14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (2023)

Belly fat is often the first to accumulate when we gain weight and the last to be burned off. The belly fat bulge can be even more frustrating for women, who often find that no matter how frequently they hit the gym or how drastically they change their eating habits, there are always at least a few pounds in their midsection that stubbornly remain. Additionally, the quest to lose belly fat only gets more difficult as women age.

"Women tend to pack on more belly fat as they get older, especially after reaching menopause," says Megan Wong, RD, a registered dietitian working with AlgaeCal. "As levels of the hormone estrogen drop, body fat patterns shift from the typical 'pear-shaped' female figure to the 'apple-shaped' figure more frequently associated with men."

And not only is belly fat frustrating if you're trying to fit into your favorite pair of jeans, but it also has the potential to be very detrimental to women's overall health. "Visceral fat is metabolized by the liver and ultimately turns into blood cholesterol, which collects in the arteries, eventually narrowing them. These clogged arteries can eventually lead to angina, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiac symptoms," explains Dr. Candice Seti, PsyD, CPT, CNC, a licensed clinical psychologist, a certified personal trainer, and a certified nutrition coach. "Visceral fat is also responsible for the release of hormones that trigger insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, systematic inflammation, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases."

But don't be bummed about your belly fat. Armed with these expert-recommended tips fromregistered dietitians, nutritionists, and other medical professionals, you can lose the belly fat. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight Immediately, According to Science.

1

Focus on Foods That Are High in Protein

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (1)

"Protein-rich foods like fish, chicken, and beans, are ideal to reduce belly fat and also help with weight loss," notes Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, and an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University. "And women have a harder time losing weight than men." Protein can be a belly fat-blasting ally for women because it helps you feel fuller for longer since it takes more time to break down. Additionally, since protein is slightly harder to digest, your body uses more calories in the process, which can contribute to a flatter midsection.

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2

(Video) 37 MUST-FOLLOW STEPS IF YOU WANT TO LOSE YOUR BEER BELLY

Cut Out Added Sugars

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (2)

"Most people don't realize that sugar often ends up getting stored as fat. When you eat sugar, your body will use it as an energy source, if needed, and store the rest as fat; more often than not, we consume more [sugar] than we need," explains Wong. "To avoid added sugars, get familiar with reading nutrition labels. Common culprits that tend to be high in added sugars are flavored yogurts, breakfast cereals, energy drinks, iced teas, granola bars, and flavored nut milks. Take a look at ingredients lists as well. Added sugars can be listed as syrups, molasses, or words ending in 'ose' — like fructose, glucose, maltose, sucrose or dextrose."

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (3)

"Yup, I said increase! Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado can help normalize your weight and balance your blood sugar – both of which help combat the development of visceral fat in the abdomen," says Seti. And this is especially true for women. Looking to blast belly fat? "Include a portion of healthy fats with every meal."

4

Try Physical Activities That Engage Your Waist and Abs

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (4)

Since women tend to gain weight around their midsection after menopause, doing exercises that specifically engage your waist and abs can help efficiently target that fat. "I recommend physical activities that center on moving the waist, twisting and using your core," notes Dr. Anna Cabeca, DO, who is triple-board-certified in gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine and anti-aging and regenerative medicine. "Personally, I'm a big fan of boxing. There's a lot of rotation at the waistline when you're throwing punches, or hitting a bag, so while it helps by releasing frustration and detoxing, it also helps your belly."

5

Limit or Avoid Foods That Make You Bloat

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (5)

Though this may sound obvious, it can have a substantial positive impact on women's loss of belly fat. "When you're bloated, your belly feels bad and may look swollen," says Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, who serves on the advisory board for Fitter Living."Bloating trigger foods vary by individual, however, FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols) can cause bloating, even if you're on a 'healthy' diet. FODMAPs are present in healthy fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Even though all fruits/veggies are nutritious, some are high in FODMAPs and may cause distress like bloating, gas, diarrhea and abdominal pain. A low FODMAP diet can make you feel better if you have issues with high FODMAP foods."

(Video) Should I exercise more or eat less to lose weight?

6

Relieve Constipation

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (6)

"If you're chronically constipated, this can make your belly area full and bloated. Make sure you consume enough fiber and also enough fluid during the day," advises Kostro Miller. "Too much fiber without more fluid can cause constipation too."

Additionally, according to Young, foods high in soluble fiber — like oatmeal, carrots and legumes — may help fight belly fat. "These are particularly good for women as they may also help you feel full and assist with weight loss," she explains.

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (7)

"Chronically high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can actually lead to increases in your abdominal fat stores," says registered dietitian nutritionist SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD. "That's why it's important to find ways to manage your stress, to help stop that cycle of depositing more fat stores on your belly. You may even want to talk to a healthcare professional about having your cortisol level checked if you are chronically stressed and struggling to lose fat."

While both men and women produce cortisol, a 2009 Swedish study found that women can have significantly higher levels of certain types of cortisol than men.

8

(Video) The science is in: Exercise isn’t the best way to lose weight

Cut Out (or Cut Back) on Alcohol

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (8)

Drinking too much alcohol has been linked with increased belly fat," says Young. "To reduce your waist, women should drink alcohol in moderation or abstain. Alcohol can also increase a woman's risk for breast cancer, so limiting alcohol is a win-win."

9

Add More Resistant Starch to Your Diet

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (9)

"Resistant starches, such as potatoes, lentils, and beans, actually help remove visceral fat from women's bodies," says Seti. "Because of the way these carbohydrates are processed in the body, they actually increase your calorie burn and make you feel fuller so you eat less throughout the day."

10

Steer Clear of Endocrine Disruptors

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (10)

"Avoid foods or products that have endocrine disruptors, such as parabens," says Cabeca. "Skincare products, creams, shampoos, and lotions that have parabens will add an estrogen load in your body that can increase belly fat in women." This is because extra estrogen leads to excess fat storage, which is especially pronounced in the belly and butt areas in women.

According to a 2020 German study, even pregnant women who use parabens could increase the risk of their children being overweight.

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (11)

"This is especially important for women since our hormones can cause frequent water weight fluctuations. Where the sodium goes, water will follow," Kostro Miller explains. "When you consume a lot of sodium (a component of salt) — which most Americans do — our body adjusts accordingly by quenching our thirst and/or holding onto the fluid we already have in our body. When we decrease overall sodium intake, our body does not feel the need to hold onto lots of water, and the water we drink will hydrate us and then be flushed out."

Related: 25 Foods High in Sodium You Should Watch Out For

12

Start Strength Training

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (12)

"Putting more muscle on your body is the most effective way to combat body fat. Extra muscle fibers change your body composition over time," says Seti. "Muscle tissue is active and helps burn more and increase metabolism throughout the day, ultimately combating the development of visceral fat around your organs." To get going, Seti suggests women start with 5 to 10 minutes of weight lifting a day.

13

Adopt the Keto-Green Lifestyle

14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (13)

When it comes to diet changes women can make to eliminate body fat, Cabeca is a fan of this trendy, yet effective combo. "Incorporate lots of dark leafy greens such as broccoli sprouts and kale into your diet. These greens are rich in nutrients to help detoxify estrogen," she explains. "Also include healthy fats that you can find in salmon or oysters. Divorce from sugar and dairy, and minimize carbs. Avoid drinking more than 4-6 ounces during your meal, chew your food as it will force your natural digestive enzymes to work, burn the calories and the fat, and you will actually eat less."

She adds: "We also want to include cruciferous vegetables because that helps detoxify estrogen diindolylmethane (dim), and the sulforaphane that are abundantly found in the cruciferous vegetables help with estrogen detoxification."

14

And Stop Yo-Yo Dieting

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14 Best Ways Women Can Lose Belly Fat, From RDs — Eat This Not That (14)

While yo-yo dieting is a common practice among women, Seti warns it actually does more harm than good, especially where belly fat is concerned. "A history of yo-yo dieting is actually a risk factor for building abdominal fat. When we lose weight, we tend to start at the top and bottom of our bodies, leaving visceral fat in the abdomen for last. Some don't ever get to the point of losing it there," she says. "Plus, when we gain the weight back, the abdomen is the first place we add it. So the effects of yo-yo dieting ultimately increase visceral fat in our midsection. Stop the yo-yo and make some lifestyle changes that allow you to eat well all year. Focus on veggies, lean protein, and good fats at every meal!" To help you on your way, check out26 Easy Ways to Keep The Weight Off, According to Dietitians.

FAQs

What are the 2 vegetables that destroy stomach fat? ›

"A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that dark green veggies, like broccoli, may help reduce belly fat," says Amidor. Bonus: "The study also found that these veggies may also decrease risk factors for type 2 diabetes." "Beans are the ultimate weight loss food," says Hever.

What foods burn belly fat the fastest? ›

25 Best Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast
  1. 1. Fruits. Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants (4). ...
  2. Pulses. Save. ...
  3. Fish. Fish are great sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids (12). ...
  4. Almonds. ...
  5. Beans And Legumes. ...
  6. Spinach And Other Green Vegetables. ...
  7. Dairy Products. ...
  8. Oatmeal.
5 days ago

What drink burns belly fat overnight? ›

6 bedtime drinks that can boost weight loss overnight
  • Greek yogurt protein shake. As noted above, having protein before bed—especially if you've worked out beforehand—helps stimulate the repair and rebuilding of muscle (muscle protein synthesis) while you sleep. ...
  • Chamomile tea. ...
  • Red wine. ...
  • Kefir. ...
  • Soy-based protein shake. ...
  • Water.
26 May 2022

What drink can burn belly fat? ›

13 Drinks That Melt Belly Fat, Say Dietitians
  • Green Tea.
  • Kombucha.
  • Protein Water.
  • Coffee.
  • Black Tea.
  • Raw Apple Cider.
  • Ginger Tea.
  • Raw Vegetable Juice.
14 Apr 2022

What vegetable melts belly fat overnight? ›

Spinach and other leafy green vegetables like kale, lettuce, etc. are great for burning belly fat and are very nutritious as well. There have been some studies done on the subject of the fat burning capabilities of spinach and the very healthy veggie has come out a winner in this category.

What foods burn fat crazy? ›

Here are 11 healthy foods that help you burn fat.
  • Fatty Fish. Fatty fish is delicious and incredibly good for you. ...
  • MCT Oil. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil is made by extracting MCTs from palm oil. ...
  • Coffee. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Green Tea. ...
  • Whey Protein. ...
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
  • Chili Peppers.

What foods cause the most belly fat? ›

Fatty foods, such as butter, cheese, and fatty meats, are the biggest cause of belly fat. Correct! You answered: Eating high-fat foods is not helpful, but excess calories of any kind can increase your waistline and contribute to belly fat.

What are the 10 foods that fight belly fat? ›

10 Foods That Help Fight Belly Fat
  • Dark Chocolate. We all need a sweet fix from time to time. ...
  • Blueberries. While most fruits are good for our overall health, there's one that takes the cake when it comes to burning belly fat – blueberries! ...
  • Avocado. ...
  • Oatmeal. ...
  • Leafy Greens. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Fish. ...
  • Peanut Butter.
26 Oct 2020

What causes big belly in woman? ›

If you eat too much and exercise too little, you're likely to carry excess weight — including belly fat. Also, your muscle mass might diminish slightly with age, while fat increases.

What sleeping position makes your stomach flat? ›

Prone position means lying horizontally on your stomach while having a pillow under your head. While sleeping this way the abdominal area tends to get additional pressure from the weight of your body. This position blocks your abdomen and prevents any excessive fat accumulation.

What can I add to water before bed to lose weight? ›

Regular intake of fenugreek water generates heat in the body and manages your weight. It also strengthens your digestive system which is essential for weight loss. But remember to drink it at least half-an-hour before crashing on the bed. Crush some fenugreek seeds and add it to a glass of water.

What should I drink first thing in the morning? ›

10 Healthy Morning Drinks to Get Your Day Started
  • Honey and cinnamon drink. Have a glass of honey and cinnamon drink first thing in the morning. ...
  • Lemon Juice. ...
  • Cinnamon Green Tea. ...
  • Coconut water. ...
  • Aloe juice. ...
  • Pomegranate tea. ...
  • Fruit smoothies. ...
  • Green tea lassi.
29 Oct 2021

What can I drink in the morning to speed up my metabolism? ›

The benefits of drinking water (at least 2 cups) first thing in the morning are plenty. Besides flushing out toxins and providing some much-needed hydration, this amount of water can increase your metabolism .

What is the fastest belly fat burner? ›

Best Belly Fat-Burner
  • PhenQ - Best belly fat burner overall.
  • Instant Knockout - Best for burning belly fat for men.
  • Leanbean - Best for burning belly fat for women.
  • Powher Cut - Best natural fat burner.
  • PrimeShred - Best for fast fat burning.
  • PhenGold - Best for boosting metabolism.
24 Jun 2022

Does apple cider vinegar burn belly fat? ›

Apple cider vinegar isn't likely to be effective for weight loss. Proponents of apple cider vinegar claim that it has numerous health benefits and that drinking a small amount or taking a supplement before meals helps curb appetite and burn fat. However, there's little scientific support for these claims.

What two vegetables make you lose weight? ›

Spinach and Leafy Vegetables

Since these vegetables are low in calories and carbohydrates, an individual can lose weight easily. Adding blanched or cooked spinach to the diet will be beneficial in burning fat quickly.

What tea burns fat while you sleep? ›

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan have found that drinking just two cups of oolong tea, which is the traditional Chinese tea, can rev-up the fat burning process in the body, even while you are asleep.

How do you activate brown fat cells to lose weight? ›

Lowering the temperature: Brown fat activates at colder temperatures, right before you start shivering. Some studies suggest turning down the thermostat, taking a cold shower or an ice bath could activate brown fat to help your body produce more to burn more calories.

What is the African fruit that burns fat? ›

African mango is a tropical fruit native to West Africa. It's sought after for its extract, which is called AME and derived from the fruit's seed. Emerging research indicates that AME may aid weight loss, but these studies used small populations.

Do bananas burn belly fat? ›

Bananas are rich in healthy fibers that help curb appetite and make the body burn fat. The indigestible fibers that are present in bananas, or a resistant starch, block the carbohydrates from being absorbed by the body. This makes the body burn fat as energy instead of the carbohydrates.

Can cucumber reduce belly fat? ›

Cucumbers are considered as extremely low-calorie foods made up of 96% water. 100 grams of cucumbers add up to just 45 calories. They are packed with minerals, dietary fibers and other vitamins which are very effective in losing belly fat.

Do eggs cause belly fat? ›

Plus, the protein and healthy fats in eggs make you feel full, which keeps you from snacking on empty calories between meals. Research shows that people who eat eggs in the morning lose more weight and belly fat than those who opt for high carb foods like bagels or cereal. (These foods will fight belly fat, too.)

Does potato reduce belly fat? ›

Potato is very beneficial in reducing weight. Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and many nutrients are found in potatoes. Potatoes not only reduce belly fat but also help in digestion and remove the risk of diseases like cancer. A potato is also a great option for weight loss because it is fat-free and low in calories.

What foods cause belly fat and bloating? ›

Do certain foods cause bloating?
  • Beans. It's hardly a surprise to see beans atop the list of bloat-causing foods. ...
  • Lentils. Lentils are also legumes, so it's basically the same story as beans (but without the musical acknowledgment). ...
  • Dairy. ...
  • Carbonated beverages. ...
  • Wheat/rye/barley. ...
  • Cruciferous vegetables. ...
  • Onions. ...
  • Garlic.
16 Mar 2022

Can lemon reduce belly fat? ›

Lemons are known to help you lose weight; thanks to the presence of vitamin C and antioxidants that promote good digestion. Lemons also have diuretic properties, which help in detoxifying the body, thereby helping burning fat. According to experts, this magic potion can boost the body's metabolism to a great extent.

How do women lose lower belly fat? ›

To battle belly fat:
  1. Eat a healthy diet. Focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products. ...
  2. Replace sugary beverages. ...
  3. Keep portion sizes in check. ...
  4. Include physical activity in your daily routine.

What are the 10 foods that fight belly fat? ›

10 Foods That Help Fight Belly Fat
  • Dark Chocolate. We all need a sweet fix from time to time. ...
  • Blueberries. While most fruits are good for our overall health, there's one that takes the cake when it comes to burning belly fat – blueberries! ...
  • Avocado. ...
  • Oatmeal. ...
  • Leafy Greens. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Fish. ...
  • Peanut Butter.
26 Oct 2020

What are the 5 foods that cause belly fat? ›

Worst Foods for Your Belly
  • Doughnuts. 1/21. Can't resist fresh doughnuts? ...
  • Ice Cream. 2/21. You do get some calcium from ice cream. ...
  • Chips. 3/21. A serving of 15 chips has 160 calories. ...
  • Bacontini. 4/21. This cocktail is as fatty as it is trendy. ...
  • Beer. 5/21. ...
  • Hot Dogs. 6/21. ...
  • Fatty Red Meat. 7/21. ...
  • Meat-Topped Pizza. 8/21.

What causes big stomach in females? ›

Causes include poor diet, lack of exercise, and short or low-quality sleep. A healthy diet and active lifestyle can help people lose excess belly fat and lower the risk of problems associated with it.

How do you get rid of lower belly pooch fast? ›

6 Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat, Based on Science
  1. Avoid sugar and sugar-sweetened drinks. Foods with added sugars are bad for your health. ...
  2. Eat more protein. Protein may be the most important macronutrient for weight loss. ...
  3. Eat fewer carbohydrates. ...
  4. Eat fiber-rich foods. ...
  5. Exercise regularly.
25 Nov 2019

What foods burn fat crazy? ›

Here are 11 healthy foods that help you burn fat.
  • Fatty Fish. Fatty fish is delicious and incredibly good for you. ...
  • MCT Oil. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil is made by extracting MCTs from palm oil. ...
  • Coffee. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Green Tea. ...
  • Whey Protein. ...
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
  • Chili Peppers.

Does apple cider vinegar burn belly fat? ›

Apple cider vinegar isn't likely to be effective for weight loss. Proponents of apple cider vinegar claim that it has numerous health benefits and that drinking a small amount or taking a supplement before meals helps curb appetite and burn fat. However, there's little scientific support for these claims.

What foods cause the most belly fat? ›

Fatty foods, such as butter, cheese, and fatty meats, are the biggest cause of belly fat. Correct! You answered: Eating high-fat foods is not helpful, but excess calories of any kind can increase your waistline and contribute to belly fat.

How does water reduce belly fat overnight? ›

Drink Water

To lose belly fat overnight without exercise, drink a few glasses of water before going to bed at night. This will flush out your body and reduce bloating, which is important for losing belly fat. Drinking a glass of warm or hot water with lemon is also very important for this.

What can I drink to lose belly fat without losing weight? ›

By beginning your day by drinking a glass of water or having a glass of water just before a meal can hydrate your body, boost your body's metabolism and also keep high calorie foods at bay. This in turn also satiates your hunger and keeps you fuller for longer periods of time.

What burns fat while you sleep? ›

Instead, choose casein protein if you want to boost your overnight fat burning. Casein is a gradually digested protein that can take your body around six to eight hours to break down. This means your metabolism will be kept active throughout the night, and you'll wake up feeling energetic instead of starving.

What should I eat at night to burn fat? ›

The following are some of the best snacks for weight loss.
  • Hummus and vegetables. Hummus is a traditional Mediterranean dish that people make from pureed chickpeas. ...
  • Celery sticks and nut butter. Celery is a low-calorie vegetable. ...
  • Fruit and nut butter. ...
  • Low-fat cheese. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Hard-boiled eggs. ...
  • Greek yogurt with berries. ...
  • Edamame.
3 Mar 2021

What tea burns fat while you sleep? ›

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan have found that drinking just two cups of oolong tea, which is the traditional Chinese tea, can rev-up the fat burning process in the body, even while you are asleep.

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