All Credits Go To : Colleen Travers
It's no secret that diet plays a much bigger role than exercise when it comes to weight loss, including shedding dreaded belly fat. It isn't a quick fix, though — and that's a good thing. "Simple diet swaps and exercise can take you a long way," Rebekah Blakely, a registered dietitian nutritionist for The Vitamin Shoppe, told POPSUGAR. "Things that claim to be quick fixes result in initial water weight loss, followed by muscle loss instead of fat, which makes it harder to keep the weight off."
But just as you can't target fat loss with exercise, you should expect that the weight may not come off exactly the way you'd like when you're making changes to your diet. "Most healthy diets can help you lose belly fat, but you won't only lose it from your belly, and you won't necessarily lose it from your belly first," said Lindsey Toth, MS, RD, senior dietitian for Swanson Health — your genetics dictate where you lose and gain weight. As long as you manage expectations, there are a number of foods that can help you lose reduce fat all over.
How Should You Eat to Lose Belly Fat?
If you're looking for a structured eating plan, Lindsey explained that a low-carb diet will likely be more effective for shedding fat than a low-fat diet. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate a healthy amount of protein, as well as more fruits and vegetables (as opposed to refined grains and starchy veggies), had a smaller waist circumference over a five-year period. "Reducing overall carb intake lowers blood sugar, which in turn reduces our insulin response," Rebekah said. "Insulin is a fat storage hormone, so the more you have circulating, the harder it is to actually burn body fat."