If you haven't been able to lose your belly fat on your own, we've asked experts to share the tips and advice they use with clients to help them lose belly fat for good. Vermont-based registered dietitian and nutritionist Maddie Kinzly, MS, LD, told POPSUGAR that while you can't choose where on your body you gain or lose fat (sorry, boobs!), some people are more predisposed to holding weight in their bellies.
Whether or not you’re specifically aiming to cut carbs, most of us consume unhealthy amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice, and sweetened breakfast cereals. Replacing refined carbs with their whole-grain counterparts and eliminating candy and desserts is only part of the solution, though. Sugar is hidden in foods as diverse as canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, and many reduced fat foods. Since your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food, all this added sugar amounts to nothing but a lot of empty calories and unhealthy spikes in your blood glucose.

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.
That doesn’t mean you need to ditch the scale, though. Studies continue to point to the fact that monitoring your weight can be an effective strategy for losing weight and discouraging weight gain (another healthy pursuit) provided it doesn’t cause any emotional distress. Just don’t get married to a number on the scale or get caught up in a set number of pounds you’d like to lose. Instead, settle on how you’d like to feel. Maybe you’d like to be more energetic or perhaps you’d like to manage your health without the need for medications. You can accomplish these goals without losing much weight.

Bran muffins sound like a healthy breakfast option—with all that cholesterol-lowering oat bran, right? But the prepackaged ones found at the supermarket aren’t nearly as fresh or healthy as they claim, and they’re almost always oversized, packing in some 300 calories—about the same as a cream-filled doughnut! Many are also loaded with saturated fats butter and oil and contain upwards of 600 grams of sodium. Homemade is key when you’re trying to lose weight, so why not try making your own? While baking definitely does take more time than going to the store, you’ll reap the benefits of all your hard work spent in the kitchen.
Hi Jane. Good question! The thing with any and every packaged foods is that they will never be as good for your body as natural real food is. In many cases, there are additional ingredients in Greek yogurt that make it so creamy – these ingredients are not all natural and all that good for you to begin with. If you love yogurt, I would suggest going for an organic natural kind (low-fat isn’t necessary – fat will not make YOU fat and usually when packaged foods contain less fat they contain more of other ingredients that aren’t healthy, ex. sweeteners). I would use fruit and nuts for the extra sweetness and crunch. In my opinion, Greek yogurt should not be eaten multiple times a day if your goal is to be healthy and loose weight, it’s just not a superfood like it claims to be! In my experience, the best way to lose fat and feel energized is to stick to REAL food and stay active (and have fun along the way)! Hope this helps a bit 😉
After somewhere between three and five hours, your body stops processing its last meal. There's nothing left to absorb, so insulin levels naturally decrease. Then, somewhere between eight and 12 hours after that last meal, your body starts burning stored fat. (Why don't you start burning fat sooner? Biology is sometimes a pain in the ass; it's like our bodies will do anything to hang on to fat.)

Like protein, fiber slows the rate at which your body plows through carb calories so you feel full for longer and maintain steadier blood sugar levels, one reason why research consistently links fiber intake to weight loss. That means fibrous whole grain bread tends to be a better choice than white bread and also explains why fruits, which contain fiber and valuable vitamins in addition to sugar, beat straight-up candy every time.
Studies found that people who keep food diaries wind up eating about 15 percent less food than those who don’t. And, new research suggests logging what you eat is one of the most effective and easy ways to lose weight. Watch out for weekends: A University of North Carolina study found people tend to consume an extra 115 calories per weekend day, primarily from alcohol and fat.  Then cut out or down calories from spreads, dressings, sauces, condiments, drinks, and snacks; they could make the difference between weight gain and loss. Here are 50 easy ways to lose weight naturally.
What can I eat on a no-carb diet? Many people reduce carbohydrate intake to help them lose weight. Carbohydrates are important macronutrients, but cutting them can help people to lose weight by making it possible to reduce calories and improve feelings of fullness. Alternatives to carbs can make it easier to stick to a low-carb diet. Learn more here. Read now

Be choosy about carbs. You can decide which ones you eat, and how much. Look for those that are low on the glycemic index (for instance, asparagus is lower on the glycemic index than a potato) or lower in carbs per serving than others. Whole grains are better choices than processed items, because processing removes key nutrients such as fiber, iron, and B vitamins. They may be added back, such as in “enriched” bread.


In reality, losing belly fat takes time. Although you probably won't completely transform your physique in two months, you can see progress in just a matter of eight weeks. Eric Bowling, an NASM-certified personal trainer at Ultimate Performance in Los Angeles who helps clients with weight loss, told POPSUGAR you can achieve "drastic and tangible improvements" in eight weeks.
Are you accurately measuring your food? Often times when patients come to me (usually to get their thyroid checked) for inability to lose weight, they truly believe they are restricting their calories, but they aren’t measuring and end up consuming more calories than ever thought. Also, the type of food that you are eating makes a tremendous difference- this shred plan looks fantastic- well rounded and very nutritious. Also, rather than taking weight, measure your body fat percentage and measure inches. I am also 5’2″ and I weigh 130 pounds, but my body fat percentage is very low, so the pounds are essentially irrelevant.
hi, I go the gym 3-4 times a week, a lift. Im just looking for a start to shredding and getting body fat lower to expose more definition. my question to you is, is this geared to a woman’s shredding, or can a man also use this. This is a great site, for both woman and men, and I was just seeing weather this is worth going for. thanks for your help.
You can’t skimp on sleep. Losing weight for good calls for a total lifestyle change -- and that includes getting more Zs. Missing the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye has been linked repeatedly with increased obesity rates. “When you don’t sleep enough, it certainly affects your brain,” explained Dr. Arad. “What we’ve learned is that people who don’t sleep well are making poor choices — eating more unhealthy diets, and they are obviously more fatigued, so they become less physically active.” In fact, people who sleep six hours or fewer per night on average consume about 300 extra calories the following day.
Hi, so sorry if this has already been asked, but I was wondering how long these foods usually keep in the fridge? I see most people do it the Tupperware way, preparing for the week ahead so I was wondering if you cook up all the meats etc straight away and store them for the whole week or usually just a few days ahead to keep it fresh? I’d love to just make them all up together to save time if they stay fresh most the week 🙂
Leafy Greens – Help you feel satisfied longer, boost your metabolism and turn off your hunger receptors. You will eat less and lose more belly fat just by increasing your leafy greens! They’re low in calories and high in fiber, making them the perfect weight loss food. Not a fan? Try one of our yummy green smoothies. Examples include spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, bok choy, arugula, chard, and mustard greens.

If you follow food trends, you might think you have to fall in love with cauliflower and kale to reap all the rewards that veggies offer, but that isn’t the case. Be it broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, red peppers, cabbage, spinach, or any other vegetable, the idea is to eat a variety of them and find plenty of ways to enjoy their goodness. So if you just can’t stomach steamed Brussels sprouts, try them roasted, or give sautéed Brussels sprouts a try. If raw zucchini isn’t your thing, see if you like it spiralized into noodles or grilled on a grill pan.

A little garlic in your meals could mean a lot less weight around your middle. The results of a Korean study found that mice given a high-fat diet supplemented with garlic lost significantly more weight and abdominal fat than those who just ate fatty foods. Even better, they also improved their liver health, making it easier to stay healthy and burn off that excess fat in the long term. For more flavorful ways to make your food more enjoyable, turn to the metabolism-boosting spicy recipes and watch those pounds melt away.
Another option is to drop carbohydrates in the evening. You need carbs for energy to make it through the day, but you don't need them to sit on the couch and watch movies at night. If this approach affects your sleep, try eating low-carb early in the day and having your carbs in the evening instead. You'll still end up eating fewer carbs than if you were having them at every meal.
Fiber works its weight loss magic in multiple ways. It helps you feel fuller, longer so eating fiber-rich foods is the dieting equivalent of working smarter, not harder. Plus, fiber takes a long time to digest, so fiber-rich foods don’t cause spikes in blood sugar that can send your insulin levels soaring. On the other hand, when you eat the so-called bad carbs (the refined or sugary ones that lack fiber), you may wind up with an insulin response that promotes fat storage. The takeaway: More fiber equals less fat storage.
You can’t skimp on sleep. Losing weight for good calls for a total lifestyle change -- and that includes getting more Zs. Missing the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye has been linked repeatedly with increased obesity rates. “When you don’t sleep enough, it certainly affects your brain,” explained Dr. Arad. “What we’ve learned is that people who don’t sleep well are making poor choices — eating more unhealthy diets, and they are obviously more fatigued, so they become less physically active.” In fact, people who sleep six hours or fewer per night on average consume about 300 extra calories the following day.
Are you still getting headaches? Sometimes, when we are detoxing and cleansing our bodies, it can be common to get such symptoms… it can be a good idea to consult with a nutritionist, especially if you are breastfeeding. Also you want to make sure that you adjust your caloric intake when breastfeeding. You can use this calorie calculator to get an estimate of your specific nutritional needs here: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/breastfeeding_calorie_calculator.htm
8. Drink more water. You may not realize how important water is for weight loss—it’s not just a tool to help you eat less. Being properly hydrated will balance your energy levels, which allows you to exercise with intensity. (Have you ever been so thirsty during a workout that you couldn’t perform as well as usual?) Drinking enough water may also increase your metabolism and promote muscle building—a well-hydrated body can more efficiently repair and build muscles. On the other hand, being dehydrated encourages muscle breakdown. So drink up, especially since you are exercising regularly.

Dr. Ian Smith is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling books, SHRED: THE REVOLUTIONARY DIET, and SUPER SHRED: The Big Results Diet, and BLAST THE SUGAR OUT. Dr. Smith’s highly anticipated newest book, The Clean 20, became an instant New York Times best seller, helping hundreds of thousands of people reduce bad sugars from their diet, lose weight, lower blood sugar levels, and cut the cravings. Read More

By no means should you feel hungry on this diet, you should NEVER starve yourself! For optimal results, once you complete this 7-day meal plan, you can go back to eating a balanced and healthy diet with a little more calories and a few cheat meals here and there before repeating this 7-day shredding meal plan. I know that this diet is pretty limited, but I’m sure that you can pull it off for such a short period of time. It’s not hard because we are hungry, it’s hard because we are used to eating for pure pleasure, out of boredom, for fun, etc.
Hi Claire… I love soup, it’s definitively a great option. I don’t have any recipes up on the blog but one really delicious and creamy recipe I love to make (and only takes about 5 minutes) is my simple broccoli soup. Simply bring 4 cups of water to boil with some broth (cube) and add a cup or 2 of broccoli + 2-3 garlic pieced. Cook for only 3 minutes or so and let it cool a little before blending it until it’s nice and smooth (do NOT overcook the broccoli). You can also use some extra seasoning to taste. This soup is so good and basically, all you are eating is broccoli…and water 😮 There is not much protein in here so you can have a protein serving on the side. I did post a vegetarian chili recipe with beans here: http://myfitstation.wpengine.com/2011/11/03/vegetarian-chili-recipe/
Hi Zoriana (beautiful name btw.). In many cases, initial weight loss is mostly due to higher water loss and the body cleaning out… not to say that you haven’t lost fat, but perhaps not 9 pounds. Loosing 5 pounds in two weeks makes much more sense and is also healthier. It’s fine to have a little bread, however, I would recommend you get your hands on sprouted whole grain bread and limit your portion size too. You may add more whole rice, sweet potatoes and oats/quinoa into you diet instead! Always try to incorporate more whole foods & less processed and package products into your diet 😉
It’s stunning how often we eat out of boredom, nervousness, habit, or frustration—so often, in fact, that many of us have actually forgotten what physical hunger feels like. If you’re hankering for a specific food, it’s probably a craving, not hunger. If you’d eat anything you could get your hands on, chances are you’re truly hungry. Learn how to recognize these feelings mistaken for hunger, then find ways other than eating to express love, tame stress, and relieve boredom. But talk to your doctor if you think you’re always hungry for a medical reason. Here are 10 medical reasons you might be hungry.
All meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you're including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fiber (veggies, fruit, or 100% whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilizing blend of nutrients will help you slim down without sacrifice.
Hi Lockie, basically you can eat clean all the time but during your 7-day shred, you might be limiting your caloric intake. So once you are done with the seven days, you can have a few days where you eat a little more calories before going back to the 7-day shred! For example, if you are eating just enough calories to support fat loss during 7 days, I’d recommend eating a little more for 2-3 days (for maintenance) before going back to fat burning mode, hope this helps!
For even more impressive effects on body composition: aim for exercise forms which elicit a positive hormonal response. This means lifting really heavy things (strength training), or interval training. Such exercise increases levels of the sex hormone testosterone (primarily in men) as well as growth hormone. Not only do greater levels of these hormones increase your muscle mass, but they also decrease your visceral fat (belly fat) in the long term.

"If your diet consists of lots of sports drinks, sugar-sweetened drinks like fizzy pop and flavoured waters, or sugary foods like chocolate and cakes, it will make losing weight harder. While whole fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly good for you, they can also sometimes cause weight gain if you eat too much, as they have high levels of natural sugars in them. Low-fat food options might have high amounts of added sugar in there too, so make sure to check the food label.
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