Losing weight is never easy. From changing up your diet to adding in exercise, it can require making swaps and sacrifices. And one area that tends to be troublesome when it comes to ditching weight is the belly. (Here are 9 foods to avoid if you want to lose belly fat.) That fat that accumulates there, also known as visceral fat, may be stubborn—but not impossible to lose.
And these seven women all successfully lost belly fat and weight naturally. Here are 12 of their tips to help you, too.
“PLAN! Always have a plan. Since the very start of my journey every Sunday I still sit down and plan all my dinners for the week with my shopping list. I even pre-track meals so I know how many points I have to work with before dinner. If we are having a night of eating out I check out the menu before I go and plan my meal out. I’m not afraid to bring my own items to the restaurant.”
“PREP! I stock my fridge and pantry with foods that I know will fuel and fill my body. I try to not let myself get too hungry, but I’m a busy mom and sometimes I don’t listen to my hunger queues and before I know it I’m starving. By keeping items on hand that I know fit my budget helps to not binge.”
“SWAP! I have learned to take the foods I enjoy and love and ‘tweak’ the recipe to make sure it fits my plan for the day. Some of this includes swapping out pre-made pizza dough for 2-ingredient dough (equal parts self rising flour with 0% plain Greek yogurt) Using whole grains bread over white. Chickpea pasta over regular pastas.”
“Cut out fast food, fried food, and alcohol. Remember, nutrition is key. And we can’t outwork a bad diet.”
“Drink a minimum of 1 gallon a day. The more the better!”
“Be cautious of dressing and sauces. They carry more calories and fats than you think. Go for sugar-free options.”
“Make sure you workout 4 times a week, incorporating cardio and core.”
“My #1 tip is substituting processed carbs/high sugar foods with more protein-enriched whole foods. If I ever got a craving for cake (high calorie, high sugar, high fat), I’d sub it with a homemade protein pancake. It was richer in nutrition, lower in sugar/fat/cals, and it satisfied my cravings for cake.” – Connie Chan
“My best tip for losing belly fat is to be in a consistent calorie deficit! You don’t even have to exercise if you don’t want to. But being in a calorie deficit will shed belly fat!” – Jasmine May
“My number one tip would be to not be afraid of fruit! I spent years avoiding fruit because it was programmed in my brain as being bad for me and to avoid it because of the sugar and carbs. It’s nature’s candy and delicious! Don’t be afraid of it, have it and enjoy it at least twice a day!” – Jennifer Douglas
“Eat your vegetables. In my personal experience, I ate the vegetables on my plate first. Having more nutrient-dense foods (such as having veggies or mixed green salads with lunch & dinner) really helped me feel more satisfied. It’s super easy to eat a family-size bag of cheese puffs, but really difficult to eat 5 helpings of broccoli.” – Chloe Campos
“My #1 best tip to successfully lose belly fat is: so long soda! I would realize that after drinking sodas, my stomach would bloat like nobody’s business. Plus, it was loaded with sugar. Now, I mostly drink water, tea, or non-carbonated drinks.” – Christina Spencer