich in the antioxidant D-limonene, a powerful compound found in the peel that stimulates liver enzymes to help flush toxins from the body and gives sluggish bowels a kick, according to the World Health Organization. For added belly-blasting benefits, brew yourself a pot of green tea, one of the five best teas for weight loss.

Strip away belly fat and lose up to 16 pounds in just two weeks-while eating the foods you love-with Zero Belly Diet, available now.

  • By David Zinczenko

8 Ways to Lose Belly Fat and Live a Healthier Life

  1. Try curbing carbs instead of fats.

    When Johns Hopkins researchers compared the effects on the heart of losing weight through a low-carbohydrate diet versus a low-fat diet for six months—each containing the same amount of calories—those on a low-carb diet lost an average of 10 pounds more than those on a low-fat diet—28.9 pounds versus 18.7 pounds. An extra benefit of the low-carb diet is that it produced a higher quality of weight loss, Stewart says. With weight loss, fat is reduced, but there is also often a loss of lean tissue (muscle), which is not desirable. On both diets, there was a loss of about 2 to 3 pounds of good lean tissue along with the fat, which means that the fat loss percentage was much higher on the low-carb diet.

  2. Think eating plan, not diet.

    Ultimately, you need to pick a healthy eating plan you can stick to, Stewart says. The benefit of a low-carb approach is that it simply involves learning better food choices—no calorie-counting is necessary. In general, a low-carb way of eating shifts your intake away from problem foods—those high in carbs and sugar and without much fiber, like bread, bagels and sodas—and toward high-fiber or high-protein choices, like vegetables, beans and healthy meats.

  3. Keep moving.

    Physical activity helps burn abdominal fat. “One of the biggest benefits of exercise is that you get a lot of bang for your buck on body composition,” Stewart says. Exercise seems to work off belly fat in particular because it reduces circulating levels of insulin —which would otherwise signal the body to hang on to fat—and causes the liver to use up fatty acids, especially those nearby visceral fat deposits, he says.

    The amount of exercise you need for weight loss depends on your goals. For most people, this can mean 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise nearly every day.

  4. Lift weights.

    Adding even moderate strength training to aerobic exercise helps build lean muscle mass, which causes you to burn more calories throughout the entire day, both at rest and during exercise.

  5. Become a label reader.

    Compare and contrast brands. Some yogurts, for example, boast that they’re low in fat, but they’re higher in carbs and added sugars than others, Stewart says. Foods like gravy, mayonnaise, sauces and salad dressings often contain high amounts of fat and lots of calories.

  6. Move away from processed foods.

    The ingredients in packaged goods and snack foods are often heavy on trans fats, added sugar and added salt or sodium—three things that make it difficult to lose weight.

  7. Focus on the way your clothes fit more than reading a scale.

    As you add muscle mass and lose fat, the reading on your bathroom scale may not change much, but your pants will be looser. That’s a better mark of progress. Measured around, your waistline should be less than 35 inches if you’re a woman or less than 40 inches if you’re a man to reduce heart and diabetes risks.

  8. Hang out with health-focused friends.

    Research shows that you’re more apt to eat better and exercise more if your friends and family are doing the same.

Healthy Eating: How to Lose Belly Fat

What you put on your plate can help determine how easily you lose belly fat.

If your quest for washboard abs has you crunching like crazy, listen up: “There’s no single exercise move-or magic pill, for that matter-that instantly zaps belly fat,” says Sari Greaves, R.D., a New York City nutritionist. “You have to lose overall body fat to trim your midsection.”

And, guess what? Scientists at Boston University found that women who followed a low fat diet rich in fiber and other nutrients were three times less likely to pack on weight around the middle than those who ate less-healthy fare but 400 fewer calories. Here, we show you which flab-fighting foods to add to your shopping list and your healthy eating plan -and which to blacklist to help you lose belly fat.

Eating a low fat diet with more healthy fruit, healthy whole grains — and including wine with food – can help shed pounds and belly fat.

  • Healthy eating tip # 1: Melons: At fewer than 50 calories a slice, this healthy fruit is one sweet treat you can feel free to indulge in. “Both honeydew and cantaloupe are healthy fruit choices high in potassium,” says Greaves. “This mineral keeps sodium levels in check and beats belly bloat.”
  • Healthy eating tip # 2: Wine: A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that people who averaged a serving of alcohol a day had slimmer waistlines than their tee-totaling counterparts. “Drinking a small amount of alcohol with a meal may speed up calorie burn,” says Jerry Greenfield, M.D., Ph.D., the study’s author.
  • Healthy eating tip # 3: Whole-grain bread: Researchers at Penn State found that dieters who ate at least five servings of healthy whole grains while following a low calorie diet shed 24 percent more abdominal fat than those who averaged the same number of calories but ate refined grains. To up your intake of healthy whole grains, swap your cornflakes for oatmeal.

Keep reading for more tips on how your low fat diet helps blast belly fat!

From healthy fruit and nuts to tips on sugar substitutes, salty soups and more, these low fat diet tips will help you lose belly fat – fast.

  • Healthy eating tip # 1: Grapefruit: Add zing to your low fat diet with this vitamin C–rich healthy fruit. Research in Public Health Nutrition found that people who consumed the least amount of this nutrient were 131 percent more likely to have larger waists than those who got the most. Other studies suggest that grapefruit can curb the insulin spikes that lead to fat storage.
  • Healthy eating tip # 2: Walnuts: Increase omega 3 benefits with walnuts. Research shows that their omega 3 fatty acids lower levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, that can contribute to fat storage. To get more omega 3 benefits, sprinkle some ground flaxseed on your yogurt.

Sometimes tips on how to lose belly fat are straight and to the point: eat less of the following:

  • Healthy eating tip # 3: Sugar substitutes: Although they curb calories, those pink, blue, and yellow packets can make your stomach swell. “Some people have difficulty digesting artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol and xylitol,” says Greaves. “That can cause bloating and diarrhea.” Try weaning yourself off them by using a small amount of real sugar. (One teaspoon has 16 calories.)
  • Healthy eating tip # 4: Canned soup: Many boxed, canned, and frozen processed foods are stealthy sources of sodium. A cup of chicken noodle, for instance, can pack in more than a third of your 2,400-milligram daily limit. “Even a small amount of excess sodium can cause your body to retain water,” says Greaves, who recommends carefully reviewing canned soup ingredients and choosing soups with lower sodium.
  • Healthy eating tip # 5: Partially hydrogenated oil: Researchers from Wake Forest University found that eating a diet high in trans fats may actually cause fat in the body to redistribute itself to the belly. Because “trans fat–free” foods can contain up to 0.5 grams of the stuff per serving, scan ingredient lists on packages.

Choose Shape as the source for news about your low fat diet, including recipes that taste great!

4 Steps for Beating Belly Fat

There are four keys to controlling belly fat: exercise, diet, sleep, and stress management.

1. Exercise: Vigorous exercise trims all your fat, including visceral fat.

Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week. Walking counts, as long as it’s brisk enough that you work up a sweat and breathe harder, with your heart rate faster than usual.

To get the same results in half the time, step up your pace and get vigorous exercise — like jogging or walking. You’d need to do that for 20 minutes a day, 4 days a week.

Jog, if you’re already fit, or walk briskly at an incline on a treadmill if you’re not ready for jogging. Vigorous workouts on stationary bikes and elliptical or rowing machines are also effective, says Duke researcher Cris Slentz, PhD.

Moderate activity — raising your heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times per week — also helps. It slows down how much visceral fat you gain. But to torch visceral fat, your workouts may need to be stepped up.

“Rake leaves, walk, garden, go to Zumba, play soccer with your kids. It doesn’t have to be in the gym,” Hairston says.

If you are not active now, it’s a good idea to check with your health care provider before starting a new fitness program.

2. Diet: There is no magic diet for belly fat. But when you lose weight on any diet, belly fat usually goes first.

Getting enough fiber can help. Hairston’s research shows that people who eat 10 grams of soluble fiber per day — without any other diet changes — build up less visceral fat over time than others. That’s as simple as eating two small apples, a cup of green peas, or a half-cup of pinto beans.

Belly fat diet recipes

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