Quickest Ways to Lose Belly Fat According to Dietitians

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The first day of summer is just weeks away. So if you’re looking to tone your tummy to feel confident in your swimsuit, it sounds like you’re looking for the quickest ways to lose belly fat.

“Unfortunately, it’s not possible to choose what part of the body you want to lose weight from. In other words, losing only belly fat isn’t entirely possible,” Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD explains via email. But that’s not to say all of your weight-loss efforts are just…in your head. “You can absolutely lose weight and see reductions in your belly fat, as well as other areas of the body,” Rizzo reminds us. That’s why we’ve compiled these dietitian-recommended tips to lose your belly by summer and look way less abominable on the beach. Follow these tips to get your abs flat in no time. And for healthy recipes, supermarket shopping guides, and essential nutrition tips at your fingertips, subscribe to the new Eat This, Not That! magazine now! For a limited time, you can save 50 percent off the cover price—click here!


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“Don’t wait until it’s already summer to implement your healthy habits! Start to get yourself into a routine with both your diet and exercise plans. Begin with smaller, more realistic goals, and gradually challenge yourself as you achieve them. For instance, if you haven’t been to the gym once all winter, your goal shouldn’t be to exercise six days a week. Start with two days, and once that feels comfortable, increase to three.” — Leah Silberman, RD at Tovita Nutrition

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“If you’re trying to lose weight quickly, one of the best things to do is cut out empty calories from alcohol, especially if you’re following a strict weight-loss plan for a month. Those calories can add up quickly (with 80 to 150 calories per drink), and they add no nutritive value to your diet. Once that month is over, you can definitely indulge in a summer mojito or sangria—everything in moderation!” — NYC-based Registered Dietitian, Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

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“In order to lose weight at a more rapid pace, I always suggest that my patients minimize carbohydrates at night. Carbohydrates are stored as fat if not utilized right away, and at night we are not expending much energy but rather just going to bed. Think about a marathon runner the night before a big race—what do these runners eat? Pasta! Marathon runners need this stored energy in order to optimize peak performance. However, if you aren’t running a marathon the next morning, you may not need these same sources of carbohydrates. Fill up on protein and vegetables instead of consuming a pasta dinner while you’re trying to minimize belly fat.” — Leah Kaufman, MS, RD, CDE, CDN

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“Stay away from gas-provoking foods and beverages! In order to minimize the appearance of belly fat … you may be able to decrease the bloat. There are specific eating behaviors and foods that increase bloat: Don’t drink through a straw (this sucks in air as you suck in those liquids), stop chewing gum, and eliminate carbonated beverages. Eliminating these habits can help give you an overall appearance of being trimmer.” — Kaufman

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“One of the biggest hindrances to weight loss is overindulging in empty carbs. I’m not talking about whole grains or fruits and vegetables; [I’m talking about] snacks and sugary treats. At every meal, make sure you are eating some protein, and that includes snack time! Protein not only helps with muscle building, but it satiates you and keeps you fuller longer. That means you will be less likely to overeat later in the day.” — Rizzo

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“Approaching weight loss with a ‘rapid, quick-fix’ mindset is unhealthy, unsustainable, and leads to rapid weight regain. When crash dieting and/or removing foods or food groups, your body responds by significantly conserving energy, e.g., you experience a reduction in metabolic rate and thermic effect of food. Your body also tries to combat this physiological and psychological threat by increasing cravings, hunger, and fatigue … Solution: Stop crash dieting and looking for a quick fix and begin a sustainable approach to nutrition that focuses on developing a strong foundation of healthy eating habits instead.” — Paul Salter, RD, Nutrition Editor of Bodybuilding.com and founder of Fit In Your Dress

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