Focus on protein and fiber to trim your midsection and lose weight in this easy 7-day flat-belly diet plan.

Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., R.D., C.D.
September 27, 2019

Getting rid of stubborn belly fat doesn't mean you have to get rid of tons of foods to trim your waistline and lose weight. In fact, what's more impactful is focusing on eating more of the good-for-you foods that have been shown to trim belly fat. Upping your intake of protein and fiber, while emphasizing foods that research shows help to decrease belly fat (like kefir and avocado), is the combination that will give you results.

A high-protein diet helps keep us full, which means we are less likely to overeat throughout the day. Fiber also plays an important role in promoting a flat belly and keeping us satisfied—it helps maintain a regular digestive tract to reduce bloating, and also promotes healthy gut bacteria.

This plan includes at least 50 grams of protein and 30 grams of fiber each day to help you reach your health and weight-loss goals. Because reducing calories plays an important role in weight loss, we set this plan at 1,200 calories a day with modifications to bump it up to 1,500 or 2,000 calories depending on your calorie needs.

High-Protein Flat-Belly Foods

In addition to eating more of the healthy flat-belly foods research has shown can trim your midsection, like artichokes, green tea, avocado and chickpeas, focusing on these high-protein foods for a flat belly can help too.

  • Eggs: A quality protein source, eggs are a quick, easy and healthy choice that can help trim belly fat. One egg contains about 7 grams of protein. Feel free to eat the yolk—it contains most of the nutrients.
  • Fermented dairy: Because they contain probiotics, fermented dairy products, like yogurt and kefir, help keep our gut bacteria healthy. A healthy gut is linked to important health outcomes, including lower weight and less belly fat. One cup of kefir provides about 10 grams of protein while a cup of Greek yogurt packs in about 20 grams of protein.
  • Legumes: High in both fiber and protein, beans and lentils are flat-belly powerhouses. Research shows that people who regularly eat chickpeas are 53% less likely to be obese. A 1/2 cup serving of chickpeas has about 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
  • Nuts: All nuts are awesome, but peanuts seem to be particularly good for our blood sugars. Maintaining healthy blood sugar control plays a role in keeping us trim. A 1/4-cup serving of peanuts provides about 9 grams of protein.
  • Fish and poultry: Fish, chicken and turkey are all healthy protein sources that can help keep us full. A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked chicken packs in about 31 grams of protein.
  • Water: While there's no special detox drink for a flat belly (our kidneys and liver take care of detoxing), aim to increase water intake to stay hydrated and reduce constipation. Looking for a flat-belly tea? Research shows green tea can help trim belly fat while giving our metabolism a small boost and keeping us hydrated. Try one of our green tea recipes.

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make the Chimichurri Noodle Bowls to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  2. Prepare Sherry Dijon Vinaigrette to use on salads throughout the week.
  3. Assemble the Slow-Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup Freezer Pack and freeze.

Day 1

Breakfast (274 calories)

A.M. Snack (64 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries

Lunch (366 calories)

P.M. Snack (131 calories)

  • 12 walnut halves

Dinner (374 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,208 calories, 90 g protein, 127 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 42 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 726 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 8 walnuts to A.M. snack and 2 Tbsp. almond butter to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 cup cooked oatmeal prepared with water to breakfast, add 1/2 cup walnuts to A.M. snack, and add 3 Tbsp. almond butter to P.M. snack.

Day 2

Breakfast (274 calories)

A.M. Snack (96 calories)

  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries

Lunch (377 calories)

P.M. Snack (97 calories)

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup blackberries

Dinner (374 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Prepare 1 serving of Date & Pine Nut Overnight Oatmeal to have for breakfast tomorrow.

Daily Totals: 1,219 calories, 76 g protein, 141 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 43 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 926 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 cup cooked oatmeal prepared with water to breakfast, add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 1 large pear to lunch, and add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts to P.M. snack.

Day 3

Meal-Prep Tip: Place the Slow-Cooker Creamy Lentil Soup Freezer Pack in the slow cooker, add broth per recipe instructions and cook on Low for 8 hours so it's ready for dinner tonight.

Breakfast (281 calories)

A.M. Snack (51 calories)

  • 1 small peach

Lunch (377 calories)

P.M. Snack (88 calories)

  • 2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Dinner (425 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,222 calories, 70 g protein, 143 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 45 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,377 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup chopped walnuts to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice whole-wheat bread and 1 1/2 Tbsp. almond butter to A.M. snack, add 1 large pear to lunch, add 1/3 cup chopped walnuts to P.M. snack, and add 1/2 avocado to dinner.

Day 4

Breakfast (287 calories)

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (377 calories)

P.M. Snack (41 calories)

  • 2/3 cup blackberries

Dinner (411 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Prepare Date & Pine Nut Overnight Oatmeal to have for breakfast tomorrow. Tomorrow's dinner is the Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili, which you'll want to start in the morning so it's ready by dinnertime. If you'll be strapped for time tomorrow morning, prep the veggies you'll need for the recipe tonight so all you have to do is dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and turn it on in the morning.

Daily Totals: 1,211 calories, 69 g protein, 124 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 55 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 1,091 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 Tbsp. almond butter to A.M. snack, add 1 large pear to lunch, and add 1 1/2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt and 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack.

Day 5

Meal-Prep Tip: Cook the Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili on Low for 8 hours so it's ready in time for dinner tonight.

Breakfast (281 calories)

A.M. Snack (133 calories)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Lunch (377 calories)

P.M. Snack (14 calories)

  • 1/2 cup sliced bell pepper

Dinner (418 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Refrigerate 2 servings of the Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili to have for lunch on Days 6 and 7.

Daily Totals: 1,224 calories, 67 g protein, 136 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 51 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 1,242 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup chopped walnuts to A.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 2 Tbsp. unsalted dry-roasted almonds to breakfast, add 1/3 cup chopped walnuts to A.M. snack, add 1 large pear to lunch, add 1/4 cup guacamole to P.M. snack, and add 1/2 avocado to dinner.

Day 6

Breakfast (287 calories)

A.M. Snack (84 calories)

  • 1 5-oz. container nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Lunch (314 calories)

P.M. Snack (16 calories)

  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • Pinch of salt & pepper

Dinner (511 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Prepare Date & Pine Nut Overnight Oatmeal to have for breakfast tomorrow.

Daily Totals: 1,212 calories, 69 g protein, 141 g carbohydrates, 34 g fiber, 46 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 1,424 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 1 large pear to lunch, add 1/4 cup hummus to P.M. snack, and add 2 cups mixed greens with 1/2 avocado and 1 serving Sherry Dijon Vinaigrette to dinner.

Day 7

Breakfast (281 calories)

A.M. Snack (100 calories)

  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Lunch (314 calories)

P.M. Snack (35 calories)

  • 1 clementine

Dinner (463 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,193 calories, 71 g protein, 142 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 45 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,356 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1/3 cup chopped walnuts and 1 large peach to A.M. snack, add 1 large pear to lunch, add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack, and add 2 cups mixed greens and 1 serving Sherry Dijon Vinaigrette to dinner.

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