7-Day Meal Plan to Lose Belly Fat, Created by a Dietitian

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Research, like the 2022 review in Frontiers in Endocrinology, shows that individuals under 65 years old with less visceral belly fat—the fat that surrounds your organs—have a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, as well as a lower risk of dying from these conditions.

While there isn’t a single magic food to reduce belly fat, certain foods, such as whole grains, green tea and eggs, offer unique benefits in promoting overall health when incorporated into a reduced-calorie eating plan. These foods contribute in different ways to decrease waist circumference. Exercise is also crucial for belly fat loss. A 2022 Journal of British Sports Medicine review found that combining calorie reduction with increased exercise that burns about 1,000 calories a week significantly reduced belly fat compared to making no changes.

This seven-day meal plan includes these belly-health foods, along with vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and protein, prepared in delicious ways to make it easier to reduce harmful belly fat and feel great.

How We Create Meal Plans

Registered dietitians thoughtfully create EatingWell’s meal plans to be easy-to-follow and delicious. Each meal plan meets specific parameters depending on the health condition and/or lifestyle goal it is targeting and is analyzed for accuracy using the nutrition database, ESHA Food Processor. As nutritional needs differ from person to person, we encourage you to use these plans as inspiration and adjust as you see fit.

How to Meal Prep Your Week of Meals

  1. Meal prep the Spinach & Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5. Store the salad in an airtight container and the dressing separately in a small container.
  2. Make the Muffin-Tin Omelets with Feta & Peppers to have for a quick grab-and-go breakfast on Days 1, 2, 3 and 7. Store in glass airtight containers. Wrap in a paper towel and reheat in the microwave on High for 20 to 30 seconds when ready to eat. Freeze any remaining egg muffins.
  3. Make the Chile-Lime Peanuts and store them in a glass airtight container to keep them fresh.

Day 1

Belly-Health Boost: According to a 2022 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, eating nuts on a regular basis is associated with a decreased waist circumference and a lower risk of metabolic syndrome. And the kick of capsaicin from the chili seasoning in the Chile-Lime Peanuts recipe can suppress your appetite in the short run, according to a 2022 Pharmaceuticals (Basel) review, so that you don’t overeat.

Breakfast (290 calories, 4 g fiber)

A.M. Snack (214 calories, 11 g fiber)

  • 1 cup low-fat kefir
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

Lunch (345 calories, 8 g fiber)

P.M. Snack (221 calories, 4 g fiber)

Dinner (410 calories, 13 g fiber)

  • 2 cups Baked Vegetable Soup
  • 1 (4 inch) whole-wheat pita round, toasted and topped with 1/4 cup hummus

Daily Totals: 1,480 calories, 62 g protein, 153 g carbohydrates, 41 g fiber, 76 g fat, 2,367 mg sodium

Day 2

Belly-Health Boost: Chickpeas are a belly-health food with 7 g of fiber and 7 g of protein in 1/2 cup, per the USDA. Those nutrients fill you up and stabilize your blood sugar to keep you satisfied for longer after eating. You’ll love them in today’s Chickpea Pasta with Lemony-Parsley Pesto.

Breakfast (290 calories, 4 g fiber)

A.M. Snack (214 calories, 11 g fiber)

  • 1 cup low-fat kefir
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

Lunch (324 calories, 4 g fiber)

P.M. Snack (46 calories, 2 g fiber)

  • 1 1/2 cups air-popped popcorn topped with 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Dinner (630 calories, 12 g fiber)

Meal-Prep Tip: Save 1 cup of the Sheet-Pan Roasted Root Vegetables (part of tonight’s dinner prep) for dinner on Day 4.

Daily Totals: 1,504 calories, 62 g protein, 122 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 92 g fat, 1,940 mg sodium

Day 3

Belly-Health Boost: Green tea contains compounds that may help keep your abdominal fat in a healthy range, per a 2022 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Plus, the caffeine in green tea may help you to burn more fat, according to a 2022 International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Add a cup or two of green tea to your daily routine to get more of its health benefits.

Breakfast (290 calories, 4 g fiber)

A.M. Snack (210 calories, 4 g fiber)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (324 calories, 4 g fiber)

P.M. Snack (159 calories, 11 g fiber)

  • 1/2 cup low-fat kefir
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

Dinner (446 calories, 10 g fiber)

Evening Snack (103 calories, 3 g fiber)

Daily Totals: 1,526 calories, 58 g protein, 163 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 77 g fat, 1,858 mg sodium

Day 4

Belly-Health Boost: Fiber-rich lentils feed healthy gut bacteria and keep things moving along smoothly in your gut to prevent bloating and constipation. And adding dark leafy greens, as we do in tonight’s dinner, helps you take in fewer calories without increasing hunger.

Breakfast (380 calories, 10 g fiber)

A.M. Snack (113 calories, 1 g fiber)

Lunch (324 calories, 4 g fiber)

P.M. Snack (222 calories, 4 g fiber)

Dinner (453 calories, 14 g fiber)

Daily Totals: 1,491 calories, 65 g protein, 130 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 86 g fat, 1,753 mg sodium

Day 5

Belly-Health Boost: Oats are a powerhouse whole grain, high in satisfying fiber. According to a 2021 study in The Journal of Nutrition, people who ate at least three servings of whole grains—like oatmeal and brown rice—daily gained less belly fat over a period of 4 years than those who ate less. Today’s easy breakfast recipe delivers a healthy dose of whole grains in the form of yummy muesli.

Breakfast (490 calories, 18 g fiber)

  • 1 cup kefir
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened muesli
  • 3/4 cup raspberries
  • 8 oz. green tea

A.M. Snack (113 calories, 1 g fiber)

Lunch (324 calories, 4 g fiber)

P.M. Snack (95 calories, 4 g fiber)

Dinner (497 calories, 8 g fiber)

Daily Totals: 1,519 calories, 77 g protein, 152 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 76 g fat, 1,449 mg sodium

Day 6

Belly-Health Boost: True, avocados are high in fat but it’s the good kind that keeps your heart healthy and fills you, which helps you not to overeat and to feel more satisfied.

Breakfast (296 calories, 6 g fiber)

A.M. Snack (113 calories, 1 g fiber)

Lunch (360 calories, 13 g fiber)

A.M. Snack (210 calories, 4 g fiber)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Dinner (532 calories, 5 g fiber)

  • 1 serving Shrimp Paulista
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice topped with 1 tsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli florets topped with 2 tsp. olive oil and seasoned with a pinch each of salt and pepper

Daily Totals: 1,512 calories, 73 g protein, 156 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 70 g fat, 1,666 mg sodium

Day 7

Belly-Health Boost: Protein from eggs can help you slim down and build muscle. Eating animal protein, including eggs, has been linked with less abdominal fat, per a 2022 study in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome.

Breakfast (290 calories, 4 g fiber)

A.M. Snack (200 calories, 5 g fiber)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

Lunch (230 calories, 11 g fiber)

P.M. Snack (186 calories, 11 g fiber)

  • 3/4 cup low-fat kefir
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

Dinner (605 calories, 8 g fiber)

Daily Totals: 1,510 calories, 84 g protein, 174 g carbohydrates, 40 g fiber, 60 g fat, 1,704 mg sodium

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