The Basics of the Belly Fat Diet Plan
If you are ready to burn off belly fat and make lifestyle changes that will help you maintain a healthy weight, the belly fat diet plan can help. The belly fat diet plan isn’t some crazy fad, it’s a comprehensive plan. These are the main principles of the belly fat diet plan (which you should follow for a lifetime):
Eat! Don’t skip meals; otherwise you’ll become too hungry, eat too fast, and ultimately eat too much.
Transition to whole grains. Whole grains are richer in nutrients and fiber, helping you to stay full longer and preventing nasty spikes in insulin, which trigger belly fat storage.
Stay active. Even if you don’t have a regular exercise routine, get a pedometer and make sure you get in a minimum of 10,000 steps every single day.
Eat more produce. Fresh vegetables and fruits are key to good nutrition. They’re loaded with filling fiber and packed full of disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re also low in calories.
Avoid inflammatory foods. Inflammation triggers belly fat storage and is an underlying factor in many disease states. Avoid refined carbohydrates, foods rich in saturated fats and trans fats, and highly processed foods. All of these foods can promote inflammation.
Eat at least one good source of healthy fat every day. Monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids help to fight both belly fat and inflammation. These fats are essential to maintaining a desirable body weight as well as preventing disease.
Drink at least 8–10 cups of water every day. Hydration helps keep your energy level up, fills you up to help you reduce your portions at meals and snacks, and helps your metabolism function at its peak. So drink up!
Practice mindful eating. This principle may be one of the most important. You need to learn your body’s hunger and satiety cues to be able to maintain a healthy body weight for life.
Eating the appropriate foods every day is important to maintaining your flat belly for good. So, in addition to following my flat-belly principles in the preceding section, you also need to try to incorporate the following foods daily:
Green tea: This powerful fat fighter tastes great and is loaded with antioxidants, which help fight disease and inflammation. Aim for 1 or 2 cups per day.
Hot and spicy seasonings: Seasonings like cayenne pepper help to boost metabolism, helping you burn more calories and make weight maintenance even easier.
Lean protein (especially fish!): Aim to include a good source of lean protein, such as fish, chicken breast, or tofu, with every meal. Not only does protein provide a slight metabolism boost, but it also helps you feel satisfied for hours after eating.
Low-fat Greek yogurt: This type of yogurt is a great source of protein as well as calcium, which has been shown to help reduce overall body fat and belly fat. Because Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein as your typical yogurt, it helps you stay full longer, fighting cravings for belly-busting foods.
Nonstarchy vegetables: Because vegetables fill you up without filling you out, they’re really the backbone to any healthy eating plan. They’re also loaded with anti-inflammatory properties to continue to banish belly fat for life. Even when you reach your goal weight, aim to have a minimum of four servings of nonstarchy vegetables every single day.
Walnuts, flaxseeds, or chia seeds: These nuts and seeds are loaded with belly-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Their rich fiber and protein content also help to keep you full. Just remember that they’re rich in calories, so one to two servings a day is really all you need.
Maintaining your weight loss is all about balance, you should try to follow the 80/20 rule. Focus 80 percent of the time on eating healthy, belly-friendly foods that shrink the waistline and fight inflammation. Then 20 percent of the time, you have room to veer off track a bit. This 20 percent is your splurge. You may choose to have one day a week where you have a splurge meal, or you may opt for a small snack twice a week where you don’t exactly make the healthiest choice.
Follow the 80/20 rule. This rule says to have a small splurge 20 percent of the time, but this splurge must be within reason. If every 5 days you eat an entire pizza and a gallon of ice cream, you’re going to gain weight back no matter what you do the rest of the week.