I’m having problems losing the fat from my stomach…and I really don’t want to lose fat anywhere else on my body. What diet would you suggest for me to maintain my current weight and lose the belly fat? – Tiffany
Unfortunately spot-reducing body fat is wishful thinking, either by exercise or diet. The idea that only cells in one small region will burn fat or increase metabolism in response to what you eat (for your whole body) doesn’t make sense. As a woman, you may need to give up a little curve elsewhere in the pursuit of losing belly fat.
Because decreasing your belly fat means eating and exercising the way you’d need to for decreasing total body fat, the rest of your body is going to respond, too. Some people’s stomach area responds to such a diet more readily than others’ stomach area might. Some people will tend to notice more of a reduction in their arms, thigh/hip area, or upper torso (including breast tissue).
To maintain your current weight while losing body fat, you’d need to gain muscle at the same time. If losing fat elsewhere or gaining lean mass aren’t acceptable to you, then get comfortable in your current skin. Embrace your shape and accentuate your other features.
Ready to try losing abdominal fat anyway? These interventions are supported by research to be related to flatter stomachs:
- Avoid added sugar, refined carbohydrate, and alcohol
- Eat 300-500 fewer calories daily (if those needing to lose pounds)
- Select foods high in omega-3 fat, primarily from fatty fish, seeds, oils and nuts
- Drink green tea daily
- Eat at least 10 grams of soluble fiber per day, primarily from beans, oats, fresh fruit and vegetables, psyllium and cracked flax seeds
- Consider supplementing with CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
– Debbie J., MS, RD
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