Many men are unhappy with their body fat, especially around the stomach area. If you’re one of them, don’t worry – it is possible to get rid of this excess weight and achieve a flat stomach. All you need to do is follow the right diet plan. Although it’s impossible to spot reduce fat from a specific area of the body, it is possible to lose weight overall – and this will eventually lead to a reduction in belly fat as well. The best way to achieve this is to make sure that you’re eating a healthy balanced diet and getting enough exercise. This combination will help you burn more calories than you consume, leading to weight loss. Read on for a detailed men’s diet plan to lose belly fat, along with foods to avoid and other tips.
Benefits Of Losing Belly Fat For Men
Your body has two types of fat – subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat that lies just under your skin. Visceral fat is the type of fat that surrounds your organs, and it’s this type of fat that can be very harmful to your health.
Visceral fat often builds up around the waistline, leading to a ‘beer belly’. This type of fat is very dangerous and an excess of it has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even some types of cancer (6).
So, it’s important to lose visceral fat for both your health and your appearance. Here are some of the benefits of losing belly fat for men.
Visceral fat tends to have more metabolic implications than subcutaneous fat. Carrying excess weight around the waistline has been associated with dyslipidemia (such as high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides) and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (4).
Losing belly fat may help to reduce the strain on your heart and lower your risk of developing heart disease (4).
Reduced Risk Of Diabetes
Carrying excess weight, especially around your stomach, can also lead to insulin resistance. This is a condition where your body doesn’t respond properly to the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance is a major cause of type 2 diabetes (4).
Losing belly fat may help reduce your risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Carrying excess weight, particularly around your stomach, can also lead to digestive problems. Obesity is a risk factor for several gastrointestinal conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diverticular disease, gallstones, liver disease, and some cancers of the GI tract (3).
Losing belly fat may help improve your digestion by reducing the risk of some of these conditions (3).
Reduced Risk Of Cancer
Carrying excess weight, particularly around your stomach, can also increase your risk of developing some types of cancer. This may be because visceral fat is thought to increase inflammation which may play a role in the development of certain cancers. Obesity in general is also linked to increased risk of specific cancers through various other mechanisms.
Losing belly fat or fat in general may help reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer (6).
Certain male hormones, such as testosterone, can be affected by carrying excess weight. This can lead to a number of problems, such as reduced muscle mass, low libido, and infertility.
Losing belly fat might help improve your hormone balance, which can have a positive effect on your overall health (4).
What To Eat To Lose Belly Fat – Men’s Diet Plan
Although spot reduction is not possible, you can still lose belly fat by losing weight in general.
When it comes to losing weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. This means that you need to burn more calories than you consume. There are two ways to do this:
- Reduce the number of calories you eat each day.
- Increase the amount of calories you burn through physical activity.
To successfully lose weight, you need to do both of these things. Creating a calorie deficit is the key to weight loss.
The first step is to determine how many calories you need to eat each day. This will depend on a number of factors, including your age, height, weight, and activity level. Once you know how many calories you need to eat, you can start moderately reducing the amount you eat each day.
Online calculators can be a helpful way to determine how many calories you need to eat each day based on your individual factors and weight loss goals.
The next step is to make sure that you’re eating the right foods. Eating a healthy diet is essential for weight loss.
Here are some tips on what to eat (and what to avoid) to help you lose belly fat:
Eat: Low-Calorie, High-Fiber Foods
Satiation is the sensation of feeling full and satisfied after eating. It’s an important factor in weight loss, as it can help to control your food intake.
High-fiber foods are very filling and can help you to feel satiated with fewer calories. They are also packed with water so they hydrate and fill you up even more. This concept is known as volume eating (2).
This involves eating as much as you want of certain low-calorie, high-fiber foods (such as vegetables) until you feel full. This can help to reduce your overall calorie intake and lead to weight loss.
Some high-fiber foods that can help you lose weight include:
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.
- Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, etc.
- Beans and legumes: Black beans, lentils, kidney beans, etc.
- Soluble fiber: Found in oats, bananas, flaxseeds, apples, and citrus fruits.
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Avoid: Refined Carbohydrates And Sugar
Refined carbohydrates are high in calories but low in satiety. This means that they don’t fill you up as much as other foods, so you’re likely to eat more.
They also tend to be high on the glycemic index (GI). This is a measure of how quickly a food raises your blood sugar levels.
High-GI foods can cause spikes in your blood sugar, which can lead to cravings and increased food intake (1).
Refined carbohydrates and added sugar should be avoided if you’re trying to lose weight. This includes white bread, white rice, pasta, pastries, cakes, biscuits, and sugary drinks.
Instead, opt for complex carbs like whole grains, which are high in fiber and low on the GI. These can help to keep you feeling full and may even aid weight loss.
Some examples of complex carbs include:
- Whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain pasta
- Brown rice
Eat: Lean Protein
Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss. It can help to reduce your appetite, increase satiety, and boost metabolism.
What’s more, it helps to preserve muscle mass when you’re trying to lose weight. This is important because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue.
Therefore, preserving muscle mass can help support your weight loss goals.
Try to include a source of lean protein at every meal. Good options include:
- Greek yogurt
Read More: Low Potassium Diet Menu, Dos And Don’ts
Avoid: Trans Fats
Trans fats are man-made fats that are often used in ultra processed foods. They can be found in fried foods, baked goods, and some margarines.
These fats are bad for your health and can promote weight gain. They are linked to inflammation, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of obesity (7).
Artificial trans fats are banned in the US, but many of the ultra processed foods that used to contain them still contain other unhealthy fats, refined carbs, and added sugars. For these reasons, it’s best to limit ultra processed and fast foods, such as:
- Ice cream
- Fried foods
- Some margarines
Eat: Healthy Fats
Not all fats are bad for you. In fact, some fats can help you lose weight and are good for your heart. These include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found in:
- Olive oil
These fats can help to reduce your appetite, promote satiety, and support weight loss. They are also linked to many other health benefits, such as reduced inflammation and a lower risk of heart disease (5).
It’s important to include these healthy fats in your diet, but be sure to do so in moderation. This is because they are still high in calories and can contribute to weight gain if you eat too much.
Avoid: Ultra Processed Foods
Ultra processed foods are usually high in calories and low in nutrients. They’re also very easy for anyone to overeat.
Ultra processed foods include:
- Packaged snacks: chips, cookies, cakes, pastries
- Fast food: burgers, fries, pizza
- Processed meats: bacon, sausage, deli meats
- Refined carbs: white bread, pasta, rice
To lose weight, it’s best to limit ultra processed foods and eat more whole, unprocessed foods.
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Flat Stomach 7 Day Diet Plan For Weight Loss
7 days is hardly enough time to lose a significant amount of weight. However, you can make some small changes to your diet and lifestyle that will help you to flush out water weight, reduce bloat, and maybe slim down your stomach. If you continue with these changes over the long term, you should experience sustainable fat loss.
Here’s a 7-day flat stomach meal plan:
- Breakfast: 1 slice whole grain toast with 1 tablespoon nut butter, 1 small banana
- Lunch: Large salad with grilled chicken or fish, 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar dressing
- Dinner: Quinoa bowl with roasted vegetables and grilled salmon
- Breakfast: Green smoothie with 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 cup almond milk
- Lunch: Spicy black bean soup with 1 slice whole grain bread
- Dinner: Sautéed shrimp with grilled vegetables and brown rice
- Breakfast: Omelet with 2 eggs, 1/4 cup chopped vegetables, 1 ounce shredded cheese
- Lunch: Cobb salad with grilled chicken, 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar dressing
- Dinner: Grilled salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potato
- Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1/2 cup berries and 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Lunch: Tuna salad with whole grain crackers
- Dinner: Chicken stir-fry with vegetables and brown rice
- Breakfast: 1 small banana with 1 tablespoon almond butter
- Lunch: Garden salad with grilled chicken or fish, vegetables of choice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar dressing
- Dinner: Grilled steak with roasted vegetables
- Breakfast: Smoothie made with 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup spinach, and 1/2 cup frozen berries
- Lunch: Chicken salad with vegetables of choice and low-fat dressing
- Dinner: Shrimp and vegetable stir-fry
- Breakfast: 1 slice whole grain toast with 1 tablespoon nut butter, 1 small apple
- Lunch: Large salad with grilled chicken or fish, 2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar dressing
- Dinner: Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables and quinoa
Exercise To Burn Belly Fat
Diet is one way to create a calorie deficit, but you’ll also need to exercise. Exercise is an important part of weight loss and it also improves overall health.
How do you know the best exercise to burn belly fat?
As its name suggests, cardiovascular exercise is any type of activity that gets your heart rate up. It’s a great way to burn calories and lose weight, including belly fat.
The best way to do cardiovascular exercise is to choose activities that you enjoy so that you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Some good options include:
- Brisk walking with weights or on an incline. This increases intensity without adding a lot of impact to your joints.
- Jogging or running. If you have healthy joints and aren’t carrying a lot of extra weight, these activities can help you burn a lot of calories.
- Swimming. This is a great option for people with joint pain or other injuries that make impact activities difficult.
- Biking. Whether you’re riding indoors on a stationary bike or outdoors on a regular bike, this is another good option for burning calories and losing weight.
Interval training is a type of cardiovascular exercise that involves alternating periods of high-intensity activity with periods of rest or low-intensity activity.
This type of exercise is beneficial because it helps you to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. It’s also been shown to have an afterburn effect, which means that you continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished exercising (5).
Some good interval training exercises include:
- Sprinting for 30 seconds followed by 1 minute of walking. Repeat this cycle for 20 minutes.
- Riding a bike at a moderate pace for 2 minutes followed by 1 minute of fast pedaling. Repeat this cycle for 20 minutes.
- Swimming laps at a moderate pace for 2 minutes followed by 1 minute of swimming as fast as you can. Repeat this cycle for 20 minutes.
Strength training is an important part of any exercise routine because it helps to build muscle, which in turn helps burn more calories.
When you have more muscle, your body requires more energy (in the form of calories) to maintain that muscle. This means that even when you’re at rest, you’re burning more calories than you would if you had less muscle.
Some good strength-training exercises include:
- Lifting weights
- Using resistance bands
- Doing bodyweight exercises such as pushups, pullups, and crunches
The Bottom Line
There are many different diet plans that can help you lose weight. That said, some plans are more effective than others. The best plan is one that is tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle.
If you’re looking to lose weight, aim for a moderate calorie deficit of around 500 calories per day. This can be achieved by eating fewer calories, exercising more, or both.
In addition, focus on eating nutrient-dense foods and avoiding ultra processed foods, sugary drinks, and trans fats. These changes can help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Changes in Food Cravings and Eating Behavior after a Dietary Carbohydrate Restriction Intervention Trial (2020, nih.gov)
- Effect of Meal Volume on Hunger and Satiety in Obese Subjects (2006, nih.gov)
- OBESITY AND THE GI TRACT (n.d., gastroconsa.com)
- Relation between visceral fat and disease risk in children and adolescents (1999, oup.com)
- Speed- and Circuit-Based High-Intensity Interval Training on Recovery Oxygen Consumption (2017, nih.gov)
- THE DANGERS OF VISCERAL FAT (2013, endocrine.org)
- Trans fats–sources, health risks and alternative approach – A review (2011, nih.gov)